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MODS  September 2004

MODS September 2004

Subject:

Re: mods:name is broken

From:

Bruce D'Arcus <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Metadata Object Description Schema List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 8 Sep 2004 21:41:43 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (59 lines)

On Sep 8, 2004, at 9:06 PM, Marc Truitt wrote:

> But it also appears at least by inference to suggest that the sole
> purpose of constructing headings is so that we as librarians can
> differentiate among the various John Smiths in our catalogues. But
> isn't the user served by this approach?

Absolutely not!  It's a fallacy only librarians could hold that library
catalogs are easy to search ;-)

I just spent some time going over my library search interface with new
graduate students, and came across the awkwardness I regularly hassle
with as an end-user:

Search for a journal called "Human Ecology" by typing it into a title
search.  What do I get back?  A long list of virtually identical title
headings, with virtually no way to immediately discern which is the
journal in question.  So, I hunt around trying to find the right item
while my students fidget in their seats (well, ok, they were patient
enough, but you get the idea).

Searching for "John Smith" is even more annoying.  I don't know when
the person I'm looking for was born and died!  I know, perhaps, that
they were, let's say for sake of argument, an English philosopher.

OK, but library metadata and search interfaces are not based around
that logic.  So, again, I fumble around trying to find the right person
in question.

It's easier to find stuff in google than it is in library catalogs!

Does it *really* make sense in this context to base everything on some
artificially constructed name?  To then enforce this logic in new XML
schemas that should unshackle metadata -- and the end user experience
based on it -- from these restrictions?

Here's what I want in my search interface:

I want to search on a title, and have them grouped by genre (including
journal).  I want it to be instantly obvious to me which link to click
on to get book titles with "Human Ecology" in it, and which to click on
to get my journal.

If I search for an author name like "John Smith", I want the metadata
available that at a glance allows me to see which John Smith I want.
I'd like easy access to not just when they were born and died, but
maybe their country of origin, or something about what they did.  I
want to click on the author name and optionally pull information from
an authority file (which I never see of course) that instantly shows
me:

John Smith (with whatever unique id) is a person (NOT a ref!!)
he was born in England
he was a philosopher
he authored works x, y, z
here are variant forms of his name

Bruce

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