Search thesaurus / Search aid thesaurus/End-user thesaurus

Shiri; Revie & Chowdhury (2002) identified three main types of thesauri within information retrieval:

The standard thesaurus was originally intended to be used both for indexing and searching purposes. The search thesaurus is thus not a principally different kind of thesaurus.


"Whereas information retrieval had hitherto [until the rise of full-text and the Internet] relied on the indexer and the searcher following mirrored paths, both guided by a network of hierarchical associative and equivalence relationships between terms, a new type of thesaurus began to appear, called loosely a "search thesaurus". Cochrane (1992) compared the two, pointing out that the search thesaurus could be composed of the merging of thesaurus lists; a construct produced, for example, by Knapp (1984) in BRS/TERM, and which had more than a passing resemblance to Roget in that its main characteristic was the clustering of synonyms. " (Gilchrist, 2003, p. 9).





Anderson, James D. &  Rowley, Frederick A. (1992). Building End-User Thesauri From Full-Text. IN: Barbara H. Kwasnik and Raya Fidel, eds. Advances in Classification Research, Volume 2; Proceedings of the 2nd ASIS SIG/CR Classification Research Workshop, October 27, 1991. Medford, NJ: Learned Information, pp. 1-13.

Bates, M. J. (1986). Subject access in online catalogs: a design model. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 37(6), 357-376.

Bates, Marcia J.  (1990). Design for a Subject Search Interface and Online Thesaurus for a Very Large Records Management Database." In: American Society for Information Science. Annual Meeting. Proceedings, v.27. Medford, NJ: Learned Information, pp. 20-28.

Cochrane, P. A. (1992). Indexing and searching thesauri, the Janus or Proteus of information retrieval. In N. J. Williamson & M. Hudon (Eds.), Classification Research for Knowledge Representation and Organization: Proceedings of the Fifth International Study Conference on Classification Research. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science Publishers, pp. 161-178.


Gilchrist, A (2003). Thesauri, taxonomies and ontologies - an etymological note. Journal of Documentation 59(1), 7-18.


Knapp, S .D. (1984). BRS/TERM, a vocabulary database for searchers. Database, 7(4), 70-75.

Knapp, S. D. (1999). The contemporary thesaurus of search terms and synonyms: A guide for natural language computer searching, 2nd edition. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Kristensen, J. (1993). Expanding end-users query statements for free-text searching with a search-aid thesaurus. Information Processing & Management, 29(6), 733-744.

Møller Rasmussen, H. (2004). Søgethesaurussens potentiale ved EU-informationssøgning på WWW. København: Danmarks Biblioteksskole (Speciale).


Perez, E. (1982). Text enhancement: controlled vocabulary vs. free text. Special Libraries, 73, 183-192.


Piternick, A. (1984). Searching vocabularies: a developing category of online searching tools. Online Review, 8(5), 441-449.


Shiri, A. A.; Revie, C. & Chowdhury, G. (2002). Thesaurus-assisted term selection and query expansion: A review of user-centered studies. Knowledge Organization, 29(1), 1-19. Available at:




See also: Thesaurus




Birger Hjørland

Last edited: 26-07-2007