|7.1 The Indexes
Each citation may contain one or more entries in any
or each of the following indexes:
- Category Code
- Title Words
The indexes may be searched singly (simple query) or
in combination (compound query), as explained in Section
7.2 Notes on Compilation Practice:
The compilation of LI has required constant minor
decisions as to what indexing conventions to use, in
order to try and maintain consistency across the
database. For example, it might seem obvious that an
item on heroism should have that word as a
Keyword index entry - but the next item in this topic
area might be about bravery, and the user might
in any case be trying to locate material by searching on
courage or gallantry. Such problems of
judgement, which reflect an unavoidable subjectivity in
a field where ambiguities and overlaps abound, can be
found at many points in LI, and the purpose of this
section is to inform the user how some of them have been
approached with respect to each index.
The general practice in writing summary text or
comment has been to use English spelling. However, when
quotations have been taken from US sources, they have
been left with US spellings intact, as written.
Quotations from foreign-language sources have nearly
always been translated.
7.3 Author Index:
Entries comprise last name and initials separated by
a single space. Initials are given exactly as indicated
by the first name(s) as published, thus ‘Bill
Sweetman’ is indexed as ‘SWEETMAN B’, and ‘Tony
Preston’ as ‘PRESTON T’. LI has been designed for
an international user base, and not everyone might know
that ‘Tony’ was a diminutive of ‘Anthony’.
Indeed, it might not be a diminutive at all, but the
actual given name.
Apologies are due to authors whose family and given
names have been transposed, but it is not always easy to
determine the correct order - sometimes an article is
published as signed by ‘Singh Bilveer’, sometimes by
‘Bilveer Singh’. Maybe they are different people.
Authors whose names have been incorrectly entered are
invited to email LI at email@example.com
so that errors can be corrected.
Author index entries can also include the names of
individuals whose work constitutes the principal subject
under discussion (as in a review article), or who have
joined in a debate over a particular item, usually in
the correspondence columns of the source publication
The phrase ‘as published’ underlined at the start
of this sub-section is important. For example, it means
that items by Christopher Donnelly will be indexed under
‘Donnelly C’, and that a search on this index value
may thus yield material by Gen Charles Donnelly USAF. It
also means that an article signed by Mr Donnelly as ‘Christopher
N Donnelly’ will be indexed under ‘Donnelly CN’,
and would not be found by a search on ‘Donnelly C’,
unless you used the ‘Starting with’ (stem-searching)
comparison operator already discussed.
Note: this example illustrates an important
principle in using the LI search engine efficiently - never
be unnecessarily specific. In this case, it is more
efficient to search loosely on ‘Donnelly C’ (using
the stem-search facility) and accept the risk of
collecting material by other writers having that name
and initial, and which may not be germane to your
enquiry, than to search tightly on ‘Donnelly CN’ and
miss a useful article which he chose to sign without
using his middle initial.
7.4 The Category Codes Index:
Each citation has one or more category code values to
indicate its subject matter, and will often have more
than one. Each value is indexed in the Category Codes
index, which is used to retrieve records by subject
category. A citation can have as many category code
index values as may be appropriate to the contents of
the full-text original document. No “either/or” rule
is applied - if an item could be indexed under either of
two categories, it gets indexed under both.
The Category Codes Index has a tree
structure, with sub-categories and sub-sub-categories.
Only the lowest-level category codes are used as index
values in citations. Thus, for example, there is no
record in the database with the category index value “A5”
(arms control) - all arms control material will carry
one or more of the lowest-level sub-categories, i.e.
A5.1 (inventory levels), A5.2 (verification and
compliance) or A5.3 (counter-proliferation). If you need
to retrieve any A5 material irrespective of
sub-category, you will need to use the “starting with”
stem-searching facility already described in Section 2
“Searching the Database”.
Category codes are the primary tool in searching the
database for relevant material. Once you become familiar
with LI, you will be able to recognize category codes
(and hence the subject scope of a specific record) at a
glance. Until that stage of familiarity is reached,
however, the codes will naturally be obscure, and you
will find it necessary to consult the Category Codes
Index listings provided in Appendix 2 below. The
listings are in two parts - in order of category code,
and order of descriptive text.
