Re: [ACAT] Removal of foreign subject headings

Posting to Autocat

On 2/4/2014 6:34 PM, Zelesky, Mark C. wrote:

Hello everyone. I am reaching out to the collective AUTOCAT wisdom about removing unwanted subject headings from your bibliographic records. I am wondering how other libraries approach this task. Do you automatically strip them using a bulk edit program (MARCEdit)? Do you keep them in the records and stop indexing them? I am trying to develop guidelines for handling foreign subject headings, so I want to know what other libraries are doing.

Retaining the text in the records seems to present few problems and could even help some people find some materials through keyword. The real problems happen when the foreign subject is made into a link. For instance, here is a record in Worldcat:

If people click on the subject headings
Itàlia — Guies
Itàlia – Descripcions i viatges – Guies

what do they think they are looking at? These are the sorts of very strange interactions that (I think) the public has with our catalogs. I don’t see how they can possibly understand something of this complexity and can lead only to bad results (only a tiny percentage of our records will have a heading such as “Itàlia – Descripcions i viatges – Guies”, even if the book itself is in Catalan!). How can an untrained person understand it and even if they did, what would they think about a link that doesn’t really work?

Someday in the far future, this may be worked out with linked data but that will be quite awhile yet. So my suggestion is: if you want to retain the different headings in the records, you must turn off the links; otherwise, it is not fair to the public.