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On discovery tools, OPACs and the motion of library language

Priscilla Caplan (Florida Center for Library Automation, Gainesville, Florida, USA)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 2 March 2012

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to select a few terms in common use today in the library and information science domain, and looks into their usage over time.

Design/methodology/approach

The use of terms is traced historically, if somewhat informally, through writings such as websites, press releases and articles.

Findings

“Discovery tool” suddenly acquired a specific meaning in 2009. “Digital preservation” and “digital curation” may never sort themselves out. “OPAC” and “ILS” are terms in disfavor as the products they refer to lose luster.

Originality/value

The value of the paper is to make readers more aware of the way they use words by reflecting on some commonly used terms in the library and information science domain.

Keywords

Citation

Caplan, P. (2012), "On discovery tools, OPACs and the motion of library language", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 30 No. 1, pp. 108-115. https://doi.org/10.1108/07378831211213247

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited