Centralised classification of library materials- a benchmarking study.

Margaret Weaver, Eileen Hiller, Ian Jennings, Jennifer Brook, Heather Moreton, Elizabeth Jolly


The Library Management Group of The University Of
Huddersfield set up a pilot study to examine altemative
procedures for classifying and cataloguing library material
in the Health sciences. The study tested the impact of
using classification and subject index terms in bibliographic records for titles in the health subject area.
The work of the group concentrated on two areas:
-establishing a benchmark for throughput in Technical
Services in terms of speed, cost and availability of
externally supplied class numbers
-analysis of differences in classification numbers and
subject indexing terms between those human assigned
and system assigned.
Samples of data were analysed using SPSS software; a
fuzzy matching process was undertaken for the subject
string analysis.
The results showed considerable savings to be made in
terms of both speed and cost. lt was instrumental in the
decision to change the existing method of acquiring
classification numbers.The hit rate for records and the
impact on the shelf arrangement were at an acceptable
level. The study produced reliable information to provide
a benchmark for future developments (for exarnple
outsourcing shelf ready books) and performance


classifying; cataloguing; Health science; bibliographic records; fuzzy matching process; subject string analysis; shelf arrangement

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