ASFIS Reference Series, No. 6, Revision 2, 1996
A thesaurus provides a standard language or set of terms with which to describe a subject area. Applied to indexing of a database, it indicates to a searcher which terms to use to retrieve the maximum number of relevant documents.
The thesaurus terms are used by indexers to describe
the contents of publications in a consistent, comprehensive and concise
manner. These terms are listed in the Descriptors field (DE=) of each
record added to the database.
Using our interactive Thesaurus
Search you can browse for terms via a hierarchical, alphabetical,
or rotated index display. These display formats allow you to navigate
the thesaurus alphabetically or through the hierarchical relationships
between terms. After finding appropriate terms, you can submit a search
for those terms in the database descriptor field.
Each term may be followed by:
- Notes: These comments provide additional information about the term, eg, definitions and usage history.
- Broader Terms and Narrower Terms: These labels reflect the hierarchical nature of the descriptors, eg, DISEASES is a broad term relative to FISH DISEASES.
- Related Terms: These are non-hierarchical relations that direct the users to alternative descriptors in the event that the initial term is conceptually inappropriate or there is a need to broaden the search.
- Use For Terms: These are non-descriptor terms for which the main term should be used instead. Use For and Use terms always go together and this relationship is used in a variety of situations, such as when to use synonyms or near synonyms, eg, USE Artificial Lakes FOR Man-made lakes.