Minnesota  State Archives

Minnesota Recordkeeping Metadata Standard: Subject Element

ELEMENT 4: SUBJECT

Definition: The subject matter or topic of a record.
Purpose:

To concisely and accurately describe a record's content.

To act as an access point at a finer level of detail than that provided by the element 3. TITLE or 5. DESCRIPTION.

Rationale: Some users may require searching capability at individual subject term level in addition to the title.
Obligation: Mandatory
Applicability: Applicable at the record and/or record series level.
Use
Conditions:
This element shall be linked to elements 12. AGGREGATION LEVEL and 14. RECORD IDENTIFIER.
Repeatable?: Yes

Sub-Elements

(Name,
Obligation,
Schemes):

Name Obligation Schemes
4.1 First Subject Term Mandatory Agency-defined schemes, keyword, LIV-MN, CCE
4.2 Enhanced Subject Term Optional Agency-defined schemes, keyword, LIV-MN, CCE
Comments:

Users should be able to search for records both by individual subject terms and, in hierarchical schemes, by combining subject terms from the different levels. Further subject terms -- as many as are allowed by the scheme, and as many as are required to adequately describe the topic(s) covered by the content of the record -- may be assigned.

4.1 FIRST SUBJECT TERM

Definition: The first subject or topic of the record.
Purpose: To provide a search entry point.
Obligation: Mandatory
Use Conditions: -
Assigned Values: -
Default Value: -
Repeatable?: Yes
Assigned By?: Assigned manually by the Record Content Author or system-assigned.

Schemes:

(Scheme Name,
Definition)

Scheme Name Definition
Hierarchy: A hierarchical listing or thesaurus of subject terms that organizes terms into broader and narrower concepts. Hierarchical thesauri usually include equivalence and associative cross-references (“see” and “see also” references). LIV-MN is an example of a hierarchical thesaurus.
Controlled Term List: A simple, non-hierarchical listing of subject terms that shows preferred terms for specific topics. Controlled term lists usually include equivalence cross-references, to eliminate synonyms or scattering of topics. An agency-defined alphabetical list of common terms is an example of a controlled term list.
Code/Classification: A taxonomy organized under broad, conceptual categories that can be alpha, numeric, or otherwise coded. Classification lists display only very simple use of hierarchy (usually single level) for conveying term relationships, but generally include equivalence and/or associative cross-references. The Library of Congress Classification scheme (library call numbers) is an example of an alpha-numeric classification system.
Free Text: Uncontrolled terms or natural language, such as keywords.
Agency-Defined: -
Comments: Users often conduct broad searches when they are unsure of exactly what they are looking for. It enables them to browse a large number of titles before selecting new search criteria based on the titles brought up by their initial search.

4.2 ENHANCED SUBJECT TERM

Definition: A subject or topic of the record that adds refinement or enhancement to the first subject term.
Purpose:

To indicate that the record is about a particular subject category (or categories) within the subject class specified in sub-element 4.1 First Subject Term.

To provide a search entry point.

Obligation: Optional.
Use Conditions: -
Assigned Values: -
Default Value: -
Repeatable?: Yes
Assigned By?: Assigned manually by the Record Content Author or system-assigned.

Schemes:

(Scheme Name,
Definition)

Value Name Definition
Hierarchy: A hierarchical listing or thesaurus of subject terms that organizes terms into broader and narrower concepts. Hierarchical thesauri usually include equivalence and associative cross-references (“see” and “see also” references). LIV-MN is an example of a hierarchical thesaurus.
Controlled Term List: A simple, non-hierarchical listing of subject terms that shows preferred terms for specific topics. Controlled term lists usually include equivalence cross-references, to eliminate synonyms or scattering of topics. LIV-MN's listing Subdivisions of General Application is an example of a controlled term list that offers refinement of a specific topic chosen from the main LIV-MN thesaurus.
Code/Classification: A taxonomy organized under broad, conceptual categories that can be alpha, numeric, or otherwise coded. Classification lists display only very simple use of hierarchy (usually single level) for conveying term relationships, but generally include equivalence and/or associative cross-references. The Library of Congress Classification scheme is an example of an alpha-numeric classification scheme.
Free Text: Uncontrolled terms or natural language, such as keywords.
Comments: Users can use further subject terms to either refine or broaden their search.

SUBJECT Examples

4.1 First Subject Term Zoological Research Scheme: LIV-MN
4.2 Enhanced Subject Term Statistics Scheme: LIV-MN Subdivisions of General Application

4.1 First Subject Term 139 Scheme: IRM Standard 15 (Numeric Codes for the Identification of Counties in Minnesota)

 Minnesota Recordkeeping Metadata Standard: Version 1.1, July 2002.


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