Posting to Autocat
On 15/03/2012 15:36, Brenndorfer, Thomas wrote:
So, how does the following search not fulfill these criteria? http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=au%3Ahomer+ti%3Ailiad
Several issues: The nature of the relationships between all the results in the search is not readily apparent. The facets function as the “shared characteristics” type of relationship, but there are many more types of relationships that are coded for, but lost in the mass of records (what about series, as just one example?). WorldCat’s “Editions and formats” expansion under each record helps somewhat, but is very flakey. I select the “Alexander Pope” translation, but the subsequent results show “Samuel Butler” results. Next to useless.
It works fine for me. When I click on Alexander Pope, I get books with Alexander Pope in the record. http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=au%3Ahomer+ti%3Ailiad&dblist=638&fq=ap%3A%22pope%2C+alexander%22&qt=facet_ap%3A. The indexing also takes into account the two forms “Alexander Pope” and “Pope Alexander.” I am sure that adding a series would be a simple matter for the programmer but as we all learned, LC determined that users don’t need series and that is why they eliminated series authority.
And what goes into the title TI search? Variant titles found in authorities? What about when uniform titles aren’t used when the title proper is supposed to be sufficient (as it was in the card catalog)? The text string “Iliad” could be part of a huge number of titles unrelated to the requested work. And so on.
No, not so long as “Homer” is included. When there is no uniform title, it should be searching the normal title fields: 245, 246, etc. Naturally, I don’t know exactly what it is doing in Worldcat, but I know that in Koha, it searched the Zebra index (Lucene-type indexes are flat files by the way) for instances of the title and correlated those instances with related instances of any other terms you search.
Now, if you would search “Iliad” without “Homer”, you would then have to click on “Homer” to get the same result, but that is pretty easy, too. http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=ti%3Ailiad (Once again, I believe “Format” takes up far too much space on the user interface, but that would be a very simple problem to fix. We discover that there are four forms of Homer’s name in Worldcat, apparently) This is wonderfully simple and completely logical. Very little or even no training at all is needed for the public to do this.
So no, not “everything works”. There’s lots of room for improvement.
Of course it works, that is, if you want to FISO/WEMI by their AT. Subjects in Worldcat could be vastly improved and are, as I have seen in other, similar sites. Still it can all be done right now. Isn’t that interesting?
But yes, there is always room for improvement. Still, so long as catalogers create records correctly and consistently, such as adding uniform titles when required, things actually do work.
What do I think people would *really* like? For those who can deal with ebooks, whose numbers will doubtlessly increase, I think people would love to know, when seeing a record like this: http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/669713496 to be aware of materials like these: http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=iliad%20homer%20alexander%20pope where they can get it all for free. I can assure you that on a tablet, those scans look pretty good and are easy to read.
Yes, there are problems with the metadata in the Internet Archive, for instance I found one publication not by Pope, but that is another matter. Something like this could actually make a real difference in someone’s life. I would have been overjoyed to know about all of these wonderful materials.