On the importance of subject cataloguing and information about author afiliation in research libraries in COBISS.SI: the practice of indexing fields 6XX and subfield 70X8

The paper gives a new insight into the cataloguing practice in the COBISS.SI system, primarily regarding the necessity of bibliographic data for the management of bibliographies for researchers and research organisations. The paper evaluates two areas in the cataloguing practice, both of them optional but recommended. The research deals with the consistency of the entry of author affiliation and with the analysis of the existing possibilities of using it in the process of preparing bibliographies for research organisations. Three methodological approaches are used: a) performance and analysis of an online questionnaire for academic and special librarians (n =113) about their work as librarians bibliographers, b) analysis of indexing subfield 70X8 (author affiliation) in bibliographic records, created for the needs of researchers’ bibliographies, in seventy libraries participating in the COBISS.SI system, and c) analysis of the data logs of 401 records created by ten librarians bibliographers. The results show the inconsistency of subject indexing of bibliographic records and of the entry of the author affiliation. The entry of this information should be mandatory for the records that an institution wishes to be included in its bibliography but only 1% of librarians bibliographers regularly enter this information, whereas 16% of librarians bibliographers never enter it; 83% of the librarians bibliographers who answered the questionnaire consistently enter subject headings in Slovenian, only 26% also in other languages. On average they enter between 4.5 subject headings in Slovenian and one in another language. They tend to index uncontrolled subject headings more often. Due to the special nature of the Slovenian library system, which links the shared catalogue and the current research information system (SICRIS), the results are only applicable in the Slovenian context and in the COBISS environment. Subject headings in a foreign language, especially in English, represent an added value to the record because of the increasing data exchange between COBISS.SI and the established portal Open Science Slovenia and other databases. Even though the entry of subject headings is optional, the data is very important. However, the proportion of librarians bibliographers who are not aware of the importance of this information or do not enter it due to work overload is not negligible.


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18. 5. 2020
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