Christine Schwartz over at Cataloging Futures commented about the under valuing of subject analysis and classification in the new OCLC report: Online Catalogs: What Users and Librarians Want. After discussing the desire of catalog users to have a way for catalogs to retrieve more relevant results it says –on page 15 of the report (p. 23 of the .pdf)–

“Improving the relevance of search results is an interesting data quality problem whose solution goes well beyond the boundaries of the types of metadata that catalogers have been responsible for supplying, obtaining, managing or mining.”

No, NO, NO!!! What the heck are subject headings & classification but clear indications of relevance to topics specified?!? Weight the subjects in making relevance based retrieval! Ack! Instead, for myriad reasons, we waste the subjects and think we’d be just as well off without them. Grack!

Oh, I wish I had time to go into this more coherently today but it’s the end of the semester so this week is kaput. But soon, I will be back with more on this. Tonight is my last online subject analysis/classification class of the semester wherein the talk is about the future. How timely.

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