The Effectiveness of Copy Cataloging at Eliminating Typographical Errors in Shared Bibliographic Records

Beall, Jeffrey and Kafadar, Karen The Effectiveness of Copy Cataloging at Eliminating Typographical Errors in Shared Bibliographic Records. Library Resources & Technical Services, 2004, vol. 48, n. 2, pp. 92-101. [Journal article (Paginated)]


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English abstract

Typographical errors in bibliographic records can cause retrieval problems in online catalogs. This study examined one hundred typographical errors in records in the OCLC WorldCat database. The local catalogs of five libraries holding the items described by the bibliographic records with typographical errors were searched to determine whether each library had corrected the errors. The study found that only 35.8 percent of the errors had been corrected. Knowledge of copy cataloging error rates can help underscore the importance of quality data in bibliographic utilities and, further, can serve as an indication to libraries whether they need to pay more attention to correcting typos in the copy cataloging process.

Item type: Journal article (Paginated)
Keywords: cataloging copy ; typographical errors ; bibliographic records ; typos
Subjects: I. Information treatment for information services > IA. Cataloging, bibliographic control.
Depositing user: Jeffrey Beall
Date deposited: 07 Apr 2007
Last modified: 02 Oct 2014 12:07


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2. Ibid., 12–13.

3. “The Dirty Database Test,” American Libraries 22 (Mar. 1991): 97.

4. Jim Dwyer, “The Catalogers’ ‘Invisible College’ at Work: The Case of the Dirty Database Test,” Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 14, no. 1 (1991): 75–82.

5. Ibid., 80.

6. Terry Ballard, “Spelling and Typographical Errors in Library Databases,” Computers in Libraries 12, no. 6 (1992): 14–17.

7. Terry Ballard and Arthur Lifshin, “Prediction of OPAC Spelling Errors through a Keyword Inventory,” Information Technology and Libraries 11 (June 1992): 139–45.

8. Ibid., 142.

9. Ibid.

10. Ibid.

11. Sylvia A. Gardner, “Spelling Errors in Online Databases: What the Technical Communicator Should Know,” Technical Communication 39 (1992): 50–53.

12. Ibid., 50.

13. Ibid., 52.

14. Ralph Nielsen and Jan M. Pyle, “Lost Articles: Filing Problems with Initial Articles in Databases,” Library Resources & Technical Services 39, no. 3 (1995): 291.

15. Ibid., 292.

16. Barbara Nichols Randall, “Spelling Errors in the Database: Shadow or Substance?” Library Resources & Technical Services 43, no. 3 (1999): 168.

17. David Bade, The Creation and Persistence of Misinformation in Shared Library Catalogs: Language and Subject Knowledge in a Technological Era (Champaign, Ill.: Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, 2002).

18. Ibid., 4.

19. Ibid., 26–27.

20. Ibid., 27.

21. Ibid.

22. Ibid., 5.

23. Ibid., 3.

24. Terry Ballard, Typographical Errors in Library Databases. Rev. Mar. 7, 2002. Accessed May 1, 2002, http://faculty.

25. Ibid.

26. W. Nelson Francis and Henry Kucera, Frequency Analysis of English Usage: Lexicon and Grammar (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1982).

27. Ballard, “Typographical Errors.”

28. John W. Tukey, Exploratory Data Analysis (Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1977), 39–41.

29. George W. Snedecor and William G. Cochran, Statistical Methods (Ames, Iowa: Iowa State University Press, 1980).

30. Robert McGill, John W. Tukey, and Wayne A. Larsen, “Variations of Box Plots,” The American Statistician 32, no. 1 (Feb. 1978): 12–16.


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