HOW TECHNICAL WRITERS CAN USE AND IMPROVE TECHNICAL RETRIEVAL SYSTEMS
OFFICE OF AEROSPACE RESEARCH ARLINGTON VA OFFICE OF SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL INFORMATION
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The purpose of the paper is to acquaint technical writers with the U. S. technical documentation network of the United States and to suggest how they can contribute to its improvement. The network consists of national technical libraries, federal technical documentation centers, data and information centers, the information services of professional societies and the technical information officers of Federal Agencies involved in R and D. Together they constitute a de facto national system, suitable for storage and retrieval of the worlds scientific literature. Titles, abstracts and index terms word-descriptors play an important role in these systems. Since they are the major elements of document identification and subsequent retrieval, the authors should be particularly careful about their construction. Titles should identify principal field as well as specific subject and be precise. Abstract should convey the purpose of the report, methods of investigation, principal results and conclusions. Selected index terms should cover the materials used, properties determined, equipment used and possible areas of application. Technical writers can help by insuring that they, and the authors whom they assist, give adequate attention to these elements of reporting.
- Information Science