SPATIAL AND TYPOGRAPHIC CODING IN PRINTED BIBLIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS

H. SPENCER (Royal College of Art, London)
L. REYNOLDS (Royal College of Art, London)
B. COE (Royal College of Art, London)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Publication date: 1 February 1975

Abstract

Bibliographical materials are often produced on a low budget and against a deadline, and the design of the material often does not adequately represent the structure of the information or facilitate its use. Two studies concerned with optimizing the effectiveness of design given certain practical constraints are reported here. In the first study, ten coding systems suitable for distinguishing between entries in typewritten bibliographies were tested. Subjects were given sections of author index typed in different styles, together with lists of authors' surnames to be found in the test material within a set time. The most effective system made a clear distinction between entries, and between the first element of each entry and the rest of the entry, by indentation. In the second study, the effectiveness of six spatial and three typographic coding systems for distinguishing between entries and between elements within entries in typeset bibliographies was tested for two different search tasks. In Experiment I, subjects were given lists of authors' surnames to find in the test material; in Experiment 2 they were given lists of titles. Spatial coding was more effective than typographic coding in Experiment 1; the reverse was true for Experiment 2. The most effective spatial coding systems in both experiments were those which clearly distinguished the start of each entry by line spacing or indentation. The use of capitals for authors' surnames was the most effective typographic coding system in Experiment 1; the use of bold for titles was the most effective in Experiment 2. The best compromise for both search tasks is likely to incorporate line spacing between entries with elements within entries running on, and bold titles.

Citation

SPENCER, H., REYNOLDS, L. and COE, B. (1975), "SPATIAL AND TYPOGRAPHIC CODING IN PRINTED BIBLIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 31 No. 2, pp. 59-70. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb026594

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 1975, MCB UP Limited

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