Subject Indexing at EBSCO Information Services


Ashleigh Faith, MLS, PhD, Librarian Data Scientist at EBSCO Information Services, discusses subject indexing and what makes EBSCO's approach different.

Transcript | Download

Subject Indexing at EBSCO Information Services

Ref Link:

Hey there! So my name is Ashleigh Faith  and I am one of the Librarian Data Scientists here at EBSCO. I have my Masters in Library Science  and I also have my PhD in Advanced Semantics. These two happy mediums come together to help me with my job which is looking at how to extract  more knowledge and understanding from EBSCO content and what we do with that is we enhance our subject indexing which, if you know anything about EBSCO,  you will know it is near and dear to our hearts.

This is something that I really love about working at this company. EBSCO takes our subject indexing very seriously. Not only do we make sure that we are capturing the true essence, the aboutness of each piece of content that we tag, we also have subject matter experts, people that have backgrounds 
and experience in each discipline doing that same indexing, making sure that the nuances are truly captured in that indexing practice because at the end of the day,  a key word is not good enough to get to the just-in-time answer for solving a critical issue in research,  and that's what we specialize in so that they don't have to stress out about all of that research.

This also helps the librarian, because if there's anything I know  from my time working in medical libraries and special libraries, it's when you're sitting at that reference desk,  you get all kinds of questions and you don't always understand which subject headings  and which queries to help your end user with.

That's one thing that EBSCO specializes in, in two ways: There's something called the ESP, the Enhanced Subject Precision. That basically helps you and your users type in the words you think are capturing what that research topic is, and then we expand it to all of the synonyms, the controlled and the user's natural language, so that you have more access points into the content.

The second thing that we use is something called our Concept Map. This is how we show the different relations between those subjects. 

So, how does the internet of things and cybersecurity connect? Well, we know this because in the content, cybersecurity is often mentioned with the internet of things because the internet of things, because it's so connected, has a lot of security concerns. So we harness that information so you can use those connections to expand your search not just into synonyms, which is what the ESP does, but also into additional inquiries of your research. I know when I'm doing literature reviews this is incredibly helpful when I have to understand all of the different facets of a research topic.

Alright, so these are just some ways that EBSCO really specializes in those subjects and the knowledge that the subjects and the content contains. So the good news is the ESP is available on all EBSCO products and the Concept Map is available in your EBSCO Discovery Service and if you're interested in more on subject indexing and how to extract knowledge from content, go check out my YouTube videos where I describe a little bit more about this.

Alright, so thank you for watching and I'll catch you next time. 

Transcripts are generated using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers, and may contain errors.