Indexing and information retrieval work properly only if language and interpretation are shared by creator and user. This is more complex for non-verbal media. The authors of Indexing Multimedia and Creative Works explore these challenges against a background of different theories of language and communication, particularly semiotics, questioning the possibility of ideal multimedia indexing. After surveying traditional approaches to information retrieval (IR) and organization in relation to issues of meaning, particularly Panofsky's 'levels of meaning', Pauline Rafferty and Rob Hidderley weigh up the effectiveness of major IR tools (cataloguing, classification and indexing) and computerised IR, highlighting key questions raised by state-of-the-art computer language processing systems. Introducing the reader to the fundamentals of semiotics, through the thinking of Saussure, Peirce and Sonesson, they make the case for this as the basis for successful multimedia information retrieval. The authors then describe specific multimedia information retrieval tools: namely the Art and Architecture Thesaurus, Iconclass and the Library of Congress Thesaurus of General Materials I and II. A selection of multimedia objects including photographic images, abstract images, music, the spoken word and film are read using analytical and descriptive categories derived from the literature of semiotics. Multimedia information retrieval tools are also used to index the multimedia objects, an exercise which demonstrates the richness of the semiotic approach and the limitations of controlled vocabulary systems. In the final chapter the authors reflect on the issues thrown up by this comparison and explore alternatives such as democratic, user-generated indexing as an alternative . Primarily intended for third-year undergraduate and postgraduate information studies students, the breadth and depth of Indexing Multimedia and Creative Works will also make it relevant and fascinating rea
Rob Hidderley worked in industry prior to becoming a lecturer in 1985. His background in information systems and database management led him to his interest in the problems of storing and retrieving multimedia information. A member of the British Computer Society from 1986 and a Chartered Engineer since 1990, Rob is currently a Principal Lecturer in the School of Computing at the University of Central England, Birmingham, and his current teaching and research interests are in the areas of multimedia information retrieval, 'interactive fiction' and 'internet democracy'. Pauline Rafferty is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Media and Communication at the University of Central England, Birmingham. Pauline also taught at the University of Northumbria. Before moving into teaching, she worked in information research and media librarianship. She became interested in multimedia indexing while working in the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama's library as a drama librarian. Her current teaching and research interests are in the areas of multimedia information retrieval, representations of knowledge and classification theory. Pauline is a chartered member of CILIP. Jointly, Rob and Pauline have been researching problems in multimedia indexing, and possible solutions. They have developed an original approach to the indexing of multimedia artefacts, described in this book, which they call 'Democratic Indexing' Together they have published journal articles and conference papers in the area of image and multimedia retrieval and Democratic Indexing.