Functions of SCIS Subject Headings
The purpose of
SCIS Subject Headings is to provide a controlled language approach suitable for subject access to the library catalogue for primary and secondary school students. In order to achieve this aim, SCIS Subject Headings
fulfils three basic criteria:
1. it is suitable for use by school students and staff in primary and secondary schools
2. it uses Australasian terminology which reflects changes in curriculum
3. it represents new and established ideas and concepts.
SCIS Subject Headings
is made up of three main elements:
1. an alphabetical listing of allowed and non-allowed headings
2. cross-references from non-allowed to allowed headings and between allowed headings
3. a set of prescriptive guidelines for the construction of other headings not in the list.

Part 1.1: Functions of SCIS subject headings, p. 1 is indicating both the traditional role SCISSHL has as a controlled vocabulary approach to subject access for schools as well as its potential in both the wider library world and the online environment.Part 2: Principles of SCIS heading construction, pp. 2-7.
This section overviews the controlled language approach devised and applied by SCIS. Consider these policies and principles in the context of the broad controlled language approach outlined by Harvey in chapter 14 of your text. It is important that you:
a. gain an understanding of these principles and policies;
b. observe how headings are created in the context of the educational community they are designed to serve; and
c. note that these decisions are not immutable but are changed where change is seen as desirable, e.g. Use of compound headings.

Part 2.4: Revising SCIS subject headings (pp. 6-7), discusses the ongoing revision process used to maintain and enhance the currency and relevance of headings and of the structures within the list. Note the role that you are encouraged to play in this process.Part 3.1: Entries in the list, pp. 7-8. This section outlines the three types of entries found in SCIS Subject Headings Online (SCISSHL). It is important to be aware of their differences when using SCISSHL.

In SCISSHL (SCIS Subject Headings Online) locate the term ‘Animals’. This is an example of an allowed term (or subject heading). Briefly examine the range of notes and directions given under the heading.

Download above file to see the search result.
Next locate ‘A.B.C.’ which is an example of a non allowed term. Note the USE direction which sends you to the allowed term.Download above file to see the search result.
Then locate ‘Moral and ethical aspects’ as an example of a term which can only be used as a subdivision of an approved term.
Download above file to see the search result.

Using SCISSHL examine the following terms and determine which are allowed terms and which are non-allowed terms and which can only be used as subdivisions.

a. A.L.I.A.

b. Abbeys

c. Abduction

d. Abominable snowman

e. Aboriginal children

f. Audiovisual aids

g. Analysis.

Use scope notes at headings to assist you in determining the subject heading for each of these topics.
a. Animated films featuring animals

It seems that it is important tho also use common sense. In the first search I stuck to the exact terms but in the second search I put what I thought the subject should be and this came up with exactly what I was looking for with a note.

b. Handwriting as an expression of the writer’s character

(exact terms)
Just choosing one word and checking out what comes up is the answer. This one had me a little cranky and I had to check out the answers.

c. Native plants of Australia

d. Teacher education

e. Designing gardens

f. A collection of myths and legends

at first I did myths and legends and nothing came up so I did myth and the note says to do folklore
g. Films made by children.

Exercise 5

Which term in each of the following groups of terms is the allowed term chosen to represent that concept. Use the guidance given at the non-allowed terms to take you to the allowed term. The allowed term is confirmed by its bold type face and by the non-allowed terms being listed at ‘used for’ under the subject heading.

German measles
Motor cars
Soya beans

Penal institutions


Exercise 6

Use Broader Terms, Narrower Terms and Related Terms to guide you in determining which of the subject headings from the following groups you would assign to a work on the set topics.

Topic: Needlework

Subject headings:
Needlework(Needle point)
Topic: Children's diseases
Subject headings:
Children - Care and health(BT)

Children - Diseases(Infants- Diseases)

Children's hospitals(RT)

Terminally ill children(NT)
Topic: Sea shanties USE (SHANTIES or CHANTIES)
Subject headings:
Sea poetry (BT)

Sea songs (USE)
Topic: The process of banning books and films (CENSORSHIP USE)
Subject headings:
Freedom of information(RT for censorship)


Censorship (USE)

Libraries and censorship.

