My question was prompted by the emphasis on cataloging and catalogers and
manipulation in the original e-mail. Your explanation is very helpful,
and I am grateful. My original point of comparison was LCSH, but I can
see how FAST would be an improvement on the uncontrolled vocabulary often
used in minimal-level cataloging. It is also clear that FAST would be
easier for linked data manipulation. And a vast improvement on the old
PRECIS system of rotating segments of LCSH strings, which I thought was a
good effort for the times. I think that the idea of displaying only LCSH
or FAST facets to the public is an excellent idea. I look forward to
seeing more about FAST.
Laurence S. Creider
Head, Archives and Special Collections Dept.
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, NM 88003
[log in to unmask]
On Wed, June 24, 2015 5:55 pm, Chiat Naun Chew wrote:
> Thanks for your interest in our project and for this clearly very
> pertinent question. My first response would in fact be another question:
> improves it compared to what? One of our motives for adopting FAST was the
> wish to use a controlled vocabulary in place of the keywords we had
> previously used in our minimal-level cataloguing. It's generally accepted
> that controlled vocabularies improve retrieval compared to uncontrolled
> terms, and FAST seemed well suited to our need for a subject vocabulary
> that was compatible with LCSH while being simpler to assign.
> A second motive was to solve some of the well-known problems associated
> with breaking up LCSH strings for use in facets, such as split entries for
> geographical headings and subdivision terms that lose meaning out of
> context. We felt those were problems worth solving. We don't in fact have
> any research to quantify the impact of FAST facets on end user retrieval
> relative to LCSH, but I think there's a good reason for that: to my
> knowledge there hasn't previously been a full-scale implementation of FAST
> in a faceted catalogue, so a real world comparison hasn't been possible
> until now. This could be a good topic for a research study.
> I've already mentioned a third reason for adopting FAST, one that is
> closely related to the first. As a fully enumerated scheme it provides us
> with IDs for all of our subject terms. The theoretical case for using
> those identifiers is very compelling, but the empirical case for it has
> yet to be made. A number of linked data projects are under way, such as
> LD4L, that will try to make that case.
> To answer Amy's question, we solved the problem of cluttered displays by
> configuring our system to show FAST alone in the facets, and LCSH alone in
> the individual record views. We show FAST in individual records only if no
> LCSH are present.
> Chew Chiat Naun
> Director, Cataloging & Metadata Services
> 110D Olin Library
> Cornell University
> 607 254 8031
> From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging <[log in to unmask]> on
> behalf of Laurence S. Creider <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: 24 June 2015 18:38
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] FAST implemented in Cornell library catalogue
> Very interesting. Do you know whether there is data that indicates that
> FAST headings improve the ability of users to retrieve the material they
> want or need?
> Laurence S. Creider
> Head, Archives and Special Collections Dept.
> University Library
> New Mexico State University
> Las Cruces, NM 88003
> Work: 575-646-4756
> Fax: 575-646-7477
> [log in to unmask]
> On Tue, June 23, 2015 2:35 pm, Chiat Naun Chew wrote:
>> Since Cornell began its FAST project early last year we've been
>> by the interest shown by colleagues at other institutions. I'm pleased
>> announce that we now have FAST implemented as the faceting vocabulary in
>> our production catalogue. Please try it out for yourselves:
>> We feel that FAST offers noticeably cleaner and more intuitive faceting
>> than LCSH, something that is especially noticeable in the geographical
>> facet. Equally important, each FAST heading is associated with an
>> identifier and thus helps lay the foundation for our ongoing linked data
>> In addition to FAST the new catalogue has a number of other notable
>> features, including what we think is a particularly well-implemented
>> browse feature.
>> It's been hugely rewarding to work with the OCLC Research team on this
>> project. A special vote of thanks to them, and to Cornell's Discovery
>> Access team.
>> If you'd like to know more, our presentation from ALA last year is a
>> place to start: http://connect.ala.org/node/226498.
>> Chew Chiat Naun
>> (on behalf of the Cornell FAST team: Gary Branch, Steven Folsom, Sarah
>> Ross and Ardeen White)