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Thom, You might be interested in "Bibliographic Displays in the Online Catalog," by Walt Crawford, with Lennie Stovel and Kathleen Bales, published in 1986 by Knowledge Industry Publications Inc. (KIPI), ISBN 0-86729-198-2. (Actually copyright by RLG, although the title page says otherwise.)

Although this was back before proportional text in online catalogs, we carried out large-scale tests of quite a variety of record display possibilities, including cardlike displays. "Large scale" means that we "displayed" around 400,000 contemporary catalog records for each display design.

(The book also includes the first large-scale test of MARC field occurrences, a distant precursor to the work Bill Moen's currently engaged in.)

I'd bet the OCLC library has a copy.


Here's a link to Open WorldCat for it. Full of good information and analysis of various display possibilities. Even though we've moved past 24x80 screens, I'd say much of it is still applicable. The authors acknowledge the compactness of card-like displays but feel that the clarity of labeled displays more than make up for that.
It's interesting to look at RedLightGreen, which uses citation-like displays linked to labeled displays. I like that better than FirsSearch's labels-all-the-way approach.

Not sure about the claim about MARC field occurrences. Some might say this would take precedence.


Of course, the other advantage of a card layout, is that a knowledgable user can locate the publisher in a foreign language catalogue, which isn't necessarily possible with a "labeled" display, especially if the labels aren't even in a roman alphabet.

walt crawford

Thom, Sorry I haven't returned for a while. You're right: Your OCLC publication precedes my KIPI book by five years. Sorry for the false claim of precedence.

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