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Facilitating physics searches



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Access Innovations has teamed with the American Institute of Physics (AIP), a leading publisher of physics content, to convert AIP’s Physics and Astronomy Classification Scheme (PACS) into a thesaurus for its nearly 2 million online scholarly articles indexed by PACS. Using the new thesaurus allows scientists to execute faster, more accurate and efficient information searches.

PACS uses a decimal-based, six-digit alphanumerical notation classification scheme, arranged in a hierarchical format, which is limited to 10 top terms and nine second-level terms. In the past, this classification system resulted in multiple concepts expressed within the same term, and was not search friendly.

To create the new thesaurus, Access Innovations loaded PACs into its Data Harmony MAIstro taxonomy and thesaurus creation software using a notation sort. The Access Innovations project team examined key concepts and phrases from the PACS system, divided and reworded the phrases and remapped the original PACS codes into new indexing terms. The process helped reduce the wordiness of some of the notations by separating terms into multiple concepts, “retiring” compound phrases and building a simpler vocabulary. The thesaurus was then checked to see if it included these terms, and if not, they were added. Also, terms that did not describe actual subject areas were removed, as were duplicate terms.

The existing PACS Codes were linked to a PACS Term. The resulting thesaurus is compliant with ISO (International Organization for Standardization), NISO (National Information Standards Organization) and W3C (Worldwide Web Consortium) standards.


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