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  • BOOK REVIEWS

    Encyclopedia of library and informationscience. vol.9 - Fore -edge painting toGermany. New York, Marcel Dekker,1973. viii, 545p. ISBN 0-8247-2109-8.~ 40 (per voluri'le on subscription basis)~ 50 (single volume) [Reviewed by B. Guha]

    With the publication of the presentvolume the Encyclopaedia is just half waythrough. This mark has been reached in aboutfive years time. In a way this a measure ofthe enormous task the editors have taken uponthemselves.

    Like all the previous volumes, the pre-sent one is also an argosy of useful informa-tion which will be received with joy by every-body interested in any way in the field of lib-rary and information science. There are twovery comprehensive survey articles on Franceand Germany. The article on Germany and itslibraries and documentation centres fills upabout 150 pages. This article is, of course,a composite of many smaller contributions ondifferent aspects of German libraries and,in-formation centres. The article on France andits libraries is not so comprehensive. A mere42-page desc ription was thought enough for thepurpose.

    Apart from country survey articles theEncyclopedia has been presenting useful arti-cles on subject lib r ar i.es and literature ofbroad subjects. In this category we find fourarticles in the volume - Geographical librariesand map collections, Geogr aptrical literature,Geological libraries and collections, and Geo-logical literature. All of them are very use-ful and the last two have been very well pre-sented too. An article of similar nature ison the Genealogical' libraries and collections.

    Since, the articles are coming out inalphabetical sequence, one can anticipate to alarge extent the contents of a volume. But

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    even then, it has been an experience with thepresent reviewer, that each volume has beenbringing out at least something beyond thisalphabetical anticipation and some surprises.They are surely pleasant surprises. One couklreasonably anticipate that the present volumewould cbntain articles on Fortran Of Gametheory, but surely not on 'Format, Catalog1or'Funding: library endowments in the UnitedStat.es", Perhaps, 'Catalog forrnat ' has beenaccomodated here in this volume by simpleinversion. Whatever may be the reasons, theinclusion of these articles are pleasant sur-prises. The article on Funding is a substan-tial one, covering about 48 pages.

    Other articles worth mentioning are onFriends of libraries, General semantics, Geo-graphical codes, German union catalogs, anda few biographical articles.

    The list of contributors to vol, 9 includesthe names of 42 distinguished persons. A geo-graphical break-up of the contributors gives usthe following analysis - U. S.A. - 24, Ger-many - 9, U.K. - 5, France - 2, Canada andUSSR - 1 each.

    The editors do not seem to have any in-tention of correcting in any way the informationgiven under IAdvisory Boar d", Mr. B. S.Kesavan has long retired from INSDOC andINSOOC is not located in Calcutta. This doub-le fault should not be allowed to drag on toofar. In fact since vol 7 this is continuing andthe Encyclopedia office must be having enoughsour ceafo find out where INSDOC is located.

    The thesaurus in retrieval, by Allan Gilchrist.London, Aslib, 1971. viii, 184p. .4.90(.I. 3. 80 for Aslib members) SBN 851420362[Reviewed by T N Rajan]

    The word thesaurus appears to havebeen brought into use in the context of infor-

    Ann Lib Sci Doc

  • BOOKREVIEWS

    mation retrieval, for the first time at theDorking International Study Conference onClassification in 1957. About the same time,Luhn was pr obabl'ythe first person to think interms of information retrieval thesaurus forvocabulary control, using the expression 'dic-tionaries of notional families'. It was, per-haps, Vickery who contributed the first pape ron thesaurus which was published in the J.our-nal of Documentation in 1960. The first mac-rodocument that carne out on this subject wasin German by Soergel in f969 entitled Klassifi-kationssystem undThesauri; eine ~nleftUngzur Herstellung von Klassffikatfone sy stem undThesauri in Bereich der Dokumentation. Thebook, presently under review, the first in theEnglillh language, is the efforts of Allan Gil-christ. These interesting landmarks vividlyportrays the remarkable growth and develop-ment of the subject since the introduction ofthe concept.

    In developing controlled vocabularies forpost coordinating indexing sytems, the conceptof thesaurus has been found to be a useful aid.'Term lists' and 'thesauri' have been designed.the former presenting a straight list of terms,both preferred and rejected with their alter-natives (unstructured) and the latter consistingof lists of concepts leading from one conceptto the other (structured). Although several ofthese types have been constructed and used invarious indexing systems, there has not beenany general book giving a descriptive accountof the different methods of construction of the-saurus with some of the best examples of the-sauri in use. This need has been admirablymet by this book, although this book does notpurport to be a guide manual.

