Access Innovations Receives Patent for System to Automatically Add Library Subject Headings


Albuquerque, NM (October 13, 2004) – Access Innovations, information and database management specialists, said today that it has been issued a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for its recently developed MAILib software system.

MAILib automates the process of adding Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) to documents stored in electronic databases and archives, which in turn enhances the accuracy of searching those information reservoirs to retrieve targeted articles, reports and other materials.

“We believe that our MAILib system is a significant step in the field of information management,” said Marjorie M.K. Hlava, Access Innovations’ president. “For the first time, we are giving managers of electronic information resources the ability to combine the pre-coordinate system of cataloging done by libraries with the indexing systems used in the electronic information arena. Our system gives new power to information managers to leverage their information assets.”

The pre-coordinate system of cataloging information, which utilizes subject headings created by information specialists, has been applied by libraries for more than a century. Libraries worldwide prefer the LCSH standards because of their consistency and widespread use.

Publishers of electronic databases index documents using keywords, enabling them to be retrieved through online searching. Database searchers can combine different keywords within a search; for example, the words “Bush” and “war” may be used to specify a given search.

Machine-aided indexing automates the indexing and categorization of text in documents housed in electronic databases. Access Innovations is a pioneer in the rules-based technique of machine-aided indexing. Its Machine Aided Indexer, or M.A.I., part of the Data Harmony line of software, extracts words or phrases from text on the basis of programmatic rules, such as algorithms of the “if … then” variety. The rules are automatically generated through the software and can be easily expanded and more finely tuned by an editor working, for example, in a corporate library, or at a research center.

The new MAILib system adds a new level of sophistication to the process of turning unstructured data into structured information assets, which are identified and categorized by widely accepted subject headings and can then be readily used for any number of business or research purposes.

MAILib incorporates the entire 208,000-term set of Library of Congress subject headings, along with tools to combine headings following detailed standards set in Marc 21 and the Anglo American Cataloging Rules, Second Edition, followed by technical services librarians in the and similar systems used abroad.

MAILib and the new MAIChem, a chemical name finder, are specialized applications of Access Innovations’ M.A.I. system, part of the Data Harmony software suite. Underlying M.A.I. are three modules—Rule Builder, Concept Extractor and Statistics Package—which spot concepts in text, provide the basis for developing rules to interpret words in text, and generate reports on term accuracy. M.A.I. works seamlessly with Data Harmony’s Thesaurus Master for creating and managing thesauri and taxonomies, and with the XML Intranet System (XIS) for text and content production and management.

Taxonomies are increasingly popular because they enhance access and retrievability of content collections. Using MAILib, managers of web services, web search engines, online portals and others can easily apply LCSH terms to add accepted subject headings to their interfaces. Users are able to understand and navigate the terms and quickly find the material they are looking for, Hlava noted.