Aug 072013

This is the third in a series of blog posts highlighting some of the new or improved features which will be available in the redeveloped SUNCAT. In this post we are going to focus on the latest version of the exact title index.

Basic and advanced search along with browsing will provide users with an exact title index.  The index will be available from a pull down menu on each of the pages.

Searching by Exact Title

We have spent a lot of time and effort to decide exactly how ‘exact’ the index should be. Our first consideration was whether we should actually include a separate index or if the title keywords index would prove sufficient. However, we believe that an exact title search is very useful for “known” item searches, so that when users know precisely which title they are interested in, they can quickly and efficiently focus in on finding where that particular title is held in the UK.

After several false starts, the first of which some of you may have seen when the service was previewed in April/May, we have defined the following rules for the exact title search (for now at least!):

1) It is case insensitive e.g. searches on NEW YORK TIMES, new york times and NeW YoRk TiMeS will all return the same matches.
2) Special characters are ignored, we are currently defining special characters as !”#$%&'()*+,-./:;<=>?@[\]^_`{|}~ after further testing and feedback these may be tweaked.
3) Diacritics are ignored e.g. search terms containing an e will find ê and so on.
4) If a title has a skip in filing defined it matches with and without the skip in filing value e.g. a serial that has a MARC 21 245a tag of

245 04$aThe journal of Hellenic studies /$cthe Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies.

will get a match for either The journal of Hellenic studies or journal of Hellenic studies.

5) No partial matching, e.g. a search on New York Times will only match serials titled New York Times not New York Times Supplement.
6) It will only find matches if all the words in a search entry are in the correct order e.g. a search on New York Times will match New York Times but not York New Times.
7) Trailing whitespace at the beginning and end of an index value will be ignored.

The actual MARC 21 tags/subfields we build the exact title index from in the redeveloped SUNCAT are as follows:

1) 245 abnp (Title Statement)
2) 246 abnp (Varying Form of Title)
3) 210 a (Abbreviated Title)
4) 222 a (Key Title)

This is a significant decrease from the number of tags/subfields that the existing SUNCAT service uses for this index so we hope that this should result in directing users quickly and easily to information about specific titles of interest without the distraction of also seeing similar or related titles.

The default title keywords search will remain as a much more inclusive index, enabling users to search across MARC fields concerned with not only the main title entry but also uniform titles, related titles, continuing titles, series titles etc. – in total indexing around 30 MARC tags. As the default search this will continue to allow users to find information when they are less sure of or less specific about the titles they want to retrieve.

 August 7, 2013  Posted by at 2:15 pm Developments Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »
Jul 292013

I attended the Umbrella 2013 Conference with a poster about the redevelopment of SUNCAT. This was my first time at the Umbrella Conference and my first chance to look around Manchester – both were very enjoyable and informative!

The poster itself, was one of a select group of only 8 posters, 5 traditional and 3 digital, and focussed on the redevelopment of SUNCAT and how it can support the journey from resource discovery to access.

Studying the SUNCAT poster


I spoke to information professionals from a wide range of libraries, including:  NHS Libraries and University Libraries from Oxford to Malta! I also spoke to delegates from Public Libraries and from more specialist organisations such as the Social Care Institute for Excellence, Statoil (an international energy company) and the Northern Ireland Assembly. Both the range of delegates to engage with and the formal sessions opened up a world beyond the field of Higher Education that I am most familiar with.

My favourite speakers had to include:

The joint session from Clinical Librarian, Victoria Treadway and Consultant, Dr Girenda Sadera on how a Librarian joined and supported the daily ward round at the Critical Care ward at Wirral University Teaching Hospital. The importance of developing a good working relationship was highlighted as critical to embedding a librarian into the multidisciplinary team of clinicians including doctors, dieticians, pharmacists and physiotherapists. Victoria went out of her way to support the team’s information needs within and out with the ward rounds. Secondly the need for very quick answers was discussed, so an iPad and a small selection of high quality evidence based resources were utilised. Although Victoria found the experience challenging at first, the support and trust of all the team have made it a very rewarding role.

Janice Lachance’s inspiring talk about her varied career from obtaining a law degree, through to working as the Director of Communications for a large US Labour Union to working alongside Bill Clinton on his cabinet and getting to fly on Air Force One. Janice’s message was not to pigeonhole ourselves too much by our past and current job titles and to look closely at the many transferrable skills information professionals possess and to branch out into other positions where these skills would be invaluable. Janice also advised informational professionals to think and act like executives and align your own and your department’s goals with the organisation’s objectives.

Geoff White, a producer with Channel 4 News also presented a fascinating session on day in the life of a newsroom and how stories to feature are selected and verified.

I can definitely recommend the conference to anyone looking to get a broad overview of what’s happening across the information profession.

Please let get in touch if you have any queries about the poster or about the redevelopment – more posts to follow on this…

 July 29, 2013  Posted by at 3:50 pm News Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »