Hi all,

I'll soon begin working on new stylesheets for EAD conversion to other
formats, and I'd like to gather opinions on how some of you have decided
on where to display series overviews (scopecontents, arrangements,
physdescs, etc.).  It seems to be a mixed bag in terms of how and where
everyone presents this data.  Some use the dsc analyticover approach and
place descriptions for all series prior to the full container list.
Others use the dsc combined approach and describe the series only as
their subordinate contents are being presented to users.  I've only ever
used the latter approach, as this seems to be what most best practice
documents and ISAD(G) suggest.  No matter what, I'll continue using dsc
combined with multilevel description in the EAD.  However, it makes
sense many times for the series descriptions to be clearly laid out up
front for the user in the end display (via XSLT).  But when does one
know to do this?

In searching the list archives, this mail from Michael Fox in 2000
strikes home:

"With XSL stylesheets, it is possible to reorder and reuse data in more than
one location in your presentation.    Using the combined model, one can
extract series descriptions to create a separate list of series titles,
dates, quantities, scope and content descriptions, etc., as you wish, and
then display (or not) the same data again with the details of the contents
of each series.   It is not necessary to have the data in a separate section
or key it twice into two sections.

We encode the data once in the combined model.  In the past we have produced
one  integrated view for both web and print versions.  We are now
considering changing this so that the print version for larger collections
at least will have a separate series listing as well. This is consistent
with past practice and seems to match better the linear reading pattern of
print documents as distinguished from the non-sequential scanning of
electronic files."

I remember hearing a rumor a few years ago about possible user studies
looking into the issue of where series descriptions are presented and
their impact on end user cognition, but never learned the results of
these (if they existed).  If these were not published, have there been
any recent developments or opinions on this issue in regard to enhancing
usability for researchers?  I don't recall much like this in the literature.

Any opinions on this matter are welcomed.