Monday, May 30, 2011

Re: Open data's role in transforming our bibliographic framework

Posting to Autocat

On 27/05/2011 20:43, Mary Mastraccio wrote:
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Kevin M. Randall wrote:
[re.] the AUR catalog.
 http://www.galileo.aur.it/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?bib=22886,

That's great, it shows the concept definitely can work. Although, in this implementation, it's translating data in the entire record, including things that really shouldn't be translated. Transcribed data and headings (most everything but fields such as 300, 310, 321, 362, 5XX) should remain as originally input.
I disagree. The translation is only in the display so anyone that needs to know can revert to the original transcription but for most users the current implementation of translating the entire record is acceptable if not desirable. It is true that it is not necessary to translate the entire page--using Google "Translate this page" often leaves some data on the page un-translated--but I would think most users would prefer James Weinheimer's current implementation and it doesn't really break cataloging rules because the record doesn't change only the display.
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The AUR example is a demonstration of trying to provide additional help using tools that have not been available before. If you know what you are doing and (more important) you have the authorization, which almost requires open source catalogs, it only takes a few minutes to implement. The hard part is figuring out how and where to place it on the record. I cannot emphasize too much that this tool is *free*--something that should be of immense importance today. And while it may not be "perfect", it is certainly a help to many out there, and I will suggest, may even be a step in the "solution" of transliteration.

This also shows a problem I find with the RDA initiative which is based on earlier times. Our profession must assume that catalogers will lose the almost 100% control they had over their records in the past. I think it is our task to adapt to the new environment using every possible advantage we can find, and we should start by adapting automated tools to achieve their utmost possible. Revising manual cataloging rules should come later, only as a result of discovering that the automated tools can't do what we need.

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