A new thesaurus standard for the web

By Glenda: First published in Online Currents – Vol.18 Issue 4, May 2003

Information specialists who have grappled with the task of using thesauri or other controlled vocabularies for information retrieval on the Web, will be delighted to hear of the revision of the standard Guidelines for the Construction, Format, and Management of Monolingual Thesauri, ANSI/NISO Z39.19 currently underway by NISO (the United States’ National Information Standards Organization). These guidelines, last revised in 1993, form an important basis for thesaurus construction and use in library and database environments, and the revision aims to make them more appropriate for use on the Web and with a wide range of online documents. read more

An Overview of Patents Online

By Glenda: First published in Online Currents – 20 (6) July/August 2005

Patents are an important source of scientific, technical and business information.  For anyone planning to apply for a patent, a search is crucial to identify the existence of ‘prior art’, which affects the patentability of an invention.  For researchers, patents can be important as they are often the only published information on specific topics, and can provide insight into research directions.  Patents are also used by marketing and competitive intelligence professionals, to find out about work being done by other companies. read more

Automatic Categorisation

By Glenda: First published in Online Currents – Vol.18 Issues 1, 2 and 3, Jan-Apr 2003

1. Principles of Classification

Automatic categorisation is the new ‘killer app’ for information access on Web sites, intranets and portals. However, is it really the solution to information overload, or is it just another promised technological fix that doesn’t deliver? This three-part article examines the state of the art in automatic categorisation. This part examines research in classification theory and its relevance to automatic categorisation. The second looks at some of the principles and practices in automatic categorisation, while the third focuses on specific software products. read more

Automatic Indexing

  • Database indexing
  • Retrieval and ranking tools
  • Document abstracting
  • Book indexing
  • Indexicon
  • Effect of automatic methods on professionals
  • References


This paper will examine developments in automatic indexing and abstracting in which the computer creates the index and abstract, with little or no human intervention. The emphasis is on practical applications, rather than theoretical studies. This paper does not cover computer-aided indexing, in which computers enhance the work of human indexers, or indexing of the Internet.

Research into automatic indexing and abstracting has been progressing since the late 1950’s. Early reports claimed success, but practical applications have been limited. Computer indexing and abstracting are now being used commercially, with prospects for further use in the future. The history of automatic indexing and abstracting is well covered by Lancaster (1991). read more

Copyright in the Digital Age

By Glenda: First published in Online Currents – 20 (9) November 2005

To examine the risks and opportunities presented by digital information, earlier this year Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) held a half-day seminar entitled ‘Copyright in the Digital Age: Learn How to Protect Your Work in the Digital Environment’.  The sessions were presented by CAL staff members, Michael Fraser, Caroline Morgan, and Eric Moore.  These sessions were followed by a panel discussion featuring representatives from the publishing industry, authors, board members of CAL, and representatives from the Australian Society of Authors.  This paper is drawn from the presentations and panel discussion of the CAL seminar (http://www.copyright.com.au/seminar_papers_CDA.htm ) and on information sheets available on the CAL site (http://www.copyright.com.au/information.htm ), as well as other cited references. read more

E-learning: education on the web

By Glenda: First published in Online Currents – Vol.16 Issue 7, September 2001


E-learning (electronic learning) opportunities are developing quickly. From the click-through tutorials of computer-based training, online learning has evolved into a complex mix of learning experiences using resources on the Web, communication via e-mail and online chat, and collaborative work.

Some software packages have been developed to support the whole e-learning process, while others focus on specific aspects of e-learning, such as the provision of online examinations or the display of slides online. Organisations wishing to implement e-learning can develop courses alone or in conjunction with instructional design experts from specialist e-learning companies. Few sections of the education community have been untouched by these developments, with e-learning solutions being implemented in schools, TAFE colleges, universities, community education institutions, and the business world. read more

Faceted Classification

By Glenda: First published in Online Currents – Vol.18 Issue 9, November 2003

Most library students will have studied Ranganathan and faceted classification, but unless they live in India, they are unlikely to have read his works in detail or used his Colon Classification scheme. Nonetheless, his groundbreaking work has been influential in traditional library classification schemes. Facets are fundamental to the Bliss Bibliographic Classification, and are important in the Dewey Decimal Classification. read more