Facets in an Analytico-Synthetic Classification and Their Role in Subject Retrieval
Keywords:Universal Decimal Classification, auxiliary tables, analytico-synthetic classifications, faceted classifications, information retrieval
The limitations of the enumerative nature of the Universal Decimal Classification (UDC) are compensated by the existence of the auxiliary tables, also known as facets, which provide flexibility to and enhance the expressiveness of the classification as a whole. Their use makes new notations possible through synthesis, avoiding as a result further subdividing and enumeration of concepts. This way, new compound numbers are created with a direct impact on the flexibility of the classificatory structure. The paper aims to focus on the UDC auxiliary tables and their contribution to improved expressiveness of the subjects represented by the UDC main class numbers. Our purpose is to demonstrate that despite the limitations of an analytico-synthetic classification system designed more than one hundred years ago, successive developments of the scheme along with the consistent updating of its functionalities enables it to be successfully used in modern information retrieval systems both from bibliographic and non-bibliographic domain. The impact of these features on subject retrieval are explored in the paper.
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