    After giving a brief background of theindexing process in relation to coordinate in-dexing, the author examines, in some detail,the different technical terms used, such asconcept, descriptor, keyword, lead-in-termsetc; , to put his discussion on thesaurus in pro-per perspective. Considering thesaurus com-pih.tion as an example of syst em design, themain characteristics of thesauri and the designprocess are briefly outlined. Of the four fac-tors, viz., objectives, environment, resourcesand measures of performance, that govern thedesign, considerable attention is given to per-formance interms of the two CraD1ield mea-sures Recall and Precision. The recall orient-.ed devices deal with semantic problems thatinclude synonyms control, word form corit ro l ,

    Vol 20 No 1-4 Mar-Dec 1973

    and classification methods. While classifica-tion could equally be effective both as a recalland precision device, its use as a recall deviceis highlighted. Formation of hierarchies andlattices. facet analysis and semantic factoringare some of the methods considered under clas-sification. The concepts of clumps and clus-ters developed for automatic classification arealso discussed here. The precision orienteddevices included are coordination, use of linksand roles, weighting and relational indexing.For the coordination of terms, the methodsdeveloped in the Thesaurus of Engineering andScientific Terms and the British TechnologyIndex are described. Relational indexing devis-ed by Farradane and SYNTOL (SYNTagmaticOrganisation Language) of Gardin are summa ri-sed here as systems which places emphasis onthe recording of relationships in indexing. .

    The chapter on Coding is mainly focuss-ed in relation to the physical storage mediumfor coordinate indexing, particularly with thefeature cards. The methods of presentationof terms and display of relationships of thesau-ri. are discussed in the chapter on Formatsand Aids.

    Ten case studies present a comparativeanalysis of different kind-s of thesauri and termlists developed, which use a mixture of techni-ques described earlier inthe book. Amongthese are the TEST (the Thesaurus of Engi-neering and Scientific Terms published jointlyby the Engineers Joint Council and the U. S.Department of Defence) and the Thesaurofacet1970 of English Electric Company publf shed in1967 and 1970 respectively. These two repre-sent the partly structured and fully structuredthesauri. The Thesaurofacet integrateB the"best features of a faceted classification andthesarus, and can be used independently as aclassificatory system and a thesaurus whileTEST, considered a 'Classic' uses a numberof clas sification aids.

    A chapter on searching, describes thesearching techniques using Venn diagrams toshow relationships between concepts and achapter on evaluation summarises the litera-ture on evaluation of indexing systems includ-ing descriptions of some of the well knownexperiments.

    In the final chapter, the author pointsout that while the proliferation of the8aur,i~,

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  • BOOK REVIEWS

    term lists and faceted classification, may cul-uminate in the development of a standard anduniversally acceptable scheme, there willstill be strong arguments in favour of local andtailor m a de sc heme s,

    An appendix give s brief sections outliningvarious physical aspects of the principle ofCoordinate indexing as found in printed index-es and in the use of certain types of equipment.

    A good bibliography of nearly 450 refer-ences on coordinate indexing and thesaurus en-hances the value of the book.

    Cataloging far library technical assistants, byJay E. Daily and Mildred S. Myers, withthe assistance of George M. Sinhankas ,2nd ed; WashinKton, Gryphon House, 1973.viii, 96p. ISBN 876590296 ft 4 [Reviewed by.B. Guha]

    This slim publication is a textLookwith a difference. It is meant for any personwho wishes to have a general introduction tothe cataloguing of books in libraries. Theauthors have very frankly stated that, "astudent should not attempt to learn librarycataloguing from these chapters at the levelwhich would be described as competency. IIOn the other hand the text provides sufficientdetails lito equip any graduate of a high schoolprogram in liberal arts for the task of descrip-tive cataloging. II

    The text is divided into ten chaptersdevoted to topics like Bibliographic descrip-tion, Descriptive Cataloging (AACR), Maine.ntry, Centralized proce s s ing , Card reproduc-t~on ~ethods, End prC'cess and filing, Classi-f ic at i.on and subject headings, etc. Throughoutthe text the emphasis is on the practical as-pec.ts, as the authors believe, "Cataloging isan mtensely practical discipline." Within thelimited objectives set by the authors them-selves, each chapter is an