Subject analysis is the most challenging part in cataloguing or metadata creation. Let us see how difficult it is.
Subject analysis normally include the process of determine 1) the subject matter of the information package and 2) determine the appropriate terms to describe the subject matters from the controlled vocabulary lists.
What are the problems in process 1:
We have to find out from the information packages:
1. What is it?
2. What is it for?
3. What is it about?
To answer question 1, we have to find out the fundamental form (the categories) of the knowledge (e.g. sociology) of the information package. To answer question 2, we have to find out the motivation of creation of the information packages: for who, for what purpose? To answer the question 3, we have to find out the topics being discussed. Topics are everyday has a social and time factor.
[Source: Subject Analysis. Chapter 9 in The Organization of Information by Arlene G. Taylor. 2nd ed.]