The category code structure is the most powerful tool
in the search engine for exploiting the LI database, and
information professionals will find that a few minutes
spent on studying it, so as to understand “what has
been placed where”, will be repaid an hundred-fold in
terms of research productivity gained through improved
7.5 The Keyword Index:
LI maintains an index of words or phrases, which can
be used to locate material according to topic. It is
more narrowly focused than the Category Codes Index,
which deals with general subject areas. For example, an
item might carry the category code value “J13.1”
(fixed wing aircraft) and the keyword value “F-16”.
This variability of focus is useful in designing a
query to obtain a desired degree of search precision.
For example, a search on “Geographical Index equal
to ‘TAIWAN’ and Category Codes Index equal
to ‘J13.1’” yields a general view of that
country’s fixed-wing combat aircraft inventory, while
“Geographical Index equal to ‘TAIWAN’ and
Keywords Index equal to “F-16” yield a more
specific view of particular aircraft type.
The Keywords Index is used for most proper names
other than those of countries/regions (for which the
Geographical Index is used) and of organizations (for
which the Organization Index is used). It is also used
to cover historical events and personages, as well as
topics. Operations, battles and exercises are given by
their names alone - e.g. DESERT STORM, DIEN BIEN PHU,
ROVING SANDS. There is fertile ground for
inconsistencies, some of which have defeated resolution.
Should Dien Bien Phu, being a place, not be in the
Geographical index? Or should material on the Manchurian
campaign be indexed in the Geographical index under
MANCHURIA? When in doubt, search both, or use the Global
In respect of the Keywords Index, two further aspects
of compilation practice should be noted.
- Whenever a keyword phrase is commonly referred to
by an acronym, it is likely that the acronym that
has been indexed; thus ‘RMA’ has been used in
preference to ‘REVOLUTION IN MILITARY AFFAIRS’.
On the other hand, ‘CLOSE AIR SUPPORT’ has been
used in preference to ‘CAS’. No consistent rule
has appeared to be sensible under all circumstances,
however. While every effort is made during LI’s
compilation to stick to a particular choice, it has
proved impossible to devise a universal criterion
for choosing whether to index the acronym or the
full expression. If the user cannot find an acronym
in the Keyword Index, the unabbreviated search term
should thus be checked as well.
- As a general rule, the singular has been preferred
to the plural, e.g. ‘MILITARY BASE’. There are
exceptions, whenever the topic is naturally
expressed by the plural word, e.g. ‘WOMEN’, ‘KURDS’,
HUMAN RIGHTS’ or ‘CIVIL-MILITARY RELATIONS’.
7.6 The Geographical Index:
This is used to locate material by specific country
or area; it does not go down to district or city level,
so that places such as CHINA LAKE or NURRUNGAR are
indexed using the Keywords Index. Again, there will be
grey areas - is DIEGO GARCIA a military base (keyword)
or an island (geographical)? In such cases, the safest
solution is to search both indexes, or use the Global
Post-partition Korean material is indexed on either
‘KOREA N’ or ‘KOREA S’ (or both), and ‘PACIFIC’
has a variety of suffixes. ‘GERMANY’ is used only
for the country pre-1946 -- otherwise ‘FRG’ (or,
before 1989, ‘GDR’) has been used; likewise, ‘RUSSIA’
has been used for the pre- and post-Soviet state. Partly
as a consequence of the construction of this Index
having started in 1983, there are relatively few
geographical index entries for ‘USA’ or ‘USSR’,
as almost 90% of the literature at that time would have
required one or other of them. Instead, the regional
suffix ‘.02’ (North America) and ‘.09’ (Eastern
Europe & Eurasia) have been taken as sufficient,
with “USA” and “USSR” only provided where
regional suffixes are absent.
7.7 The Organization Index:
This index identifies material relating to specific
organizations, such as a particular agency or
manufacturing company, e.g. ‘CIA’, ‘DERA’ or ‘BOEING’.
