Gnomon Bibliographische Datenbank Instruction Manual

X. Descriptor Search in the Thesaurus

Using the descriptor search you can find documents on the basis of their description (or: keyword link) in the thesaurus. This is a list of keywords, which can be picked out, as desired, from an alphabetical list, or from a »hierarchical« list, which is staggered in different levels. This form of search is particularly fast. Even with future updates, offering a considerable larger number of documents, the access time for the »described« titles will not become slower.

The default language of the thesaurus is German, but it is possible to call up an English version using the menu »Anzeige« ("display") with the option »englisch«:

[Bild]

At present, the thesaurus contains over 5.500 keywords. Each user will presumably need a certain amount of time to become familiar with the system, the advantages of the thesaurus, and the various options of the descriptor search.

To make it easier to get used to the thesaurus as a whole you find the »hierarchical« thesaurus as PDF-file at http://www.gnomon.ku-eichstaett.de/.

The main emphases of the thesaurus are Ancient History and Classical Philology, with Classical Archaeology in third place. A first selection of keywords was made using the so-called »Regensburger Systematik«, which happens to be the official filing system for Bavarian libraries, as well as using relevant classical reference works, such as the »Lexikon der Alten Welt« and »Der Kleine Pauly«. The names of classical authors have been latinized; if possible, the TLG author number has been added to Greek authors in the thesaurus.

***

You reach the descriptor search using the »Recherchieren«-Button:

[Bild]

***

Clicking on the arrow you open the dropdown list with the entries for the two search options available here:

[Bild]

Select »Thesaurus« with a mouse click:

[Bild]

***

Searching the hierarchical thesarus will be explained here using the example of »Vergil« [sample task no. 4].

After calling up the thesaurus search you reach the query window. Here you select the descriptors, either one ore more, using the various operators:

[Bild]

With the button »alph. Liste« ("alphabetical list") you proceed to the alphabetical list of all descriptors, which are selected with a doubleclick of your mouse.

With the button »syst. Liste« ("systematical list") you reach the hierarchical list of descriptors, which are also selected with a doubleclick.

***

»Thesaurus kumuliert« ("thesaurus cumulated") switches between cumulation or de-cumulation of the thesaurus.

[Bild]

With the menu option »Anzeige« ("display") you can control the display of the various thesaurus levels. »Ebene nach oben« ("level upwards") leads within the hierarchical list one level upwards. If you use the alphabetical list, you change at once to the hierarchical display of the thesaurus by clicking on this option.

[Bild]

You search for a certain descriptor by clicking on the icon [Bild]. If the first characters are ambiguous, clicking on the icon [Bild] will lead you to the next string within the thesaurus containing these characters.

Vergil has been entered into the thesaurus as »Vergilius poeta«. The first characters of his name occur more than once in the thesaurus. Looking for ver leads to Plutarch's essay »adversus Colotem«; verg and then vergi give access to Vergina in Macedonia. vergil at last leads you to the »appendix Vergiliana«; only now you have reached the position of »Vergil« within the hierarchy of the thesaurus. Four more mouseclicks, navigating through various works of Vergil, guide you to the descriptor you actually searched for, »Vergilius poeta«. The number of documents assigned to this descriptor is displayed within the hierarchical thesaurus using the option »Thesaurus kumuliert« ("cumulated thesaurus"):

[Bild]

Descriptors are selected with a doubleclick or by clicking on the [Bild] icon. If you select several descriptors at the same time, they are linked by default with the operator OR. With the button »Korr.« ("correction") you can delete the elements of your search or any wrong input, step by step, beginning with the last entry.

If a descriptor has a lower hierarchical level, you will find all titles which are assigned as titles of a subcategory (e. g. the the various works of Vergil) to a "higher" descriptor (here: Vergilius poeta) only by making use of the "down"-operator:

[Bild]

When using the alphabetical list of descriptors, descriptors with additional (lower) levels are marked with a plus sign [sample task no. 5: searching for Vergilius using the »down«-operator]:

[Bild]

***

Search results will be limited with the operator AND: sample task no. 6: Cicero UND Römische Geschichte 59 - 49 v. Chr. ("Cicero AND Roman republic 59 - 49 B.C.").

Search results will be extended using the operator OR. Sample task no. 7: Herodotus ODER Perserkriege ODER Persae Aeschyli ODER Xerxes ("Herodotus OR Persian Wars OR Persae Aeschyli OR Xerxes").

The descriptor search with the summarising of descriptors in brackets is especially valuable. In order to find all titles of »ZPE« from the years 1997 - 1999 try this procedure: first select the descriptor »Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik«, and then, activate the »und«-operator (AND). After this you click on the box with the right open bracket and search - and select - with a doubleclick the descriptors »1997« oder (OR) »1998« oder (OR) »1999«. To close the bracket for the years click on the box with the leftwards open bracket [sample task no. 8].

During descriptor searches it may sometimes be useful to supplement a more specialised descriptor with an also relevant, but more general descriptor (if there is one available): thus "Heraclitus TLG 0626" OR "Presocratics for the years 1995 to 1999" (sample task no. 9), or "Thucydides TLG 0003" OR "Peloponnesian War for the years 1918 to 1933" (sample task no. 10), or "Horatius" OR "Roman literature, age of Augustus for the years 1933 to 1945" (sample task no. 11).

The descriptor search using the down-operator is important for descriptors with many subcategories. See sample task no. 12: "Pauly-Wissowa" AND (down) "Sciences and technology". The same search without the »down«-operator would lead to a very meagre result.

***

The alphabetical list of descriptors in the menu for indexed lists offers a simplified form of descriptor searches. See below, ch. XII.


[Previous page] - [Content] - [Next page]

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Malitz - April 2000