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5.2 Searching mechanisms

One of the most serious consequences of the early database in Scotland was the lack of rigorous thesauri application. Classifications are single level, multiple and not in natural word order: e.g. cist, long; settlement and field-system. The classifications were checked and conformed to a standard word list, though this depended on quality control over data entry rather than computer validation. The unnatural word order was a consequence of the software at the time being unable to retrieve and sort embedded strings into an output report. The consequences for today are that thesaurus structures and more rigorous standards are now having to be applied to the NMRS database. The NMR in England is more advanced than Scotland and Wales in this respect and a fully fledged thesaurus is incorporated into the database. Work by the NMR in England has led to the development of thesaurus standards that are now being extended to cover the UK. The aim is to create a UK-wide thesaurus that can operate both for the NMRs and for other records, notably SMRs, eventually with multilingual links to users from outside the UK

Other searching mechanisms need to be applied to the data. For example, as more images come on line, a picture gallery search will be developed. Geographical searches will be available by next year in Scotland through CANMORE and searches are already available using theme and collection.

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Last updated: Fri Jan 30 2004

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