7.8 Source/Year Index:
This index enables you to retrieve material from a
particular source publication and, if desired, from a
particular year of publication. The values in this index
consist of a source publication search code
separated by a single space from the year of
publication, e.g. ‘MCG 1993’ or ‘BAR 1995’.
As you become familiar with LI, you will increasingly
be able to remember the search codes that you need. With
many of them the search code is obvious enough, e.g. MCG
for the Marine Corps Gazette, or BAR for the British
Army Review. Some are not so obvious however
(particularly where two journals compete for the same
initials, such as Strategic Analysis and Scientific
American, or Adelphi Papers and Asian
Perspective). In such cases, you should consult the
relevant data page in the Archive, where the search code
for each source publication is specified.
Example: Suppose you wish to search for material
in the US Army War College journal Parameters,
but do not know the search code used by LI for this
publication. Click on Archive/P/Parameters, and you will
see that it is ‘PARMS’.
Please note that the all the values in this index
comprise the search code followed by the year of
publication, and that a search on “Source/Year exactly
matching ‘PARMS’” by itself would thus yield a
If you want any material from a journal
source, irrespective of year of publication (for
example, in finding material on leadership in the Marine
Corps Gazette), then you need to use the stem-searching
technique already described, by choosing the “Starting
with” comparison operator.
Note: when using the ‘Starting with’ option to
retrieve material from a particular journal, type a
space after the Search Code before clicking on ‘Add’
- otherwise, for example, a search on “Source/Year
starting with ‘SC’” (Strategic Comments) might
include material from SCIAM (Scientific American); in
this case, the correct search term should be “Starting
7.9 Title Words Index:
This index is used to retrieve citations where the
specified word exists in the document title.
7.10 Global Index:
This indexes individual words not only all in the
fields covered by the specialist indexes already
discussed, but also the text of all abstracts.
You may reasonably ask, why use the specialist
indexes at all, if the Global Index indexes everything?
There are two points to bear in mind here:
- The advantage of comprehensiveness is sometimes
negated by the disadvantage of over-inclusion. For
example, if you are trying to locate material on the
importance of an understanding of geography in
military and strategic analysis, a search on “geography”
in the Global Index will retrieve over 150 items
where the author is identified as belonging to the
department of geography of some university or other.
In this case, it is far more efficient to use the
Keywords index to retrieve the 15 or more items
which specifically address the science of geography
as a military topic.
- The global index only indexes individual words,
whereas the specialist indexes index whole phrases.
Thus a search for material on “war powers” in
the Global Index might return a mass of material
dealing with the risks of war between regional or
global powers, whereas a search of the Keywords
Index will retrieve material dealing with the US
constitutional issues raised by the War Powers Act.
7.11 Examples of Index Combinations in Compound
LI’s index structure allows you to search the
database with a variable degree of precision, ranging
from a general trawl through broadly-defined topics to a
search for quite specific combinations of index values.
The following examples may help illustrate the
immense range of possibilities for defining your own
views of the database through appropriate index
combination. The best way to achieve easy mastery of the
Search Engine is to practice constructing and executing
these searches, along with others of your own invention.
- “French intelligence in the inter-war period”
(Category Code equal to P4.1 and
Category Code starting with D and
Geographical equal to FRANCE)
- “Terrorism and the media” (Category Code equal
to A7.1 and Category Code equal to
- “Swiss defence policy” (Category Code equal
to A2.01 and Geographical equal to
- “Marine Corps Gazette material on leadership”
(Source/Year starting with MCG and
Category Code equal to G2)
- “Anything on North Korean nuclear policy by
Albright” (Author starting with Albright and
Category Code equal to A6.1 and
Geographical equal to KOREA N)
- “Iraqi missile technology” (Category Code starting
with J01 and Geographical equal to
- “Anything by Ralph Peters on the RMA” (Author starting
with Peters R and Keywords equal to
The combinatorial possibilities are limited only by
your knowledge and imagination. The greater your
familiarity with the subject matter, the better your
ability to construct the search statements to retrieve
what you need.
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