Blogging Code4Lib PNW

Al Cornish and Jon Scott (WSU) on LCSH Autocomplete in WorldCat.org:

  • Autocomplete = program predicts word/phrase that user wants.  Ubiquitous.
  • Subject autocompletion in WC based on LCSHeadings
  • When terms appear in the a-c drop-down they’re ordered not alphabetically but by “fitness” (approx. count of # of records returned in WC.)
  • Also available for MeSH and other subject headings systems
  • Test here.
  • Can type a % in that test window to see the macro subject areas listed in order of fitness.  “History” is #1.
  • Populates database using LCSH preferred headings from online list provided by LCSH.

I love this–amazing how much it helps focus and direct users’ searches toward correct LCSH, and helps clear up confusion about what a “subject” is (or, actually, removes the whole fiddly conversation about why subject headings matter) while still using LCSH to structure data, and getting people to the right item records.

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