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FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology): A Vocabulary to Facilitate Faceted Browsing Eric Childress Consulting Project Manager OCLC Programs.

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Presentation on theme: "FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology): A Vocabulary to Facilitate Faceted Browsing Eric Childress Consulting Project Manager OCLC Programs."— Presentation transcript:

1 FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology): A Vocabulary to Facilitate Faceted Browsing Eric Childress Consulting Project Manager OCLC Programs & Research Guest Lecture ISI 5121 March 11, 2010 School of Information Studies/ University of Ottawa = École des sciences de l'information Université d'Ottawa

2 Outline A Changing World About FAST Illustrative uses of FAST

3 A Changing World Search & Retrieval evolves Interface expectations are set by others Presentation and navigation patterns flow… Data/Metadata production sources expand Machine services are increasingly important

4 Search & Retrieval evolves 19th Century Author, Title, Subject Card Catalogs Manual Complex, Non-intuitive Controlled Vocabulary Library catalogs 21 st Century Key Word, Relevance Weighted Computers/Web Automated & Social Simpler, User-Friendly Uncontrolled Vocabulary low unit costs high unit costs

5 Interface expectations are set by others Top Web properties by visitor (U.S.) June 2009 (comscore)comscore

6 Presentation and navigation patterns flow… Losing favor: Text-heavy interfaces All options, all the time Jargon-laden labels Gaining favor: Single-search box simplicity White-space and eye-catching graphics Side-bar navigation Tagclouds



9 Closer to, but not libraries…

10 Traditional library interfaces

11 Newer library system interfaces

12 Tagclouds

13 Data/Metadata production sources expand Institution-based Sophisticated rules Expert-built Authority Formal distribution channels Institutional networks Chiefly individuals No/lightweight rules UGC (User-Generated Content) Wisdom of the crowds Metadata in the wild The Network cost diffusion cost accounting

14 Machine services are increasingly important

15 About FAST Arose from expert recommendations Project of OCLC Research in consultation with LC Complement of faceted vocabularies based on LCSH Suitable for non-expert application Machine-to-machine friendly

16 A New Frontier for Controlled Vocabularies Expert group studied issues related to controlled vocabularies and the Web environment American Library Associations ALCTS/SAC/Subcommittee on Metadata and Subject Analysis ( ) Conclusion: For certain circumstances a controlled vocabulary was needed which was: Web-friendly Low-learning curve/non-expert user-friendly Existing major vocabularies were not ready as-is Adapting an existing vocabulary might be a pragmatic option

17 Requirements for a New Vocabulary Simple in structure and syntax Usable by non-catalogers and in non-library environments Compatible with MARC, Dublin Core, and other popular metadata schemas Easy maintainability Machine-compatible

18 FAST Project OCLC Research project launched in 1998 Advisory group: ALA/ALCTS/SAC Subcommittee on FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology) Team: OCLC: Eric Childress, Kay Clapton, Becky Dean, Anya Dyer, Kerre Kammerer, Ed ONeill (Lead), Chris Stanton, Diane Vizine-Goetz LC CSPO: Lynn El-Hoshy (now retired), Janice Young Consultant: Lois Mai Chan (University of Kentucky)

19 Why Adapt LCSH? Rich vocabulary covering all subject areas Synonym and homograph control Extensive hierarchical and associative references among terms De facto standard controlled vocabulary, extensively used by libraries, contained in millions of bibliographic records Long and well-documented history Strong institutional support of the Library of Congress

20 What is FAST? OCLC FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology) A faceted vocabulary based on LCSH Modular – each facet may be used independently Supports post-coordinate search & retrieval Designed for use by non-expert assigners Machine-friendly controlled vocabulary

21 Authority Control: LCSH vs. FAST LCSHFAST Very large number (billions plus) of possible headings Faceting limits the number of possible headings to a few million Common headings are established; most assigned headings are synthesized by catalogers based on rules All headings (except chronological) are established Most headings are distinct (based on NACO normalization rules*); some conflicts occur particularly with $x & $v All normalized headings are distinct; tagging and subfield coding provides no unique information (with the exception of forms) *http:\\\\

