Article first published online: 18 NOV 2010
Copyright © 2009 American Society for Information Science and Technology
Proceedings of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Volume 46, Issue 1, pages 1–5, 2009
How to Cite
Strotmann, A. (2009), Universal abstracting. Proc. Am. Soc. Info. Sci. Tech., 46: 1–5. doi: 10.1002/meet.2009.14504603102
- Issue published online: 18 NOV 2010
- Article first published online: 18 NOV 2010
Abstracts are brief summaries of the content of a work, and they have long been used to improve international accessibility and/or dissemination, e.g., in the form of English abstracts for articles published in non-English languages.
Universal abstracts are similar in that they summarize the meaning of a work, but the indexer creates them in a special lingua franca that makes them available in any language, not just, say, English.
Universal abstracting is performed by an indexer using a piece of software that guides him or her in creating a language-independent summary of the abstracted work. The abstract is written in a stylized form of the indexer's own language; internally, a knowledge representation that combines multilingual controlled vocabularies with a universal grammar based on the Montague Semantics for natural language is created. This form enables high-quality automatic translation – the internal representation is universal and localizes to any language or mode of communication.