Term Selection (translation of concepts into the documentary language)


A. Topical subjects (tag 650)

B. Corporate and Conference subjects (tags 610 and 611)

C. Personal name subjects (tag 600)

D. Title subjects (tag 630)

E. Bodies, conferences and texts not yet in existence (tags 610, 611, 630)


B. Corporate subjects (tag 610) and conference subjects (tag 611)

Many UN documents concern organizational, administrative or procedural aspects of corporate bodies or conferences. In such cases, corporate subjects and conference subject headings may be pre-coordinated with terms from a controlled List of modifiers to form compound subject headings in the databases and in printed outputs. The coordinating modifiers permit greater specificity for administrative, organizational and procedural topics, particularly with respect to bodies and conferences of the UN and UN system.

The modifying terms are recorded in subfield $g of tag 610 or 611, thereby creating name authority records that remain at an incomplete "system-generated" level. Although the name authority records for these pre-coordinating corporate and conference subjects remain incomplete, indexers should make sure that complete name authority records exist for the corporate or meeting name that is recorded in tag 610 or 611$a (See the UNBIS Manual for guidelines on creating corporate name authority records and conference name authority records).

Coordinating terms recorded in 610 or 611 $g should not be assigned 650 topical subjects in the same bibliographic record.
(Note: This policy was introduced in 1999; in earlier records, indexers will observe that coordinating terms in 610 or 611 $g have been repeated as 650 topical subjects).

In the case of broad management terms, e.g. PERSONNEL QUESTIONS, PROGRAMME MANAGEMENT, etc., more specific terms are often also added in 650 tags (topical subjects) to allow more precision of subject access in printed products and online searches.

Example 1:
A document on recruitment of professional staff would be indexed as follows:

610 27 $a UN $g Personnel questions

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Example 2:
A document on evaluation of technical cooperation programmes and prioritization of items in a work programme would be indexed as follows:

610 27 $a UNCTAD $g Programme management
610 27 $a UNCTAD $g Work programme

Other cases where relevant topical subjects (tag 650) might be assigned in addition to coordinating modifiers (610 or 611 $g) include the following:
  • When the term Financing is used in 610 or 611 $g, related topical subjects such as FINANCIAL RESOURCES, FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT, EXTRABUDGETARY FINANCING, etc., might be used in tag 650;
  • When the term Budget is used in 610 or 611 $g, related topical subjects such as BUDGET PROJECTIONS, PROGRAMME BUDGETING, etc., might be used in tag 650;
  • When the term Members is used in 610 or 611 $g, related topical subjects APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS or ELECTION OF MEMBERS might be used in tag 650;
  • When the term Officers is used in 610 or 611 $g, related topical subjects APPOINTMENT OF OFFICERS or ELECTION OF OFFICERS might be used in tag 650;
  • When the term Organizational reform is used in 610 or 611 $g, related topical subjects such as ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE or ADMINISTRATIVE REFORM might be used in tag 650.

In certain cases, a year or a range of years may be added to the modifier of the corporate subject heading. The modifying terms that may include years are indicated in the List of modifiers. Note that the modifying term Activities requires the addition of year or years, while for other modifiers it is optional.

When documents consist entirely of agendas, lists of participants, calendars of meetings, or rules of procedure, generally 650 tags (topical subjects) are not assigned in addition to the pre-coordinated corporate or conference subjects.

Example 3:
A document consisting of a list of participants, and a document consisting of a calendar of meetings, would be indexed as follows:

611 27 $a Expert Meeting on Building Productive Capacity ( 2006 : Geneva) $g Participants
610 27 $a UN. ECE $g Calendar of meetings (2006-2007)

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Last updated: 12 June 2009