Posting to RDA-L
On 17/12/2013 14.07, Heidrun Wiesenmüller wrote:
But, is it possible to make collective uniform titles useful and functional for today’s information tools? I believe they could and that people would appreciate it, but that would take complete reconsideration from the user’s point of view–something I don’t see happening very soon.
I don’t think that a complete reconsideration is necessary. It’s just a question of changing how the data is presented.
No witchcraft would be required to make use of the information in a sensible manner. For a long time, I’ve suggested presenting our users with reasonable next steps (in the form of links) whenever they view a title record. For example, when a manifestation of a work by author X is displayed in the catalog, reasonable next steps could be (among others):
I completely agree that a lot could be done. For instance, changing how the data is presented can be achieved without changing a single rule; all that needs to be done is change into a more modern format and play around. A lot already has been done with the new methods of indexing records that now allow facets, such as in Worldcat, as I continue to point out. That is not magic or witchcraft. It is XML (even MARCXML) with Lucene-type indexing and incredibly enough, it is available for free! Far more could be done using these tools.
But nobody is dancing in the streets. This has been such an incredible technological advance, and it seems that the cataloging world hasn’t even noticed. Also, the public has definitely changed their searching behavior and their information “expectations” in lots of ways but it seems as if catalogers still believe that people browse for information in alphabetical order! I’ve actually had to argue the case. The collective uniform titles are a case in point. It was more important to change everything from “Selections” to “Works. Selections” as if that is going to help anybody at all! Of course, people can’t find “Selections” now, but they can’t find “Works” either….
I have suggested all kinds of changes in how the data could be presented, and many others have too.
All of this explains why I think there needs a complete reconsideration from the user’s point of view before anybody will begin to see any real differences.