Use of keywords and indexes by AAS

May 14, 2004 by

The American Astronomical Society is pondering the future of keywords and indexes for their journals (The Astrophysical Journal, The Astrophysical Journal Supplement, and The Astronomical Journal) and would appreciate feedback:

As on-line services have become increasingly capable and available, it has struck us that the traditional uses for subject and author indexes may have decreased. Thus we are re-evaluating the need to continue the effort and cost of producing these. In particular, the ability to do full-text searches of the papers may provide a superior capability for researchers to locate the material of interest.

At present the ApJ produces index sections periodically and binds this with issues and an annual subject and author index which is bound separately. The AJ contains index sections at the end of each semi-annual volume. We remind the community of users that we are no longer producing five-year cumulative index volumes. There will be no changes to the index/keyword structure for the 2004 volumes.

The creation and maintenance of a relevant keyword list has been essential for the creation of subject indexes, however we wonder if there is any independent use of keywords for information retrieval?

You can send your comments to Bob Milkey by June 30th.

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