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The Thesaurus is a controlled and structured list of terms used. Many collections, such as those held in libraries, use “subject headings”, which are similar to thesauri. The Library of Congress Subject Headings is a known example. It helps to reduce ambiguity where a concept can be given different names.

The Wiki Encyclopedia intended to publish, based on classification schemes (“thesauruses”), separate indices for some of the entries and legal information covered by the Encyclopedia. The purpose of such indices is to assist users of the Encyclopedia in identifying concepts and cases relevant to a given issue by listing other entries and cases under the provision or sub-issue with which they deal.

Thesaurus of the Encyclopedia exist for a variety of legal subjects, including trade of goods, criminal law and International Arbitration. It is continuously enriched.

Evolution of the Legal Thesaurus

Introduction

The Legal Thesaurus is an online first attempt by the legal community to develop a specialised thesaurus to cater for the needs of the legal profession and students. The need for such a thesaurus was expressed by the participants to a Conference on Legal Documentation and Information Systems.

Work on the legal thesaurus was undertaken by the Lawi Project. Working drafts of the legal thesaurus were sent to members of the Lawi Project and several lawyers and authors.

Although many descriptors have been included in this legal thesaurus, the need for inclusion or deletion of descriptors will be felt with the passage of time. The users of the thesaurus are encouraged to make further comments and suggestions which will be reflected in a revised edition of this resource.

The Wiki Encyclopedia of Law Thesaurus contains legal-related terms called Keywords which function as subject headings. Using Keywords in your Encyclopedia searching can help you find entries of greater relevance to your topic.

Researchers have come to rely on this thesaurus to locate precise terms from the controlled vocabulary used to index the Encyclopedia.

Description

The Legal Thesaurus is a controlled vocabulary – – a carefully selected list of law-related subject headings. The Legal Thesaurus contains an alphabetical listing of Main Term descriptors used for indexing and searching the Lawi database and printed index. Associated term relationships are displayed under each Main Term. These may include a Descriptor Code, Scope Note, History Note, Use For and Use references, Broader Terms and Narrower Terms, and Related Terms. Each of these elements of the Thesaurus display is explained below.

The Lawi Project assigns terms to the records proyect to organize them by subject and make them easier to retrieve through a search. Searching by Descriptors involves selecting relevant terms from this controlled vocabulary to locate information on your topic.

Keyword vs. Descriptor Searching

While the user can also search the Lawi resources (including the various Portals and Encyclopedias) using keywords of his / her choosing, he / she will get more precise search results if choose to use the Thesaurus subject terms. That’s because searching by keywords matches the exact words found in a record, whether or not they are used in the same context as your topic, while searching by Descriptors allows you to locate records by subject, regardless of the terminology the author may have used. The Legal Thesaurus will help you save time by reducing guesswork and trial-and-error methods.

Indexing documents with descriptors from a multilingual thesaurus is an approach to multilingual Information Retrieval. However, manual indexing is expensive. Automated indexing methods in general use terms found in the document. Thesaurus descriptors are complex terms that are often not used in documents or have specific meanings within the thesaurus; therefore most weighting schemes of automated indexing methods are not suited to select thesaurus descriptors.

Using our interactive Thesaurus Search you can browse for terms via a hierarchical, alphabetical, or rotated index display. These display formats allow you to navigate the thesaurus alphabetically or through the hierarchical relationships between terms. After finding appropriate terms, you can submit a search for those terms in the database descriptor field.

It contains an alphabetical listing of terms used for indexing and searching in the Lawi Projct database.

This word-by-word alphabetical display is probably the most familiar since it provides a variety of information (a “display”) for each Descriptor. This includes a Scope Note, Use For (UF) and Use (USE) references, Narrower Terms (NT), Broader Terms (BT), and Related Terms (RT). Each of these segments of the Thesaurus display is explained in detail below.

Details

Scope Notes

A Scope Note is a brief statement of the intended meaning or usage of a Descriptor or Main Term.  It may provide definitions, user instructions, or both.

