AUTOCAT: UNT SLIS Embarks on MARC21 Research

AshtabulaGuy writes “In a message posted to AUTOCAT yesterday University of North Texas-Texas Center for Digital Knowledge Fellow Dr. Shawne Miksa noted that the Institute for Museum and Library Services gave funding to assist with financing a two year project researching MARC21 that began in December 2004. The project is intended to look into the multiplicity of tags available for use in coding records and attempt to ascertain how many of such tags are actually normally used by a cataloger in daily work. OCLC released to the research team the WorldCat database to look at records in their instances of initial creation to determine what were the most common tags used and what was rarely, if ever, used.

More information is available about the MARC Content Designation Utilization project at its website. The project’s plan is availabe in Adobe Acrobat format as well.

This project appears to have implications for core record and minimal-level cataloging efforts by showing what are minimum tags used on a day-to-day basis in “full records” as it is. The release on AUTOCAT noted that in an earlier effort by Dr. Miksa’s fellow principal investigator, Dr. William Moen, found that only 36 of the over 2000 possible MARC21 tags were actually used in records 80% of the time. The project appears to further earlier work led by Dr. Moen.”