JLIS abstracts

BRYANT (Phillip)

BRYANT (Phillip). Bibliographic Access to Serials: A Study for the British Library 13,1;1988;67-82

The size, age and wide distribution of the various parts of the British Library have led to varying priorities being given to keeping catalogue record up to date and the catalogues are available in a variety of formats and applications of cataloguing codes. This causes problems for users and frustration for staff, especially when searching for details of serials titles and holdings. In 1986, as part of the British Library Serials Project, the Centre of Catalogue Research at Bath University undertook a study in the British Library Humanities and Social Sciences Main Reading Room and the Official Publications Library. The aim was to find out details of users' requirements and their understanding of the catalogues when searching for serials. Describe the background to the study and gives details of some of the results from interviews with 225 users. These interviews also involved ascertaining users' understanding of six sample serials catalogue entries as currently produced by the British Library. The results clearly show that users experienced for more problems with the layout and punctuation of the entries than with bibliographic content. ISBD punctuation caused some major misunderstandings.