Thursday, November 02, 2006

More catalogue quirks

I had one of those teeth-grinding encounters with the online catalogue today. A patron came and asked if we have the Journal of the Entomological Society of British Columbia. I typed the title in from the abbreviation she gave me, but got no hits (not an uncommon occurrence). I went to Google and found the home page of the Entomological Society of British Columbia, copied the journal title and pasted it into the Journal/Ejournal box. Still nothing came up.

Finally, I did a keyword search using the journal title and up it popped. Why didn’t it show up under a journal title search? It had been catalogued --
Title: Journal [Now why didn’t I think of that?]
Author: Entomological Society of British Columbia

Just for fun I went back and searched for “Journal” under Journal/Ejournals. It returned 3,801 hits – not the most productive way of finding what you’re looking for. However, had I searched with “Entomological Society of British Columbia” as the author, I would have found what I was after.

Cataloguing a journal with its parent institution as author seems somewhat opaque, especially if you don’t also catalogue it under its full title as a journal. I tried searching for the Canadian Medical Association Journal by listing the CMA as author. It came up, but was record 111/118.

2 Comments:

Blogger Christina said...

I am taking a cataloguing class and the further we get into it, the more subjective it seems. There are cataloguing rules, yes, but they are open to interpretation. The Library of Congress has its own interpretation rules in an attempt to be consistent.

The interpretation you ran across with a journal title as "journal" seems crazy but maybe it made sense to someone at the time...

5:39 PM  
Blogger PubMed Junkie said...

I had a chance to spend some time with the SFU head cataloguer this summer. It was fascinating digging around trying to determine how to accurately describe something, e.g. 4 CDs of gypsy music from the Balkans. Macedonia is now both a country and a province in Greece. Which did they mean when they said this CD was from Macedonia?

Of course, she was working only on the more difficult items. The rest of the staff did the "easy" materials.

4:19 PM  

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