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Subject searching in the OPAC of a special library: problems and issues

Subject searching in the OPAC of a special library: problems and issues This paper draws on data from a comparative study of use of the online public access catalogue (OPAC) and the card catalogue of the ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC) library, and examines the steady decline in the use of subject searching by end‐users and the associated problems and issues. It presents data to highlight the negligible use of Boolean operators and combination searches, variations in descriptors assigned to books of the same class numbers, and too many records tagged to very broad descriptors. The article concludes that moving from a traditional card catalogue to a modern OPAC has not made subject searching more attractive or effective. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png OCLC Systems & Services Emerald Publishing

Subject searching in the OPAC of a special library: problems and issues

OCLC Systems & Services , Volume 20 (4): 9 – Dec 1, 2004

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1065-075X
DOI
10.1108/10650750410564691
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper draws on data from a comparative study of use of the online public access catalogue (OPAC) and the card catalogue of the ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC) library, and examines the steady decline in the use of subject searching by end‐users and the associated problems and issues. It presents data to highlight the negligible use of Boolean operators and combination searches, variations in descriptors assigned to books of the same class numbers, and too many records tagged to very broad descriptors. The article concludes that moving from a traditional card catalogue to a modern OPAC has not made subject searching more attractive or effective.

Journal

OCLC Systems & ServicesEmerald Publishing

Published: Dec 1, 2004

Keywords: Online catalogues, Information retrieval

References