23:3 (2008:09) 23rd Conference (2008): Tactics Session: Journal Title Display and Citation Practices

September 2, 2008 at 1:50 pm | Posted in Tactics Sessions | Leave a comment


Journal Title Display and Citation Practices
Regina Reynolds, US ISSN Center; Steve Shadle, University of Washington; Les Hawkins, CONSER
Reported by Glenda Griffin and Kathryn Wesley

Three speakers conducted a session aimed at gathering information, ascertaining interest levels, and developing ideas to resolve challenges related to title display practices for electronic journal publishers and provider websites.  These issues indicate a need for participation from the stakeholders to establish and implement best practices.  Additionally, interested parties are encouraging NISO to put together a working group to address these matters.

Regina Reynolds of the US ISSN Center described current circumstances that often lead a user “off a cliff” when a link is followed and the resulting title display differs from the citation information.  This can result when a journal that has gone through one or more title changes is displayed on a publisher/provider website under one heading, generally the latest version of the title, with no reference to the previous titles.  If a user possesses a citation for an issue under a previous title, and the link leads to the correct content but is labeled under a later title, the user will likely be confused.  The user metaphorically falls off the cliff and often abandons the search.  To add to the muddle, volume, number and issue discrepancies can also exist in addition to title hindrances.

Not all hindrances end a search, however.  Searches can be successful if the citation information resembles the accessed title closely enough that the user presses on with the quest.  Successful searches in these circumstances result because the user managed to follow the breadcrumbs.  However, “Breadcrumbs are good, but not good enough,” said Reynolds.  She added that, “We cannot rely on some title changes being recognizable and some not.”

Steve Shadle of the University of Washington expressed regret that in many situations, “Content is being paid for and hidden by erroneous data.”   Suggestions from Shadle and others as possible boons include the newly-launched linking ISSN as well as OCLC’s xISSN service.

A discussion period followed the panelists’ remarks.  Audience member Bob Boissy remarked that publishers sometimes want to display all content under the latest title for marketing purposes, but that a more complete title list would be a promotional mechanism.  Another issue mentioned in the discussion was the accuracy of citation building software results when incorrect title information is provided.  A solution suggested was for publishers to hire cataloger employees or library advisory boards.  However, while large publishers might be able to afford to do this, small publishers might not be able to do so.  Also on the horizon is the possibility that NASIG members may find themselves in the roles of advisors for publishers.


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