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Be Smart About Your News &
Business Searching... Use SmartIndexing
Jennifer Evert, Product Manager-Taxonomy
Do you need help identifying and retrieving targeted news and
business information? Are you getting back too many search results?
Are you retrieving off-point articles because your search terms are
ambiguous? With the thousands of news and business sources on
LexisNexis it can often be difficult to find the exact articles you
need in a short amount of time. With SmartIndexing, you can not only
retrieve search result sets of the highest possible accuracy but you
can also find "the answer" faster!
Is SmartIndexing new? No.
LexisNexis has been indexing news and business content since the
mid-1990s. SmartIndexing is a unique combination of human editorial
labor and automated processes. A team of information professionals
and subject specialists create concept definitions that capture the
language used to describe a particular subject, industry, company,
organization or person. For example, an indexer wants to create a
concept definition for 'executive moves.' First, she identifies and
writes a scope note for that term. Then she researches various
sources to see how news articles typically discuss the concept of
hiring, promoting and appointing individuals to executive-level
positions. The language of the news is entered into the concept
definition algorithm that will govern the application of the term.
The creation of concept definitions is an iterative process. Much
review and testing is done before a term is launched into
production. Once a term is launched into production, the automated
processes kick in. As documents are loaded onto the system, they are
indexed. Every news document that goes online will be tagged and
scored with SmartIndexing terms. The scores are determined based on
the frequency and weighting incorporated into the concept
definition. All SmartIndexing terms appear in all capital letters
with a score following: EXECUTIVE MOVES (92%).
Where do I find the SmartIndexing terms?
The easiest place to find the SmartIndexing terms is on
the SmartIndexing website (www.lexisnexis.com/infopro/smartindexing).
In July, we launched an index term lookup tool. Conveniently, the
tool opens in a separate window that will stay open while you are
working in lexis.com or the Classic software. When you search for a
term in the lookup, you are searching the controlled vocabulary
terms as well as their variants and scopes. Applicable terms will be
returned and you can copy and paste them into your research session.
Our topical terms cover 25 key industry sectors, including Banking &
Finance, Insurance, Energy & Utilities, Healthcare and
Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology. Several key subject areas are
covered as well, including Company Activities & Management,
Environment, Government & Politics, Law, Population & Demographics
and Trends, Events & Content Types.
What do the scores mean and can I use
them in my search? The scores are a relative measure of
the amount of discussion about a particular topic or entity in a
document. The scores are based on the frequency and weighting
incorporated into the concept definition. Anything tagged with
90-99% is a major reference to a topic or entity. Those things
tagged with 80%-89% are strong references. Use the scores in your
search to fine-tune your results! If you're looking for major
stories about Enron and bankruptcy, don't waste your time culling
through thousands of documents. Pull the strong stories to the top:
terms(enron corp 9*% and bankruptcy 9*%). If you prefer to do a
full-text search initially, use the indexing in your Focus request.
How do I search with SmartIndexing?
Searching with SmartIndexing is like doing any other segment
search on LexisNexis. You choose the appropriate segment (Subject,
Company, Person, Organization, Geographic) and enter your search
terms in parentheses. The TERMS segment is particularly useful
because it will search all indexed fields at one time. On the
SmartIndexing website, you will find two very useful tutorials - one
on Basic Searching and the other on Advanced Searching.
I've tried to search but I can't see the
index terms in the full-text view. If you search with
SmartIndexing you can see your hits in the Cite and KWIC views. If
you want to view the indexing in Full, you must choose "Custom" and
select TERMS. If you are using the Classic Software, simply type
'terms' in the research task bar.
When are new terms added and what if I
don't find what I need? New index terms are loaded into
production each week. New terms are typically written to complete
our news and business taxonomy development. The indexing team will
also write index terms requested by customers. If you cannot find an
index term that you think would be useful, submit your suggestions
to your consultant or directly to the indexing team at
Smart.Indexing@lexisnexis.com. If you have any questions
or problems, don't hesitate to use that address as well. The
SmartIndexing mailbox is checked every day.
Why would I want to use SmartIndexing? I
know how to construct a pretty decent Boolean search.
When searching news and business content, there are some people that
will always feel more comfortable using a Boolean rather than a
controlled vocabulary search. For those who prefer Boolean,
experiment with SmartIndexing in two ways:
- Use SmartIndexing when you are trying to FOCUS in your result
set. If you have a long list of documents to review, and you want
to pull those related to TRENDS to the top, enter TERMS(TRENDS
9*%) to see what comes up.
- Reverse engineer your searches. Perhaps you run a strong Boolean
search and find the perfect article and want to find other like it.
Examine the indexing on that document and go back and run an index
search to find similar documents.
There may be instances where Boolean is just a better fit. But
there are some definite benefits to SmartIndexing:
- SmartIndexing captures broad concepts in a single term. Rather
than stringing together an endless Boolean search to capture all
of the concepts that make up things like 'airlines' or 'trade
agreements' or 'fuel markets,' use the index term. Researchers
have spent many hours researching these topics and building
concept definitions to capture all of the 'airlines,' for example.
Why should you waste your time trying to remember United,
Southwest, American, British Airways, etc.
- SmartIndexing adds context to your keyword searches. If you're
looking for stories about 'bonds,' how much language do you have to
add to your search logic to disambiguate that term? Why take the
time? Use the index term.
- SmartIndexing captures those things that are hard to represent
in a keyword search. How many of you have spent time trying to
construct a search that will pull back stories that discuss
'rankings' or 'polls & surveys' or 'statistics'? Use the index term
to quickly access the documents you need to do your job!
If you start to use SmartIndexing, you will begin to see how
valuable it can be in your searching of news and business content.
You may even start using it every time you search the news on
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