Representational predictability
Representational predictability is a requirement for any adequately complete search (cf., e.g., Fugmann, 1985, pp. 121-123; Wellisch, 1989, p. 10; Bates, 1998, p.1,188; Blair, 1990, pp. 48-52, 101). In these papers the deficiencies of the keywords approach are discussed.

William Cooper (1969, p. 268-270) uses the term indexer-requester consistency: The terms chosen by an indexer should match the terms potentially used by the requester in order to make the document representations predictable by the users.


Cooper, W. (1969). Is interindexer consistency a hobgoblin? American Documentation, 20(3), 268-278.

Fugmann, R. (1982). The complementarity of natural and indexing languages. International Classification, 9, 140–144.

Fugmann, R. (1994). Representational Predictability: Key to the Resolution of Several Pending Issues in Indexing and Information Supply. Advances in Knowledge Organization, 4, 414-422.

Mills, J. (2004). Faceted classification and logical division in information retrieval. Library Trends, 52(3), 541-570.

See also: Consistency in Knowledge Organization;


Birger Hjørland

Last edited: 27-07-2006