Where SCIS becomes much more … muchier

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.

The new website will be officially launched at ASLA 2017 and SLANZA 2017 – so if you’re attending one of these amazing conferences, please swing by to say hello and see the new SCIS system in action.

Data formats

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).

Genre
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.

Publication Details
In another major RDA step, SCIS now catalogues items using the 264 MARC field for publication details instead of the deprecated 260 field.

Resource Type
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.

Cataloguing range

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.

Continue reading Where SCIS becomes much more … muchier

Fare thee well, GMD

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).

SCIS is very pleased to announce the next major step in that plan. From April 2017, SCIS will cease use of the GMD (General Material Designation), a set of deprecated terms used to describe the ‘Type’ of resource.

SCIS will now use the RDA cataloguing standard of ‘Content, media and carrier type’ to describe the resource. This comes after consultation with, and preparation by, the library management systems who distribute SCIS metadata. While use of RDA for type was adopted as a SCIS cataloguing standard in 2013, GMD was maintained in order to support older systems, a move which is no longer necessary.

Continue reading Fare thee well, GMD

A Preference For Genre

Traditionally, library fiction collections have been organised by author surnames, though many libraries are now ‘genrefying’ their collections, following a model reminiscent of bookstores. This may be through genre stickers on book spines, the physical arrangement of the collection, or both, and means that students are able to browse within their preferred genres.

We are pleased to announce that SCISWeb profile settings have been updated to include genre preferences, which will determine the placement of the genre headings in MARC records downloaded from the SCIS orders page.

Genre headings have historically been included in the ‘Topical Term’ field (MARC 650), grouped with other SCISSHL and ScOT terms. The new update provides the option to have genre headings classified separately, in the ‘Genre/Form’ field (MARC 655). This means your library management system will register these as specific genres, and will enable your catalogue users to search and browse via these headings.

Continue reading A Preference For Genre

SCIS cataloguing standards update: Dewey or don’t we?

There has been some discussion at SCIS about how schools treat picture books that rhyme. It has been SCIS practice to classify stories in rhyme picture books as poetry, with each book allocated a Dewey Decimal number. However, feedback in workshops and surveys indicate that this did not reflect the preferred classification in schools.

The Information Services Standards Committee (ISSC) meets regularly to discuss and make revisions to the SCIS Standards for Cataloguing and Data Entry, and this issue was recently discussed during a teleconference with the committee. The decision was made on behalf of the ISSC to classify stories in rhyme picture books as fiction, intending to make browsing easier for students and staff in schools. This will also save you the time spent changing the classifications manually.

If you have any questions about this update, please contact scisinfo@esa.edu.au.

We are interested in learning more about how you manage resources so that our standards continue to reflect schools’ needs

We want to make sure our catalogue records continue to meet the needs of our subscribers. Can you spare ten minutes to complete this survey so we can understand how resources are being managed in school libraries?

All survey respondents will go in the draw to win a $250 book card.

Access to digital content

Recent SCIS workshops and presentations have focused on the challenges facing school libraries in their management of digital content. As a key service provider and partner with Australian and New Zealand school libraries SCIS is committed to helping schools deal with collection management issues, and provides catalogue records for e-books, websites, apps, audio books, learning objects and digital video.

SCIS RDA implementation 1 July 2013

SCIS, along with the library world globally, is implementing the new Resource Description and Access (RDA) cataloguing standards – the first major change to take place since the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, second edition (AACR2) were released in 1978.

SCIS Standards for Cataloguing and Data Entry 2013 edition

The standards that govern SCIS cataloguing have been rewritten and the new 2013 edition has now been published. This extensive document available as a PDF download from the SCIS Help page, is written for SCIS cataloguing staff and runs to 209 pages. The sections most affected by RDA include:
Section 2: Descriptive cataloguing
Section 5: Standards for specific formats, and
Section 6: MARC coding: Bibliographic records

Cake toasting the launch of RDA and RDA Toolkit
Celebrating the launch of RDA at ALA10
CC-by-nc-sa

SCIS cataloguers will commence using these standards on 1 July 2013.
SCIS major decisions

SCIS has consulted with library system providers in Australian and New Zealand school libraries and has decided to move slowly towards full RDA implementation. From 1 July 2013 – 1 July 2014 SCIS will produce hybrid RDA records which continue to use the GMD from AACR2, and which will also retain the 260 Publication field rather than the new 264 field: Production, Publication, Distribution, Manufacture, and Copyright Notice, used by most systems using RDA.

RDA test records

The following records have been added to SCIS so library system providers and SCIS subscribers can test any impact of the change in standards on their systems.

Please note that ISBNs have been removed from these records so they are not accidentally retrieved through SCISWeb or Z39.50. Normal SCIS records will continue to include the ISBN where available.

