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Creating a virtual union catalog for Hong Kong dissertations and theses collections

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Purpose ‐ The aim of this paper is to discuss and analyze the efforts of Hong Kong Baptist University Library to create a virtual union catalog for dissertations and theses collections as a single search platform to retrieve the bibliographic records, abstracts and full-texts of Hong Kong postgraduate students' theses and dissertations from seven university library online public access catalogues (OPACs). Design/methodology/approach ‐ The paper examines the use of advanced keyword searching functionality in Innovative Interfaces' Millennium system and Microsoft active server pages scripts to develop an original search engine to cross search the OPACs of Hong Kong university libraries. Findings ‐ Library searching is more than simply doing a Google search. Libraries do not need to depend on vendors of their library integration systems exclusively for enhancement in OPAC search functionality. Librarians can also take the initiative to maximize the searching capabilities and functionalities of their existing library integration systems, and design new search engines to facilitate patrons to use the OPACs more efficiently and effectively. Originality/value ‐ The paper discusses the creation of a unique platform, which is a free and valuable reference tool for scholars and researchers around the world to cross search the Hong Kong postgraduate students' theses and dissertations. It also provides insights into how librarians can maximize the functionalities of library integration systems to enhance cross searching on OPACs.
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Keywords: Academic libraries; Archives management; Generation and dissemination of information; Hong Kong; Online catalogues; Theses

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 10, 2009

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