National bibliography and web publications initiatives of the ifla bibliography section
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National Bibliography and web publications: initiatives of the IFLA Bibliography Section. Bohdana Stoklasová Maja Žumer Beacher Wiggins. Authors. Bohdana Stoklasová (chair 2001-2005, new chair Unni Knutsen ) Maja Žumer – chair of the Working group on (electronic) national bibliography

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National Bibliography and web publications: initiatives of the IFLA Bibliography Section

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National bibliography and web publications initiatives of the ifla bibliography section

National Bibliography and web publications: initiatives of the IFLA Bibliography Section

Bohdana Stoklasová

Maja Žumer

Beacher Wiggins



  • Bohdana Stoklasová (chair 2001-2005, new chair Unni Knutsen)

  • Maja Žumer – chair of the Working group on (electronic) national bibliography

  • Beacher Wiggins – new secretary + survey on inclusion of electronic resources in national bibliographies

Ifla bibliography section

IFLA Bibliography Section


[Strategic Plan 2004-2005]

The Bibliography Section furthers universal bibliographic control (UBC) by promoting standards and best practices in the production, content, arrangement, dissemination and preservation of bibliographic information.

Ifla bibliography section1

IFLA Bibliography Section


In the context of UBC the Section is particularly concerned with the work of national bibliographic agencies. It is also concerned with the promotion of the importance of the discipline of bibliography to library professionals in all types of libraries, to publishers, distributors and retailers, and to end-users. While taking full account of technological capabilities, the Section will ensure that its solutions are not necessarily dependent on particular technologies.

Ifla bibliography section2

IFLA Bibliography Section


The Section is closely associated with the other sections within the Division of Bibliographic Control

  • Cataloguing

  • Classification and indexing

  • Knowledge Management

    Where appropriate, it cooperates with other

    divisions and sections.

Ifla bibliography section3

IFLA Bibliography Section

More information:

Ifla bibliography section4

IFLA Bibliography Section

  • program of the Section focused on subjects important for the region of the IFLA congress

  • Web resources – selection criteria, collection development, bibliographic control, archiving & preservation - extremely important for Europe: Berlin 2003, Oslo 2005

  • other priorities for Latin America, Africa etc.

Web resources berlin 2003

Web resources: Berlin 2003

More oslo 2005

More: Oslo 2005

  • program focused on electronic resources and electronic bibliographies

  • survey



  • exponential availability of Web and other digital resources

  • critical need to address how national bibliographic agencies were incorporating these resources into the national bibliography

Survey dissemination

Survey - dissemination

  • Europe (IFLA in Oslo)

  • 44 national libraries and bibliographic agencies (two institutions sharing responsibility for NB in some countries – Denmark, Poland, Russia)

  • 33 institutions answered the survey

Responding countries

Responding countries

Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom

Subject areas covered

Subject areas covered

  • Legal deposit framework

  • Current archiving and legal deposit practice

  • Bibliographic description

  • Access to Web archive

Legal deposit framework

Legal deposit framework

  • legal deposit as foundation for NB

  • robust legal deposit activity

  • 30 countries have legislation requiring legal deposit of some or all types of publications

  • 11 countries: remote electronic resources included

  • 26 countries: fixed electronic resources included

  • 21 coutries: plans to change the legal deposit framework during the coming 5 years

Current archiving and legal deposit practice

Current archiving and legal deposit practice

  • 18 agencies archive remote resources

  • 26 agencies archive fixed resources

  • 11 countries – shared responsibility for archiving (libraries with academies, archives, government agencies, museums etc.)

