Friday, October 21, 2011

Re: Publisher names in bibliographic data: An experimental ...

Posting to Autocat

On 21/10/2011 14:40, McDonald, Stephen wrote:
<snip>
I can't quite agree with you, Jim. You pose a scenario of rejecting a particular publisher. Users aren't trying to find things they don't want; they are looking for things they do want. Like you, I can't imagine saying "Well, this one is published by Hachette, so I do not want it." But I _have_ said things like "Oh, this book is published by Baen, I might want to take a look at it." And that was me acting as a reader, not as a librarian. There are hundreds of publishers that specialize in particular fields which could be used by readers to find new reading material. I can imagine people wanting to find materials by a particular Christian press, an LGBT press, a science fiction press, a romance press, or even a specific university press. I don't know whether modern users would take advantage of such an access point, but I do know that I have scanned the shelves looking for particular publishers in my search for new reading material. I am undecided whether it is worth creating a controlled access point, but I know I would use it myself at least occasionally.
</snip>
That is a very good point and I stand corrected. When a publisher is some kind of a stand-in for a subject, it can be useful. That's how it works with the Italian bookstores here since the publishers are pretty closely aligned with the subjects of their books. And of course, Mike Tribby offered his own august proposals (thanks for those great publishers Mike! I didn't know them!)

Nevertheless, as you point out, it may not be worthwhile spending time making controlled access points and instead letting the general web do it for certain publishers, e.g. some of the Wikipedia pages I found referring to Mike's publishers seemed pretty impressive, plus, you can search Worldcat by "pb=" (exact) or "pb:" (contains), e.g. http://www.worldcat.org/search?qt=worldcat_org_all&q=pb:last+gasp.

When would all of this not be sufficient, I wonder?

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