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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

Automatic abstracting and indexing—survey and recommendations


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In preparation for the widespread use of automatic scanners which will read documents and transmit their contents to other machines for analysis, this report presents a new concept in automatic analysis: the relative-frequency approach to measuring the significance of words, word groups, and sentences. The relative-frequency approach is discussed in detail, as is its application to problems of automatic indexing and automatic abstracting. Included in the report is a summary of automatic analysis studies published as of the date of writing. Conclusions are drawn that point toward more sophisticated mathematical and linguistic techniques for the solution of problems of automatic analysis.

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