May 16, 2022

assignFAST: A New Protoype From OCLC Research, Autosuggest FAST Subject Headings

From OCLC Research:

aassignFAST [is] a new Web service that automates the manual selection of FAST [Faceted Application of Subject Terminology] subjects based on autosuggest technology.

Subject assignment is a two-phase task. The first phase is intellectual: reviewing the material and selecting the correct heading. The second phase is more mechanical: finding the correct form of the heading, along with any diacritics; cutting and pasting it into the cataloging interface; and potentially correcting formatting and subfield coding. If authority control is available in the interface, some of these tasks may be automated.

assignFAST consolidates the entire second phase of the manual process of subject assignment into a single step based on autosuggest technology. The service can easily be added to an existing browser based interface, providing both subject selection and authority control in a single step.

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FAST Project Page

The purpose of adapting the LCSH with a simplified syntax to create FAST is to retain the very rich vocabulary of LCSH while making the schema easier to understand, control, apply, and use. The schema maintains upward compatibility with LCSH, and any valid set of LC subject headings can be converted to FAST headings.

searchFAST Online Interface


mapFAST is a Google Maps mashup prototype designed to provide map based access to bibliographic records using FAST geographic authorities.

FAST Converter
“Convert LSCH Subject Headings to FAST Subject Headings”

FAST Linked Data
About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.