In December of 1996, we distributed a questionnaire on the US-MARC list to collect information on the status of system changes in regards to the 655 field and 6xx $v USMARC field designation. Another survey was sent to a small sampling of thesaurus developers asking about their recording of or plans to record form/genre terms. This is a preliminary report on the results of the system survey. We would like to receive more responses, and will be making personal contacts with various systems personnel to broaden the coverage of this survey. This report will be discussed at the open meeting on February 14, 1996.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS: We received 10 responses from a mix of institutions (several libraries, several local system vendors, one utility, and one vendor of MARC processing services). The results illustrate that system changes to support form/genre are occurring in library systems, after the various changes were approved for the USMARC format. As one would expect, implementation is occurring on different timeframes and in different ways. These results, although preliminary, are very useful in in several ways:
(1) to promote improvement to OPACs in terms of indexing and display (especially as we consider the needs of users who, with increasing frequency, are searching multiple systems and OPACs over the Internet).
(2) to promote major areas of work still outstanding, such as:
-- consistent development of vocabulary in LCSH
-- automated vocabulary/authority control
-- retrospective conversion of records (convert old USMARC coding to new USMARC coding)
(3) to promote discussion on form/genre treatment across systems and databases that are MARC-based and non-MARC-based. Of particular interest is consistency with citation (or abstracting and indexing) databases since users are increasingly searching side-by-side all of the above side-by-side, or, in an integrated fashion in some cases.
The actual form/genre system questions are repeated below IN CAPS.
Responses are described in more detail in lowercase.
1. WHO ARE YOU? 2. SYSTEM IDENTIFICATION AND NUMBER OF INSTALLATIONS [brackets] EOS International Professional Series  Data Research Associates, Inc. DRA  Follett Software Company Circ/Catalog Plus [27,000] Free Library of Philadelphia DRA local catalog  Marcive, Inc. Multiple products [1,000] Research Libraries Group RLIN; Eureka Telnet+Web [?] University of California, Berkeley GLADIS  University of California Lib Auto Melvyl Catalog  University of Newcastle, Australia Innopac  VTLS Virtua  and VTLS94  3. WILL YOU OR A COLLEAGUE FROM YOUR ORGANIZATION BE WILLING TO PARTICIPATE IN THE FEBRUARY 14 OPEN DISCUSSION IN WASHINGTON, D.C. (8:00 pm - 10:00 pm)? Eight people responded that they will attend or try to send someone in their place. 4. FROM THE FOLLOWING LIST, PLEASE INDICATE WHAT PROGRAMMING HAS BEEN COMPLETED TO DATE IN YOUR SYSTEM TO SUPPORT THE 655 FIELD (INDEX TERM -- GENRE/FORM) IN USMARC RECORDS, WHAT PROGRAMMING IS NOT NECESSARY OR PLANNED, AND WHAT PROGRAMMING WILL BE COMPLETED IN THE FUTURE (PLEASE SPECIFY ANTICIPATED DATE OF COMPLETION). NOT NEEDED; WILL DO IN FUTURE DONE NOT PLANNED [SUPPLY DATE] TAG TABLE CHANGES 7* 2 1 [* seven participants responded that tag table changes were done] RECORD LOADER PROGRAM 8 2 0 CATALOGER WORKFORM CHANGES 5 5 0 DATA VALIDATION ROUTINES 5 3 2 RECORD DISPLAY PROGRAMS 7 2 1 INDEXING ROUTINES 7.5* 1 .5* [*one response indicated that the indexing was done for keyword, but not yet done for subjects; therefore the .5 scoring was given] OUTPUT PROGRAMS (E.G. REPORTS, DOWNLOADS) 7 4 0 AUTHORITY CONTROL PROGRAMS 3 3 2 RETROSPECTIVE CONVERSION PROGRAMS 3 