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Key words are becoming more useful as a means of locating bibliographic material. We expect their utility to increase as more persons use computers to store and retrieve information in data bases.
Previous ASTM Vertebrate Pest Control and Management Materials symposia proceedings have required the inclusion of key words; however, we have found that there is too much variability among these key words to enable them to be efficiently used. In the previous four symposia volumes, 104 articles used 469 different key words (_-X = 7.38 key words per article). Only 12 key words were used more than five times and 375 were used once. We found many examples of synonymous key words. When used in computer information systems, this lack of standardization makes retrieval difficult or less productive.
We propose guidelines for choosing key words. Further, we give a suggested list of key words for articles dealing with vertebrate pest control. Use of these guidelines should lend a greater uniformity to information storage and retrieval in this field by aiding authors, editors, persons searching the literature, and persons developing their own data bases.
vertebrate pest control, key words, data bases, index, computers, computer retrieval, guidelines, standards
Extension vertebrate pest specialistsuperintendent, University of NebraskaHopland Field Station, University of California, LincolnHopland, NECA
Extension wildlife specialist, Wildlife Extension, University of California, Davis, CA
Research assistantnatural resource specialist, Wildlife Extension, University of CaliforniaUniversity of California Cooperative Extension, Hopland Field Station, DavisHopland, CACA