Scholarly works and findability - best practices?

13 Sep 2009 - 4:33pm
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Abigail Plumb-L...


Does anyone have experience adding subject organization to small collections
of digital scholarly resources in a way that's long-term scalable but
short-term usable? I'm working on a project about a nearly-dead language,
and one of the site's components allows users to search/browse metadata for
scholarly resources (these metadata will contain links to the resources
themselves.) At the beginning there will be perhaps 20 items in the list;
eventually there may be hundreds. I'm trying to figure out the best approach
from a UX perspective*; my priorities are findability of the resources;
future scalability; ease of implementation.

I am considering the following three options but would love any feedback
and/or insight you have.

1) Tags: allow many subject-related tags to be associated with a given
resource record. (Might include user-generated tags, might not.)
2) Steal Library of Congress or other subject headings from existing
records, where these exist; fake 'em where they don't.
3) Create new taxonomy. Ouch.

*but my perspective is hopelessly skewed by a career that began in
traditional librarianship, for what that's worth!
Abigail Plumb-Larrick

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