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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1988

Fran Slack

The introduction of online public access catalogues (OPACs) has been one of the most rapid developments in library and information work in this decade. Since the early…

Abstract

The introduction of online public access catalogues (OPACs) has been one of the most rapid developments in library and information work in this decade. Since the early 1980s the academic sector has led the way in the United Kingdom in establishing OPACs as part of the library scene. Users have benefitted from being allowed interactive access to the catalogue, for both known‐item and subject searching. A survey carried out in 1985 (Wood, 1986) showed that at that time approximately one‐third of British university and polytechnic libraries possessed OPACs. Less than three years later this proportion has risen to one‐half, with the trend still progressing upwards.

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VINE, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-5728

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Article
Publication date: 3 November 2014

Devendra Naik and Khaiser Nikam

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of two law university libraries in the Karnataka state of southern India and their web-based online public access…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of two law university libraries in the Karnataka state of southern India and their web-based online public access catalogue (web OPAC). Results from a survey of library users’ attitudes towards the use of the web OPAC, methods adopted to learn how to use the web OPAC, guidance sought to use the web OPAC and the extent of use of the web OPAC search facilities in select law school libraries in Karnataka are reported.

Design/methodology/approach

To study the users’ attitudes towards the use of the web OPAC in law university libraries in Karnataka, a questionnaire was developed and distributed to 300 users, including Bachelor Of Legislative Law students, Master of Laws students, research scholars and teaching staff. The sample population was chosen using the convenience sample method, and the researcher received 256 completed and usable questionnaires. A five-point Likert scale was used in the research questionnaire. Typical statistical tests such as mean and standard deviation were applied for the purpose of accuracy.

Findings

The results of the survey indicated that 92.1 per cent of respondents were using the web OPAC. Most of the web OPAC users strongly agreed that they learned to use the web OPAC from a library orientation programme. It was found that there are positive attitudes towards the web OPAC search facility. The survey also found that the web OPAC search page has not given satisfactory guidance to web OPAC users.

Practical implications

This research paper produces findings of relevance to any academic library to develop and implement a user-friendly web OPAC service.

Originality/value

There have been no previous published research studies of the web OPAC and users’ attitudes in the law university libraries in Karnataka state.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 32 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1987

John Aanonson

The Library catalogues of many British universities are now accessible through the Joint Academic Network (Janet) which was established in 1984. The availability of online…

Abstract

The Library catalogues of many British universities are now accessible through the Joint Academic Network (Janet) which was established in 1984. The availability of online public access catalogues (Opacs) through Janet could be useful to students and academics for several purposes: compiling booklists, inter‐library loans and checking the books held at a neighbouring library prior to making a visit.

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Online Review, vol. 11 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-314X

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1990

Frances Slack and Anthony J. Wood

The increase in subject access provision on British OPACs over thelast decade is described: end‐users may carry out subject searches usingsuch facilities as keyword access…

Abstract

The increase in subject access provision on British OPACs over the last decade is described: end‐users may carry out subject searches using such facilities as keyword access or Boolean operators; the use of browsing is particularly flexible and appeals to end‐users. A research programme at Manchester Polytechnic is discussed which has identified the conceptual problems created by subject searching, including general OPAC instructions, inputting of search terms, refining the search strategy and the subject description of each record. Progress is described on research into subject searching on a number of fronts and the enhancement of facilities discussed.

Details

Library Review, vol. 39 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 10 February 2012

Shiv Kumar

The aim of this paper is to study the impact of internet search engine usage with special reference to OPAC searches in the Punjabi University Library, Patiala, Punjab (India).

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to study the impact of internet search engine usage with special reference to OPAC searches in the Punjabi University Library, Patiala, Punjab (India).

Design/methodology/approach

The primary data were collected from 352 users comprising faculty, research scholars and postgraduate students of the university. A questionnaire was designed as the data collection tool to obtain information on the impact of the web on OPAC. The data thus collected were analysed with the help of the SPSS (version 14.0) statistical package to present the findings in percentage and ranking formats.

Findings

The study revealed that the information‐searching behaviour of academicians was changing significantly in the web environment. A large number of users explored the web to garner relevant information for academic purposes. The majority were influenced by search engines because they also used OPAC, like the search engines. It is also clear from the study that internet search engines not only affected OPAC users in developed countries, but also impacted upon the less developed countries like India. Thus, it is more a battle of survival and sustainability for the OPAC vis‐à‐vis its close contemporary the web‐search engine.

Originality/value

This is a pioneering work in India studying the impact of web searching on OPAC users. Keeping in perspective the approach of twenty‐first century users, the present research suggests recommendations for designing a user friendly OPAC that entails simplistic search strategies for university libraries of India and other developing countries.

Details

Program, vol. 46 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0033-0337

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Article
Publication date: 9 August 2011

Shiv Kumar

The paper seeks to evaluate the effect of web searching on online public access catalogue (OPAC) users in the university libraries in India. It is a comparative study of…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper seeks to evaluate the effect of web searching on online public access catalogue (OPAC) users in the university libraries in India. It is a comparative study of the three universities in the Union Territory of Chandigarh and Punjab State.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted a questionnaire‐based survey. A structured questionnaire was administered to 500 users comprising faculty, research scholars, and postgraduate students of selected university libraries to collect data regarding the influence of web search engines on OPAC users.

Findings

The study showed that a majority of the users in all three universities made use of the web‐based resources. Ready access to information through search engines considerably increased the expectations of library users while searching OPAC. Web searching influenced their OPAC searching process greatly, as the majority of searches were performed on OPAC‐like popular search engines. Simultaneously, users did not know the difference between inner‐workings of OPAC and common search engines such as Google.

