Beyond records .. genres

We tend to have a very record-based view of bibliographic systems. Searches in a resource result in lists of record-based displays for items. All fields may not be indexed. This means that the data works less hard than it might, given the variety of ways in which it could be leveraged to tell us more about the body of literature a resource relates to.

The introduction of facets changed this a little. In Worldcat Identities we are interested in bringing together a view of parties who create or are the subject of works.

My colleagues have now worked with the Worldcat.org team to provide a view of Worldcat by genre.

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For some more details see the project page.

The project applies principles of the FRBR model to aggregate author and title information and statistical association techniques to generate related subject headings (e.g., topics, characters, people, places, and organizations). The initial set of profiles is based on genre terms selected from the Guidelines On Subject Access To Individual Works Of Fiction, Drama, Etc. (GSAFD), 2nd edition. Genre definitions are adapted from scope notes in GSAFD, and the Library of Congress authority file and Moving Image Genre-Form Guide. More genre/form profiles will be added over time. [Worldcat genres]

Comments: 1

Jul 01, 2010
Mary A. Axford

All this is really great and useful. But there are a couple of features that would be so useful and I'm wondering if OCLC could look into them.


(1) Have books in a series in order. The web page stopyourekillingme does a great job of this for authors and characters in mystery fiction. This is one of the most needed features for readers of fiction, in particular, though could be useful for non-fiction monographic series as well. I think LibraryThing is working on similar information as well, and maybe OCLC could partner with one or both of these as a pilot project.


(2) When users are searching for books, they really need something more to figure out if a particular book will meet their needs or not. The table of contents helps, but even more useful is the blurb from the book jacket. Amazon and Google books have a lot of these as product descriptions. If they are getting them from somewhere, why can't OCLC? Is it that publishers don't want to provide them, or don't want to provide them for free? It would be great for this to become a default that is provided with all books.

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