Newspaper indexing search terms

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    • #132776
      Shari Bowers
      Member

      I am indexing a college newspaper which started in 1965 and of course the format has changed.  There are varied opinion columns, editorials and letters to the editor. Should I create search term for all three types such as opinions/editorials or create three different ones such as opinions, editorials and letters. Should I also create a search terms: local, regional and national news?

      Thanks,

      Shari

    • #132779

      Shari,

      Many institutions have switched from indexing to digitizing their newspapers, including college newspapers, in order to get full-text search. If that is not an option for you, the general practice is to assign article-level indexing terms, including title, author, issue/date, and page number. You can add other terms, such as “article type” (in your example, columns, editorials and letters to the editor) and “coverage level” (in your example, local, regional and national), but the exact indexing terms you choose will probably depend mostly on your intended users. Learn how they expect to search for items, and index accordingly.

      For example, many public libraries maintain newspaper indexes for genealogists. They focus on indexing obituaries, and include information such as deceased’s name, date of death (and birth, if recorded), funeral home, survivors, etc. Those users are probably very different from the potential users of your college newspaper, and so you would develop a different index.

      Whatever terms you choose, you should use controlled vocabularies and appropriate formatting to make your indexes as useful as possible. Following conventions such as “Last name, first name” for authors (or using two separate fields) will help when you design your search tool. Format dates using the ISO 8601 standard [YYYY-MM-DD].

      Good luck!

      Danielle Cunniff Plumer

    • #132778
      Joy Banks
      Participant

      In a former position, I helped to establish the metadata input standards for a digitization project of the student newspaper. Before starting the project, we really sat and thought about how this collection would be used by students, faculty, and alumni, determined our standards, and then tweaked things along the way. If you would like to see the digital collection, here is a link: http://flsouthern.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/Southern

      Of note, we included a full “contents” note of all of the articles which included the author, when available. This includes much repetition, especially when there were series of articles, but we found it worth the time since it helped to track certain student publication trends. We included a listing of all of the staff, editors, and faculty advisers involved in any given issue and tried to establish name headings as we went along. We also tried to include general subject headings for each edition, including any big picture issues (WWII, for example) and more local campus issues (intramural teams and student organizations). Because of the care taken to describe the newspapers well (instead of simply relying on full text searching which can be iffy for older newsprint) and the consideration up front on how the collection may be used, this developed into one of the most well used digital collections at the college with buy-in from the current newspaper staff, journalism and other faculty, and alum excited to see their names in print again.

      Good luck!

      Joy Banks
      Bok Tower Gardens

    • #132777
      Shari Bowers
      Member

      Danielle and Joy,

      Thank you for the feedback. Much of what you have said I have thought about.  I will make some suggestions and share your comments with the college I am interning with.

      Shari

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