Comparing BIG Bibliographies on CD ROM

Article excerpt

Comparing BIG bibliographies on CD ROM

THE PUBLICATION OF TRADEbibliographies on compact disc (CD ROM) exemplifies an emerging axiom of the publishing industry: all information will first be generated in machine-readable form, and then publication format (e.g. paper, microform, optical media, or magnetic media) will be determined by the nature and potential uses of the information and by market factors.

A comparison of Books in Print (BIP ) and AnyBook/LaserSearch makes an interesting case study of two publishers and their approaches to electronic publication.

While some comparisons are drawn withthe print/fiche equivalents of both publications, the focus of this review is on the CD ROM versions.

The criteria for evaluating electronicpublications must go beyond those applied to print materials to include the ease of use and power of search software; the capability of interacting with other automated products; hardware considerations; and comparison of the costs and advantages of various formats of a particular publication for different library functions.

Product backgrounds

AnyBook

In early 1985 the Ingram Book Companycontracted with The Library Corporation (publisher of the AnyBook database in microfiche since 1982) to write the search software (LaserSearch) to produce AnyBook on CD ROM. The resulting CD ROM publication appeared in July 1985 and is marketed by both companies, but under different names: AnyBook and LaserSearch (hereafter referred to as AnyBook).

AnyBook is an integrated book identification,electronic ordering, and acquisitions system. The creative force behind the AnyBook database is Brower Murphy, president of The Library Corporation and a pioneer in electronic publishing for libraries. A small but rapidly growing company, The Library Corporation has published the LC MARC records on microfiche since 1972 and in a CD ROM version called Bibliofile since 1986. The company markets AnyBook on CD ROM and Bibliofile as links in an emerging integrated system.

A library can verify and order materialsusing AnyBook, then electronically transport the ISBN numbers of books on order to Bibliofile. From there the library can retrieve and edit MARC records for local catalog records. This electronic pathway for bibliographic processing continues (currently the link is in place with CLSI) with the transfer of catalog records into an online catalog and circulation system.

In the model just described, library recordsare handled electronically from the point of pre-order searching and verification for ordering purposes, through cataloging, and into circulation. Keypunching is reduced to the strokes necessary to edit electronic records to local standards.

BIP

The R.R. Bowker Company (a divisionof Reed Publishing) has been publishing for library markets for more than a century. Bowker has published BIP in paper format since 1948 and online since 1981 (BIP is also available in microfiche). As host to the North American ISBN Agency, Bowker has a certain advantage in harnessing the publishing output of the nation. A tool used by virtually all American libraries and bookstores, BIP has become the standard trade bibliography of U.S. imprints.

Development of BIP began in December1985. The search software was developed by a sister company, Online Computer Systems. A major marketing campaign is underway to promote this first product of Bowker's Electronic Publishing division.

Electronic ordering and acquisitionsfunctions are not part of the BIP software, but the system permits electronic ordering through an interface with the ordering software of major vendors.

Database contents

BIP

The BIP database contains records forabout 750,000 in-print and forthcoming U.S. imprints and foreign imprints distributed exclusively in the U.S. BIP contains the print publications Books in Print, Subject Guide to Books in Print, Books in Print Supplement, Forthcoming Books, and Children's Books in Print. …