5 0 OTHER: 0 0 0 5. FROM THE FOLLOWING LIST, PLEASE INDICATE WHAT PROGRAMMING HAS BEEN COMPLETED TO DATE IN YOUR SYSTEM TO SUPPORT THE SUBFIELD $v FOR FORM/GENRE SUBDIVISIONS IN USMARC RECORDS, WHAT PROGRAMMING IS NOT NECESSARY OR PLANNED, AND WHAT PROGRAMMING WILL BE COMPLETED IN THE FUTURE (PLEASE SPECIFY ANTICIPATED DATE OF COMPLETION). NOT NEEDED; WILL DO IN FUTURE DONE NOT PLANNED [SUPPLY DATE] TAG TABLE CHANGES 5 3 2 RECORD LOADER PROGRAM 7 3 0 CATALOGER WORKFORM CHANGES 4 5 1 DATA VALIDATION ROUTINES 4* 4 2 [*RLIN response: subfield validity and repeatability only; no validation for values] RECORD DISPLAY PROGRAMS 5 2 3 INDEXING ROUTINES 5 3 2 OUTPUT PROGRAMS (E.G. REPORTS, DOWNLOADS) 5 5 1 AUTHORITY CONTROL PROGRAMS 2 4 4 RETROSPECTIVE CONVERSION PROGRAMS 2 7 0 OTHER: 0 0 0 6. FROM THE FOLLOWING LIST, PLEASE INDICATE WHAT PROGRAMMING HAS BEEN COMPLETED TO DATE IN YOUR SYSTEM TO SUPPORT THE AUTHORITY FORMAT DATA ELEMENTS IN USMARC RECORDS (e.g. FIELDS 155, 455, 185, etc. AS WELL AS $v IN VARIOUS FIELDS), WHAT PROGRAMMING IS NOT NECESSARY OR PLANNED, AND WHAT PROGRAMAMMING WILL BE COMPLETED IN THE FUTURE (PLEASE SPECIFY ANTICIPATED DATE OF COMPLETION). NOT NEEDED; WILL DO IN FUTURE DONE NOT PLANNED [SUPPLY DATE] TAG TABLE CHANGES 2.5* 4 3 RECORD LOADER PROGRAM 2.5* 4 3 CATALOGER WORKFORM CHANGES 2.5* 5 2 DATA VALIDATION ROUTINES 1.5* 4 4 RECORD DISPLAY PROGRAMS 2.5* 3 4 INDEXING ROUTINES 2.5* 4 3 OUTPUT PROGRAMS (E.G. REPORTS, DOWNLOADS) 2.5* 4 3 AUTHORITY CONTROL PROGRAMS 1.5* 4** 4 [*EOS International responded: Support of Authority 155 and other 1xx headings valid in bibs, $v completed. Support of 455, 5xx, 185 not available at this time. No date set for implementation.] [**University of Newcastle: would like to do this but have no plans] RETROSPECTIVE CONVERSION PROGRAMS 3 7 0 OTHER: 0 0 0 [RLIN comment: We support input and update only in two authority files: the LC names file and the authority file for the Avery Index for Architectural Periodicals. However, we also have two authority files that are search-only files, LC Subjects and Art & Architecture Thesaurus. It is necessary to coordinate implementation of USMARC authority format changes with the Library of Congress for the LC name and subject authority files. We also prefer to keep all other authority files synchronized with those files, so it is likely that these changes will be implemented in all of our authority files at the same time.] 7. BY WHAT MEANS CAN A USER SEARCH FOR OR RETRIEVE FORM/GENRE TERMS? PLEASE CHECK OFF ALL THE POSSIBILITIES APPLICABLE TO YOUR SITUATION. 0 Form/genre terms are not indexed and cannot be retrieved by a user. 2 Form/genre terms are not indexed, but will display when a record is retrieved via other means. 2 User can search an online authority file or thesaurus/list of form/genre terms. 7 User can search form/genre terms in an online catalog or database via a general keyword search. 8 User can search form/genre terms in an online catalog or database via a subject keyword search. 7 User can search form/genre terms in an online catalog or database via a subject heading search (left to right search as opposed to keyword). 3 User can search form/genre terms in an online catalog or database via a form/genre index of some type. (If this is the case, please describe in some detail). 0 Other: (please describe) 8. WHERE DO FORM/GENRE DISPLAY TO USERS? PLEASE CHECK OFF ALL THE POSSIBILITIES APPLICABLE TO YOUR SITUATION. 0 No displays 6 Index displays (typically a single line) 3 Lists of citations with brief information given per record 10 Full bibliographic record displays (for user) 10 MARC record 4 Cataloging workform 0 Other: (please describe) 9. ARE THE FORM/GENRE TERMS LABELED IN SOME WAY WHEN THE DATA DISPLAYS? PLEASE CHECK OFF ALL THE POSSIBILITIES APPLICABLE TO YOUR SITUATION. 