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Bibliographic Access to Non-Roman Scripts in Library OPACs: A Study of Selected ARL Academic Libraries in the United States

Shaker, Ali Kamal (2003) Bibliographic Access to Non-Roman Scripts in Library OPACs: A Study of Selected ARL Academic Libraries in the United States. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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With the increasing availability of non-Roman script materials in academic/research libraries, bibliographic access to vernacular characters in library OPACs becomes one of the primary means for users of these materials to access and use them efficiently. Though Romanization, as a bibliographic control tool, has been studied extensively during the past five decades, investigations of using original (vernacular) scripts remain inadequate. The purpose of this study was to trace the transition from Romanization-based to vernacular-based bibliographic access to non-Roman script materials. Two major developments contributing to this transition were the availability of records with script characters from bibliographic utilities, and the development of a universal character set, the Unicode standard. The main data collection instrument was a self-administered mail questionnaire sent to a purposive sample of academic library members in the Association of Research Libraries with sizeable non-Roman script collections. Another data collection technique utilized was document/Web site analysis of bibliographic utilities and library automation vendors. Forty five questionnaires were obtained, which represented 65% of an actual population of 69 libraries. The major conclusions of this study are: (1) Most academic libraries catalog their non-Roman script materials using vernacular characters in bibliographic utilities, not on their OPACs; (2) Despite the advances in multilingual support capabilities in automated library systems, academic libraries are still unable to exploit these systems to their maximum benefit; (3) The majority of libraries surveyed performed CJK cataloging in vernacular characters, but Cyrillic cataloging is still in romanized format; (4) CJK and Arabic/Hebrew librarians showed a strong attitude toward vernacular cataloging; Cyrillic librarians showed significant opposition (42%) in their attitudes toward Cyrillic vernacular cataloging; (5) Catalogers of CJK and Arabic/Hebrew materials experienced various difficulties with Romanization; Cyrillic catalogers had the least trouble with Romanization; and (6) Among the systems librarians surveyed, 58% indicated future plans considering scripts support.In addition, the study has developed a set of functional requirements for OPAC designers and systems managers with regard to vernacular access to script characters in bibliographic records. The future research directions recommended concern the future of Romanization as a bibliographic control tool, end users' familiarity with transliteration tables, re-cataloging romanized records to include scripts, and multilingual authority files.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Shaker, Ali
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTaylor, Arlene Gataylor@mail.sis.pitt.eduAGTAYLOR
Committee MemberButler, Brian
Committee MemberRasmussen, Edie
Committee MemberMiller, Rush Grgmiller@pitt.eduRGMILLER
Date: 11 March 2003
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 9 December 2002
Approval Date: 11 March 2003
Submission Date: 12 December 2002
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Information Sciences > Library and Information Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Academic Libraries; ARL; Association of Research Libraries; Bibliographic control; Library catalogs; No-Roman Scripts; OPACs; Survey; United States
Other ID:, etd-12122002-015433
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:10
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:54


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