SmartIndexing

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What Is SmartIndexing Technology?

LexisNexis Academic exploits SmartIndexing Technology at every turn to help guide users to the information they need.

Briefly stated, SmartIndexing Technology (or, simply, SmartIndexing) applies controlled vocabulary terms for several different taxonomies to all LexisNexis news and business content. (Legal content is also indexed, but by a different set of taxonomies developed specifically for legal researchers.) Sources are also indexed, making it easy to locate publications in the Source Selection tool by attributes such as publication type, language, geographic region, and main topics covered.

The taxonomies are built and maintained by the LexisNexis Taxonomies & Indexing team, comprised of information professionals, lawyers, subject matter experts and analysts. Index terms are assigned using a unique approach that combines the best features of human and automated indexing practices. Index term rules are developed and tested by the Taxonomies & Indexing team. These rules “read” incoming documents and assign relevant index terms automatically to documents and sources.


Highlights of SmartIndexing

1. Accuracy: LexisNexis indexers and analysts run a battery of iterative tests on new index terms and periodically re-test and update existing index terms to ensure the highest levels of recall and precision.

2. Consistency: The same taxonomies are used throughout news and business content in LexisNexis Academic

3. Currency: Index terms and hierarchies change over time, but many databases have no practical method for re-indexing older documents to keep them in synch. The automated processes of SmartIndexing are run against all documents in the database on a quarterly schedule so that all indexing is current.

4. Indexing to concepts, not words: Behind the scenes, SmartIndexing uses indexing codes, not words. This means that changes in terminology, such as when a company or a country changes its name, can be made instantly.

5. Language-neutral: The same SmartIndexing codes are used in English- (US and UK), German- and French-language documents, so you can search for foreign-language sources and documents using English index terms.

6. Narrower term roll up: Subordinate terms are included in searches for higher level terms unless explicitly excluded by the user. This approach matches the natural assumption of most users that, for example, a search on (the broad term) Insurance Products should return an article indexed to (narrower terms) Automobile Insurance or Health Insurance.

SmartIndexing in LexisNexis Academic

SmartIndexing plays a major role at each step of the search and retrieval process, including:

  • Source selection
  • Query formulation
  • Working with results

Source Selection: Browse

The Taxonomies & Indexing team has created a separate taxonomy to index LexisNexis sources, which is consistent with the controlled vocabularies used to index documents. The illustration below shows the “News and Business” topics in the Source Selection Browse form. Three different taxonomies are available on this form: geography, publication type, and topic.

Indexing1.jpg

Source Selection: Find

The same source taxonomies, plus language and periodicity classifications, are available on the Source Selection Find form. (The geography, language, and periodicity choices are collapsed under “More Options” in the illustration.) Note that the publication type options expand, which allows you to select more specific types such as “newspapers” or “transcripts” within the “News” category.

Indexing2.jpg

You can combine the source indexing with keyword searching, or use it by itself. For example, without entering a keyword, you could use SmartIndexing to quickly produce a list of Spanish-language newspapers covering business and management topics.

Searching: News

The All News Search form includes popular Index terms for you to add to your search right on the form. No extra work necessary!

Indexing3.jpg

Searching: Power Search

The Main Academic form has a SmartIndexing link inside the Advanced Options section that opens a special Index Term Lookup tool in a separate window. The tool allows users to search or browse for index terms from the following taxonomies:

  • Company
  • Industry
  • Subject
  • Geography

The geographic hierarchy is shown below. The tool is interactive, and is a great way for users to become familiar with the LexisNexis indexing approach as they find the correct terms for their searches.

SmartIndexing4.jpg

Clicking the “Add to Search” button closes the Index Term Lookup Tool and returns you to the Advanced Search Options.

Narrower term roll up (hierarchical inclusion) is used in the search logic. Thus a search for “Asia” will also return documents indexed to the narrower term, “Tokyo, Japan.” However, a search for a narrower term will not return documents indexed to broader terms.

Customizing Index Term Searches

You can also search Index Terms using the Build Your Own Segment Search feature on the Power Search form. Choose the "Terms" segment and type in all or part of an index term. This approach searches the display text of the index term, so a search for TERMS(Africa) will retrieve documents indexed with the Africa term and the West Africa term. If you select a term using the Index Term Lookup Tool, you do not have to worry about this type of ambiguity. Searching on the TERMS segment allows you to be more specific when limiting your search by term relevance. Because the index terms always appear followed by a percent relevance score you can search for specific scores and use wild cards for ranges. For example, searching on TERMS(africa 90%) will return documents with a relevance score of exactly 90% for the africa term. Searching on TERMS(africa 9*%) will return all documents with rankings of 90-99 for the Africa term.

Working with Results: Clustering

The results form in LexisNexis Academic uses clustering to help users work with their results set. The left side of the form includes a drop down box that lets you select which type of taxonomy to use for the clustering. Subject indexing is used in the example below. As a result set is returned, LexisNexis Academic analyzes the SmartIndexing terms assigned to the documents and uses them to create the groupings on the left side of the form. The number of documents indexed to each term is shown in parentheses, with the most frequently occurring terms at the top. Clicking on a term will filter the results set to show only those documents to which the term has been assigned.

SmartIndexing6.jpg

The Results form also allows you to cluster your results set using these categories:

Publication Category (or type)

  • Publication Name
  • Subject
  • Industry
  • Company
  • Geography
  • Language

Results clustering makes SmartIndexing convenient for novice users who would not consider adding index terms to their search. It allows them to search first and then easily sort through their results.

The use of SmartIndexing in Results Groups also provides an instant analysis of your search strategy, allowing you to see the distribution of your results set by publication type, geography, etc.

Working with Results: More Like This

SmartIndexing also appears when selecting the “Full with Indexing” view for the full text of news and business documents. Index terms are shown for all news and business documents, and in more recent documents you can select the terms occurring in the document to restrict the results set or revise your search.

SmartIndexing7.jpg

Related Articles

Relevance Score
Power Search: Use the Index

Related Resources

LexisNexis InfoPro site -- includes background information, practical advice, and search tips and tricks for SmartIndexing

SmartIndexing Proposed Index Concepts -- Suggestions for additional concepts to be included in the SmartIndexing Taxonomies and development notes on the new Arts and Humanities taxonomy.

Tiny URL for this page: http://tinyurl.com/smrtidx