Lucy Bell, SKOS-HASSET’s Project Manager, attended the CILIP Cataloguing and Indexing Group’s 2012 conference last week (10th – 11th September). This gave a good opportunity to network with the librarian community – and in particular indexers who may find a use for SKOS-HASSET.
Lucy presented a paper on ‘Getting metadata to work harder’ and talked about the work of the SKOS-HASSET project, including how the UK Data Archive has used HASSET in the past and how this may change in the future. The paper was received well and has been followed up since with some useful email conversations (and tweets!).
The conference itself provided some interesting food for thought, highlighting especially how cataloguing workflows in many libraries will need to be more streamlined in the future. Cataloguers and indexers are looking for tools which will help them work more efficiently but which will still enable them to apply quality control.
Papers were given on automation techniques (such as that from Gary Green of Surrey County Council Libraries) and on cataloguing wider materials (such as that from Helen Williams of the London School of Economics and Political Science, who spoke about cataloguing institutional repository items). These allowed us to compare our indexing work within the SKOS-HASSET project, and more widely, with that from other libraries and information services. The LSE’s use of wikis for sharing detailed instructions (and standardised terms) was particularly interesting.
Extensive work was also presented on the new library Resource Description and Access (RDA) standard and on the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) model, both of which take a more holistic approach to the application of index terms, promoting the re-use of terms. This places indexing in a more ontological environment, allowing the relationships between entities, subjects and concepts to be made more explicit and thus permitting more connections to be made. This seems to tie in neatly with RDF and our work to apply SKOS to HASSET, which in itself will make this tool more flexible.