Pre-coordinate indexing

Indexing in which the combination of search terms is done by the indexer rather than by the searcher. Typically applied in printed indexes in contrast to electronic retrieval based on Boolean technique, where post-coordinate indexing is normally implemented.


In online databases are indexing phrases a kind of precoordinate indexing. The advantage using precoordinate indexing in electronic searching is the elimination of false drops. The drawback is the decrease in recall.


Example: Literature about female alcoholism is indexed as "Alcoholism, in females".




Bodoff, D. & Kambil, A. (1998). Partial coordination. I. The best of pre-coordination and post-coordination. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 49(14), 1254-1269.


Lancaster, F. W. (1991) Pre-Coordinate Indexes. IN: Lancaster, F. W.: Indexing and Abstracting in Theory and Practice. London: Library Association. (Pp. 41-59).


See also Post-coordinate indexing; Information retrieval manually versus automated.





Birger Hjørland

Last edited: 14-07-2006