Side project
Clockwork Ornage
DET catalogue entry

Opac entry

Exercise 7

Assign subject headings to the following works of fiction:
A science fiction novel about time travel. SCIENCE FICTION (GENRE HEADING)
Time travel -Fiction (them heading)
A fictional picture book about American Indians and cattle ranchers set in western USA in the 19th century. WESTERN FICTION (GENRE FICTION) American Indian Fiction (theme)
Cattle Stations Fiction (theme)
A murder mystery written in French. CRIME (GENRE) MYSTERY (GENRE) French Text
A wordless picture book about Christmas which was awarded the Kid’s Own Australian Literature Award.
Wordless text
Christmas Fiction

Kid’s Own Australian Literature Award. (KOLA)
A novel on the theme of bullying. There is a factual section on bullying at the end of the story.
Bullying Fiction

Exercise 8
Name headings for the following topics do not exist in SCISSHL but can be found by doing a Headings/Subject search on SCIS OPAC. Use SCIS OPAC to determine the subject heading which has been created by a SCIS cataloguer for each of the following topics.

The tiger snake
Subject Headings:
Tiger snakes. scisshl

Wildlife conservation. scisshl

Snakes. scot

Wildlife conservation. scot

The human kidneys
The ‘Titanic’
Titanic (Ship)
The band, Red Hot Chili Peppers
Red Hot Chili Peppers (Band)
The Powerhouse Museum in Sydney.

Powerhouse Museum (N.S.W.)

Exercise 9
Find and apply the specific example notes in SCISSHL which enable you to create subject headings for the following topics. There were no subject headings for these topics on the SCIS database at the time of writing.

The town of Nevertire in Western New South Wales

New South Wales

Indexing NoteMay be subdivided like Victoria except for the period subdivisions of history.
Specific Example NoteSee also names of cities*, towns* and regions* of N.S.W., e.g. Sydney (N.S.W.); Hunter Valley (N.S.W.).
Used ForN.S.W.NSW
Broader TermAustralia

New search
Squash (the vegetable)


Example headingExample under Food
Specific Example NoteSee also names of vegetables*, e.g. Potatoes.
Broader TermBotany
Narrower TermVegetarianism
Related TermVegetable gardening
The television program ‘Daria’.

Television programs

Specific Example NoteSee also names of specific television programs*, e.g. Sesame Street (Television program).
Used ForPrograms, Television
Broader TermTelevision broadcasting
Narrower TermTelevision documentariesTelevision playsTelevision serials
Related TermTelevision scripts

Exercise 10
Give the appropriate subject headings for works on the following topics.

A Malaysian cook book


Indexing NoteSee also headings beginning with Cookery.
Scope NoteUse for general works on the preparation of food, whether heat is used or not, and for recipe books not restricted by national group.
Specific Example NoteThe adjectival form for a national* or ethnic* group/style may be added as needed, e.g. Cookery, French. For cookery with specific ingredients use phrase headings in the form Cookery with [subject], e.g. Cookery with fruit.
The literature of Indonesia
Indonesian literature (OPAC)

Zulu art
Art, Zulu (OPAC)

Chinese music
Music, Chinese (OPAC)

Exercise 11
Give the appropriate phrase headings for works on the following topics

Italians in Australia

talians in Australia (OPAC)
Taking photographs of birds
Photography of birds (OPAC)
The women of New Zealand.

Women in New Zealand (OPAC)

Exercise 12
What headings would you assign to works on the following topics?

Hunting methods used by Aboriginal peoples
Aboriginal peoples - Hunting. scisshl
Educating Aboriginal children
Aboriginal peoples- Education
Aboriginal place names.
Aboriginal peoples - place names
Note that not all headings relating to Aboriginal peoples are in this form, e.g. ‘Aboriginal peoples - Art’ is a non-allowed term, the heading being ‘Art, Aboriginal’.

