This survey, measuring the currency (availability at the time required) of BNBMARC records of post 1974 published titles with UK imprints currently being acquired by UK libraries, has been carried out continuously at the cataloguing stage since January 1980, and at the ordering stage since January 1988.
Each month a rolling, random selection of 6 academic and 6 public libraries each provide a random sample of 10 titles they are about to catalogue and 10 titles they are about to order. The samples are returned to UKOLN, where they are checked against BNB files on the Blaise database. Data from the search results are input into an Access database to enable statistical analysis to be carried out. This analysis produces the index of currency or 'hit rate'. Results are conflated over a 12-month period to avoid fluctuations caused by random and seasonal variations. A second search is carried out 12 months later on titles for which records were not found on first search. The data from the recheck produces a revised hit rate.
The results of the survey demonstrate that, in the last few years, the British Library has significantly improved the currency of records on its database at the time they are needed by libraries.
At the cataloguing stage, hit-rates of 63-65% were recorded between 1981 and 1987. Thereafter the hit-rate rose steadily to 89 % in July 1994, declined to 81 % by November 1995 after which it rose again. It now stands at 87 % in August 2000. The recheck hit-rate is currently 92 %.
The ordering stage survey produced an initial hit-rate of 74% in 1988. It then rose to 84% in May 1995, then declined to 79% by January 1996 after which it rose again. It now stands at 84% in August 2000. The recheck hit-rate is currently 90%.
The study also records data on other elements which may affect the hit-rate (eg. CIP records, CIP record purchase, British Library cataloguing initiatives including the Copyright Libraries Shared Cataloguing Programme).
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Management Group of UKOLN.
Page last revised on: 22-Apr-2002
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