Types of archived remote electronic resources

Types of archived remote electronic resources

  • 11 agencies: the entire national domain name space (e.g. “.fi”, “,uk”)

  • 12 agencies: selected resources within national domain name space

  • 9 agencies: resources published outside the national domain space (e.g. “.com”, .”org”, “net”)

  • 7 agencies: only digital born resources

  • 7 agencies: only resources accessible without cost

  • 2 agencies: resources that have a fee to be accessed

  • 2 agencies: resources for restricted user groups

  • 13 agencies: experiments to test the archiving or selecting of remote resources

Tools for harvesting

Tools for harvesting

  • Heritrix

  • Nedlib harvester

  • Wget and Httrack

International internet preservation consortium

International Internet Preservation Consortium

  • 12 member institutions (more in 2006)

  • mission: to acquire, preserve and make accessible Internet materials

  • goal: to encourage the development and sharing of tools, methods and standards that support the building of international archives

  • standards, tools, tests, recommendations

Bibliographic description

Bibliographic description

A high percentage of electronic resources are given bibliographic description

  • 26 agencies: bibliographic description for fixed resources

  • 20 agencies for some or all remote resources

  • 9 agencies share the responsibility for bibliographic description with another entity

Metadata schemas

Metadata schemas

  • 11 agencies: DC

  • 6 agencies: MARC 21

  • 2 agencies: UNIMARC

  • [2 agencies: METS]

Cataloguing tools

Cataloguing tools



  • ISBN: 21 agencies

  • ISSN: 22 agencies

  • URL: 13 agencies

  • URN: 10 agencies

Level of bibliographic description

Level of bibliographic description

  • Fixed resources: mostly full level bibliographic description + authority control

  • Remote resources: selection, often full level bibliographic records, only small percentage of authority control

Capture of er in nb

Capture of ER in NB

Fixed resources: 18 agencies

Capture of er in nb1

Capture of ER in NB

Remote resources: different types included in different countries:

  • The entire national domain name space: 2

  • Topical web sites: 2

  • Web sites of government institutions: 2

  • Web sites of non-government institutions: 4

  • Weblogs (Blogs): 1

  • Monographs (except those mentioned below): 11

  • Research reports, dissertations and other academic works: 10

  • Textbooks: 7

  • E-books: 12

Capture of er in nb2

Capture of ER in NB

  • Serials (except those mentioned below): 12

  • E-journals: 13

  • Article archives: 4

  • Newspapers: 9

  • Newspaper archives: 2

  • Maps (including databases): 4

  • Music scores: 5

  • Sound recordings: 3

  • Motion pictures: 2

  • Games: 2

  • General learning objects and multimedia: 2

  • Databases (e.g., bibliographic, full text, numeric, image, audio, mixed): 3

  • Chat groups, News groups, Ephemera: 0

Selection criteria

Selection criteria

  • Fixed resources: 17 agencies

  • Remoted resources: 10 agencies

  • Published criteria – URLs to be posted to the Section’s Website

Bib description of er experiments

Bib description of ER experiments

  • use of a metadata generator

  • use of DC

  • use of descriptions in an article database to access the full texts of the articles

  • use the newly created LC access level record for creating catalogue records

Access to web archive

Access to Web archive

  • legislation concerning the rights of users to access and use electronic resources: 14 countries

  • access to the Web archive: 10 agencies (mostly local access)

  • digital repository for the archiving of ER: 16 agencies

Survey conclusion

Survey conclusion

  • national bibliographic agencies are seeking ways to provide bibliographic description based on using and capturing existing metadata

  • bibliographic description will be accomplished using alternatives to the full level catalog records that are used for analog and print resources

  • revising legal deposit legislation will be crucial to the inclusion of Internet resources to the collections of national libraries

  • most European libraries are planning such revision of legal deposit legislation

  • national bibliographies are moving towards more extensive inclusion of electronic resources – both remote and fixed

Survey conclusion1

Survey conclusion

  • experimentation is under way to improve the capture, preservation, and provision of access to Web resources by national bibliographic agencies

  • best practices andemerging standards will result from the various experimentation

  • the IIPC will play an influential role in Web harvesting, archiving and access

What about national bibliography in this context

What about national bibliography in this context?

NB [only] 50 years ago and today

  • different context

  • different documents

  • different users

  • need for different solutions

  • need for new guidelines

  • WG on (electronic) national bibliography

50 years ago

50 years ago

»The ideal [current national] bibliography is conceived as a complete listing of all books, documents, pamphlets, serials, and other printed matter published within the bounds of a single country and within the time limits of the previous year or less« (Conover, 1955).



