Controlled Vocabulary Indexing - AMA Manual of Style

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Controlled Vocabulary Indexing 

Medical Indexes

Bruce McGregor

and Harriet S. Meyer

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PRINTED FROM AMA MANUAL OF STYLE ONLINE ( © American Medical Association, 2009. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the license agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in AMA Manual of Style Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy). date: 26 November 2015

In indexing journals offering broad coverage of general medicine and specialties and in indexing sets of periodicals issued by different publishers, indexers usually rely on the external authority of a controlled vocabulary. Controlled vocabularies allow indexers to resolve variances in natural language systematically. The vocabularies establish preferred terms with cross-references from alternative forms of entry. Thus, all relevant references can be gathered under a single heading. Controlled vocabularies also establish hierarchical relationships among related terms. Such hierarchies most often take the form of a thesaurus in which narrower terms are entered as subentries beneath the broader terms to which they

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