EDITORIAL by Ruth C. Carter
But is it an Online Shelflist?: Classification Access in
By Dan L. Kniesner and Carrie Willman
ABSTRACT. As librarians increasingly try to use their online catalogs to do what used to be done with their card shelflists, they are realizing that some catalog designers and vendors have not paid enough attention to online shelf-order classification access. This article compares the call number searching abilities of eight prominent, mature library systems: VTLS, Inlex, Innovative Interfaces, Inc., Data Research Associates (DRA), Geac Advance, Dynix, SIRSI, and NOTIS. Using five criteria that are important to catalogers, the authors tested and rated each system for its suitability as an online shelflist.
*** Special note from the authors: "[We've] become aware of a new version of SIRSI's Unicorn library system-- version 7.0 that changes our rating of SIRSI in a major way. We had rated SIRSI Unicorn a "C" in the paper, but now we would rate version 7.0 an "A". This is indeed a major change. Fortunately, we identified version numbers for each system in the article: we had tested version 6.1 of SIRSI. Thus, version 7.0 of SIRSI Unicorn, available in early 1995, has improved to the point that it meets every criteria used in the article for suitability as an online shelflist. The authors have evaluated version 7.0 with an "A" rating." ***
PromptCat: A Projected Service for Automatic Cataloging -
Results of a Study at The Ohio State University Libraries. By
Mary M. Rider
ABSTRACT. OCLC's proposed PromptCat service, targeted for release in Spring 1995, offers libraries the potential to obtain full catalog records for approval or firm order books at the same time that books are shipped by the vendor. The Ohio State University Libraries (OSUL) participated in testing and evaluation of the new service in which Baker & Taylor supplied vendor records directly to OCLC. OCLC searched the Online Union Catalog to locate matching bibliographic records and forwarded reports of search results to the library for evaluation.
The results of the OSUL study show that we could expect a high degree of quality in terms of record selection and correct match to the bibliographic item when the PromptCat service is fully developed. In virtually all cases where records met match criteria, OSUL would have received the same record that was also selected by cataloging staff. The PromptCat test records reflected a good level of quality relating to accuracy of the bibliographic description, correct access points and valid call numbers. For the majority of records, OSUL did only minimal or no editing of records before accepting them for the local catalog.
Enhancing Subject and Keyword Access to Periodical
Abstracts and Indexes: Possibilities and Problems. By
Margo Warner Curl
ABSTRACT. Bibliographic records in an online catalog for periodical abstracts and indexes lack adequate subject and keyword access. Access can be improved by adding LC subject headings, and by expanding the use of the contents note. However, no good methodology currently exists to provide optimum access given the constraints of the bibliographic record and of online catalogs.
Subject Searching in Two Online Catalogs: Authority
Control vs Non-Authority Control. By Adeline W. Wilkes and
ABSTRACT. This study compares the results of subject searching in two online catalog systems, one system with authority control, the other without. Transaction logs from Library A (no authority control) were analyzed to identify searching patterns of users; 885 searches were attempted, 351 (39.7%) by subject. One hundred forty-two (40.6%) of these subject searches were unsuccessful. Identical searches were performed in a comparable library that had authority control, Library B. Terms identified in "see" references at Library B were searched in Library A. One hundred five (73.9%) of the searches that appeared to fail would have retrieved at least one, and usually many, records if a link had been provided between the term chosen by the user and the term used by the system.
Manual PrÓctico de Catalogaci˛n Descriptiva. Reviewed by Martha McPhail
CATALOGING NEWS By Elizabeth N. Steinhagen, Editor