- Problems with Title and Author Searching in WWW OPAC
- No.41, p.1-15
WWW OPAC has become one of standard services at university libraries in Japan. A large number of studies have been carried out for the evaluation of OPACs. What seem to be lacking, however, are those from the actual users’ point of view. In this research, we examine major 15 WWW OPAC systems from such search terms as supposed likely to be used by novice users. Three cases are analyzed, each searching a specific book or author from terms extracted from it and their variants. The first case is to search a Japanese book translated from English from 9 terms (ex. full Japanese title, one keyword from title, ‘kanji’ of Japanese translator, English spell of author, and so on). The second case is to search a book with long title from 5 terms (full title including subtitle, main title only, and the variants). The third case is to search all books by an author, whose ‘yomi’ is the same with more than 9 persons.
The major results are as follows:
(1) Only three systems are successful in searching from all the terms in the first case.
(2) Some systems are very ineffective, can be searched only from few terms.
(3) The same outcomes cannot be got even from the same search terms.
These problems seem to occur under such situations as:
(1) A standard architecture and indexing system of OPAC database have not yet been established.
(2) Standard OPAC searching procedure has not been developed.
(3) Current OPAC is a mixture of traditional cataloguing rules and online retrieval system.
It is necessary to develop an original architecture and standard searching procedure for OPAC based on a new user model.
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