Scope notes may be used to clarify an ambiguous term or to restrict the usage of a term. Special indexing notes are often included.

For example, in case of TESTS, the scope note would say: “Devices, procedures, or sets of items that are used to measure ability, skill, understanding, knowledge, or achievement (note: use a more specific term if possible)”. In the case of ORAL INTERPRETATION, the scope note may be: “The oral interpretation and presentation of a legal argument to an audience”

Finally, in the case of “NONFORMAL LEGAL EDUCATION”, the scope note may be the following: “Organized legal education without formal law schooling or institutionalization in which knowledge, skills, and values are taught by relatives, peers, or other community members (note: do not confuse with “nonschool educational programs” or the identifier “informal education”). Suggests another Descriptor or an Identifier that may be more appropriate.”

UF (Use For)

The “UF” reference is employed generally to solve problems of synonymy occurring in natural language. Terms following the UF notation are not used in indexing. They most often represent either (1) synonymous or variant forms of the main term, or (2) specific terms that, for purposes of storage and retrieval, are indexed under a more general term.

Terms referenced by the Use For designation are nonpreferred terms. They include synonyms and variants of the Main Term and specific terms indexed under a more generic descriptor. Often they include discontinued terms from the Descriptor Authority File; these appear with a qualifying range of years indicating their period of active use in indexing. For every Use For term, a reciprocal Use reference is generated, pointing to the descriptor or preferred Main Term.

USE

The USE reference, the mandatory reciprocal of the UF, refers an indexer or searcher from a nonusable (nonindexable) term to the preferred indexable term or terms.

“Use” references direct the user from synonyms and other nonpreferred expressions to the preferred Main Term. They are the reciprocal entries of terms referenced by the Used For designation. Discontinued terms appearing as Use references are shown with a qualifying range of years of active use and History Notes.

In general, there is only one USE term for each entry. This means that there is a direct, one-to-one correlation in most of the Legal Thesaurus from the UF to the USE term.

A coordinate or multiple USE reference looks a little different. In some cases, the legal thesaurus  illustrates the use of two main terms together to represent a single concept, both for indexing and searching.

BT (Broader Term) and NT (Narrower Term)

These indicate the existence of a hierarchical relationship between a class and its subclasses. Narrower terms are included in the broader class represented by the main entry. The [+] symbol beside a term indicates that there are further narrower terms.

Broader Terms indicate the more general class or classes to which the Main Term logically belongs. Narrower Terms indicate the more specific sub-classes of the Main Term. The Broader Term/Narrower Term relationship is reciprocal: for every Broader Term reference there is a corresponding reciprocal Narrower Term reference.

Broader Term/Narrower Term relationships create thesaurus hierarchies, i.e., sequences of class relationships that may extend upward more generally or downward more specifically through several levels. At any point in the hierarchy, Broader Term/Narrower Term designations refer upward or downward only to the next most general or specific level. However, by tracing these references, a complete hierarchy or “family tree” can be approximated.

The Broader Term (BT) is the mandatory reciprocal of the NT. Broader Terms include as a subclass the concept represented by the main (narrower) term.

RT (Related Term)

Related terms have a close conceptual relationship to the main term, but not the direct class/subclass relationship described by BTs/NTs. Part-whole relationships, near-synonyms, and other conceptually related terms, which might be helpful to the user, appear as RTs.

Main Terms or Descriptors

Nouns and noun phrases are preferred for Main Terms, with plural word forms used with nouns that can be quantified (Institutions, Values, Workers) and singular word forms used with nouns representing processes, properties, and conditions (Employment, Migration, Validity). The gerund or verbal noun is also used with process terms (Data Processing, Marketing).

