Structure and format of HASSET

HASSET follows the recommendations of International Standards Organization’s Guidelines ISO 25964-1 (2011): Information and documentation - Thesauri and interoperability with other vocabularies, Part 1 and Part 2.

Hierarchical structure
The structure of HASSET uses both hierarchical and non-hierarchical relationships between terms. This is designated through the Broader Term, Narrower Term notation.

Example

Narrower Term
POLITICAL PARTIES FRENCH POLITICAL PARTIES

Broader Term
FRENCH POLITICAL PARTIES POLITICAL PARTIES

Non-hierarchical relationships indicate a close conceptual relationship (though not synonymous) between terms. This is always represented as reciprocal and is indicated by the related term notation.

Example

Related Term
HEALTH-RELATED BIOTECHNOLOGY MEDICAL RESEARCH

Related Term
MEDICAL RESEARCH HEALTH-RELATED BIOTECHNOLOGY

Polyhierarchies are used in cases where a concept can belong, on logical grounds, to more than one existing class in the thesaurus at the same time.

Preferred and Use For terms
Scientific labels, alternate spellings, superseded terms, and abbreviations of less commonly used terms are controlled by designating a Preferred Term (PT) and referencing it to all Use For (UF) concept variants.

Example

Use For
CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME MYALGIC ENCEPHALOPATHY

UFs are not necessarily true synonyms and may be used for terms that are narrower in meaning than the term with which they have been associated. It may be that the concept is too specific or it may have unreliable long term currency (e.g. government policies or government schemes) to become a Narrower Term.

Example

Use For
VOUCHER SCHEMES HEALTHY START VOUCHER SCHEME

Preferred Terms that are also in ELSST are indicated as 'Preferred Term (core)'.

'Use for' terms are often called 'non-preferred terms' , 'entry point'" or 'access' terms because they provide users with an 'entrance' or 'beginning' point for their search which will direct them to the appropriate (preferred) term . The user is provided with as many access points to the vocabulary as possible.

Qualifiers
Parenthetic qualifiers are used to disambiguate homonyms (words with the same spelling but different meanings) and to clarify terms whose meaning or context in time and space may cause confusion.

Example

BORDERS (FRONTIERS)
AIDS (DISEASE)
COFFEE (CROP)
DELIVERY (PREGNANCY)
DEMONSTRATIONS (PROTESTS)
FISHING (SPORT)
COMMUNIST PARTY OF GREAT BRITAIN (1920-1991)
IDLE (RIVER)


Compound terms
Compound terms are included if they represent a single concept and exist in common usage.

Example

VOUCHER SCHEMES

Compound terms are restricted to concepts that cannot be expressed in any other way.

Example

CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY

Non-alphanumeric characters
The only punctuation used by HASSET is the full-stop e.g. E. COLI INFECTIONS.

The use of parenthesis is limited to qualifiers.

Hyphens are used only in cases of necessary prefixes (e.g. anti-apartheid, pre-marital) or where established usage warrants the use of a hyphen to link words together (e.g. x-ray, in-vitro fertilization or breast-feeding). Sources for such warrants include the Oxford English Dictionary, subject specialist reference sources and existing subject specialist thesauri.

Abbreviations and acronyms
Abbreviations and/or acronyms are generally used as non-preferred terms only. An exception is where the abbreviation and/or acronym is considered to be an 'everyday', non-technical label then it becomes the preferred term e.g. AIDS (Disease). Abbreviations and/or acronyms must have a well-established usage and be unambiguous.

Example
ICT
HIV
IVF

Singular and plural
Terms are expressed in plural form if they constitute 'count nouns' (i.e. names of countable entities that are subject to the question "how many?").

Example
WHEELCHAIRS
VIDEO RECORDERS

Terms are expressed in singular form if they constitute 'non-count nouns' (i.e. names of materials, substances, or states of being that are subject to the question "how much?").

Example
COAL
AGGRESSION (PERSONAL)

Exceptions are the names of abstract phenomena, properties, systems of belief, activities, theoretical social science concepts and disciplines. They are often, but not always, 'non-count nouns'. Depending on the type of concept they may be expressed in either singular or plural form.

Example
RISK
TRUST
SOCIAL SYSTEMS


Scope notes
The scope of a concept is not always the most common meaning associated with its preferred term.

When the meaning of the term is in doubt (i.e. there exists both a common sense meaning and a specific meaning in the context of social science and humanities academic literature and the latter reference is embedded in the indexed data) a scope note will be added.

Scope notes should be used, together with context information provided by the location of the term in the hierarchy of broader and narrower terms, to determine whether the selected term is the appropriate entry point for a search.

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