Posting to Autocat
On 11/28/2012 03:27 PM, William Anderson wrote:
In terms of decreasing access, to be a little clearer:
Presumably the older “associated person” searches (1XX and 7XX in MARC or what have you in other schemes) sans any role will still be available, and all the records by Clint Eastwood in whatever role, director, actor, political pronouncements from his mayor days will be “pull-up-able” by search a search. A presumption that depends on front end interaction design.
Targeted searches on the roles of individuals (all films directed by Clint Eastwood) have the problem that James W. alluded to, i.e. they are likely to be incomplete sets and thus deceptive, since records conceptually matching the criteria, but which haven’t been retrospectively coded to mechanically match the criteria.
Thus, access means have not been technically reduced (i.e. the untargeted search is still provided?), but could be “psychologically” reduced by search expectations in such targeted searches (The searcher expects to find all instances of the criteria in the database).
Exactly: the searcher expects to find all instances of the criteria in the database. What else is the searcher supposed to think? I am just getting a random sample? This is only 20% of what is really there? Reliable access is supposed to be one of the basic differences between catalog and things that are not catalogs, such as plain lists of books or full-text retrieval search engines.
How are researchers supposed to know of the kinds of subtleties as you point out? We must assume that they cannot know and why I keep saying that we must look at the catalog through the eyes of the public. As a concrete example of how people will experience it, I commented on the NGC4LIB list about very interesting video by Clay Shirkey about “Authority in an Age of Open Access” http://blog.jweinheimer.net/2012/11/authority-in-an-age-of-open-access-an-analysis.html
In this talk, he mentions a crowdsourced project on Flickr by the Smithsonian that he really likes and I analyse it as a cataloger. This project has some really strong points as well as some very serious weak points and I point them out. Access is one of the weak points and I show why. It’s not too hard for a cataloger to understand these matters, but for a non-librarian, these weaknesses in access must be considered as extremely complex to understand. I think this projects really shows the realities of crowdsourcing a project like this.
There was a lively exchange there; my part is on my blog.