Punctuation is used minimally. Hyphens are used where needed for clarity. In cases where ambiguity may occur, and to distinguish the meaning of homographs, Main Terms and Use reference terms may appear with qualifying expressions as follos:

Repression -Defense Mechanism
Repression -Political

History Notes

History Notes link Thesaurus descriptors with the Descriptor Authority File terms used in indexing prior to 1986. They are the key to searching the printed indexes and the online databases from 1963 through 1985. History Notes provide the range of years in which a term was in use, its former Descriptor Code, and the word form if it has changed. Often they provide search instructions. History Notes appear for both Main Terms and discontinued terms. History Notes are standardized according to the disposition of or action taken on the former Descriptor Authority File term.

This History Note documents the former descriptor string Phonetic/Phonetics, which was used in indexing between 1964 and 1985. The word form has been collapsed to a preferred form.

The “included in” note identifies a “term split.” In this case, two distinct concepts-citizens and citizenship-were contained within a single descriptor string. Each was established as a separate Thesaurus descriptor.

The History Note specifies how this concept was formerly coordinately indexed. The user of the printed indexes will find this concept prior to 1986 under either of the former terms Chronic/Chronically or Illness/Illnesses, while the online searcher should specify both terms in an “AND” search statement.

Discontinued terms appear in the Thesaurus with a qualifying range of years indicating their period of active use in indexing. The History Note provides the former Descriptor Code and notes that it was deleted from use in 1986.

Many discontinued terms appear with “see now” notes pointing to Thesaurus descriptors that are closely related to the concept represented by the discontinued term. This type of History Note is used when two or more descriptors are referenced.

When terms from the Descriptor Authority File were downgraded to the status of Use references, the History Note records the former Descriptor Code. “Use” references direct the indexer or searcher from nonpreferred synonyms or variant expressions to preferred Main Terms.

Related Terms

Terms referenced by the Related Term designation bear a close conceptual relationship to the Main Term, but they do not share the direct class/sub-class relationship described by the Broader Term/Narrower Term relationship. Related Terms are always entered reciprocally. They should be considered for use as other appropriate search terms.

Hierarchical display

List of the seven major subject domains, broken down into microthesauri which allow you to gain a quick overview of the subject matter.
A microthesaurus contains a variable number of top terms, i.e. descriptors without any BT (=Broader Term); each top term is followed by UF (=Used For) if any, and by a descending hierarchy of descriptors, each preceded by NT (=Narrower Term) .

Lawi Project Subject Headings Scheme

A list of subject headings and their related topics appear below. One or more relevant terms should be carefully selected only from the “Second Level Subjects” list below and entered into the DC.Subject field. The following list is sorted by top level topic then second level subject heading.

