Bibliographic Management

Surveys | Quality of Records created for BNB Files


Monitoring the accuracy and consistency of records created by the British Library and the Copyright Agency libraries

While British Library records have been independently monitored since 1980 for currency, the other aspects of record quality (accuracy, consistency and functionality) have not been investigated. The implementation of the Copyright Libraries Shared Cataloguing Programme (CLSCP) provided the BL with the impetus to extend assessment into record quality. Initially this assessment was undertaken by one of the CLSCP participants (the Library of Trinity College, Dublin) as a pilot study.

Since July 1994 UKOLN has been contracted to provide the assessment. Each month a random sample of records added to the BL database the previous month are sent to UKOLN for assessment. Each month's sample contains records in the same proportion as they are contributed under CLSCP; that is 70% from the British Library and 30% from the copyright agency libraries. The two aspects of record quality under scrutiny are accuracy and consistency. There is currently no provision for the records to be checked against physical items, limiting the checking that can be done. Records are checked for consistency between the same information held in more than one field, for accuracy in spelling and punctuation, for correct use of field tag indicators and specific fields used. They are also checked that all added fields required are present and that series entries are correct and consistent.

An analysis of the errors found is sent to CLSCP Steering Committee and an annotated copy of record(s) containing error(s) is returned to the library which created the record(s). Over the period July 1994 to December 1997, the number of identified errors decreased. At this point the Steering Committee decided that the monthly checks were no longer required; from 1998 there have been an annual 'snapshot' checks on the records added to the BNB files in February each year.

[Bibliographic Management]

Content by: Ann Chapman of UKOLN.
Page last revised on: 07-Jun-2005
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