STANDARDS AND CONVENTIONS USED IN THE THESAURUS
The form and structure of the thesaurus conform to the English version of two standards of the International Organization for Standardization - ISO 2788 and ISO 5964.
The terms in the thesaurus comprise Descriptors, also called Preferred terms, which are used for indexing and retrieval, and Non-descriptors, also called Non-preferred terms, which provide additional entry points to the descriptors by way of a "use" reference.
Descriptors and Non-descriptors take the form of a noun or a gerund or a phrase containing a noun or a gerund. In general, descriptors for abstract concepts and entities that are subject to the question "How much?" are in the singular.
Descriptors for concrete entities and entities that can be counted (that are subject to the question "How many?") are in the plural.
Names of organizations, programmes and treaties are usually given as acronyms, with a "use" reference from the full form of the name.
- Causes of flight
| CSR51 || UF Convention relating to the Status of Refugees |
| AIDS || UF Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome|
For a complete list of acronyms, please refer to this list [PDF]
Spelling and Punctuation
In the English edition, British English is preferred to American English.
Punctuation is kept to a minimum. Apostrophes are omitted in the English version, except in proper names.
Hyphens are retained where they would normally be used in compound terms and after prefixes.
- Childrens centres
- Womens rights
- Self-help projects
The relationship among the descriptors is expressed in terms of whether they are hierarchically related, that is having a broader / narrower relationship (labelled BT and NT) to each other, or related to each other in a non-hierarchical manner (labelled RT).
All relationships are reciprocal.
Examples of hierarchical relationships:
| - ||NT Civil and political rights|
|Civil and political rights|
| - ||BT Human rights|
| - ||NT Freedom of assembly|
|Freedom of assembly|
| - ||BT Civil and political rights|
Example of a non-hierarchical relationship:
| - ||RT Health|
| - ||RT Diseases|
KEY TO ABBREVIATIONS
- Guidelines for the Establishment and Development of Monolingual Thesauri, 2nd ed, 1986.
- Guidelines for the Establishment and Development of Multilingual Thesauri, 1st ed,1985.