Reading Notes – SCM – Subject Headings
H 180 Assigning and Constructing Subject Headings
Background- practices followed by Library of Congress for assigning subject headings to individual works being cataloged.
- first steps of subject analysis: examination of the item to determine subject focus and an how to express the basic subjct with controlled vocabulary of library of congress subject heading system.
1. General Rule: Assign the item one or more subject headings that summarize the overall contents of the work and provide access to its topics. (assign headings only for topics that make up at least 20% of the work. i.e if the work has many parts, assign separate headings for the materials if they constitute 20% of the item and are significant)
2. Cataloging treatment: Subject headings should correspond to the way the work is cataloged. i.e if a record is a collected set, assign headings that represent the collected sets.
- Assign headings based on an analysis of the contents of the work being cataloged.
3. Number of Headings: The number of headings varies with the work being cataloged. Can be from one to six.
- Do not assign more than 10
- If more than one heading is present, they are assigned in order of importance.
4. Specificity: Assign headings that are as specific as the topics they cover. Can be acheived by a basic heading consisting of one word or phrase or by subdividing a heading.
- Follow the hierarchical reference structure built into the subject authority file to find a close match between the topic of the work and the headings that exist to express the topic in LC subject heading system
5. Depth of Indexing: Assign headings that correspond the most to the overall coverage of the work.
*Do not assign headings that represent the subtopics that are included in a heading’s coverage, that are components of the main subject and are naturally included in the main heading.
6. General topic and subtopic: assign headings for both the general topic and for the subtopic or specific case (as long as the later forms at least 20% of the work)
7. 2 or 3 related headings: Assign one heading that covers two or three narrower headings, instead of using many different narrow headings.
8. Rule of Three: If a general topic includes more than three subtopics, but work being cataloged discusses on ly two or three of the subtopics, then assign the specific two or three headings instead of broader heading.
- If more than three of the subtopics are discussed, assign the broad heading unless:
9. Rule of four: If a heading covers a broad range and each subtopic forms only a small portion, assign the four subtopics instead.
*do not exceed four subtopics
10. Multi-element topics: If a single heading can’t convey a complex topic, assign multiple headings to bring out the separate aspects of the topic.
11. Additional aspects: bring out important any additional aspects that are significant to the contents of the work, i.e specific place or ime limitations, specific named entites and presentation in a particular form. This can be expressed via headings, adjectival qualifiers in headings or subdivisions.
- name headings can be assigned when they are critical to the subject of the work as a whole, does not need to form %20 of work.
- form: assign form headings and subdivisions to represent what the item itself is, i.e format or arrangement of data.
Titles: bring out or account for the subjects that are identified in the title or subtitle and discussed in the work.
Constructing Headings: can be word, phrase or name