At 07:25 PM 4/10/2003 -0400, Bruce D'Arcus wrote:
>>My understanding is that the MARC/MODS formats are intended for
>>cataloguing, not bibliographic reference; a whole other field.
>>We probably need help from the Library community here, but their
>>requirements are rather different: where is this document, have we
>>paid for it, it is out on loan, etc, rather than how we format it
>>for citation.

It's true that library cataloging is heavily oriented toward the
description of "whole" items - books, sound recordings, maps, serials, etc.
The lack of cataloging for journal articles is not because of a library
philosophy against such things but mainly came about as a division of labor
-- professional societies and some commercial entities took on the huge
task of creating indexes to journal articles in particular fields (no one
could have covered the whole of serial publishing), and libraries purchased
these rather than doing the task themselves. It's been a useful symbiosis,
with library purchases of the indexes paying for the labor to produce them.

That's the history, however, and shouldn't determine our future. We can now
move fairly seamlessly between library catalogs and "outside" information
resources and our users can simultaneously search the library catalog and
article indexes as if they existed in the same database. And users of
article databases can get links back to their local library catalog
(through OpenURLs and such) so that they can determine if their library
holds the serial or has access to the full text online.

One of the reasons to move away from the traditional MARC record, which was
based on library cataloging of many decades ago, is to create a more
expandable bibliographic record that can accommodate types of materials
that have not been traditionally entered into library catalogs. This does
not mean that libraries will start creating catalog records for journal
articles, it means that library systems need to be able to perform a
variety of operations on records for other kinds of information items, and
need to exchange machine-readable records with non-library systems.

So my vote (do I get a vote?) is to try to expand the capabilities of
libraries by moving the library catalog toward a more flexible, extensible
catalog record that can at least INTERACT WELL with records for materials
not held by the library. So if we can extend the MODS record to accommodate
data from citation indexing then we are working toward that goal of
integrated information resources.

Karen Coyle           [log in to unmask]