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Improving Interoperability in Distributed and Physical Union Catalogues through Co-ordination of Cataloguing and Indexing Policies : Report for Work Package B of the JISC CC-interop Project

Dunsire, Gordon and Macgregor, George (2004) Improving Interoperability in Distributed and Physical Union Catalogues through Co-ordination of Cataloguing and Indexing Policies : Report for Work Package B of the JISC CC-interop Project. [Report]

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Abstract

An integral component of the CAIRNS e-Lib project was an examination of interoperability problems caused in distributed Z39.50 union catalogues by variations in cataloguing and indexing practices in participant libraries. After consultation with the Cataloguing and Indexing Group in Scotland (CIGS), CAIRNS identified the nature of these issues in detail and then proposed short-term and long-term strategies for their amelioration. With the agreement of SCURL, CAIRNS published the 'CAIRNS Project recommendations for a cataloguing and indexing strategy for Scottish libraries' (CAIRNS Cataloguing and Indexing Working Group, 2000). Deliverable B3 of CC-interop builds on this work, establishing a set of recommendations for developing cataloguing and indexing practices to improve interoperability in distributed and centralised union catalogues. The report indicates a clear consensus among the cataloguing community for the adoption of prescriptive cataloguing guidelines by libraries contributing to union catalogues, helping local cataloguers to actively improve interoperability and raising awareness among senior management of the wider impact of local policy. There is general recognition that a union catalogue itself may become a component of a larger distributed union catalogue, and therefore development of cataloguing guidelines based on CAIRNS, as originally envisaged, would require a significant amount of work. Instead, the report proposes a number of recommendations for a wider, more active and co-ordinated approach to improving interoperability. The CAIRNS guidelines have been updated and references to the specific union catalogue removed, and may be used by other consortia as a basis for local development.