index term

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index term (plural index terms)

  1. (information science) A term associated with particular documents in an index used for document retrieval; typically, a term that captures the essential meaning of a document.
    • 1988, Gerard Salton, “Computer-Based Text Retrieval”, in Allen Kent, James G. Williams, editors, Encyclopedia of Microcomputers, volume 3, →ISBN, page 89:
      This includes a term dictionary that provides for each allowable index term a pointer giving the addresses of the document lists in the term index for the corresponding term; []
    • 1997, Gerald J. Kowalski, Information Retrieval Systems: Theory and Implementation, →ISBN, pages 55–56:
      If the indexing is being performed automatically, by an algorithm, there is consistency in the index term selection process.
    • 2003, James D. Anderson, “Organization of Knowledge”, in John Feather, Peter Sturges, editors, International Encyclopedia of Information and Library Science, 2nd edition, →ISBN, page 481:
      If a message discusses Labrador retrievers but the index term is ‘dogs’, the term is generic rather than specific. This will mean that a person desiring documents on Labrador retrievers must search for ‘dogs’ and then examine many irrelevant documents or document surrogates.




See also[edit]


  • Svenonius, Elaine (2000) The Intellectual Foundation of Information Organization, The MIT Press, →ISBN, page 55:A vocabulary is a “list or collection of terms or codes available for use (as in an indexing system).” The terms or codes of a bibliographic language are called by various names. In subject languages they are called keywords, descriptors, index terms, or classification numbers.