TOP LEVEL – TOPICS

SECOND LEVEL – SUBJECTS

(Not to be used in Metadata) (Select subjects from this list)
Accidents and Compensation Emergency services
Compensation
Emergency Services
Insurance
Motor vehicle accidents
Negligence and liability
Personal Injury
Safety
Victims compensation
Workers compensation
Debt and Credit Banking
Bankruptcy
Credit
Debt
Electronic commerce
Mortgages
Unclaimed money
Business Advertising and marketing
Associations
Business
Business licences
Business names
Contracts
Cooperatives
Electronic commerce
Franchises
Incorporation
Meetings
Sales
Trusts
Children and young people Child abuse
Children and young people
Childrens rights
Juvenile justice
Consumers Advertising and marketing
Consumer protection
Contracts
Gambling
Prices
Product safety
Shopping
Courts and Tribunals Administrative Appeals Tribunal
Administrative Decisions Tribunal
Australian Industrial Relations Commission
Cases from the courts
Childrens Court
Compensation Court
Compensation Court NSW
Consumer Trader and Tenancy Tribunal
Coroners Court
Courts
District Court
Drug Court of NSW
Evidence
Family Court
Federal Court
Federal Magistrates Court
Guardianship Tribunal NSW
High Court
Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission
Industrial Relations Commission NSW
Judges and Magistrates
Juries
Land and Environment Court
Local Court
Migration Review Tribunal
Representing yourself in court
Social Security Appeals Tribunal
Supreme Court
Tribunals
Victims Compensation Tribunal
Youth Drug Court
Crime and Offences Apprehended violence orders
Arrest
Assault
Bail
Child abuse
Crime
Criminal Records
Domestic violence
Drink Driving
Drugs
Fines
Firearms
Fraud
Juvenile justice
Police
Prisoners
Sentencing
Sexual assault
Terrorism
Theft
Traffic offences
Victims
Employment Awards
Discrimination – Employment
Employment
Employment contracts
Equal employment opportunity
Occupational health and safety
Superannuation
Termination of employment
Workers compensation
Environment Climate Change
Environment
Heritage
Pollution
Water
Family Law and Relationships Adoption
Apprehended violence orders (AVOs)
Child support
De facto relationships
Divorce
Domestic violence
Family law
Family law – Children
Family law – Property
Gay men and lesbians
Guardianship
Marriage
Power of Attorney
Government Administrative law
Constitution
Freedom of Information
Government
Local government
Ombudsman
Privacy
Health Abortion
AIDS
Drugs
Health
Mental health
Quarantine
Housing and Land Building and Construction
Conveyancing
Housing
Boarding houses
Nursing homes
Residential parks
Retirement villages
Strata title
Tenancy
Land Ownership
Planning and development
Human rights Childrens rights
Discrimination
Discrimination – Aged
Discrimination – Disability
Discrimination – Race
Discrimination – Sex
Human rights
Privacy
Immigration and Citizenship Citizenship
Immigration
Refugees
Intellectual Property Arts Law
Copyright
Intellectual property
Designs, Patents and trade marks
Legal system See also Courts and Tribunals Community legal centres
Constitution
Dispute resolution
Guides to the law
International law
Justice of the Peace
Law reform
Lawyers
Legal costs
Legal dictionaries
Legal forms
Legal services
Legal system
Legislation
Parliament
Media and Communications Arts Law
Censorship
Defamation
Internet
Media law
Radio
Telecommunications
Television
Neighbours Animals
Fences
Neighbours
Noise
Nuisance
Trees
Older Persons Law Discrimination – Aged
Elder Abuse
Guardianship
Nursing homes
Older persons law
Power of Attorney
Retirement villages
Pensions Allowances and Family Assistance Child Support
Pensions and allowances
Rural Law Crops
Livestock
Rural Law
Water
Taxation Taxation
Motor Vehicle and Traffic Offences Motor vehicles
Motor vehicle accidents
Traffic offences
Wills and Estates Family provision
Funerals
Probate
Wills

Conclusion

Thesaurus Term Proposal

The Encyclopedia of Law editors accept proposals for new terms or changes to existing terms. Contact Us for sending your proposal.

 

TERM:……………………………………………………………………………….

 

Check one:

Add: ________ Change: ________ Delete: ________

 

FACETS (check one):

[ country or state]…………………………………………………………….

[ country or state]-[city]……………………………………………….

[nationality]-[country or state]-[city]………………….

[nationality]……………………………………………………………………..

 

NOTES:

SCOPE NOTE (SN):……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

CATALOGERS NOTE (CN):……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

HISTORY NOTE (HN):………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

 

TERM TYPE (TT):

Check one:

Main term/Postable:……………………………………………………..

Non-postable:…………………………………………………………………..

 

 

TERM TYPE CATEGORY (TTC):

Check all that apply:

Subject:………………………………………………………………………………..

Genre/Format::…………………………………………………………………

Subdivision:………………………………………………………………………

 

RELATIONSHIPS:

RELATIONSHIP TYPE

TERM

Add (+)

Delete (-)

USED FOR (UF)

USE
BROADER TERM (BT)
NARROWER TERM (NT)
RELATED TERM(RT)

SOURCES CHECKED: ……….

(please, provide the source where you checked your proposal)

Conclusion



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Schema Summary

  • Article Name: By Thesaurus
  • Author: international
  • Description: Browse by Thesaurus The Thesaurus is a controlled and structured list of terms used. Many collections, such as those held [...]

This entry was last updated: September 8, 2015

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