The coming resource description and access standards for cataloging do not, in themselves, mount an attack on the creation of subject headings. Library catalogs in general have the facility to use subject headings. Many journal databases continue to develop and maintain controlled vocabulary thesauri. The semantic Web movement is trying to find common ways to add metadata to Web sites. In the analog era, you could only do browse searches in the card catalog. That was then; this is now. Keyword searching offers so many more options to explore the world of information without artificial boundaries of preset controlled vocabularies. The subject heading is, despite its reputed clunkiness and tendency to silo information, a means to identify resources without reference to the luck of identifying appropriate keywords. Result sets are cleaner, and usually smaller. People are missing the opportunity, and the future of all controlled vocabularies, particularly the subject heading, is on the line.
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