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KEYWORDS are linguistic atoms -- typically words, pieces of words or phrases -- used to characterize the subject or content of a document. They are pivotal because they must bridge the gap between the users' characterization of information need (i.e., their queries), and the characterization of the documents' topical focus against which these will be matched. We could therefore begin to describe them from either perspective - how they are used by users, or how they become associated with documents. We will begin with the former.


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