As resources have become ever more complicated in a digital world, it is evident that cataloging practices and the metadata standards we use to guide these practices are becoming more constrained. Nowhere is this more apparent than with the cataloging of serial publications. For librarians, serial publications have been a constant challenge due to issues such as the multiple version problem, frequent changes in title or issuing body and complex publication histories. For users, serial publications are challenging due to the fact that a boundary has been established in the library profession where serial publications are described by librarians while the articles contained within those publications are handled by indexing and abstracting services. Although web-scale discovery systems have attempted to bridge the gap by providing a single point of discovery, user access is far from seamless. Recent changes within the library community can have a significant impact on serials cataloging and may help improve information retrieval for the end user. The Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) holds great promise for alleviating some of the problems related to serials cataloging. While FRBR provides a useful mechanism for re-examining many of the problems with serials cataloging, the principles of Linked Data may further transform the way in which resources and the relationships between them are captured and presented to our users. By taking description out of our current record constraints, serials librarians will better be able to express how a particular journal has changed over time and the relationships between multiple versions of the same publication. The Linked Data model also opens up many opportunities for the provision of value-added content to bibliographic descriptions. Shifting description to a Linked Data model may not only help to alleviate many of the issues related to serials cataloging, it can also help users better understand and use bibliographic data effectively.
Presenters: Marlene van Ballegooie and Juliya Borie
University of Toronto Libraries