As the number of online searching systems and electronic document delivery services increase, librarians are faced with having to make decisions about which system to acquire. Faxon Finder and UnCover2 are two well-known systems currently available and competing for users. On the surface, these two systems appear to be more or less the same, and one might suppose that searching either would yield approximately the same kind of bibliographic citations for users. To test this assumption, seven subjects in various disciplines were searched in each system and then compared from the point of view of journal article overlap and journal overlap. For these seven disciplines the average overlap in journal articles was 29.9%. the average overlap in journals was 33.6%. The results of this preliminary study show a startling lack of overlap, suggesting that both systems cover different ground and that a standard and general purpose database system has yet to be found.
Subject headings and classification numbers in catalog records for books on Chicano literature are surveyed. Although Library of Congress subject headings containing the words Mexican American(s) appear in 58% of the records for collections and secondary works, they appear in only 39% of the records for works of individual authors. But these subject headings appear in a higher percentage of the records for both groups of books than do Bilindex subject headings, Library of Congress Classification numbers, and Dewey Decimal Classification numbers that associate these books with Mexican-American literature. Subject cataloging of the works of individual authors is especially problematic.
The call for cataloging simplification prompts the question: where do we simplify? One logical place to start is with those areas that present complicated decision points for catalogers. One potentially confusing interpretive task is the application of Library of Congress rule interpretation (LCRI) 25.10 dealing with the determination of an "adequate" title. The authors propose the elimination of the LCRI dealing with the determination of whether a title is adequate or not. They instead call for a simple application of the concept of the differentiating uniform title, if applicable, thereby increasing access points and cataloging speed, two key objectives of cataloging simplification.
User persistence in displaying postings is a significant human factor in design of computer-driven information systems, including online catalogs. Expert opinion and one study of users of a first-generation online catalog have suggested that users normally display no more than 30 to 35 postings. In this article we report a replication of the first-generation online catalog persistence study. The follow-up study was on a second-generation system with a larger database. The replication found that more second-generation system users than first-generation system users reported overload (25% versus 11%). Second-generation system users considered 100 postings (instead of 15) "too many." Analysis of transaction logs from the second-generation system revealed that partially persistent users typically displayed 28 postings, but that overloaded users did not outnumber totally persistent users until postings retrieved exceeded 200. The findings suggest that, given sufficient resources, designers should still consider 30 to 35 postings typical persistence, but the findings also justify treating 100 or 200 postings as a common threshold of overload.