Re: Publisher names in bibliographic data: An experimental …

Posting to Autocat

On Sat, Oct 15, 2011 at 5:19 AM, J. McRee Elrod wrote:

<snip>Bryan Campbell quoted:

The data captured for each publisher provide a model service for advanced collection analysis and provide additional value for user access to library resources.

How?  I’ve never wished to analyze a collection by publisher in any of the college or university libraries in which I have worked..
</snip>

Actually, in the Italian databases, the publishers are traced, e.g. if you go to the SBN catalog http://www.sbn.it/opacsbn/opac/iccu/free.jsp, (the equivalent of OCLC for Italy), go to “Ricerca avanzata” (Advanced search) and in one of the pull-down boxes, select “Editore”, you will be searching the publisher. So, you can search for Springer or Elsevier etc. There is not perfect consistency in this, but neither is there in our catalogs.

Still, publishers are much more important in Italy than in the US and you see this when you walk into a bookstore. Although it is changing to more US-type methods now, books are still arranged mostly by publisher (something that really surprised me!). It is important to note that publishers are much more closely aligned with specific subjects here than in many other countries.
My own opinion is that I agree with Mac. When I search as a user, I am interested in content and I couldn’t care less if something has been published by Oxford, Harvard, Random or Verso or anybody else. I can’t imagine someone saying “Well, this one is published by Hachette, so I do not want it” ???? 
So, if such a tool is made, it will be made strictly for the purpose of librarians, such as Marc pointed out. Therefore, utilizing valuable cataloger time establishing forms of publisher names seems a waste of resources. 
If librarians really need to search by publisher, it would seem more efficient to copy the catalog into another database and then IT experts and librarians could create all kinds of innovative queries on that database without making things even more confusing for our users.

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