1 No displays [The respondent commented: "Unsure how default screen labels can change it."] SUPPLY LABELING: 5 Index displays SUBJECT: FORM/GENRE: Genre/form index term Library-defined User specifications 2 Lists of citations Library-defined User specifications 9 Full bibl record SUBJECT: Subject Subjects: FORM/GENRE: Genre access: "term" Thesaurus code Arabic Numeral (like a cat card) Genre or form Library-defined User specifications 8 MARC record 655:SUBJ:GENRE 655 tag only [two responses] tag MARC coding [four responses] 3 Cataloging workform 655:SUBJ:GENRE tag Library-defined 0 Other: (please describe) ____________________________ 10. IT IS POSSIBLE FOR A SEARCH TO MATCH A HEADING THAT CAN BE EITHER A FORM/GENRE HEADING OR A TOPICAL SUBJECT HEADING. FOR EXAMPLE: TITLE: Everyman, and other miracle and morality plays FORM/GENRE HEADING: Mysteries and miracle plays TITLE: The history of early English drama SUBJECT HEADING: Mysteries and miracle plays IF THIS OCCURS IN YOUR SYSTEM, HOW IS IT HANDLED? DRA: "Separate listings because of difference in fields." EOS International: "No differentiation. Both would be retrieved in an index, keyword, or heading search is performed." Follett Software Company: "Headings are merged and one subject listing displays as: SUBJECT: Mysteries..." Free Library of Philadelphia: "Same index (subject)" Marcive, Inc.: "All matching citations are accepted regardless of the 6xx field utilized. Any distinctions among 6xx fields needed after that are made as appropriate (just as 600 and 650 fields are processed and upgraded quite differently now). With the development and distribution of standard machine authority files of form/genre headings and subdivisions, we will handle 655 fields and $v subfields appropriately as well." Research Library Group: "Each index and value must be specified separately. If you WANTED a result like this, you would have to ask for it, i.e. FIN SP manuscripts or FG manuscripts (Using the ADVANCED search screen in Eureka on the Web produces the same result). [N.B. Since the RLIN FG index is a word index and not a phrase index, the exact same search as is in the question would not be possible.] University of California [Melvyl]: "Both are retrieved with a subject search." University of California, Berkeley [GLADIS]: "The 655 is indexed t wice in our system: both as a topical subject heading and a genre/form heading." University of Newcastle: "The headings would be indexed separately, provided that they had been coded differently, i.e. as 655 and 650 fields. You can't look for both at the same time." VTLS: "There are two possible displays: one display for all subject headings (genre, form, topical, etc.), and a display for just genre and form headings. In the one display for all subject headings, the above example would be merged into one. 11. WHAT DO YOU ENVISION AS AN IDEAL ENVIRONMENT FOR THE DISPLAY AND SEARCHING OF FORM/GENRE TERMS IN YOUR SYSTEM? BOTH GENERAL COMMENTS AND SPECIFIC SYSTEM SUGGESTIONS ARE WELCOME. TAKE AS MUCH ROOM AS YOU NEED. Follett Software Company: "We will be adding the ability to keyword and subject index these terms. Display will be modified to include the term Genre with Subject." Marvice, Inc.: "Marcive will approach that situation by listening to the library user community (our customers in particular), studying the relevant standards, and looking at the work of the appropriate committees for guidance along these lines. As a clearer picture of the needs and desires of our users emerges, we will