Title Type of resource Hybrid RDA test
Pure RDA test
Chasing the light : a novel of Antarctica book, fiction 1614792 1614815
Saint Paul’s letters to the Corinthians in the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate book, nonfiction 1614767 1585707
Eraserhead video recording, DVD 1614751 1588961
Desire musical sound recording, CD 1614750 1588970
The call of the wild audiobook, online 1614737 1607780
100 healthy desserts e-book, online 1614769 1581096
Home of the Australian Women Writers Challenge website 1614785 1614812

Background on RDA

For a review of what RDA is, and why it is being implemented revisit this compilation of previous Connections articles and blog posts.

In Connections 83 (October 2012) we published an article by Renate Beilharz from Box Hill Institute entitled: Why new rules, and what’s it got to do with me?
Issue 84 explained How SCIS will implement RDA, and Issue 85 provided more detail on how RDA deals with media types.

As part of the SCIS consultation on 4 December 2012 Renate also provided an introduction to RDA and its benefits for education libraries.

More information about RDA is available on the website of the Australian Committee on Cataloging.

http://www.slideshare.net/scis/rda-in-scis

SCIS Catalogue features

Have you checked out the new SCIS Catalogue launched last week?
As well as a fresh look, there are a number of features that will be appreciated by SCIS users.

Search filters

The search limits available in previous versions of SCIS OPAC are still available (year, place, type, format and language), but search limits have been supplemented in this version of the Catalogue by the ability to filter the results following your initial search. These filters are found in the right hand column of the search results page.

SCIS Catalogue filter options
Search filters

Log in to the SCIS Catalogue and try the filters on a search for World Cup.

If you have requests for other filters you would like to see included as default, please let us know.

Timeout warning

A new timeout countdown feature alerts you if your search session has been idle for some time and is about to be reset.
Extension to the timeout period is also being trialled following a server upgrade.

Accessibility

The Voyager 7.0 WebVoyáge user interface was developed to comply with international industry accessibility standards.

Mobile devices

The new SCIS Catalogue is designed to display well and resize for use on various mobile devices.

Technical infrastructure

The SCIS Catalogue is now on a separate server at address: http://opac.scis.curriculum.edu.au which means it can function independently in the event of downtime on other SCIS services such as SCISWeb. If your network settings or firewall need to be changed as a result, please contact SCIS for the IP address of this server.

New SCIS Catalogue

From 3 October 2011 the SCIS catalogue will undergo a major upgrade.

This involves implementation of

Design concept for SCIS catalogue
  1. a new version of the Voyager library system which underpins the SCIS service
  2. a new, more intuitive interface design for the SCIS Catalogue
  3. a new server platform.

We will endeavour to keep disruptions to a minimum during this time.

You will be able to follow the progress of the upgrade via:

  • news postings on the SCIS website
  • the SCIS twitter account and
  • email messages to subscribers.
    Please ensure you have a valid email address registered with SCIS so that we can keep you informed. Simply log in to SCISWeb,  and go to My Profile to add or update your email address.

New SCIS subject headings for electronic devices

The SCIS Information Services Standards Committee met by teleconference on 25 May 2011. The major outcome of the teleconference is a revision of the SCIS subject heading hierarchy covering types of computers and device names.

The New South Wales SCIS agency prepared the original paper which was raised for discussion in February 2011.  As the paper was complex and included many aspects of the subject area of computers and related devices, further discussion and consultation, particularly with the WA SCIS agency was required before the proposal was approved.

New headings for the following categories of devices are now available:

Digital media players
E-book readers
Interactive whiteboards
Laptop computers
Pocket computers
Portable computers
Smartphones
Tablet computers

Most of these headings allow for the construction of further headings for specific devices, such as iPad (Tablet computer) and Kindle (E-book reader).

Further details of the changes will be announced in the term 3 2011 issue of Connections (issue 78).

New in SCIS series

Below is an important message about a change to the SCIS Cataloguing Standards which was sent to school library management system vendors on 31 March 2011.
———————————————————————–

Thangmar Göttingen, SUB Library, Lesesaal, old bibliographies, Public domain
Gottingen, Old bibliographies by Thangmar 2005, PD

The MARC 440 field (Series statement/Added entry – Title) was made obsolete in the international standard in 2008.

In 2009 SCIS announced its intention to stop using 440 and use both the 490 and 830 tags as prescribed in the standard. Tag 490 is part of the description of the resource, and contains the series statement as it appears on the item; tag 830 is the series access point or added entry. In some cases the data in the two fields may be identical. SCIS does not use fields 800, 810 and 811 as it prefers to provide series access by title rather than name/title.

For new records, SCIS is now using 490 and 830 as required. Records created prior to the changeover retain the series added entry in the 440 field. Your local system should provide for searching and displaying both 440 and 830 as series titles. Both 490 and 830 are repeatable, ie there may be more than one 490 or 830 in a single record.

You can find some examples of 490 and 830 fields in the updated MARC coding section of the SCIS standards.

For full details see the MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data.

——————————————————————————

Library system vendors have indicated that they either already support this standard, or are planning to implement it and that school libraries should experience minimal change as a result of this update. Please contact your support person if you have further questions about how this works in your system.

A more in-depth article on the series cataloguing standards change will be available in Connections Issue 77 arriving in schools in Term 2 2011.