A thesaurus is a tool that supports the classification and management of records, usually at the file level. In a keyword thesaurus:
- keywords describe broad business functions
- activity descriptors describe business activities
- subject descriptors describe subjects or topics that connect related business transactions.
The keywords and descriptors are authorised terms. These authorised terms can be supplemented by some free text, such as the name of an organisation, an individual or a project. The terms are arranged hierarchically from the broadest to the most specific concept: keyword – activity descriptor – subject descriptors and/or free text.
While commonly associated with registry or file based systems, keyword thesauri can be used for records in any format and in any technological environment.
More information on the nature and purpose of keyword thesauri is available in Developing and implementing a keyword thesaurus.