KWIC (Key Word in Context) Index
A KWIC index is the most common type of natural language indexes. It has become popular because it is straight-forward and relatively easier to produce. Generally, in basic type of Keyword indexes, words in the title are compounded. A stop-list is generated and is stored in the computer memory. The stop-list contains words under which entries are not required. The use of stop-list enables suppreision of the generation of useless index entries. Each word in the title is compared with those in the stop word list, and if a match occurs, it is rejected. On the other hand, if no match is found, the term is designated as a keyword. These keywords are used as entry words with one entry relating to the document for each word. The keyword is printed with the remainder terms of the title as context. Entry words are arranged alphabetically and aligned in the centre of the left column- A single line entry including the title and source reference is usually a document or abstract number. In some cases, an abbreviated journal citation may also be provided. Alternatively, in some cases a full bibliographic description can be located in a separate listing. Entries under the word are arranged alphabetically by title.
The advantage of title indexes is that human involvement is very minimal and KWIC indexes can be easily generated entirely with the help of a computer. The elimination of personal interpretation enhances consistency and automatically leads to the use of current terminology. Also, the creation of cumulative indexes such as annual and five yearly cumulations will be easier and may not involve any additional intellectual effort other than extra computer run.