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Standardisera mera? : Z39.50 mellan enighet och mångfald

Grufman, Elisabet (2001)
Division of ALM
Abstract
Z39.50 is a standard protocol designed to create an interface between diverse computer databases for diverse information needs. Since it has to be adjustable it is also complex and demands a certain degree of expertise when being set. However, the aim of this paper is not to make a theoretical description but to examine certain conditions in practice. From the perspective of Swedish research libraries two principal hypotheses are examined: 1) the implementation of a given technology (Z39.50) is primarily influenced by social circumstances, and 2) the way in which the technology is implemented will bias the results of information retrieval. For this examination we need a framework of theories concerning the relationship between... (More)
Z39.50 is a standard protocol designed to create an interface between diverse computer databases for diverse information needs. Since it has to be adjustable it is also complex and demands a certain degree of expertise when being set. However, the aim of this paper is not to make a theoretical description but to examine certain conditions in practice. From the perspective of Swedish research libraries two principal hypotheses are examined: 1) the implementation of a given technology (Z39.50) is primarily influenced by social circumstances, and 2) the way in which the technology is implemented will bias the results of information retrieval. For this examination we need a framework of theories concerning the relationship between technological development and society, organisational theories and database theories. There is a close connection between organisation and standardisation. The Swedish organisational pattern was compared to the Danish model. This provided us with an alternative set of results for a general comparison. For the empirical part of the study professionals in different key positions Swedish and Danish - were interviewed. An experiment was conducted. The library of Malmö högskola offered a way to search the national catalogue (LIBRIS) by automatically repeating a question that had already been run through its local OPAC over the Internet. This facility is based on Z39.50. The Halmstad municipal library had approached the same facility with a different technique (i.e. scripts). Different search strings were designed to test the functionality of both techniques. The results from Malmö and Halmstad were also compared to results from a standard LIBRIS search through the web OPAC. The Halmstad results were mostly similar to the LIBRIS results, while the results from Malmö Högskola in general were unsatisfactory. In conclusion, Z39.50 is a standard for diversity. As with most technologies, it is only useful when it works. Whose responsibility is functionality? First of all, the implementors (i.e. the libraries) must articulate needs and demands. Some should be dealt with in a corporate way while others, such as the very adjustment of the protocol, should be met by the system vendors. Secondly, the implementation of Z39.50 calls for organised co-operation. In Sweden this would best be handled by the libraries themselves, with BIBSAM playing the important role of intermediary and supportive resource, co-ordinating and giving guidance. (Less)
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author
Grufman, Elisabet
supervisor
organization
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
z39.50, samsökning, OPAC, datorbaserad informationssökning - bibliotek, Documentation, information, library science, archivistics, Arkiv- och bibliotekskunskap, dokumentation
language
Swedish
id
1334022
date added to LUP
2001-01-19
date last changed
2014-04-11 14:17:01
@misc{1334022,
  abstract     = {Z39.50 is a standard protocol designed to create an interface between diverse computer databases for diverse information needs. Since it has to be adjustable it is also complex and demands a certain degree of expertise when being set. However, the aim of this paper is not to make a theoretical description but to examine certain conditions in practice. From the perspective of Swedish research libraries two principal hypotheses are examined: 1) the implementation of a given technology (Z39.50) is primarily influenced by social circumstances, and 2) the way in which the technology is implemented will bias the results of information retrieval. For this examination we need a framework of theories concerning the relationship between technological development and society, organisational theories and database theories. There is a close connection between organisation and standardisation. The Swedish organisational pattern was compared to the Danish model. This provided us with an alternative set of results for a general comparison. For the empirical part of the study professionals in different key positions Swedish and Danish - were interviewed. An experiment was conducted. The library of Malmö högskola offered a way to search the national catalogue (LIBRIS) by automatically repeating a question that had already been run through its local OPAC over the Internet. This facility is based on Z39.50. The Halmstad municipal library had approached the same facility with a different technique (i.e. scripts). Different search strings were designed to test the functionality of both techniques. The results from Malmö and Halmstad were also compared to results from a standard LIBRIS search through the web OPAC. The Halmstad results were mostly similar to the LIBRIS results, while the results from Malmö Högskola in general were unsatisfactory. In conclusion, Z39.50 is a standard for diversity. As with most technologies, it is only useful when it works. Whose responsibility is functionality? First of all, the implementors (i.e. the libraries) must articulate needs and demands. Some should be dealt with in a corporate way while others, such as the very adjustment of the protocol, should be met by the system vendors. Secondly, the implementation of Z39.50 calls for organised co-operation. In Sweden this would best be handled by the libraries themselves, with BIBSAM playing the important role of intermediary and supportive resource, co-ordinating and giving guidance.},
  author       = {Grufman, Elisabet},
  keyword      = {z39.50,samsökning,OPAC,datorbaserad informationssökning - bibliotek,Documentation, information, library science, archivistics,Arkiv- och bibliotekskunskap, dokumentation},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Standardisera mera? : Z39.50 mellan enighet och mångfald},
  year         = {2001},
}