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Government documents and the online catalog.

By F H Lynch and M C Lasater


Prior to planning for implementing the NOTIS system, the Vanderbilt Medical Center Library had not fully cataloged its government publications, and records for these materials were not in machine-readable format. A decision was made that patrons should need to look in only one place for all library materials, including the Health and Human Services Department publications received each year from the central library's Government Documents Unit. Beginning in 1985, these publications were added to the library's database, and the entire 7,200-piece collection is now in the online catalog. Working with these publications has taught the library much about the advantages and disadvantages of cataloging government documents in an online environment. It was found that OCLC cataloging copy is eventually available for most titles, although only about 10% of the records have MeSH headings. Staff time is the major expenditure; problems are caused by documents' irregular nature, frequent format changes, and difficult authority work. Since their addition to the online catalog, documents are used more and the library has better control

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1990
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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