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  4. Overview of setting up and using subject hierarchies
  1. Home
  2. Library Admin General
  3. Overview of setting up and using subject hierarchies
  1. Home
  2. Catalogue
  3. Overview of setting up and using subject hierarchies
  1. Home
  2. Configuration
  3. Overview of setting up and using subject hierarchies

Overview of setting up and using subject hierarchies


This help topic provides an overview of subject hierarchies; how to set up and maintain them. In KnowAll Matrix, it’s possible to view your subjects in a collapsible/expandable tree view, which makes visualising and arranging heirarchies much more intuitive.

Adding and maintaining hierarchies

  • For an overview on adding and editing subjects generally, please see the relevant help topic.
  • While a subject can only be assigned one immediate parent, it’s possible for that parent to be assigned its own parent, and so on. Additionally, you can assign multiple different subjects the same parent. This way, it’s possible to create a hierarchical tree (or taxonomy) of subjects within the system.
  • When creating hierarchies, it’s easier to use the hierarchical view of subjects. Go to Library Admin > Catalogue > Authority Lists > Subject Hierarchical to open the Subjects (Hierarchical) screen, as below.
Subjects (Hierarchical)
  • This screen loads with a list of all your top-level subjects. Subjects that have children have a small arrow to the left of them. Click this to view the child subjects.
    • The number of titles that have been assigned to a subject is displayed in a blue circle next to the subject. Click on this number to see a list of the titles that have been assigned this subject.
  • To add a new subject, click Add New. If you’ve clicked on a subject, this will create a child subject immediately below it; if not, it will create a top-level subject.
    • To add a top-level subject again after adding child subjects, scroll to the top of the list and click on —Subjects— to reset.
  • The new subject will appear in the hierarchy (as below). Simply type the name of your subject. Your changes are saved automatically.
Adding new subject in hierarchy
  • To edit a subject, highlight it and click the Edit button. This opens the Edit Subject window, as below.
Edit Subject Hierarchy
  • Type in the Subject field to rename the subject, or click Add New Child to add additional child subjects. Click Save Changes when finished.
  • Note that subjects can be moved around in the hierarchy by dragging and dropping on the Subjects (Hierarchical) screen, as shown below. Hold down the left mouse button in the middle of the word, then drag.
  • In the above example, ‘Balaur’ is being moved to a different parent subject. Release the mouse button to complete the move. The below prompt will appear.
Subject move prompt
  • Click Confirm if you are certain about this change in taxonomy.

When adding subjects to titles

  • Please see the relevant help topic on how to add subjects.
  • Note that, when searching for a subject to add, close matches will be displayed along with children of those matches, as shown below. Take care when subjects have similar (or even the same) names, but appear in different places in the hierarchy.
Adding subject to title
  • To avoid any ambiguity, click the Click here link next to Prefer to use the Hierarchical tool? to view the full hierarchical tree, as shown below. Click on a subject to select it.
Adding subject to title, showing hierarchical tree
  • Once the subject has been added, the full hierarchy will be displayed in the Subjects tab, as below.
Subjects tab showing hierarchy

When browsing and searching the OPAC

  • To browse by subject, click on the Browse menu, then click By Subject to open the Browse By Subject search screen, as below.
Browse By Subject screen
  • The subject hierarchy is displayed on the left hand side of the screen. You may browse the hierarchy here and click on a subject to display all the titles that have been assigned it. Alternatively, type a search term in the box and click the search button (magnifier) to narrow down the list (as in the example below).
Browse By Subject screen with result
  • The subject hierarchy may also be displayed in OPAC search results. To enable this, open the Configuration menu, then click Searching, then Search Options. Scroll down until you see the Subjects/keywords display parents (Hierarchy) parameter (as below).
OPAC subject display parameters
  • Place a tick in the box, and click Save Changes.
    • Note that you may also have your subjects displayed as a hierarchical tree. Select ‘Hierarchy i.e. tree-view’ from the Book details subjects/keywords display format drop-down menu (also shown above).
  • Now, when viewing search results, the full subject hierarchy will be displayed where titles have been assigned subjects (as below) – and if the Subjects field has been enabled (please see the help topic on configuring this).
Updated on February 25, 2020

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