automatic indexing

(also computer-based indexing, machine indexing), n.The use of computers to enable concepts to be located within the material indexed.


Early automatic indexing was largely limited to extraction indexing, relying on specific terms in the text to represent concepts. With increasing sophistication, computers were able to perform assignment indexing, allowing users to search using concepts in a controlled vocabulary using words that may not appear in the text. Both forms of automatic indexing created ordered lists of concepts that could be browsed, with pointers to the place where those concepts would appear in the text. Full-text search engines, such as those that index the web, create links between terms or phrases and the documents but generally do not produce a browsable list of headings.