begin to work towards a system to satisfy those needs as quickly as possible." University of California [Melvyl]: "Our system has both a traditional catalog as well as databases of abstracting and indexing data. The A&I databases tend to have a number of useful "genre" headings that we index separately from the subject headings where possible. Users can limit to review articles, conference proceedings, book reviews, etc. The problem is that there is now standardization between these types and those in MARC, and even in the MARC record usage seems to vary quite a bit. I think we'd be more willing to do more with those headings if the usage was more predictable." University of Newcastle: "Ideally, they should be indexed and displayed separately, in the same way as books *by* a person and books *about* a person are indexed and displayed separately." 12. CAN YOU SUGGEST ANY SPECIFIC AREAS OF RESEARCH AND POSSIBLE FUNDING THAT WOULD IMPROVE THE AVAILABILITY AND USEFULNESS OF FORM/GENRE VOCABULARY IN SYSTEMS AND DATABASES? Free Library of Philadelphia: "Need to develop means to handle automated validation of terms when multiple thesauri are used. E.g., Prayer=LCSH and Prayers=RBGENR System should not treat "Prayers" as a typo for "Prayer." Marcive, Inc.: "Not at this time. However, we believe really significant progress towards widespread implementation of form/genre headings and subdivisions will not occur until the vocabulary is stabilized and appropriate authority records (preferably MARC-formatted) can be made available. We hope this comes to pass at the Library of Congress so we can have a single authoritative file available to all users under uniform conditions." Research Libraries Group: "Although the concept of form/genre terms may be clear to reference librarians and catalogers, unless it becomes clear to the public at large there is little to be gained in going to extremes to improve the availability and display. The concept is complicated, in my opinion, but [by] the inconsistent use of form/genre terms within LCSH itself. The major example here are terms used for subject access in music. Musical forms and genres are used as topical subject headings in LCSH, complicating attempts to explain to users the differences between topical subjects, form subdivisions, and form/genre headings. University of Newcastle: "Two questions: (1) How do you train users about the differences between subject headings and form/genre headings? (2) What forms/genres are users most interested in finding in OPACs? 13. CAN ALL OR SOME OF YOUR RESPONSE BE POSTED ON WEB PAGES MAINTAINED BY A MEMBER OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE? THESE WEB PAGES WILL BE PUBLICIZED WITHIN THE BIBLIOGRAPHIC COMMUNITY IN ORDER TO IMPROVE COMMUNICATION AND EDUCATION ON FORM/GENRE ISSUES AND PROGRESS. [see current Web pages: http://www.pitt.edu/~agtaylor/ala/alac.htm] Yes, in all cases. 14. PLEASE APPEND TO THIS MESSAGE ONE SAMPLE OPAC DISPLAY TO ILLUSTRATE HOW FORM/GENRE INFORMATION DISPLAYS TO USERS IN YOUR SITUATION. Displays were submitted by the following institutions. Some of these will be used for the discussion on February 14, 1996. All the displays will be posted on the Subcommittee's Web pages soon after the ALA Midwinter Conference in D.C. Follett Software Company Free Library of Philadelphia [DRA System] Research Libraries Group [RLIN; Eureka Telnet; Eureka on the Web] University of California, Berkeley [GLADIS] University of California [Melvyl] University of Newcastle [Innopac] VTLS [Virtua] FROM: Josephine Crawford Mary Charles Lasater Health Sciences Library Authorities Coordinator University of Wisconsin Vanderbilt University