Subject heading list contain the preferred subject access terms (controlled vocabulary) that are assigned as an added entry in the bibliographic record which works as an access point and enables the work to be searched and retrieved by subject from the library catalog database. The controlled vocabulary identifies synonyms terms and selects one preferred term among them to be used as subject heading. For homonyms, it explicitly identifies the multiple concepts expressed by that word or phrase. In short, vocabulary control helps in overcoming problems that occur due to natural language of the document’s subject. Hence, if vocabulary control is not exercised different indexers or the same indexer might use different terms for the same concept on different occasions for indexing the documents dealing with the same subject and also use a different set of terms for representing the same subject at the time of searching. This, in turn, would result in ‘mis-match’ and thus affect information retrieval. Cross references are used with headings to direct the user from terms not used as headings to the term that is used, and from broader and related topics to the one chosen to represent a given subject.
Subject heading lists may have provision for the construction of pre-coordinated indexing strings including headings, plus rules for combining the single terms in strings and one or more levels of subheading. Based on these rules a subject heading may also be subdivided by the addition of form subdivisions, geographical subdivisions, chronological subdivisions, and topical subdivisions to add greater specificity.
Construction industry—United States.
India—History—Autonomy and independence movements.
Piano music (Jazz)—France—History.
Following is an example of LCSH heading “Hotels” from Library of Congress Linked Data Service
Hotels, taverns, etc
Bed and breakfast accommodations
Park lodging facilities
Single-room occupancy hotels
Tourist camps, hostels, etc
Earlier Established Forms
Hotels, taverns, etc
In a MARC bibliographic record Subject Heading is given in a 6XX field, consisting of either a single element in an $a subfield or of an $a subfield followed by subdivisions in $v, $x, $y, and/or $z subfields, that designates what a work is or what it is about.
- What is Subject Heading List?
- Where Subject Heading List is applied?
- What is vocabulary control and why is it important?
- How Subject Heading List assist library users and staff?
- What are the alternatives to Subject Heading?
- What are the popular Subject Heading Lists?
All librarians and information professionals may use information from Glossary of Library & Information Science for their writings and research, with proper attribution and citation. I would appreciate it if you would let me know, too! Please cite as given below:
- Librarianship Studies & Information Technology Blog (Category) - SUBJECT HEADING
- Librarianship Studies & Information Technology Blog Page - Subject Heading
- About Librarianship Studies & Information Technology Blog
- Follow Librarianship Studies & Information Technology
- RDA Blog - Cataloger's Reference Directory
Librarianship Studies & Information Technology Blog will be more focused on the techniques of Library of Congress Classification (LCC) and Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) by use of Classification & Shelflisting Manual (CSM) and Subject Headings Manual (SHM) and Classification Web tool of Library of Congress, and Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC). Follow Librarianship Studies & Information Technology in Social Media blog to be updated of new items and start/comment on the discussions in the Google+ Community Librarianship Studies & Information Technology and Facebook Group Librarianship Studies & Information Technology.
At present the Glossary of Library & Information Science is referred in following places:
LINKS & REFERENCE IN WEBSITES BLOGS ETC.
- BAsel Register of Thesauri, Ontologies & Classifications : A multilingual, interdisciplinary database for Knowledge Organization Systems [University of Basel, Switzerland]
- MERLOT - the Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning Online and Teaching [MERLOT is a program of the California State University System partnering with education institutions, professional societies, and industry]