What is the difference between LCSH & FAST?
FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology) is a subject vocabulary derived from the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) for application to Web resources with a simplified syntax.
OCLC is developing FAST especially for application to web resources. The system is based on LCSH but is intended to be easier to apply. FAST vocabulary could be applied to resources by non-catalogers who are not familiar with LCSH subject strings. Resource discovery is still through a controlled vocabulary in FAST.
FAST is important today, because there is talk of using FAST for the cataloging of all materials in the near future.
FAST relationship to LCSH Characteristics of the FAST system The relationship of the new vocabulary to LCSH is the following:

LCSH strings are broken into separate headings by type of component: topical, geographic, chronological, and form.
Topical Facet:

The FAST topical headings cover what the material is “about.” If the topical headings have topical subdivisions, these subdivisions can be used in FAST, but only topical subdivisions follow a topic. In FAST, Topical for events, may be broken also into components Topical headings:

LCSH: 651 0 Mexico $x History $y European Intervention, 1861-1867

It would be broken three FAST headings

FAST: Topical : History $x European intervention Geographic: Mexico Chronological: 1861-1867

LCSH topical components that are not precoordinated will be congruent with FAST headings (e.g., Astronauts)
Geographic Facet:

The FAST geographic headings can also be subdivided but only by other geographic headings. The headings should cover the entire area of the item being described. Note that some geographic headings are part of the “aboutness” or topic of the item.

  • Geographic headings:
    • LCSH: 650 0 Naxi (Chinese people) $x Social conditions.
    • 650 0 Naxi (Chinese people) $x Social conditions.
    • 650 0 Naxi (Chinese people) $x Religion.
    • 651 0 China $x Ethnic relations
  • FAST: Topical : Naxi (Chinese people) $x Social conditions
    • Topical : Naxi (Chinese people) $x Social conditions
    • Topical : Naxi (Chinese people) $x Religion
    • Topical : Ethnic relations
    • Geographic: China

Geographic components would all be converted to indirect, generally under the smallest level in which they are fully contained that correspond to levels in the MARC Geographic Area Codes list. This list a cataloging tool maintained by MARC, Machine Readable Cataloging. The levels are usually the name of a country or state. Some geographics may not have corresponding authority records if they have not been used in bibliographic records in WorldCat.

  • Geographic headings:
    • LCSH: 651 0 King Ranch ( Tex.) $x Antiquities
  • FAST: Geographic: Texas $z King Ranch
    • Topical : Antiquities
    • Geographic headings: LCSH: 651 0 Kenwood ( Chicago, Ill.)
  • FAST: Geographic: Illinois $z Chicago $z Kenwood

Chronological Facet:

The FAST Chronological headings reflect the actual time period of coverage for the item being described.

  • Chronological headings:
  • LCSH: 650 0 War of the Mascates, Brazil , 1710-1714.
  • FAST: Topical : War of the Mascates
    • Geographic:Brazil
    • Chronological: 1710-1714

Chronological components would be converted to all numeric (e.g., 18 th century would become 1700-1799; 20th century would become 1900-1999).

  • LCSH: 651 0 Ghana $x History $y 20th century.
  • FAST: Chronological : 1900-1999
    • Geographic: Ghana
    • Topical: History

Form Facet:

The FAST form headings are used for form or genre headings. They generally apply to the whole item. Some FAST topical subdivisions may be converted to form headings

LCSH: 650 0 Short stories, American $v Translations into Chinese.

  • FAST: Topical : Short stories, American
  • Form: Translations into Chinese

Names Facets:

The FAST names headings are used if a person and /or corporate name represents the “aboutness” of the item or a significant portion is about the person or corporate body.

Name headings: LCSH: 600 0 Zhou, Zuomin, $ d 1822-1955 $x Family

  • FAST: Personal : Zhou, Zuomin, $ d 1822-1955
  • Topical: Family
  • LCSH: 610 0 United States. $ b Immigration and Naturalization Service $x Evaluation
  • FAST: Corporate: United States. $ b Immigration and Naturalization Service

Topical: Evaluation

Some other kinds of Differences between LCSH and FAST include:

  • “Politics and government” as a subdivision in LCSH is change to “Political science” in FAST
  • “Appropriations and expenditures” as a subdivision in LCSH is change to “Expenditures, Public ” in FAST
  • “Exhibitions” as a subdivision in LCSH is change to “Catalogs $v Exhibition catalogs” in FAST
  • “Columbia River Watershed” and Pacific Coast (U.S.) were translated to FAST with “ United States ” as the main geographic heading.
  • “Library” as a subdivision in LCSH is change to “Libraries” in FAST
  • “Study and teaching (Higher)” as a subdivision in LCSH is change to “Higher education” in FAST

Please note that The FAST project is still in its planning stage, OCLC and the ALCTS CCS committee are working on a FAST manual. So for they have established total 1,356,039 FAST authorities .

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