Exercise 13
Identify the number of subdivided headings for each of the following headings in SCISSHL.

Private schools NONE
Science SIX
Science - Exhibitions
//Science - Expeditions//
Science - Experiments
Science - Laboratory manuals
Science - Research
Science - Social aspects
Mongolia.NONE (BUT)


Indexing NoteMay be subdivided like Australia except for the period subdivisions of history.
Used ForOuter Mongolia
Broader TermAsia
Note that subdivisions are always preceded by a long dash. Some terms existing as subdivisions in SCISSHL are also there as headings in their own right. Examine, as an example, the heading ‘Diseases’. The note at this heading indicates that it can be used also as a subheading to create subdivided headings such as ‘Blood-Diseases’.


Specific Example NoteSee also subjects with the subdivision Diseases, e.g. Aged - Diseases; Blood - Diseases. See also names of specific diseases*, e.g. Cancer; Chickenpox; HIV/AIDS; Spina bifida.
Broader TermMedicine
Narrower TermAnimal-human relationshipsAnimals - DiseasesAnorexia nervosaCandidiasisCerebral palsyChildren - Diseases)

It is important to recognise that the only headings in SCISSHL which can be used as subdivisions are those where there is a note allowing this usage. For example, the subdivided heading ‘Earth-Atmosphere’ cannot be created as there is no note at ‘Atmosphere’ allowing it to be used as a subdivision.


Scope NoteUse for works on the body of air surrounding the Earth. Works dealing with air as an element and its chemical and physical properties are entered under Air.
Used ForAtmosphere, Upper
Broader TermEarthEarth sciencesWeather)

Note also that some terms only exist as subdivisions, they cannot be used as headings. See, for example, the terms ‘Policy’,


Specific Example NoteUse subjects with the subdivision Policy, e.g. School discipline - Policy.)
‘Safety measures’

Safety measures

Specific Example NoteUse subjects with the subdivision Safety measures, e.g. Timber industry - Safety measures; Beaches - Safety measures; Aeronautics - Safety measures.
UseAccident preventionIndustrial health and safety)
and ‘Rules’


Specific Example NoteUse subjects with the subdivision Rules, e.g. Sports - Rules.)
Exercise 14
Using the heading ‘Bushrangers’, the list of standard subdivisions on p.19 in Guidelines, plus notes given at the entries for these subdivisions in SCISSHL determine appropriate headings for the following topics. Note that some of these headings may already exist on the SCIS database.

A novel about bushranger
Bushrangers - Fiction
Folktales about bushrangers
Bushrangers - Folktales
An encyclopaedia of bushrangers
Bushrangers - Encyclopaedias
A set of maps showing where bushrangers roamed
Bushrangers - Maps
A collection of jokes about bushrangers.
Bushrangers - Humor
Restricted subdivisions are similar in nature to standard subdivisions, except that they can only be added to certain headings, or certain categories of heading.

Some restricted subdivisions are very restricted in their use. Note for example the restricted subdivision ‘Diseases’ on p. 21 in Guidelines. The specific example note under 'Diseases' in SCISSHL directs that ‘Diseases’ can only be given as a subdivision for headings where it is already listed as a subdivision, e.g. ‘Heart-Diseases’, ‘Blood-Diseases’ and ‘Children-Diseases’. Thus if a heading does not already have the subdivision ‘Diseases’ it cannot be added. For example you cannot devise the heading ‘Adults-Diseases’ as this subdivided heading is not given in SCISSHL.

Other restricted subdivisions are less restrictive in their use. Take the restricted subdivision ‘Diseases and pests’. The note at the non-allowed term ‘Diseases and pests’ in SCISSHL directs that this term can be used as a subdivision for names of plants and crops given in SCISSHL and those created by cataloguers, e.g. ‘Fruit – Diseases and pests’ and ‘Bananas - Diseases and pests’.

