For anyone who may follow us on social media, or has chatted to the team recently, you may be aware that SCIS keeps talking about our ‘big infrastructure upgrade’. This is the result of three years of quantitative and qualitative market research – thank you once again to everyone who has provided feedback along the way.
So here’s a little more detail about what a SCIS infrastructure upgrade means, and why we’re so excited.
A sparkly new SCIS website
It’s time for a change. We are building a new SCIS website to provide a simpler user experience, more intuitive help articles, and online payment options in multiple currencies. Renewal invoices will now be emailed to subscribers, rather than posted.
More importantly, subscribers will have access to richer search capabilities, ease of record download for print and digital content, and the capacity to track the status of cataloguing requests. The SCIS team, with vendor support, will be providing plenty of training for new and existing users.
We’re particularly pleased about the opportunities our new site will provide us as we move into the future. The library world is changing, with new practices, formats and standards, including Web 2.0, linked data, and FRBR to name a few. With the new site, SCIS will be well positioned to pioneer into these new frontiers.
The RDA journey
Since early 2014, SCIS has been working through its RDA implementation plan. For those who are not familiar with RDA, it stands for Resource Description and Access, the cataloguing standard introduced to replace Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AARC2).
From 1 April 2017, SCIS commenced cataloguing genre terms into the 655 field. On top of this, the SCIS team have been tinkering away with a project to retrospectively update all relevant records with genre terms. We are pleased to announce this project is now complete.
In another major RDA step, SCIS now catalogues items using the 264 MARC field for publication details instead of the deprecated 260 field.
SCIS has ceased use of the GMD (General Material Designation), a set of deprecated terms used to describe ‘Type’ of resource. SCIS now uses the RDA cataloguing standard of ‘Content, media and carrier type’ to describe the resource. SCIS will be leveraging linked data technologies to provide user-friendly descriptions in our new catalogue through a brand new SCIS Resource Type vocabulary.
SCIS works to catalogue as much educational content as possible, and we’re particularly proud that our hit rate has increased year-on-year, to now be sitting at an average of 90%. As the market has changed, so has the content being used in libraries. In response to this, SCIS are now cataloguing a lot more digital material and a lot more international content. If you haven’t yet downloaded records for digital content into your library management system, you can read this article for some great reasons why you should.
A SCIStastic future
We have some pretty big plans for our new system. Right now we’re working towards release of a third authority – Series Authority – for 2018. If you’re after a reason why we love authorities (and why they are so important in school libraries) you can read our blog on the matter.
And the innovation won’t end there. Watch this space.
- Beilharz, R 2012, ‘RDA new cataloguing rules’, Connections, no. 83, https://www.scisdata.com/media/1345/83connections.pdf
- Chadwick, B & Elliott, R 2017, ‘Subject Authority: avoiding the unknown unknown’, http://scis.edublogs.org/2017/03/27/subject-authority-avoiding-the-unknown-unknown/
- Elliott, R 2017, ‘Fare thee well, GMD’, http://scis.edublogs.org/2017/03/31/fare-thee-well-gmd
- Styles, J & Richardson, N 2016, ‘What’s so special about Special Order Files?’, Connections, no. 87, https://www.scisdata.com/connections/issue-97/whats-so-special-about-special-order-files