Originality/value

The paper provides useful information about how search engines influence OPAC users in India. The study recommends that OPACs need to include the modern features of present search engines to improve their practices. University libraries should communicate user expectations to OPAC designers. Further, the library community should collaborate with OPAC designers to develop a user‐friendly OPAC system, keeping in view the needs of the users of the internet age.

Details

Library Hi Tech News, vol. 28 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0741-9058

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Article
Publication date: 14 June 2011

Sharon Q. Yang and Melissa A. Hofmann

The study described in this paper aims to identify the progress made in the efforts to model current online public access catalogs (OPACs) after the next generation…

Abstract

Purpose

The study described in this paper aims to identify the progress made in the efforts to model current online public access catalogs (OPACs) after the next generation catalog (NGC) in academic libraries in the USA and Canada.

Design/methodology/approach

A random sample of 260 colleges and universities was selected from Peterson's Guide to Four‐Year Colleges 2009, an estimated 10 percent of the total population of 2,560 listed academic institutions. A checklist of 12 features of the NGC was used to evaluate the OPACs of the 260 libraries in the sample. The authors took as the OPAC that which the library linked to as its “catalog,” even though some might be more properly considered “discovery tools” or “discovery layers.” Some libraries used more than one OPAC interface simultaneously; in this case, each OPAC was analyzed separately. In the case of several institutions using the same consortial OPAC, only the first instance of the OPAC was analyzed. About 15 percent of the institutions (n=40) in the sample either did not have web sites or did not provide access to their online catalogs. In all, a total of 233 unique instances of OPACs were analyzed. Data were collected from September 2009 through July 2010. The findings can be extrapolated to the population at the 95 percent confidence level with a confidence interval of ±3.

Findings

While bits and pieces of the next generation catalog are steadily working themselves into the current catalog, academic libraries still have a long way to go. About 16 percent of the OPACs in the sample did not show any advanced features of the NGC. More than half of the libraries (61 percent) had only one to five advanced features in their OPACs. Many of those with six or more NGC features were discovery tools. Only 3 percent of the OPACs in the sample (n=8) demonstrated seven to ten out of the 12 functionalities of the NGC, and they were instances either of WorldCat Local or Summon. The weak areas were federated searching, relevance based on circulation statistics, and recommendations based on patron transactions.

Originality/value

This is the first and only study on a large scale conducted thus far that evaluates the progress towards the NGC in academic libraries in the USA and Canada. The findings help academic librarians to recognize and pin‐point the weak links in implementing a true next generation catalog.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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Article
Publication date: 13 February 2009

Jo Williams

The purpose of this paper is to show that knowledge of the Machine‐Readable Cataloguing (MARC) format is useful in all aspects of librarianship, not just for cataloguing…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show that knowledge of the Machine‐Readable Cataloguing (MARC) format is useful in all aspects of librarianship, not just for cataloguing, and how MARC knowledge can address indexing limitations of the online catalogue.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper employs examples and scenarios to show the usefulness of MARC knowledge among library professionals.

Findings

The paper finds that library professionals with an understanding of MARC also have an advantage in understanding how Online Public Access Catalogues (OPACs) work. With a knowledge of MARC, librarians can understand OPAC indexing limitations and develop ways to work around those limitations. An understanding of MARC bibliographic data across library specialities allows librarians to work interdependently to affect the functionality of the OPAC.

Originality/value

Editing/manipulating MARC data based on indexing limitations of the online catalogue can improve retrieval of library resources. Additionally, MARC knowledge and skills are transferable, even with the challenges of changing OPAC technology.

Details

Program, vol. 43 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0033-0337

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1990

Richard Wellings

The second major revision of the OPAC module of BLS (the BLCMP stand‐alone library system) allows libraries to offer users different views of the catalogue files. Record…

Abstract

The second major revision of the OPAC module of BLS (the BLCMP stand‐alone library system) allows libraries to offer users different views of the catalogue files. Record selection software allows sub‐set catalogues to be constructed according to library defined criteria, such as subject, physical format, location or language of publication. These views of the catalogue can then be offered to users of OPAC, where the record retrieval and display facilities have been enhanced to allow each view to be optimised according to its contents; for instance individual libraries can now define various algorithms for the generation of suitable acronym keys for particular sub‐set catalogues.

Details

Program, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0033-0337

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2004

Antonella De Robbio and Paola Rossi

MetaOPAC Azalai Italiano (MAI) is a virtual union catalogue of Italian libraries developed through co‐operation between the Italian Library Association and the Consorzio…

Abstract

MetaOPAC Azalai Italiano (MAI) is a virtual union catalogue of Italian libraries developed through co‐operation between the Italian Library Association and the Consorzio Interuniversitario Lombardo per l'Elaborazione Automatica. This paper presents the components of MetaOPAC Azalai Italiano and the organisational, management, planning and implementation tools developed by the team since 1999. MAI provides access to Italian OPACs, offering a directory and metasearch functionality. The search engine, Azalai, performs metasearching. The architecture of the system, the search engine and converter, is based on a database of Italian OPACs. Three different interfaces, designed for specific types of users, provide access to the system. Members of the MAI Editorial Board are responsible for keeping the database updated and this automatically generates the Directory of Italian Online Catalogues. MAI is divided into five distinct sections, integrated with a range of tools and services intended for different categories of user.

Details

Program, vol. 38 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0033-0337

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