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Yes, that's a good point, Keith; if there's a field to which the Pareto principle applies, I would have thought it would be cataloguing. 
 
Another point that's been made before, but might be worth repeating is that this is cataloguers' use, not end-users' or systems' use. End-users' use and potential use (if the element was there to be used) is the acid test, but much harder to assess. We're doing some work on end-user use and potential use with public library users in Singapore, and hope to have some indications, if not comprehensive assessments, by the end of the year.
 
Some new RDA elements are being proposed on the basis of the MARC study, by the way.
 
Philip Hider
Senior Lecturer
School of Information Studies
Charles Sturt University

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From: Discussion List for issues related to cataloging & metadata education & training on behalf of Trickey, Keith
Sent: Wed 5/23/2007 3:33 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: "Informing the Future of MARC: an empirical approach"



Hello Chums
Before we get carried away by the seeming inefficiency of a format that is so little used (i.e. 10 to 20 % of fields). We need to keep in mind the Pareto principle - that 80% of the use is accounted for by 20% of the items. Every item has a 245 far fewer items have a 511 - therefore the field is less used

This seems reasonable in the context of cataloging - where the major portion of the "day to day"  material exhibits a low level of variety in terms of the fields required (basic book - no edition - no series - no notes etc)

Also you need to filter out those "either / or" type fields that relation to classification or standard number.

You could build the argument round the "fields you don't use" being one of the strengths of the format!

May the debate you have flourish - and be reported so those of us on the European side of the pond can keep up to speed.

Best wishes

Keith

Keith V. Trickey
Senior Lecturer
School of Business Information
Liverpool John Moores University

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From: Discussion List for issues related to cataloging & metadata education & training on behalf of Shawne Miksa
Sent: Tue 5/22/2007 9:02 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: "Informing the Future of MARC: an empirical approach"



We have published some papers during the past two years and we have project reports on the MCDU website (http://www.mcdu.unt.edu/?p=30 ) but we will get numerous papers out of this in the coming year. The final project report is due to IMLS at the end of this year.

For the ALA presentation we will have some handouts with data for purposes of illustration, but no formal paper as of yet.



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Shawne D. Miksa, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
School of Library and Information Sciences
University of North Texas
email: [log in to unmask]
http://courses.unt.edu/smiksa/homepage.htm
office 940-565-3560  fax 940-565-3101
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>>> Judy Weedman <[log in to unmask]> 5/22/2007 2:42 PM >>>

Is there, or will there be, any publication of these papers and research?

Thanks!