Abstracts

LRTS v 23, no. 4, Fall 1979

Initially, We Need Some Definitions: The Problems of Initialisms in Periodical Titles

Frank E. Sadowski Jr.

Initialisms that abbreviate full periodical titles create problems for both serial librarians and users because of the different alternatives that they present for entry and filing. One proposed method for alleviating the problems is the codification and acceptance by the library community of definitions for the terms title page, caption, masthead, and logo. In addition, a recommendation for consistent entry under full form is presented, with supporting evidence from a survey of periodical publishers.

Treatment of People and Peoples in Subject Analysis

Jessica L. Milstead Harris and Doris H. Clack

Parallel investigations of Library of Congress subject analysis of minority groups were carried out at St. John's University and Florida State University. Titles were randomly or systematically selected from bibliographies on ethnic groups, the handicapped, age groups, women, gays, and alternative life-styles. The subject headings and the LC and Dewey classification numbers applied by LC were examined to determine: (1) if the subject analysis is prejudiced, (2) if the vocabulary is objective, (3) if the analysis is offensive to the affected group, and (4) if the analysis provides access via the terms likely to be used by the intended audience. The updating performed on subject headings in recent years was found to have corrected many problems; recommendations are made for further updating and for changes in application policies. The Dewey classification, with a few minor problems, was found to be quite unbiased, but the Library of Congress classification was found to be quite outdated, at least in the versions available for public use.

The Essentials or Desiderata of the Bibliographic Record as Discovered by Research

D. Kathryn Weintraub

From this review of some research on the use of bibliographic sources -- largely catalog use studies -- it appears that the existing bibliographic apparatus has usually proved successful. In most studies the majority of users find what they are looking for. However, many questions have not been asked. There are, for example, at least four functions for a bibliographic source (finding list, gathering, collocating, and evaluative) and at least three modes of organization for information (the use of terms to name an access point, the use of content identifiers to label the type of data, and natural language; but the majority of studies have investigated the use of sources where access is defined through choice of entry and where the user's need was either to find an item or to find material by a given author or on a given subject.
The fact that some searches fail has led to two complementary types of suggestion for improved choice of entry in these files, but these two types of suggestion have not been integrated into a single coherent program. One suggestion is to increase the number of access points for each work, usually by increasing the number of title and permuted title entries. Another suggestion is to analyze further the problems involved in choice of entry so as to define a consistent set of principles such that the choice of entry for any given work would be predictable.
These same two suggestions have been made for the choice of subject entry as well as for descriptive entry. Thus, increased use of title entries could lead to increased subject access for the user who wants something on a subject. Similarly, suggestions pertaining to choice of entry for subjects have led to such proposals as that for gedanken indexing, and suggestions pertaining to the choice of name for subjects have led to various systems of specific and coextensive subject names.
There is need for further research in order to synthesize these various findings into a coherent system that defines the relations between these various studies.

Reprographic Services in American Libraries

Joseph Z. Nitecki

This paper evaluates data gathered in the seventh edition of the Directory of Library Reprographic Services (1978) in terms of the kinds of institutions listed and the types of reprographic services offered. It also reviews some issues of administrative involvement in library reprographic services raised by other studies.

Demise of a Classified Catalogue: Victim of Progress?

Joan E. Mount

The classified catalogue at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, has been closed despite its unique contribution to bilingual access (English/French). An alphabetic English subject catalogue covering material in English and other languages exclusive of French and a separate French subject catalogue for French material now cover monographs received since 1975. Internal maintenance problems and the attempt to provide equivalent access in two languages, plus the pressure to standardize when joining a cooperative cataloguing system, led to the demise of the classified catalogue, its inherent strength in a bilingual situation notwithstanding.