Key Word in Context - KWIC - aghsoftech.com

KWIC is an acronym for Key Word In Context, the most common format for concordance lines.

The term KWIC was first coined by Hans Peter Luhn. The system was based on a concept called keyword in titles which was first proposed for Manchester libraries in 1864 by Andrea Crestadoro.

A concordancer is a computer program that automatically constructs a concordance. The output of a concordancer may serve as input to a translation memory system for computer-assisted translation, or as an early step in machine translation.

A KWIC index is formed by sorting and aligning the words within an article title to allow each word (except the stop words) in titles to be searchable alphabetically in the index. It was a useful indexing method for technical manuals before computerized full text search became common.

For example, a search query including all of the words in the title statement of this article ("KWIC is an acronym for Key Word In Context, the most common format for concordance lines") and the Wikipedia slogan in English ("the free encyclopedia"), searched against this very web page, might yield a KWIC index as follows. A KWIC index usually uses a wide layout to allow the display of maximum 'in context' information (not shown in the following example).

KWIC is an

acronym for Key Word In Context, ...

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... Key Word In Context, the most

common format for concordance lines.

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... the most common format for

concordance lines.

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... is an acronym for Key Word In

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Wikipedia, The Free

Encyclopedia

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... In Context, the most common

format for concordance lines.

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Wikipedia, The

Free Encyclopedia

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KWIC is an acronym for

Key Word In Context, the most ...

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KWIC is an acronym for Key Word ...

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... common format for concordance

lines.

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... for Key Word In Context, the

most common format for concordance ...

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Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia

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KWIC is an acronym for Key

Word In Context, the most common ...

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A KWIC index is a special case of a permuted index. This term refers to the fact that it indexes all cyclic permutations of the headings. Books composed of many short sections with their own descriptive headings, most notably collections of manual pages, often ended with a permuted index section, allowing the reader to easily find a section by any word from its heading. This practice, also known as KWOC (“Key Word Out of Context”), is no longer common.

Often, you wish to determine the context in which a given term is used. In this case, you can create and print a so-called KWIC (KeyWord In Context) listing. The procedure is as follows:

  • Perform a lexical search by keyword.
  • In the results window, click the Autocode search results with new code symbol and set the range, for example 10 words before and 10 words after.
  • After the autocoding is complete, double-click the newly created code in the “Code System”.

In the next step, you have several options:

  • Either you can generate and print the output data in XLS/X, HTML or RTF format by clicking the Export icon in the toolbar, or
  • Create a new code in the “Code System,” transfer it to the quick list, and autocode the search results with this code.

The second method is more flexible, since you can then load the KWIC list into the “Retrieved Segments” window, check the list, and remove any undesired segments (by right-clicking on the information box on the left of the segment and selecting Delete from the context menu).

The final result, the corrected KWIC list, can be printed by selecting the menu option Print > Retrieved Segments from the Project drop-down menu. It is also possible to export or copy the KWIC list to the clipboard. A table view is also available. To view the results as a table, double-click on the newly inserted code, whereupon MAXQDA will open the overview of coded segments. This can be exported as an Excel or HTML table or in RTF format.

The KWIC list has the following structure: each hit starts with the source data (document group, document name, and the paragraph number containing the hit). The next line indicates the search word or search string that has been found in that paragraph. Finally the text segment itself is listed.

 

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