University of Pittsburgh




Course description


Course modules


Asignment Summary

General information







































LIS2406: Subject Analysis

Summer 2005
Wednesday, 2:00-5:15 pm
501 IS Building

Arlene G. Taylor

Description of course

Conceptual analysis of information sources. Theory of subject headings and classification systems. Analysis, comparison, and use of Dewey Decimal Classification, Library of Congress Classification, and Library of Congress Subject Headings. Introduction to Universal Decimal Classification, Bliss Classification, Colon Classification, NLM Classification, Medical Subject Headings, ontologies, taxonomies, and other systems. Applications of subject systems in various library and information environments. Provision of authority control for subject headings, and tagging and formatting of subject and classification information for computer input. Lab component. Prerequisite: LIS2001 Organizing Information



To become conversant with the concepts used in subject analysis and to understand the broader theoretical context in which these concepts function.

To acqure the ability to analyze information packages for subject content, to assign LC subject headings and LC and Dewey classification numbers to information packages, and to provide MARC tagging in preparation for online input.

To become acquainted with systems used for subject analysis in special libraries and in other locations where the Library of Congress systems are not of paramount importance.

To be able to cite authorities, synthesize opinions, and defend work about subject analysis in written and oral form.


Course Modules

Module 1: Subject Analysis of Information Packages

Module 2: Library of Congress Subject Headings

Module 3: Dewey Decimal Classification

Module 4: Library of Congress Classification

Module 5: MARC Format

Module 6: Other Systems for Subject Access

Class schedule

May 11 -- Introduction, review; Subject analysis of information packages

May 18, May 25, June 1 -- Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH)

June 8 -- FAST (Faceted Access to Subject Terminology

June 15 -- Classification; Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC); Cutter numbers

June 22, June 29 -- Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC)

July 6, 13 -- Library of Congress Classification (LCC)

July 20, 27 -- Other systems for subject indexing and access [oral reports]


Required Text:

Taylor, Arlene G. Wynar's Introduction to Cataloging and Classification. Revised 9th ed. Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited, 2004.

Recommended Text:

Saye, Jerry D., with April J. Bohannan; MARC formatting with the assistance of Terri O. Saye. Manheimer's Cataloging and Classification: A Workbook. 4th ed. rev. and expanded. New York: Marcel Dekker, 2000.

Assignment Schedule and Evaluation


June 8: LC Subject Headings assignment due..........15%

June 8-22: Work on FAST Project..........10%

July 6: Dewey Decimal Classification assignment due..........15%

July 22: LC Classification assignment due..........15%

July 22 or 29: Oral report on subject access system..........20%

July 29: LCC, DDC, LCSH for last problem due..........15%

May 13 - July 29: Class, electronic discussion, and chatroom participation expected..........(10%)

Important Course Information

Arlene G. Taylor
Office: 642 IS Bldg.
Web site: http:
Office hours: Monday, 4:00-6:00, and by appointment
Office tel.: 412-624-9452

Graduate Student Assistants:
Christine Fullerton


The course consists of discussions in class and on the class bulletin board/discussion list (through Courseweb), class/lab demonstrations, in-class exercises, out-of-class assignments, and student oral presentations.


As a student you are expected to attend class, read the assigned readings, participate in class discussions and in the class electronic discussions, complete in-class and homework assignments, and be present on days when you are to make presentations to the rest of the class. You are responsible for using the resources of the department and the university to learn how to use PITTCAT and other public retrieval systems, the University of Pittsburgh libraries, electronic mail, and Blackboard.

Reserve Materials

A list of reserve materials is linked to this syllabus. The reserve list includes some supplemental documents that may be of interest to you to examine or read. Additional materials may be put on reserve during the semester.


Due dates for assignments are included in this syllabus. You are encouraged to ask for assistance with them when needed. You may discuss your work on these assignments with each other, but the ultimate work you turn in should be the result of your having done the work yourself, not having copied "answers" from other students.


Plagiarism will not be tolerated. For an explanation of what constitutes plagiarism, see "Avoiding Plagiarism," by David J. Birnbaum and Helena Goscilo:

The result of plagiarism on any assignment will be an "F" for at least that assignment. If the plagiarism is found to be a repeat offense, the grade for the course will be an "F."


Evaluation of your work is based on the percentages given with the assigment due dates in this syllabus.

Late Policy

All assignments must be turned in on time. Late assignments will not be accepted except in dire circumstances. Incompletes will be given only under the most extreme of conditions and with the understanding that the final grade will usually then be lower than it would have been had the work been completed on time.

A Note on Special Needs

Students with disabilities who require special accommodations or other classroom modifications should notify the instructor and the University's Office of Disability Resources & Services (DRS) no later than the 2nd week of the term. A student may be asked to provide documentation of a disability to determine the appropriateness of the request. DRS is located in 216 William Pitt Union and can be contacted at 648-7890 (Voice), 624-3346 (Fax), and 383-7355 (TTY). Students who must miss a class due to religious observances must notify the instructor ahead of time and make alternative arrangements.

Language Courtesy

Inclusive language: Gender-inclusive language is required in all course work and presentations. The use of respectful language in any situation is not a matter of "political correctness" but one of simple courtesy.


 This entire site is copyrighted by Arlene G. Taylor - Copyright 2005.