Convenience to the Cataloger or Convenience to the User?: An Exploratory Study of Catalogers’ Judgment
Description: This mixed-method study explored cataloger’s judgment through the presence of text as entered by catalogers for the 11 electronic resource items during the National Libraries test for Resource Description and Access (RDA). Although the literature discusses cataloger’s judgment and suggests that cataloging practice based on new cataloging code RDA will more heavily rely on cataloger’s judgment, the topic of cataloger’s judgment in RDA cataloging was not formally studied. The purpose of this study was to study the differences and similarities in the MARC records created as a part of the RDA National Test and to determine if the theory of bounded rationality could explain cataloger’s judgment based on the constructs of cognitive and temporal limits. This goal was addressed through a content analysis of the MARC records and various statistical tests (Pearson’s Chi-square, Fisher’s Exact, and Cramer’s V). Analysis of 217 MARC records was performed on seven elements of the bibliographic record. This study found that there were both similarities and differences among the various groups of participants, and there are indications that both support and refute the assertion that catalogers make decisions based on the constructs of time and cognitive ability. Future research is needed to be able to determine if bounded rationality is able to explain cataloger’s judgment; however, there are indicators that both support and refute this assertion. The findings from this research have implications for the cataloging community through the provision of training opportunities for catalogers, evaluating workflows, ensuring the proper indexing of bibliographic records for discovery, and recommended edits to RDA.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Hasenyager, Richard Lee, Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries