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Investigation of MARC use in Iranian academic libraries

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to investigate the usability of machine-readable cataloging (MARC) in the academic libraries located in Tehran, Iran. Design/methodology/approach ‐ A quantitative methodology was adopted. The data are based on a survey conducted with a researcher-made questionnaire to measure the views of Iranian academic librarians about MARC. In total, 45 librarians who have at least one year experience in cataloging and classification and know MARC were the sample of this study. Statistical analysis (descriptive and inferential) was applied using Excel and SPSS software to analyze the data. Findings ‐ The results showed over 72 per cent of catalogers in Tehran academic libraries claimed that they know MARC and 50 per cent of them claimed that they used it. Based upon the librarians' views the most important advantages of MARC are: making uniform subject headings, union catalogue and uniform authority names, exchange information with other libraries, exchange bibliographic information with different languages. Also according to the in catalogers the most important problems of MARC in general are: unchangeable format, detailed format, and not paying attention to needs of end-users, different coding system in the country, problem of library software in using MARC, and using different MARC formats. Originality/value ‐ The paper's findings may help improve our understanding about MARC. The survey results could be used for enhancing the level of MARC application in academic libraries, not only in Iran but also elsewhere.
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Keywords: Academic libraries; Cataloguing; Encoding; Iran

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 5, 2010

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