A key objective of the OCLC Internet Cataloging Project was "to test and evaluate the efficacy of using USMARC format bibliographic records ... for remotely accessible electronic information objects." While most will agree that project participants succeeded in creating a database of acceptable USMARC format bibliographic records for selected remotely accessible electronic files using AACR2, others may question whether or not the labeled format (Fig. P-1),
Title/Author: The free on-line dictionary of computing [computer file] / Dennis Howe. Subjects Terms: Computers--Dictionaries. Microcomputers--Dictionaries. Summary: "FOLDOC is a searchable dictionary of acronyms, jargon, programming languages, tools, architecture, operating systems, networking, theory, conventions, standards, mathematics, telecomms, electronics, institutions, companies, projects, products, history, in fact anything to do with computing ... entries are cross-referenced to each other and to related resources elsewhere on the net ..." Electronic Access: Mode of Access: http Location: http://wombat.doc.ic.ac.uk/ Computer System Details: System requirements: PC with modem. Mode of access: Internet World Wide Web. Address: http://wombat.doc.ic.ac.uk/. Other Title: FOLDOC Other Access Points: Howe, Dennis. Publisher/Date: [England? : s.n.,] c1993- Class Number/Call Number: QA76.15; .H6 1994 004/.03 OCLC Number: 32671041
or the MARC format (Fig. P-2) are the most appropriate primary presentation formats for a collection of Internet resources.
000 cmm Ia 001 32671041 003 OCoLC 005 19000000003138.0 008 950619m19939999enkn d eng d 040 UOK $c UOK 050 4 QA76.15 $b .H6 1994 082 04 004/.03 $2 20 100 1 Howe, Dennis. 245 14 The free on-line dictionary of computing $h [computer file] / $c Dennis Howe. 246 3 FOLDOC 256 Computer data. 260 [England? : $b s.n.,] $c c1993- 538 System requirements: PC with modem. 538 Mode of access: Internet World Wide Web. Address: http://wombat.doc.ic.ac.uk/. 500 Title from title screen. 500 "This dictionary started in 1985 and now contains 8611 definitions totalling 3.0 megabytes"--Modified ... May 18 ... 1995. 500 Includes searchable online index. 520 "FOLDOC is a searchable dictionary of acronyms, jargon, programming languages, tools, architecture, operating systems, networking, theory, conventions, standards, mathematics, telecomms, electronics, institutions, companies, projects, products, history, in fact anything to do with computing ... entries are cross-referenced to each other and to related resources elsewhere on the net ..." 650 0 Computers $x Dictionaries. 650 0 Microcomputers $x Dictionaries. 856 7 $2 http $u http://wombat.doc.ic.ac.uk/
While all fields and their associated data are necessary to uniquely identify a resource or required for record manipulation within standard information storage and retrieval systems, all fields and all data need not be fully displayed nor displayed in either of these conventional formats as default options. Although catalogers and other librarians may consider all elements to be significant, end-users may not necessarily require all specialist-desired data to determine whether a specific resource will satisfy an information need.
System designers for the next phase of the OCLC Internet Cataloging Project, as well as others involved with system interfaces, should fully consider the observations, summaries, and recommendations of Hildreth in his excellent review article on online public access catalogs with graphical user interfaces (Hildreth, 1995). His series of critiques of bibliographic displays are particularly noteworthy and relevant to display options for future Internet catalogs:System designers, especially designers of user interfaces, must take into account the primary tasks to be performed with the system and the characteristics brought to the tasks by the users of the system. An understanding of these tasks and characteristics will inform the design of appropriate information search, presentation, review, selection, and related decision making facilities (Hildreth, 1995: 2.0).
The design of the full bibliographic record displays should be based on research-informed decisions made about data content, format, order of data elements, labeling, and typography. Data in the MARC record judged to be extraneous to the tasks at hand should be omitted from the displays. Considerations of both task and user characteristics must be included in the remaining aspects of the displays (Hildreth, 1995: 3.0).
Hildreth, Charles R. "The GUI OPAC: Approach with Caution." The Public-Access Computer Systems Review 6, no. 5 (1995): 1.0-6.0.
Individual papers on user-centered design and evaluation of digital libraries presented at the 1995 Allerton Institute of the University of Illinois, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, also offer insight into appropriate formats and forms for enhancing access by end-users to digital resources.
In describing selected Internet resources, NetFirst(tm) has adapted a conventional record format. While the format does provide sufficient information to enable users to evaluate the relevance of a specific resource, specific subject coverage is secondary, and conceptual relationships between other resources are only indicated by assigned subject headings.
While this presentation method has served generations of librarians and users, we believe that the full potential of the browser medium in which the record is displayed is not fully utilized to better serve the user and the librarian. Instead of making use of the inherent nature and character of hypermedia, in NetFirst(tm), users are presented with the HTML equivalent of a late-twentieth-century catalog card (Fig. P-3):
Title KITCS Home Page Publisher Department of Mathematics, University of Kansas Point of Contact firstname.lastname@example.org Summary Provides an overview of the Kansas Institute for Theoretical and Computational Sciences (KITCS). Includes: people at the KITCS, the KITCS bulletin board and preprints, research done at the KITCS, and the KITCS gallery. Access Method http: Location http://poincare.math.ukans.edu Corporate Name University of Kansas Subject Heading Mathematics, Kansas Subject Heading Mathematics, Kansas, Data processing Dewey Class 510.072 Domain edu
OCLC's adoption of an enhanced labeled record as its public display format as part of its effort to establish an enhanced level of bibliographical control for WWW and other Internet resources is not unexpected. Indeed, in the history of the development of display formats for records in first generation OPACs, 'cardlike' displays were a common format used, as 'librarians [found] catalog cards familiar'(Crawford, 1986: 43) and 'cardlike displays present[ed] a familiar context for patrons accustomed to card catalogs, who ... [would] otherwise be nervous about online catalogs (Crawford, 1986: 44) Likewise, the adoption of the current labeled and MARC display formats common in most online systems today, are also to be expected and for similar reasons.Crawford, Walt. 1986. Bibliographic Displays in Online Catalogs. White Plains, New York: Knowledge Industry Publications, Inc.
