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Presenting bibliographic families: Designing an FRBR-based prototype using information visualization

Tanja Merčun (Department of Library and Information Science and Book Studies, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia)
Maja Žumer (Department of Library and Information Science and Book Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia)
Trond Aalberg (Department of Computer and Information Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 9 May 2016




Despite the importance of bibliographic information systems for discovering and exploring library resources, some of the core functionality that should be provided to support users in their information seeking process is still missing. Investigating these issues, the purpose of this paper is to design a solution that would fulfil the missing objectives.


Building on the concepts of a work family, functional requirements for bibliographic records (FRBR) and information visualization, the paper proposes a model and user interface design that could support a more efficient and user-friendly presentation and navigation in bibliographic information systems.


The proposed design brings together all versions of a work, related works, and other works by and about the author and shows how the model was implemented into a FrbrVis prototype system using hierarchical visualization layout.

Research limitations/implications

Although issues related to discovery and exploration apply to various material types, the research first focused on works of fiction and was also limited by the selected sample of records.

Practical implications

The model for presenting and interacting with FRBR-based data can serve as a good starting point for future developments and implementations.


With FRBR concepts being gradually integrated into cataloguing rules, formats, and various bibliographic services, one of the important questions that has not really been investigated and studied is how the new type of data would be presented to users in a way that would exploit the true potential of the changes.



This research was supported in part by the ARRS projects P5-0361 and J5-6827.


Merčun, T., Žumer, M. and Aalberg, T. (2016), "Presenting bibliographic families: Designing an FRBR-based prototype using information visualization", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 72 No. 3, pp. 490-526.



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Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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