CHICAGO—M. Pilar Alonso Lifante, doctor of astronomical information retrieval, and Francisco Javier Molero Madrid, doctor of astrodynamics, at University of Murcia in Murcia, Spain, have been awarded the 2016 Edward Swanson Memorial Best of LRTS Award for the article, "Enhancing OPAC Records: Evaluating and Fitting Within Cataloging Standards a New Proposal of Description Parameters for Historical Astronomical Resources," published in Library Resources & Technical Services (LRTS), volume 59, number 4, October 2015, pages 140-161.
The Edward Swanson Memorial Best of LRTS Award is given to the author of the best paper published each year in LRTS, the official journal of the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS). The authors will receive $250 and a citation in recognition of their work.
“Enhancing OPAC Records” is a scholarly, creative and unique contribution to the technical services literature. Lifante and Madrid focus on improving information retrieval from printed historical astronomical resources in OPACs. While astronomical databases allow rich searching across resources, searching printed resources such as star atlases and catalogs in OPACs is much more limited. Current records do not included standard parameters such as coordinates, magnitudes of brightness, and proper motions – descriptors that support meaningful specialized queries. The authors seek to enrich records for these astronomical resources by “incorporating new descriptive parameters … within existing encoding and cataloging standards.” Lifante and Madrid describe their proposal for better description, and outline a process for incorporating these parameters according to MARC 21, the International Standard Bibliographic Description (ISBD) and Resource Description and Access (RDA). Their work is significant because it can improve information retrieval from historical astronomical resources, facilitating future discoveries in astronomy. In addition, this example of adapting MARC methods to a new use can be applied more widely to other resource types.
The award will be presented on June 25 at the ALCTS Awards Ceremony during the 2016 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference and Exposition in San Francisco.
The Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) is the national association for information providers who work in collections and technical services, such as acquisitions, cataloging, collection development, preservation and continuing resources in digital and print formats. ALCTS is a division of the American Library Association.