National bibliography in the modern sense of the word is defined as a cumullation of the authoritative and comprehensive records of the national imprint (i.e., products of the national publishing industry) of a country, published regularly, and with the least possible delay. It is produced in accordance with international standards by the national bibliographic agency. Publication details and authorship are investigated and verified in detail.

What does it really mean

What does it really mean?

  • How is the national imprint (or, production of national publishing industry) defined?

  • What are its borders (geographically, conceptually)?

  • Which standards should be followed?

  • What is the appropriate delay in publication of national bibliographies?

  • Which format of the national bibliography is the most appropriate?

What are nb used for now

What are NB used for now?

  • Selection and acquisition in libraries and similar institutions

  • Cataloguing

  • Verification of authorship and publication history

  • Statistical account of a country’s publishing output

  • Evidence of the impact of government policies in relation to education, language, economic programs, etc.

  • To reveal the extent of a country’s self sufficiency in producing the publications it requires

Wg on electronic national bibliography

WG on (electronic) national bibliography

  • Goal: To develop guidelines for national bibliographies in electronic form (ENB)

    • develop selection principles that will cover electronic resources

    • prepare recommendations for ENB functionality

    • define access points

    • prepare guidelines for the interface

Competition on the information market

Competition on the information market

  • there is an overlap (and competition) with other products and services:

    • books-in-print

    • national union catalogues

    • catalogues of big university/research libraries

    • Google, Amazon, Yahoo…

  • the national bibliography should provide something other products and services do not or cannot

  • the added value of NB has to be advertised

Users of nb

Users of NB

  • good evidence and understanding of use in libraries

  • some investigation into other users in some countries

  • broader studies on both current and potential users are needed

Present and potential users

Present and potential users

  • librarians

  • end-users

  • book trade

  • agencies

  • rights management organisations

  • others



  • cataloguers

    • copy cataloguing

    • cataloguing support (bibliographic and authority records)

  • acquisition librarians

    • ordering publications

    • identifying publishers, distributors, publication status

  • collection development

    • analysis and selection

    • awareness of future publications

  • reference librarians

    • acting on behalf of end-users

  • legal deposit management

    • analysis and control of legal deposit

  • preservation

    • to determine trends in publishing and plan preservation procedures

End users


Very heterogeneous

  • library patrons

  • remote users

  • formal or informal groups

  • corporate bodies

Book trade

Book trade

  • publishers:

    commercial and non-commercial sector, also government and official publishers use national bibliographies to analyze the market and competition

  • booksellers

    similar to collection development and acquisition librarians. In addition they may perform the function of a reference librarian and possibly even refer customers to libraries (or Google, Yahoo…?) for out-of-print publications



  • funding bodies: to study the impact of existing funding or to plan future funding policies

  • official statistics for statistical account of all aspects of country’s publishing output

Rights management

Rights management

  • collecting societies: high-quality authority control and authoritative data on authorship - national bibliography data can be (and is) used to support management of intellectual rights

  • government bodies: for management of lending right remuneration



  • printers identifying publishers to offer cooperation

  • journalists to identify language/genre/origin patterns in publications

  • organizers of book fairs

  • identification of translators from/to specific language

  • identification of illustrators

Information needs and contexts

Information needs and contexts

  • cataloguing

  • re-use of records

  • collection development

  • acquisition and booksellers

  • publisher analysis

  • analysis of publishing sector

  • rights management

  • computer software

    • federated/distributed searching

    • harvesting



  • searching requirements

    • types of searching

    • necessary access points

  • data needed

    • extent of record

    • format

  • additional expectations

Next steps

Next steps

  • analysis of existing selection principles

  • recommendations on selection principles

  • specification of functionality of ENB

  • guidelines for the interface

  • interoperability with other environments and systems

    • conceptual

    • technical

The future

The future?

  • challenge for the Bibliography Section

  • challenge for the IFLA WG on (electronic) national bibliography

  • challenge for you

  • challenge to influence the picture of the future

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