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
'The authors state at the onset of the volume that they are building a case that "existing approaches to multimedia retrieval generally start at the wrong place and ignore important issues related to meaning, communication and interpretation". Indeed, the ardor with which they unveil this view comes through in this informative and compelling volume.' Library Collections, Acquisitions and Technical Services, 2006 ' The book would be of interest to postgraduate students with an interest in multimedia information retrieval, or those working in film or photographic archives' Information and Library Science 'This study is, of course, a must book for professional indexers, especially its more technical parts. But it can also offer inspiring reading and some original ideas to all those concerned with the interpretation of meaning in general, in creative works especially and, first of all, non-verbal multimedis texts.' International Review of the Sociology and Aesthetics of Music 'This is an interesting book that "attacks" a difficult and important problem - the intractability of which is likely to increase significantly in coming years as we all face the mounting issues of retrieving our personal collections of static images, cuttings, multimedia creations, DVDs and sound recordings.' The Electronic Library Vol 24 No4 2006
Contents: Information, retrieval, discourse and communication; An overview of information retrieval (IR); Multimedia information retrieval (MMIR); Using semiotics to analyze multimedia objects; Using multimedia indexing tools; Research issues; Bibliography; Index.