ACCESSING

"Save the Time of the User"

Among the major objectives established for the OCLC Internet Cataloging Project was the creation of a database of bibliographic records providing access information for electronic files accessible over the Internet. As important as the establishment of conventional bibliographic control of Net resources was the integration of these records into local catalogs, the OCLC Online Union Catalog, and the OCLC FirstSearch service.
In addition to these conventional efforts, the OCLC Internet Cataloging Project also sought to "test the technical feasibility of providing automated access to electronic files based on coded access and location information provided in the bibliographic record (field 856)." This feature has been implemented within InterCat, the project's catalog of Internet resources, and through NetFirst(tm), a broader, yet related, collection of selected Net resources. While the InterCat service does offer direct Internet access to selected resources, its implementation does not use the full functionality of the browser environment nor does it fully utilize the bibliographic data and information that has been incorporated within records to provide enhanced access to these and related resources.
Within a browser environment, users of the InterCat database are offered either forms-supported or non-supported access to a variety of field search options. These include a 'Subject Words' and a 'Subject Phrases' search option, a 'Basic' index, and other conventional record data search options (e.g. 'Publisher', 'OCLC Number', 'Publication Year'). These and all fields can be searched directly, or reviewed and retrieved from a 'Browse Wordlist'.
While subject headings can be searched or browsed within the InterCat database, and relevant records subsequently displayed, the retrieved records do not have a hotlink to other resources assigned the same subject heading. Although users can browse through screens of retrieved record titles, the current configuration does not permit a direct search on other subject headings assigned a resource from within the record itself. Users must initiate a separate search option, and execute a new search for these other subjects. Likewise, while users can browse an alphabetical listing of subject terms or phrases in the present InterCat database, the current system does not offer a browsable structured thesaurus of these terms indicating broader, narrower or related relationships between and among terms or phrases and their associated concepts. In general, this configuration offers users limited explicit and implicit assistance in searching or browsing.
Although the InterCat database does include an assigned call number with the record of each resource, it does not offer directly-searchable or browsable access to an index of these call numbers. In addition, the current system does not offer a browsable annotated schedule that indicates the specific subject coverage of a given classification number or hierarchical group.
NetFirst(tm), a more comprehensive database of cataloged and annotated Internet resources, is to be commended for its use of a graphical floor plan (Fig. A-1)


Fig. A-1

and for its categorization of resources by broad and related subject groups (Fig. A-2).

Mathematics

Physics and Astronomy

Fig. A-2

Each feature inherently facilitates the identification and access to relevant resources by providing context at various levels.
However, while an improvement over the primary implementation of a cataloged Internet database, the resources found within each category in NetFirst(tm), as with most other organized Internet collections, are listed alphabetically. The specific conceptual relationships between resources, which can further facilitate individual and general resource use, are not indicated. To be assured that all relevant resources have not been overlooked, one is required to review all listed resources within a category. Thus, while value has been added in this version, it is limited.
Such methods of conventional organization and access may be viewed as a manifestation of our paper and text-based cultural milieu. NetFirst(tm), and a majority of other schemes, have not yet exploited the full potential of hypertext to present and link resources in non-sequential, non-linear configurations. While CyberStacks(sm) has adopted hypertext and the browser medium to facilitate access to Net resources, NetFirst(tm) has adapted hypertext to facilitate enhanced access to more text.
To provide direct and enhanced access to Web resource, CyberStacks(sm) seeks to make full use of the capability of the World Wide Web itself and the versatility of Web browsers. Key to the CyberStacks(sm) system is a browsable classification scheme that allows users to scan broader or narrower subject categories at will, and then if desired to connect directly to a selected resource.
While the overall organization and structure of CyberStacks(sm) facilitates access to Net resources, access has been further enhanced by the establishment of a matrix of search and browse functions. These include its Combined Classification Index, with selected sections shown below (Fig. A-3),


Library Of Congress Combined Classification Index

Q-ScienceR-MedicineS-AgricultureT-TechnologyU-MilitaryV-Naval
CyberStacks(sm)

Q

Q

Science (General)

QA

Mathematics

QB

Astronomy

R

R

Medicine (General)

RA

Public Aspects of Health

RB

Pathology

S

S

Agriculture (General)

SB

Plant Culture

SD

Forestry

T

T

Technology (General)

TA

Engineering (General) & Civil Engineering

TC

Hydraulic Engineering

U

U

MilitaryScience (General)

UA

Armies: Organization, Description, Facilities, etc.

UB

Military Administration

V

V

Naval Science (General)

VA

Navies: Organization, Description, Facilities, etc.

VB

Naval Administration

Fig. A-3

a Cross-Classification Index that provides access to more specific categories within these broad classes, as shown in the segment below (Fig. A-4),


Cross-Classification Index

Astronomy (General)QB 1-139
Biology (GeneralQH 301-05
Botany (General)QK 1-474.5
Chemistry (General)QD 1-23.2
ClimatologyQC 980-993
Computer ScienceQA 75.5-76.95
CytologyQH 573-671
Human AnatomyQM 1-695
MammalsQL 700-739.3
Mathematics (General)QA 1-8
MineralogyQE 351-399.2
Natural History (General)QH 1-74
Nature ConservationQH 75-76
Nuclear PhysicsQC 770-798
PaleobotanyQE 901-996.5
Physical ChemistryQD 450-731
Physics (General)QC 1-80
Science (General)Q 1-300
Zoology (General)QL 1-361

Fig. A-4

and a browsable Title Index, a complete alphabetical listing of all titles fully incorporated within its scheme as well as titles that have been selected for future incorporation, with selected sections listed below (Fig. A-5).


