Index and abstract of a document

When a document like a journal article has been indexed and an abstract written, a human indexer has helped organize the document for easy retrieval. He or she r-

chosen some words, phrases and concepts which represent the subject matter of the document and has attached those to the database record as "descriptors." The specific terms usually come from a book of terms used by that database producer, to promote consistency between indexers.

The indexer, or possibly the author of the article, has written an abstract or summary of the article's content which is included in the database. Again, it's important to realize that you're not searching the entire text of the document but someone's representation of the document. If you can zero in on some of the database's descriptors which accurately describe the topic you're looking for, you can easily retrieve all the articles with the same descriptors. If you do a keyword search in this type of database without checking the permissible descriptors, you're hoping that the indexer will have used your keyword in the summary or that the author will have used it in the title of the article.

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