WorldCat Local again

June 1, 2007 at 4:17 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The University of Washington Libraries have a neat experiment with WorldCat Local going on, at least for as long as their “Search UW Libraries and beyond” beta test is up. I haven’t had time to play with it much, but became curious about it following a discussion about it on the RADCAT list. Some people in that discussion cited difficulties with being able to perform a traditional “browse” on an author’s name, and pointed out how important that is for humanities research (among other things). So I played around with a little author searching.

Here’s what I don’t like about it. A plain old search for “pam allen” (no quotes) brings up several options in the “Refine your search” sidebar. One of these is “Pam Allen,” so I click on it (that part is pretty cool). I get results for several different Pam Allens, one of whom is the Interweave Knits editor I’m interested in. But there’s no way to differentiate her from the other Pam Allens, I think? And when I go into a record for one of her books, clicking on her name in the record doesn’t lead me to a list of only *this* Pam Allen’s publications; it performs an author search for Pam Allen, bringing up a whole lot of other Pams and Allens. I’m not even getting Pam Allen the Knitter in the first three pages of results (horrors!).

So I’d love to see this search interface tied to the authority file (remember that thing, guys?) so the searching is more sophisticated. It’s fine for the search interface to be made simpler, but why make the functionality so much less?

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1 Comment »

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  1. RedLightGreen worked much the same way. The underlying records were probably orginally under authority control. I am not sure why RLG or OCLC decided not to tie these records to the authority file. Maybe they figure WorldCat.org is still successful without it.

    Bryan Campbell
    Charlottesville, VA
    classz696@yahoo.com


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