School of Information Management & Systems. Spring 2000.
245   Organization of Information in Collections.   Michael Buckland.

Assignment 7: Make a Small Thesaurus .
Topic and sample of terms due April 5; Thesaurus due April 12.

A thesaurus generally has single terms (or phrases) suitable for a searcher to combine in Boolean searches (aka "post-coordinate indexing"). Create a small thesaurus for vocabulary control for one or more attributes in the database you are making.

1. Read Morville, Peter. Building a synonymous search index and his How Do You Build a Thesaurus?

2. Make explicit assumptions about:
2.1. The collection;
2.2. The situation in which it is to be used;
2.3. The purpose of its use; and
2.4. The user group to be served.

3. Use the following two formats as applicable:

Preferred Term:   HAIR
Scope Note [Definition, explanation, scope -- unless obvious]: Includes fur of animals
Broader Term: HEAD
Narrower Term: EYELASHES
Related Terms: SCALP, WIG
(To reduce effort, use italics for terms for which you are not establishing entries.)

Non-preferred term:   TRESSES Use: HAIR

4. Scale: Minimum of 15 Preferred Terms.

5. Deliverables:
-- Alphabetical list;
-- Hierarchical listing (See Taylor p 157).
-- Diagram of relationships between terms, either Tree Structure(s) or Arrowgraph(s).

Students who can satisfy me that they have prior, comparable experience can waive this assignment. The School does yet support any specialized thesaurus construction software and it not needed at this small scale. However, anyone wishing to download and use thesaurus software at their own responsibility on to their own machines could consider "TheW32," available at as freeware from