The CyberStacks(sm) approach is more holistic in presenting a resource profile. It seeks not to delineate all relevant elements in describing a resource, but to characterize the resource sufficiently so that users can judge its potential usefulness and to simultaneously integrate the resource within an appropriate framework that offers a context in which the relationship to other resources are indicated. We believe that the meaning and value of a given resource may be conveyed as well, or better, by structure and organization. We believe that the CyberStacks(sm) scheme provides meaning through context; a context that is appropriate and relevant to users seeking a resource which may satisfy an information need.
We are fully aware of efforts to create and use a standardized record format for cataloging selected World Wide Web and other Internet resources. Of particular note is the OCLC/NCSA Metadata Workshop Report, a report of the March 1995 Metadata Workshop, sponsored by the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA).
Although we have decided not to standardize the format of data within a record, many of the categories recommended for describing a resource within the CyberStacks(sm) scheme are identical or similar in function to the metadata elements of the Dublin Metadata Core Element Set (Dublin Core) described in the workshop report.
While the Dublin Core seeks to identify and isolate the data elements of an Internet resource, the summary information provided for a selected resource within CyberStacks(sm) is intended to describe the resource only to the extent that users are able to judge the potential value of that resource.
While we prefer to describe resources within CyberStacks(sm) more holistically than analytically in a default presentation, we understand the need and desire to identify and define core metadata elements. Although we do not believe that an exhaustive, analyzed set is necessary for inclusion within the resource profile within our scheme, we believe that a set such as the Dublin Core can provide an additional level of descriptive and subject cataloging for World Wide Web and other Internet resources that will facilitate their incorporation within emergent as well as conventional information storage and retrieval systems and services.
We believe that in the Age of HyperText, catalogers, and other librarians, need to consider more fully the 'presentation form' of a resource as well as formats needed for high-quality, consistent bibliographical control. We must look beyond the reconfiguration of conventional data elements as the sole means of representing an object to an alternative that includes additional data fields that seek to present the object as a whole, and not as a collection of encoded fields that users must decode, decipher or translate.
We do not advocate the abandonment of the MARC format for providing the necessary bibliographical control for Internet resources, but desire that it be enhanced and extended in a manner that could further facilitate control, access and presentation of Net resources. Data that is primarily intended for manipulation by the local or remote systems, or which primarily serves the needs or desires of catalogers, should be placed within a linked 'background' record, retrievable on demand, in a manner similar to the 'Long View' of many OPACs or the MARC alternative display option within the InterCat database. Information that facilitates successful identification and use of Net resources by users should be presented in an appropriate form as the new default option in a redesigned 'presentation' format. Within the hyper-environment of the Web, efforts to catalog Net resources must consider the Foreground as well as the Background.
One way in which these multi-faceted goals might be achieved would be through the conversion of conventional MARC tags into a parallel collection of HTML-MARC tags that would have the base functionality of conventional MARC tags and the hyper-functionality of HTML tags. As an illustration, we have marked the MARC record above (Fig. P-2) using a set of HTML-MARC tags (Fig P-4.):
<000> cmm Ia</000> <001> 32671041</001> <003> OCoLC<</003> <005> 19000000003138.0,</005> <008> 950619m19939999enkn d eng d</008> <040> UOK $c UOK</040> <050> 4 QA76.15 $b .H6 1994</050> <082> 04 004/.03 $2 20</082> <100> 1 Howe, Dennis.</100> <245> 14 The free on-line dictionary of computing $h [computer file] / $c Dennis Howe.</245> <246> 3 FOLDOC</246> <256> Computer data.</256> <260> [England? : $b s.n.,] $c c1993-</260> <538> System requirements: PC with modem.</538> <538> Mode of access: Internet World Wide Web. Address: http://wombat.doc.ic.ac.uk/.,/:538> <500> Title from title screen.</500> <500> "This dictionary started in 1985 and now contains 8611 definitions totalling 3.0 megabytes"--Modified ... May 18 ... 1995.</500> <500> Includes searchable online index.</500> <520> "FOLDOC is a searchable dictionary of acronyms, jargon, programming languages, tools, architecture, operating systems, networking, theory, conventions, standards, mathematics, telecomms, electronics, institutions, companies, projects, products, history, in fact anything to do with computing ... entries are cross-referenced to each other and to related resources elsewhere on the net ..."</520> <650> 0 Computers $x Dictionaries.</650> <650> 0 Microcomputers $x Dictionaries.</650> <856> 7 $2 http $u http://wombat.doc.ic.ac.uk/</856>
With fuller data element delineation and a well-structured and defined Document Type Definition (DTD) within SGML, this HTML-enhanced MARC format may be the means by which the CyberStacks(sm) approach could be scaled to include all types of Reference works or all types of media. A more feasible option may be to adapt the USMARC DTD proposed by McDonough and the DTD for library, museum, and archival finding aids proposed by Pitti (Pitti, 1995), both of the University of California, Berkeley.
Pitti, Daniel V. "Standard Generalized Markup Language and the Transformation of Cataloging." Serials Librarian 25, nos. 3-4 (1995): 243-253.
Any or all of these approaches have the potential of offering not only enhanced presentation of Net resources within conventional Web browsers, but, with the extension of MARC and related formats, provide the basis for an integrated database and collection of Internet and non-Internet resources accessible from within the next-generation OPAC.