ISKO UK - the UK Chapter of ISKO

International Society of Knowledge Organization

Promoting the theory and practice of organizing knowledge and information

The wisdom of the cataloguers : LCSH, indexer inconsistencies and collective intelligence

The process of subject analysis and Library of Congress Subject Heading assignment is, despite the availability of rules and standards, a subjective one. Disagreements and inconsistencies between cataloguers regarding the correct Library of Congress Subject Headings for a given resource are widespread. This paper attempts to address the problem of these indexer inconsistencies by utilising the wisdom of the crowd. The various headings suggested by different cataloguers, for a particular resource from a large number of library catalogues, can be collated to create a coherent, valid, and consistent set of Library of Congress Subject Headings that represent the collective wisdom of the cataloguers.

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