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Implementing a new thesaurus on the King’s Fund Unicorn system or Eureka! The best ideas happen in the bath… Liz James EUUG Conference, Paris 2002.

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Presentation on theme: "Implementing a new thesaurus on the King’s Fund Unicorn system or Eureka! The best ideas happen in the bath… Liz James EUUG Conference, Paris 2002."— Presentation transcript:

1 Implementing a new thesaurus on the King’s Fund Unicorn system or Eureka! The best ideas happen in the bath… Liz James EUUG Conference, Paris 2002

2 Background Unicorn implemented in 1990 (no previous online LMS) management King’s Fund collects health and social care management material – not clinical information No suitable tool for subject indexing, not even DH-DSS Data

3 Why not MeSH or LCSH? 7 Too clinical (MeSH) 7 Too broad-based (LCSH) 7 Management terms in both are under-developed for our purposes 7 Both too American!

4 What next? Two senior librarians nominated to compile a health & social care management thesaurus This can be used in-house and sold to income generate Work takes about 2 years However, the product is useless…

5 And then…? The Kings Fund is part of a consortium: HMIC H ealth Care M anagement I nformation C onsortium Other partners: UK Department of Health Nuffield Institute for Health (Leeds University)

6 At last! The DoH puts up money to update the existing DH-DSS Data thesaurus An experienced librarian is appointed (Phil Defriez – lovely boy! ) KF staff assist Phil (remotely) finally HMIC thesaurus is finally published in 2001

7 How to get the thesaurus on Unicorn? The original KF thesaurus had been keyed into Unicorn by a temp – it took months! No budget – KF didn’t have the money to pay for it this time high time Time factor – the project had been running for years. It was high time the thesaurus was implemented

8 In the bath one day (honest!), I had a brilliant idea...

9 My brilliant idea  I had a Word file of the thesaurus (total of 377 pages – terms)  If I could do a search and replace on the relationship terms (BT/NT/RT) and turn them into MARC fields, we could load the file onto Unicorn!! 

10 Will it work? (of course!) I called Sirsi (of course!) Each individual authority record needs to be formatted according to a template If I can do this, the file can be saved in text format This can be uploaded to our server

11 The template *** DOCUMENT BOUNDARY *** FORM=SUBJECT |aPreferred term |aNon-preferred/improper term |aBroader term |aNarrower term |aRelated term |aScope note

12 This is going to be easy... Now it’s just a simple matter of search and replace! simple Did I say simple?

13 Not so easy... The Word file has ditto marks where there are more than one BT/NT/RT in a record!!! INFORMATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS BT Information systems NT Cataloguing systems.. Classification systems.. Indexing systems RT Information management

14 Is this the end of my brilliant idea? An agonised phone call to Phil: Would it be possible to give me a Word document of the file where each BT/NT/RT was repeated? YES! Phew!

15 Next problem... In the printed thesaurus, all terms (proper and improper) are listed in the A-Z sequence BUT In the Unicorn authority module, only proper terms have their own entries

16 Solution? All the improper term entries have to be stripped out manually, e.g. Mental handicap USE Learning disabilities

17 The next problem? Pre-coordinated terms from the old thesaurus which had been post-coordinated in the new had to be stripped out manually, e.g. Nurses role USE Nurses [AND] Professional role Finding them was easy…

18 Surely that’s it? Unfortunately not! Many improper terms have the same words as the proper terms they refer to: RESEARCH SAMPLING UF Sampling in research.. Sampling [research]

19 Now?! Still not… Some improper terms have been used as part of proper terms: Advisers [consultants] USE Consultants Advisers [counsellors] USE Counsellors There is also a proper term Medical advisers

20 Almost there... But not quite! Many terms contained the word “and” - this needed to be changed to & so the Boolean operator AND will work properly

21 Caveat… ‘and’ As long as you remember not to replace just the string ‘and’ alone OR Manual handling becomes…

22 At last!! The editing was finished The file was saved in text format and ed to Sirsi The old authority module was deleted The file was loaded onto our backup server for testing… Fingers crossed!

23 First problem Some of the records had “collided” BROWSE AUTHORITY Only proper terms were coming up in the BROWSE AUTHORITY listing - no sign of any improper terms… A quick phone call to Barbara and a little tweaking of Format Manager and...

24 Well…??

25 Finally! The text file was loaded onto our main server The rebuild authority reports were run and…

26 However... That’s not the end of the story. The next issue is: How to maintain the thesaurus?

27 Thesaurus maintenance 1 We have a spreadsheet on a shared drive, accessible to all those indexing We add new terms, disputed existing terms or terms that don’t work as we find them This is sent to Phil (love ‘im) to decide which terms will be added and to establish the relationships (no hard work for us!)

28 Thesaurus maintenance 2 We add any new terms to the authority module as PROVISIONAL terms If possible, we retrospectively index any old records The globaledit report has been working overtime at the King’s Fund!

29 Thesaurus maintenance 3 Get the new terms Upgrade the PROVISIONAL terms to AUTHORISED Edit the relationship terms Run the unauthlst report once a month Check all the unauthorised terms listed

30 The future? (Aaah, aargh and phew) The HMIC thesaurus is going to die (aaah) We will be using the bigger DH Thesaurus at some point soon (aargh) At least I know how to do it now (phew) PIECE OF CAKE!

31 For further information Contact me at the Fund: Liz James King’s Fund 11/13 Cavendish Square London W1G 0AN Tel:


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