The SGC (Splošni geslovnik COBISS.SI or the COBISS.SI General List of Subject Headings) is a general controlled vocabulary covering topics from all fields of human knowledge and is intended for subject indexing in the COBISS.SI system.
The development of our list of subject headings started in 2000 as part of a special project in which IZUM as the main development actor collaborated with various outside partners in different phases, in the beginning mainly with the Central Specialised Information Centres and later also with the National and University Library and the University of Maribor Library. The foundation on which the list was built was our translation of the American Sears List of Subject Headings. This was followed by the editing process that includes adding new subject headings and tailoring the list to Slovenian needs.
In developing our list, we modelled ourselves on the Library of Congress Subject Headings list – LCSH, and the list of subject headings of the National Library of France – RAMEAU. SGC records also include links to corresponding LCSH, Rameau or MeSH subject headings. The SGC is a post-coordinate subject indexing system, which means that the subject headings are formed without subdivisions. The SGC is a list of preferred terms with corresponding non-preferred terms, and it includes (hierarchical and associative) relations between the terms, rules for creating subject heading records and subject indexing guidelines. The SGC authority database that was included into the COBISS3/Cataloguing software module in 2018 is made up of records in the COMARC/A format. These are mainly records for topical subjects (including records for forms and genres) and geographical names. The database also includes personal and family names, corporate body names and titles. The cataloguers in Slovenian libraries can use the SGC authority database for subject indexing in the cataloguing process.
The SGC is also included in the COBISS+, where the search indexes in combination with logical and context operators enable an even more precise searching through the list of subject headings. The search results can be sorted by Slovenian or English headings. The records display headings in Slovenian and English, all non-preferred, broader, narrower and related terms, UDC numbers and notes. There are active links from subject headings to linked bibliographic records and vice versa, as well as to corresponding subject headings in LCSH and RAMEAU.
In the COBISS3/Cataloguing software module it is possible to add subject headings to bibliographic records via the SGC authority database. It is also possible to quickly link bibliographic records with SGC authority records. The SGC records contain variant forms of subject headings, which is why the bibliographic records that are linked with SGC records are findable regardless of the form entered by the user as the search request. This also vastly improves content search. Links between SGC records enable navigation through the subject list, and indirectly through bibliographic records. Since the SGC authority records contain a great deal of notes and references, subject indexing with SGC is more consistent.
It is our wish and recommendation that all COBISS.SI libraries add SGC subject headings to bibliographic records in the process of subject indexing, as it enables a more consistent content processing in the COBISS system. In cases where libraries cover specific areas, other (specialised) lists can be used alongside the SGC, but since we have no authority databases for them, these subject headings are entered without authority control.
As the number of linked bibliographic records increases, so does the positive effect of authority control of subject headings on a unified content search throughout the system. This is why we are exploring the possibility of automatically entering links on the basis of existing data in bibliographic records, especially the coded fields.
Since 2018, the SGC records have been edited in the COBISS3/Cataloguing software module. The editing team, which is currently made up of four IZUM employees, regularly updates the list with new subject headings and sees to the constant upkeep and improvement of the list. After completing the Subject indexing with the COBISS.SI General List of Subject Headings course, cataloguers can send their suggestions for new subject headings and non-preferred terms to the editing team through the Jira Service Desk portal.
- Suggest an update (registered users only)
- SGC statistics (as of 31 December 2021)
- List of new subject headings (January–June 2022)
- SGC manual (in Slovenian; still in development):