The use of indexing language in university libraries’ collective catalogs and the socio-cognitive context of indexing and users were evaluated. The methodology consisted of a diagnostic study elaboration of the functioning and treatment procedures of the indexing information from nine libraries of the UNESP network, Brazil, representing the civil engineering, education and dentistry areas from a data collection using the verbal protocol introspective technique in the individual and group forms. The study conducted a reflection upon the statements issued by the seventy-two participating individuals whose the results revealed unsatisfactory results about the use of the subject headings list of the BIBLIODATA network, indexing language utilizing by the UNESP Libraries Network, Brazil, in the representation and in the information retrieval process in the ATHENA catalog, about the sequent aspects of the language: lack of specialized vocabulary as well as updated; lack of remissives and of specific headings, and others. We have concluded that the adequate use of indexing languages of specialized scientific areas becomes by means of evaluation as to updating, specificity and compatibility in order to meet the needs of indexing and information retrieval.
Key words: Indexing language, assessment, qualitative socio-cognitive methodology, knowledge organization and representation, online public access catalog, technologies of representation and information retrieval. university libraries, verbal protocol.
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