Indexing and Abstracting Service

Indexing and Abstracting Service: An abstract or summary is a short statement of the most important points in a text. Abstract – especially refers to scientific papers where as summary – refers to more general news stories, administrative documents, reports, etc.

            The manual abstracting is typically done by a human being.  In automatic abstracting, abstracting is typically done by computer system. Automatic Abstracting are very complicated, often fragile, slow in production and available in some restricted domain only.

a) Automatic Indexing: Automatic indexing is the process of assigning and arranging index terms by machine without human intervention. As suggested by Eugene Garfield it is actually improper to use the word “automatic indexing” rather it should be called as “algorithmic indexing”.

            In automatic indexing (or algorithmic indexing), the computer programme identifies the words in a text and their location, and then the collected words are alphabetized. In doing so definite and indefinite articles, prepositions and other words on a so-called stop list are not included in the program's output. Even some word processors provide this capability.

The advantages of automatic indexing include speed of generation and negligible cost associated with its generation.

No computer programme however intelligible makes full judgment; don’t have the expertise, intelligence or audience awareness that is needed to create usable indexes. The main drawback of automatic indexing is that indexes produced in this way are generally list of words in a document than truly usable indexes. This is as because to generate index, abstraction is more important than alphabetization.  Abstractions result from intellectual processes based on judgments about what to include and what to exclude and any computer devoid of it. Sometimes in index even the terminology that does not makes its appearance on the document contents are make available in the index and they are directed to the synonymous word within document. Eg. In biological indexing separate entries may be needed for scientific names even it was not mentioned in the document. Again, there are many occasions when a document lists some terminology without details information about them. A manual indexer will avoid such terminology from being included in the index, but computer will not be able to make a difference.

Indexing is necessary for retrieval purposes than other more conventional terms and concepts. The indexes of web documents created by some robotic devices of search engine are quite effective in meeting this end. Again, while facilitating the production of the Science Citation Index, the ASCA (Automatic Subject Citation Alert) system has been operating successfully for over years. All these services have many consumers and are sufficient to prove the usefulness of automatic (algorithmic?) indexing. Nowadays automatic indexing is even used in large scale by search engine as well as other peoples for various reasons and they are quite effective within their scope though they need to go further to replace the indexers.