22 FAST - Eight Facets Topical Subject headings Evaluation Form (Genre) Guidebooks Chronological Geographic New York (State) New York Personal Names Kilgour, Frederick G. Corporate Names Oregon Library Association Events Olympic Games Uniform Titles Dead Sea scrolls

23 How is FAST built? OCLC Research-built software processes LCSH authority file and LCSH present in WorldCat bibliographic records to automatically build: FAST MARC authority file covering 8 facets FAST MARC authority reference records to assist with LCSH conversion

24 Sample Authority Record - Geographic 001 fst OCoLC nn anznnbabn || ana d fst $2 OCoLC 034 $d W $e W $f N $g N $2 gnis 040 OCoLC $b eng $c OCoLC $f fast 043 p 151 Pacific Ocean $z Rowan Bay 550 Bays $0 (OCoLC)fst GNIS, Feb. 10, 2004 $b (Rowan Bay; bay; 7 mi. N of Tebenkof Bay, on W coast of Kuiu I., Alex. Arch.; Wrangell-Petersburg Census Area, Alaska; N, W; another Rowan Bay, pop. place in Wrangell-Petersburg Census Area) 670 GNIS $b bay; N, MapIt 688 LC (2008) Subject Usage: WC (2008) Subject Usage: Rowan Bay (Alaska : Bay) $0 (DLC)sh Rowan Bay $0 (GeoNames) $2 geonames $w nnna

25 Sources of FAST Headings Library of Congress Subject Authority File LC headings that combine different facets are deconstructed into discrete headings, each containing only one facet. Headings assigned to bibliographic records in OCLCs WorldCat Many complex headings, i.e., those containing more than one element in the heading string, are based on literary warrant. They are derived from subject fields in the records in OCLCs WorldCat. Headings created for FAST In some cases, faceting has required FAST headings to be created when no LCSH equivalents exists.

26 Example of a FAST-only heading – Events Facet In LCSH, it is common to establish events as a combination of a geographic heading and a chronological ($y) subdivision: Buffalo (N.Y.) $x History $y Civil War, Grenada $x History $y American Invasion, 1983 For each of these subdivisions, a FAST event heading is also created: American Civil War, American Invasion of Grenada, 1983

27 LCSH to FAST Comparison 600 Lincoln, Abraham, $d Political leadership 650 Genius 650 Friendship 650 Presidents 650 Political science 651 United States 655 Case studies 655 Biography FAST 600 Lincoln, Abraham, $d Political leadership $z United States $v Case studies 650 Genius $v Case studies 600 Lincoln, Abraham, $d $x Friends and associates 650 Presidents $z United States $v Biography 651 United States $x Politics and government $y LCSH

28 Current FAST Authority File Personal name headings [100]698,710 Corporate name headings [110]350,999 Topical headings [150]370,093 Geographic headings [151]148,662 Period headings [148]676 Event headings [111]10,578 Uniform Title headings [130]48,138 Form headings [155]1,683 Total FAST authorities701,069 March 2010

29 Future Development Plans Update and resynchronize all FAST headings with LCSH (In process) Improve the LCSH to FAST conversion (In process) Complete the FAST manual (In process) Expand the geographic names based on usage data and add information from the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) Revise and expand the form (genre) facet

30 Sample OCLC applications of FAST WorldCat Identities FictionFinder

31 FAST headings




35 More information OCLC FAST Project page: tivities/fast/default.htm tivities/fast/default.htm Search interface: FAST: Faceted Application of Subject Terminology: Principles and Application / by Lois Mai Chan and Edward T. O'Neill (forthcoming 2010)FAST: Faceted Application of Subject Terminology: Principles and Application OCLC WorldCat Identities OCLC FictionFinder

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