An index term, as noted in information retrieval theory, is a short word, term, topic label, or designation, in data retrieval. The index terms of an index are those terms that are needed for a topic search. Subject terms make up a more controlled vocabulary for application in bibliometric data retrieval. In this sense, it is the subjects that should be included in the index rather than the keywords. This article briefly discusses the use and definition of various index terms.

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