5. Displaying Controlled Vocabularies

5.1 General Considerations | 5.2 Presentation of Relationships | 5.3 Types of Displays

5.2 Presentation of Relationships

5.2.1 Displaying the Equivalence Relationship (9.2.1)

USE references from non-preferred terms should be incorporated into the main listing of a controlled vocabulary rather than being relegated to an auxiliary “access vocabulary” or separate list of entry terms.

USE (U) equivalence relationships should be created to lead users from entry vocabulary terms to the preferred term.
USED FOR (UF) equivalence relationships should be created to show users what synonyms and near-synonyms are covered by the preferred term.

Example 133: Equivalence relationship display

Source: DTIC Thesaurus

5.2.2 Displaying Hierarchical and Associative Relationships (9.2.2) Term Detail Presentation

When hierarchical and associative relationships have been established for a vocabulary, each term display should include some or all of the following information about the term, preferably in this order:

a) Scope notes
b) USE references
c) USED FOR (UF) references
d) Broader Term (BT) references to terms that are one level broader
e) Narrower Term (NT) references to terms that are one level narrower
f) Related Term (RT) references to terms that have an associative relationship with the term Narrower Terms

If there are multiple Narrower Terms, they are generally arranged alphabetically. They may also be arranged logically if another order would be more intuitive for the user: Indentation or other cues to the hierarchy are essential if more than one level of hierarchy is presented.

Example 137: Alphabetical arrangement of Narrower Terms

Example 138: Logical arrangement of Narrower Terms Node Labels

Node labels may also be used to group both narrower and related terms in categories. Node labels in hierarchies, which are not to be used in indexing or searching, should be distinguished from terms, e.g., by placing them in square brackets.

Example 139: Node label display

5.2.3 Indentation (9.2.3)

Indentation should be used as an additional visual cue for hierarchical and associative relationship layouts.

Example 140: Use of indentation with relationship display

5.2.4 Typography (9.2.4)

Terms, non-preferred terms, relationship indicators, and textual notes should be typographically distinguished. Such distinctions are more important for certain types of displays, such as hierarchical, or for certain formats, particularly print. Additional typographic distinctions may be needed for electronic and Web formats to indicate hyperlinks. (See Z39.19 section

Suggested typographic specifications are:

• lightface or italics for non-preferred terms and notes,
• all capitals for relationship indicators such as USE, and
• boldface for terms.

Example 141: Use of typographics in term display

teenagers USE adolescents

5.2.5 Capitals and Lowercase Letters (9.2.5)

The controlled vocabulary should serve as an orthographic authority in addition to noting preferred terminology. A combination of capitals and lowercase letters should therefore be used in controlled vocabulary terms as dictated by usage. See Z39.19 section 6.7.1 for specific guidelines on capitalization.

5.2.6 Filing and Sorting (9.2.6)

This section provides general rules for the filing and sorting of alphabetic characters and numerals in controlled vocabularies. Resources such as the ALA Filing Rules [21], Library of Congress Filing Rules [29], and British Standard Alphabetical Arrangement and the Filing Order of Numerals and Symbols (BS 1749) [26] contain rules and guidelines for handling specific filing problems. These filing codes are, however, not compatible with each other in certain details, and only one of them should be chosen as an authority.

In electronic systems, sorting rules and handling of non-alphabetic characters may be preestablished by the software. Some systems provide options for developers to select the sorting rules. Where such options exist, the recommendations in this Standard should be selected.

Terms consisting of letters should be filed word-by-word rather than letter-by-letter.

In word-by-word filing, a space is significant. This filing principle is called “nothing before something.” It keeps together terms that begin with the same word.

Example 142: Comparison of word-by-word and letter-by-letter filing

To be continued: 5.3 Types of Displays

| Table of Contents |
| 1. Why Vocabulary Control | 2. Principles | 3. Structures | 4. Semantic Relationships |
| 5. Displays | 6. When to use | 7. Examples of use | 8. About Z39.19 |
©NISO, 2005 http://www.niso.org/

Source: Based on ANSI/NISO Z39.19-2005 ISBN: 1-880124-65-3 
Guidelines for the Construction, Format, and Management of Monolingual Controlled Vocabularies