I thought Broughton’s article Essential Thesaurus Construction brought up good points both about what is valuable in using a controlled vocabulary, and what the challenges are in creating one that is reliable.  On the one hand a controlled vocabulary creates greater access by linking terms so a user’s query more often gets them to the information they seek.  On the other, the value of the c.v. depends on its quality.  If it hasn’t been built with integrity, and isn’t maintained, it can become an obstacle for users.  The article made me realize that what makes a controlled vocabulary effective is evaluating user needs and then creating constancy in terminology to meet them.


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