Abstracts Vol. 45, No. 1

Using Citation Analysis to Pursue a Core Collection of Journals for Communication Disorders

Steven Black

A citation analysis from a purposive sample of two leading journals is employed to build a tentative core collection of journals in communication disorders. A core collection is defined for this study as those journals that provide 80% of the sample’s article citations. The bibliometric concept of “success-breeds-success” is reviewed, and its application to this sample of journals is quantified. The special problems of defining a core collection in a multidisciplinary field are discussed. Data is also provided on the types of publications cited, and the age distribution of cited journals.

Book Vendor Records in the OCLC Database: Boon or Bane?

Laura D. Shedenhelm and Bartley A. Burk

This case study is based on a 1998 sample of recently acquired Spanish-language firm-ordered materials, all of which had vendor records in the OCLC database. Vendor records were compared to final fully cataloged records to study differences in the basic bibliographic description fields (1xx, 245, 300, 4xx, 5xx). Identified were the types of errors found in the records and the duplication rate with records already in the database (full LC and member records, partial member records, and other vendors). Both areas are problematic for cataloging units. Secondary research objectives included tracking titles for usable copy cataloging and analyzing the cost impact for typical cataloging workflow. The researchers conclude that the records, though sometimes problematic, are useful. Suggestions are given for areas of improvement.

The Effect of Interface Design on Item Selection in an Online Catalog

David H. Thomas

The effect that content and layout of bibliographic displays had on the ability of end-users to process catalog information was tested using a 2 x 2 factorial experimental design. Participants were asked to perform two related tasks during the course of the experiment. In the first task, they were asked to select a set of items that they would examine further for a hypothetical paper they must write, using a simulated online catalog to make their assessments of relevance. In the second task, they were asked to examine 20 bibliographic records, decide whether they would choose to examine these items further on the shelf, and identify the data elements that they used to formulate their relevance decision.

One group viewed bibliographic records on an interface similar to current online catalogs, one that used data labels and contained data elements commonly found. A second group viewed these records on an interface in which the labels had been removed, but the data elements were the same as those in the first. The third group viewed these records on a labeled display that included enhanced data elements on the brief record display. The final group viewed these records with the same brief record data elements as the third group, but with the labels removed, using ISBD and AACR2 punctuation standards.

For the first task, participants using enhanced brief screen interfaces viewed more brief screens and fewer full screens than their counterparts. Screen durations for the second 10 screens were found to have dropped from those of the first 10 screens. Statistical analyses comparing demographic variables to the screen frequencies uncovered many significant differences. Participants using the enhanced-content interfaces made fewer selections from index and full screens, and more selections from brief screens. For the second task, participants who used enhanced-content interfaces were able to make some sort of relevance judgment more frequently than those who used standard-content interfaces.

The Year’s Work in Cataloging, 1999

Amy K. Weiss and Timothy V. Carstens

The challenge of cataloging Web sites and electronic resources was the most important issue facing the cataloging world in the last year. This article reviews attempts to analyze and revise the cataloging code in view of the new electronic environment. The difficulties of applying traditional library cataloging standards to Web resources has led some to favor metadata as the best means of providing access to these materials. The appropriate education and training for library cataloging personnel remains crucial during this transitional period. Articles on user understanding of Library of Congress subject headings and on cataloging practice are also reviewed.