Re: [ACAT] Added Title Entry to Include Initial Articles

Posting to Autocat

On 15/08/2013 16:49, Brian Briscoe wrote:

If I were doing the search in Google and found nothing under “Der Baumeister,” I would remove the “Der” and search again. I would not do so because it is an initial article, but I would do so because Baumeister is the more unique word and I would hope to find something close. Other users might use a different strategy. My point is that we cannot get rid of dictionary catalogs merely because, based upon our experience with a segment of ours users, we have decided that everyone searches in a given way.

Dictionary catalogs are very helpful for those doing academic research. Research (sorry I don’t have the study in front of me. I found it for a class project) shows that academic researchers are the heaviest users of dictionary catalogs and demand their availability. We shouldn’t kill something merely because we don’t see its use as frequently.
I agree with others that the area for improvement here is really our ILS’. There is no reason that our catalog interfaces shouldn’t be able to function in both ways effectively. Yet, the finger always gets pointed at our rules.
I agree with this. I’m not saying to get rid of it completely but to recognize that that kind of searching is based on another technology that is not appropriate for the way people search today. Sure, I search by title all the time and do it correctly! I can also search by subjects and their subdivisions correctly, which very, very few can do. I can also search for people by surname-forename. There is no reason why that cannot continue. So, we can retain all of that so that such powers can be used in “power searching”. Although people may actually learn about this type of searching in their information literacy classes, the vast majority forgets it sooner rather than later. I just see catalogers making a big mistake when they correct a few records when there is evidence of people having far more serious problems with the catalog. We must accept that people have these kinds of difficulties and decide: do they represent problems of the catalog records themselves, or problems of the catalog and how it functions? Obviously, this is not such an easy question to answer.

For the future, it would be far wiser to work toward having the powers that are available in the traditional catalog evolve into the modern information world (including keyword but lots of other new developments of “search”) instead of madly working to change individual records, as RDA proposes we do, and thereby ignore the existence of the horribly-named “legacy data”. There are more clever ways to deal with these things.

And to Marc, I chose Bondo on purpose. It comes from a time when I lived in Albuquerque and a friend of mine (it really wasn’t me, honest!) who did exactly that! It actually worked for a while. We all thought it was funny!