Title Index


A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

--A--




--B--




--C--

Fig. A-5

A function that would allow users to link directly from a structured thesaurus of all Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) entries assigned to resources within its collection, currently under development for CyberStacks(sm), would also greatly facilitate access to relevant resources, within the InterCat and NetFirst(tm) databases. As envisioned, such a hypertext thesaurus would outline all the entries assigned to resources in its database, indicate the broader, narrower and related relationships between entries, and provide a hypertext link directly to those records assigned a specific heading.
In cases where a given subject heading has been assigned to more than one resource, users would be provided with a menu of options, including an alphabetical title listing of all resources assigned a specific heading. From this listing, a selection would link users directly to the associated profile within CyberStacks(sm) for that resource, from which users could then subsequently connect.
In addition to adopting the 'neo-conventional' functionality outlined above for CyberStacks(sm), the InterCat database and the NetFirst(tm) service could also benefit from an online subject tree arrangement of the Dewey Decimal Classification, adapting the general (Fig. A-6)


0 GENERALITIES (inc. Library Science, General Reference)
1 PHILOSOPHY (inc. Psychology)
2 RELIGION. THEOLOGY
3 SOCIAL SCIENCES. LAW. GOVERNMENT (inc. Economics, Education)
5 MATHEMATICS AND NATURAL SCIENCES (inc. Chemistry, Biology, Computing)
6 APPLIED SCIENCES. MEDICINE. TECHNOLOGY (inc. Management)
7 THE ARTS. RECREATION. ENTERTAINMENT. SPORT
8 LANGUAGES. LINGUISTICS. LITERATURE
9 GEOGRAPHY. BIOGRAPHY. HISTORY
Fig. A-6

and specific (Fig. A-7) outlines used by the NISS Information Gateway in its use of the Universal Decimal Classification (UDC) to organize and provide access to resources selected for its cybercollection.


62 ENGINEERING
Fig. A-7


These services could also be enhanced by adapting other features of the NISS service, including a Directory of Subject Headings in UDC order (Fig. A-8)


0 Generalities - 37 resources
00 Knowledge. Fundamentals of knowledge and culture - 0 resources
01 Bibliography - 22 resources
011 Bibliographies - 18 resources
017 Library catalogues - 129 resources
02 Librarianship - 30 resources
03 Reference works - 25 resources
Fig. A-8

as well as a Directory of Subjects in Alphabetical Order (Fig. A-9).

-- A --

Abnormal psychology - 0 Resources Accountancy systems: Application software - 1 Resources Accountancy: Management - 4 Resources

-- B --

Back up programs: Computing - 0 Resources Balkans: Geography - 1 Resources Batch processors: Utility programs - 0 Resources

-- C --

Cable industry - 0 Resources Calendar processors: Application software - 1 Resources Carpentry: Building industry - 0 Resources
Fig. A-9

Such enhancements not only facilitate access by providing direct connection to a resource, or to a profile if desired, but like the CyberStacks(sm) approach, present a framework in which relationships between and among resources are indicated.

The use of formatted tables within CyberStacks(sm) presenting broad and specific subjects and their associated call numbers, as well as links from each class to related classes through a variety of structured hotlinks (Fig. A-10), enhances navigation through the CyberStacks(sm) collection, and could likewise enhance access within reconfigured InterCat and NetFirst(tm) databases.

Science -- Botany

(QK)

Q-ScienceR-MedicineS-AgricultureT-TechnologyU-MilitaryV-Naval

SELECTQK

Botany (General)

1-474.5

Spermatophyta & Phanerogams

474.8-494.5

Gymnosperms

494-494.5

Angiosperms

495

Cryptogams

504-638

Plant Anatomy

640-707

Plant Physiology

710-899

Plant Ecology

900-989
CyberStacks(sm)
QK

Q QA QB QC QD QE QH QK QL QM QP QR

Fig. A-10


The use of appropriate icons in CyberStacks(sm) in association with broad and general subjects, at primary and secondary levels (Fig. A-11), offers users visual clues that also can facilitate access to resources of potential relevance within its collection. OCLC should consider use of similar icons within a redesigned interface to both the NetFirst(tm) and InterCat databases to further enhance access and use of these resources.


Science (Q)

Q-ScienceR-MedicineS-AgricultureT-TechnologyU-MilitaryV-Naval

Science (General)

Q

Mathematics

QA

Astronomy

QB

Physics

QC

Chemistry

QD

Geology

QE

Natural History & Biology

QH

Botany

QK

Zoology

QL

Human Anatomy

QM

Physiology

QP

Microbiology

QR

Fig. A-11


SELECTING | ORGANIZING | PRESENTING | ACCESSING
CyberStacks(sm)