New and revised SCIS subject headings

By Renate Beilharz

SCIS Catalogue Content Manager Renate Beilharz provides easy-to-understand updates on the latest changes and additions to the SCIS subject headings list.

The following changes to SCIS Subject Headings List were approved by the SCIS Standards Committee November 2022 – October 2023.


  • BT – Broader term
  • NT – Narrower term
  • RT – Related term
  • UF – Used for
  • SN – Scope note
  • SEN – Special example note
  • In – Indexing note

New headings


  • SN Use for works about the action or pastime of dressing up as a specific character in costume, especially as a character from anime, manga or video games; performances involving people dressed in this way.
  • UF Costume play
  • BT Role playing
  • BT Popular culture
  • RT Characters and characteristics in literature
  • RT Characters and characteristics in films

Life change events

  • SN Use for works on discrete experiences that disrupt an individual’s usual activities, causing substantial change and readjustment, e.g. marriage, divorce, retirement.
  • UF Life events
  • UF Life changing events
  • NT Critical incidents
  • BT Developmental psychology
  • RT Change (Psychology)
  • RT Coming of age
  • RT Resilience (Psychology)
  • RT Stress (Biology)

Picture dictionaries

  • IN See also subdivision Picture dictionaries under other subjects for alphabetically or thematically arranged works, using pictures to illustrate the meaning of words related to a specific subject, e.g. Seasons – Picture dictionaries
  • SEN See also subdivision Picture dictionaries under the names of languages, e.g. French language – Picture dictionaries
  • SN Use for general works on Picture dictionaries
  • UF Pictorial dictionaries
  • UF Visual dictionaries
  • BT Dictionaries


  • SN Use for works about school-age or younger children sleeping over at another person’s home.
  • UF Sleep overs
  • UF Sleep-overs
  • UF Slumber parties
  • BT Sleep
  • RT Bedtime
  • RT Amusements
  • RT Children’s parties

Social and emotional learning

  • SN Use for works about the process of developing the self-awareness, selfcontrol and interpersonal skills that are vital for school, work and life success.
  • UF Emotional learning • UF SEL (Social and emotional learning)
  • UF Social learning
  • BT Learning, Psychology of
  • RT Emotional intelligence
  • RT Empathy
  • RT Life skills
  • RT Personal development
  • RT Resilience (Psychology)
  • RT Self-perception
  • RT Social skills


  • UF Personal wellbeing
  • UF Well being
  • UF Well-being
  • RT Happiness
  • RT Health
  • RT Positive psychology
  • RT Quality of life

New ‘see’ references

  • Afghanistan War, 2001-2021 see Afghan War, 2001-2021
  • Analytic phonics see Phonics
  • Analytical phonics see Phonics
  • Authors – Autobiography see Authors
  • Book dealers see Booksellers and book selling
  • Book sales see Booksellers and book selling
  • Book shops see Booksellers and book selling
  • Book stores see Booksellers and book selling
  • Bookshops see Booksellers and book selling
  • Bookstores see Booksellers and book selling
  • Costume play see Cosplay
  • Discovery and exploration see Exploration
  • Emotional learning see Social and emotional learning
  • Illustrators – Autobiography see Illustrators
  • Life events see Life change events
  • Life changing events see Life change events
  • Literature – Autobiography see Authors
  • Media literacy see Information literacy
  • Media literacy see Mass media
  • Pictorial dictionaries see Picture dictionaries
  • SEL (Social and emotional learning) see Social and emotional learning
  • Sleep overs see Sleepovers
  • Sleep-overs see Sleepovers
  • Slumber parties see Sleepovers
  • Social learning see Social and emotional learning
  • Synthetic phonics see Phonics
  • Visual dictionaries see Picture dictionaries
  • Well being see Wellbeing
  • Well-being see Wellbeing

Revised subject headings

Afghan War, 2001-2021

  • IN May subdiv. Like World War, 1939-1945
  • UF Afghanistan War, 2001-2021
  • BT Afghanistan – History – 21st century
  • BT Military history
  • BT War
  • RT War on terrorism, 2001-

Critical incidents

  • SEN See also specific critical incidents, e.g. Child abuse.
  • SN Use for materials dealing with sudden and unexpected life events which have the potential to cause lasting emotional damage to a person, e.g. death, job loss, natural disaster, etc. Include here materials about preparing ways of responding to and managing critical incidents, and materials dealing with physical/emotional reactions to critical incidents.
  • UF Crisis intervention
  • UF Traumatic incidents
  • NT Death
  • NT Rape
  • NT Accidents
  • NT Disasters


  • SEN See also names of regions, countries* and geographic features* on Earth and in space with the subdivision Exploration, e.g. Australia – Exploration; New Zealand – Exploration; Everest, Mount – Exploration; Moon – Exploration. See also names of specific expeditions, e.g. Burke and Wills Expedition (1860-1861).
  • SN Use for searching and discovery of regions, countries and geographic features on Earth and in space.
  • UF Discovery and exploration
  • UF Expeditions
  • BT History
  • NT Explorers
  • NT Moon - Exploration
  • NT Space – Exploration
  • RT Scientific expeditions
  • RT Voyages and travels

Shakespeare, William

  • EH Example under Authors
  • IN The following subdivisions are to be used for works about Shakespeare and about his writings. When applicable, these subdivisions may be used with the names of other voluminous authors.
  • SN Use for general and biographical works.
  • UF Shakespeare, William – Biography
  • UF Shakespeare, William – Autobiography
  • UF Shakespeare, William – Miscellany
  • BT Authors

The new SCIS subject headings are included in the biannual SCIS Authority Files releases.

Renate Beilharz

Renate Beilharz

SCIS Catalogue Content Manager

Education Services Australia