Before adding a standard or restricted subdivision to a heading in order to devise a subdivided heading which is not already in SCISSHL, check that:
the subdivided heading you want has not already been devised by a SCIS cataloguer. If so it is on the SCIS database;
you would not be creating a heading which is the equivalent of an existing SCIS subject heading. For example, you should not create the heading ‘Children-Psychology’ - as ‘Child psychology’ is the existing SCIS subject heading for that concept;
you are strictly following the directions in SCISSHL and are not creating headings that aren’t allowed. For example the headings ‘Cancer-Diseases’ and ‘Australia-Diseases and pests’ cannot be created.
Exercise 15
Using the list of restricted subdivisions, and the notes given at their entries in SCISSHL, determine appropriate headings for the following topics.

Career prospects in Information Technology
Information Technology - Careers
Aboriginal education
Aboriginal peoples - Education
Reviews of children’s books
Children’s literature - Reviews
Exercise 16
Assign/devise subject headings for the following topics:

Hunting in British Colombia (A province of Canada)
Hunting - Canada
Communism in Japan
Communism - Japan
School libraries in Australia.
School libraries
Exercise 17
Assign/devise subject headings for the following topics:

A history of the West Indies focussing on the 18th century.

Economic conditions in Queensland in the 21st century.

Social conditions in the United States of America in the 1950s and 1960s

Unitied States - Social Conditions - 1950-1960
Exercise 18
Using the list of model headings on pp. 24-25 in the Guidelines, the subdivisions at these 11 headings in SCISSHL, plus the notes at these headings relating to their use as model headings, devise subject headings for the following topics.

Diseases affecting elephants.

A history of Broken Hill in New South Wales.

The climate of Papua New Guinea.

Papa New Guinea - Climate
A critical analysis of the poetry of John Donne.

Done, John -

Criticism, interpretation, etc.

A bibliography of Australian literature.

Australian literature - bibliography
Exercise 19
Check to see if the following headings exist or can be devised.

Japan - History - 1868-1912, Meiji period

Geology - Maps - Standards
Military science - Terminology – Dictionaries

Exercise 20
Assign the pertinent subject headings for works on the following topics.

A street directory covering the cities of Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong in New South Wales.

Sydney (N.S.W.) – Maps
Newcastle (N.S.W.) – Maps
Wollongong (N.S.W.) – Maps
Road maps

Road maps

Example headingExample under Maps
Specific Example NoteSee also the subdivision Maps under names of regions*, countries*, cities*, e.g. Melbourne (Vic.) - Maps.
Used ForDirectories, StreetRoads - DirectoriesRoads - MapsStreet mapsStreets - Maps
Broader TermAtlases
Narrower TermAustralia - MapsMelbourne (Vic.) - MapsVictoria - Maps

A street directory covering all the cities and major towns in New South Wales.

New South Wales – Maps
Road maps

100 experiments exploring and explaining key concepts in Science and Technology
Science – Experiments
Technology – Experiments

Science - Experiments

Example headingExample under Experiments
Used ForExperiments, ScientificScientific experiments
Narrower TermAstronomical instrumentsBotany - ExperimentsChemistry - ExperimentsScience laboratories

The early European explorers of inland Australia.

Explorers, European
Australia – Discovery and exploration
A novel which explores the themes of friendships, jealousy and honesty. The novel is set in Australia in the 1990s and won the Young Australians’ Best Book Award.

Friendship – Fiction
Jealousy – Fiction
Honesty – Fiction
Australian stories

Young Australians’ Best Book Award.
How animals and plants survive in Australia’s grasslands and wetlands (grasslands and wetlands are treated separately).

Grassland ecology
Wetland ecology
Animals – Australia
Plants – Australia

See the scope note and specific example note at the allowed term ‘Ecology’ in SCISSHL. ‘Grassland ecology’ is an allowed term in SCISSHL. ‘Wetland ecology’ is a devised heading on SCIS OPAC. ‘Animals’ and ‘Plants’ are allowed terms in SCISSHL which can be subdivided geographically. 4.3 and 4.4 in the Guidelines apply here.

Answers to all the exercises for this subject (what a bloody mind bend it is too)