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.
The structure of HASSET uses both hierarchical and non-hierarchical relationships between terms. This is designated through the Broader Term, Narrower Term notation.
|POLITICAL PARTIES||FRENCH POLITICAL PARTIES|
|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.
|HEALTH-RELATED BIOTECHNOLOGY||MEDICAL RESEARCH|
|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Scientific labels, alternate spellings, superseded terms, and abbreviations of less commonly used terms are controlled by designating a Preferred Term (PT) and referencing it to all Use For (UF) concept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.
|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.
|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.
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.
COMMUNIST PARTY OF GREAT BRITAIN (1920-1991)
Compound terms are included if they represent a single concept and exist in common usage.
Compound terms are restricted to concepts that cannot be expressed in any other way.
CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY
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.
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?").
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.
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.