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Deriving and applying facet views of the dewey decimal classification scheme to enhance subject searching in library OPACs

Tinker, Amanda Jayne (2005) Deriving and applying facet views of the dewey decimal classification scheme to enhance subject searching in library OPACs. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

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Classification is a fundamental tool in the organisation of any library collection for
effective information retrieval. Several classifications exist, yet the pioneering
Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) still constitutes the most widely used scheme
and international de facto standard. Although once used for the dual purpose of
physical organisation and subject retrieval in the printed library catalogue, library
classification is now relegated to a singular role of shelf location. Numerous studies
have highlighted the problem of subject access in library online public access
catalogues (OPACs). The library OPAC has changed relatively little since its
inception, designed to find what is already known, not discover and explore.
This research aims to enhance OPAC subject searching by deriving facets of the DDC
and populating these with a library collection for display at a View-based searching
OPAC interface. A novel method is devised that enables the automatic deconstruction
of complex DDC notations into their component facets. Identifying facets based
upon embedded notational components reveals alternative, multidimensional subject
arrangements of a library collection and resolves the problem of disciplinary scatter.
The extent to which the derived facets enhance users' subject searching perceptions
and activities at the OPAC interface is evaluated in a small-scale usability study.
The results demonstrate the successful derivation of four fundamental facets
(Reference Type, Person Type, Time and Geographic Place). Such facet derivation
and deconstruction of Dewey notations is recognised as a complex process, owing to
the lack of a uniform notation, notational re-use and the need for distinct facet
indicators to delineate facet boundaries. The results of the preliminary usability study
indicate that users are receptive to facet-based searching and that the View-based
searching system performs equally as well as a current form fill-in interface and, in
some cases, provides enhanced benefits. It is concluded that further exploration of
facet-based searching is clearly warranted and suggestions for future research are

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: EThOS Persistent ID
Subjects: Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z719 Libraries (General)
Schools: School of Music, Humanities and Media
Depositing User: Sharon Beastall
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2010 12:32
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2015 08:47


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