Re: Challenging assertions

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2008 12:16:40 +0000

Dear friends,

(1) Are individual journal *articles* classified in your library card
catalogues (using any classification system whatsoever)?

(2) Do your users often search the literature for all and only the
articles on a particular topic published by your university, and your
university only?

(3) Do you really believe that in the online age, any prefabricated
classification system could ever beat boolean full-text search?

If the answer to these three questions is No, then why not leave
search and classification (if any) to the joint harvester level rather
than trying to microtag individual journal articles at source?

A bemused, nonbiblionomic lurker,

Stevan Harnad

On Thu, 13 Mar 2008, Ian Stuart wrote:

> Rebecca Parker wrote:
> > I can't speak on behalf of UK universities, but I would challenge
> > Arthur Sale's claim that most Australian university libraries use LC.
> > In my experience, this is not the case at all.
> Before this particular thread runs off in yet another tangential
> direction, the use of a "Subject Classification" within repository
> software is not one, I think, that can be resolved easily.
> The very *original* question was about metadata fields within
> repositories, as part of EDINA's quest to provide the most useful Transfer
> Service possible from "the Depot".
> I know, from speaking to UK repository managers, than many of them
> actually dispense with any LCC/Dewey/JACS/whatever classification (as the
> term is used by the Librarian/Archavist community), and instead use a
> heirarchical system that is more applicable to their Institution:
> school/faculty/department.
> So, although it would be wonderful (in the ideal world) for all
> Repositories to use the same Subject Classification scheme, it just isn't
> going to happen - so lets not side-track ourselves over this one.
> (and cross-walking Classification Trees is not something that "the Depot"
> has on its investigative ToDo list :chuckle: )
Received on Thu Mar 13 2008 - 12:18:15 GMT

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