'n Ondersoek na persoonlike indekseerstelsels, insluitende gerekenariseerde stelsels, met spesiale verwysing na die indekseringsbehoeftes van individuele akademici in Wes-Kaapland

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

The investigation into personal indexing systems consists of (a) a study of the literature and (b) an empirical survey of the indexing needs of academics in the Western Cape. The literature study was used, inter alia, to determine certain ''characteristics" of personal indexing systems. Characteristics are defined as those features of personal indexing systems that are generally agreed upon by most authors and users as mandatory to ensure effective utilisation of such systems. These characteristics are later employed to derive models of personal indexing systems that may have practical applications for academics. The empirical study provides conclusive proof that dissatisfaction with the academic library is not a reason for setting up a personal indexing system and that academics have a need for professional help when they start their own indexing system. Journal articles are of utmost importance in all document collections, but books, conference papers, theses and clippings are also important. The number of documents contained in such systems vary between 200 and 48 800 with an average of 2 492,76. According to Soper scientists tend to keep their documents at the workplace while humanists tend to keep their documents at home. Social scientists fall between these groups and keep some of their documents at the workplace and some at home. For scientists and social scientists Soper's observations were confirmed. Lack of data made it impossible to come to any conclusion in the case of humanists. The main difference between large indexing systems and personal indexing systems is the number of records. The smaller system can be simpler, but it was not possible, with the data available, to state conclusively that a thesaurus is not necessary. Although the advantages of computerised systems were indicated it is acknowledged that many academics would prefer a manual system. An index on a computer should provide for variable length fields. The researcher comes to the conclusion that a combination of a classification system and free search terms would be the most effective method to use in subject searches. He suggests that the main classes of the Dewey Decimal Classification Scheme may be used as an outline and that for his specialised field of study the user should devise his own scheme.

Summary in English.

Bibliography: pages 185-195.