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Multilingual Access to Subjects (MACS)

Multilingual Access to Subjects (MACS)

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Multilingual Access to Subjects (MACS)

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  1. Multilingual Access to Subjects (MACS) Patrice Landry Swiss National Library M-CAST Seminar, Prague 24th November 2006

  2. Approaches to multilingual subject access - Construction • Translation (RVM, MESH) • Satellite thesauri approach (linking various online thesauri) – with a common search interface • Switching (Renardus) • Direct mapping (equivalences between terms in different controlled vocabularies or between terms and classification numbers)

  3. Methods used for link storage and access • Authority records (equivalences coded in a local or networked database): RVM, MSAC • Links database: MACS • Semantic Network (organised structure where each unit is linked to a cluster of equivalent terms): UMLS

  4. Why the MACS approach? • In 1997, the need to find a « neutral » solution for linking SHLs forced some national libraries to find a solution not based on translation • Approach to add value to existing data instead of creating new data (value added data) • Linking work and management outside of each library’s authority files

  5. What is MACS? • A project that is developing a system that offers multilingual subject access using current subject headings languages (SHLs) • A project that is based on a coordinated approach between national libraries • A system that will permit users to search library catalogues in the language of their choice

  6. The British Library LCSH English Bibliothèque nationale de France RAMEAU Français Partners 3 SHLs Library of Congress Subject Heading Répertoire d’Autorité-Matière Encyclopédique et Alphabétique Unifié Schlagwortnormdatei / Regeln für den Schlagwortkatalog Die Deutsche Bibliothek SWD/RSWK Deutsch Swiss National Library project leader SWD/RSWK Deutsch On behalf of CENL

  7. Basic principles • Equality of languages and SHLs (no pivot) with autonomy of each SHL (only local, MACS is an external link database) • Establishment of equivalences (no translation) between the SHLs involved (no new thesaurus) • Equivalence links conceived as concept clustersMACS = mappings and numeric identifiers • Consistency of results (goal = users retrieval) • Extensible to other SHLs

  8. Subject searching in a MONOLINGUAL environment? Doc. in Russian Doc. in French Doc. in German Doc. in English Indexer German indexer assigns headings in German SH Italian SH German SH French SH English ? ? ? user has to search in German User English

  9. Subject indexing and searching in a MULTILINGUAL environment Doc. in Russian Doc. in French Doc. in German Doc. in English Indexer German indexer assigns headings in German SH Italian SH German SH French SH English user can search in English User English

  10. Milestones • Proposal & Feasibility study (1997-1999) • Prototype development (2000-2001) • Testing & Link Management (LMI) upgrade to production database (2002-April 2004) • New Link Management Interface production database accepted by partners (2005) • New Project Proposal: June 2005 (revised August 2006) • Move to production: adding SWD headings to RAMEAU-LCSH links (2006) • Integration in The European Library : end 2006?

  11. Short overview of the Link management database and search interface • The project has produced a Link Management Database which presently contains: - 70’000 RAMEAU-LCSH links and 3’000 RAMEAU / LCSH / SWD links • A search Interface that was developed as part of the prototype and will be fully developed as part of the MACS development

  12. This is the screen where all of the linking work starts

  13. Links are organised by domains

  14. Search is used to locate a link (using either a term, authority Number or a MACS number

  15. Display of results from where work on adding or modifying a link is done

  16. With the « edit » button a SHL can be modified

  17. Work is organised in a decentralised environment and managed by « To Do » And « To Know »

  18. Becoming operational (or how to move an international project into a library) • The « project syndrome » is a common occurance in international projects: succesful projects but difficulties in moving to production or applying results generally • The MACS project accomplished many tasks with a lot of enthusiasm (and human resources, and a little money) but …. • The longer a project exists, the more there is the risk of staff turnaround and the decrease of institutional committment to the project

  19. The four MACS Project constraints • Consortium agreement • Financing • Human resources • Strategic

  20. The solution: A new project proposal • A new project structure with roles and responsabilities (project and within each partner’s institution) • A project manual with specific action plan • A strategic plan (operational and development) • Takes in consideration mapping recommendations from BS 8723, Part 4 (draft), in particular source and target language strategy

  21. Current activities • MACS has moved to production (2006) – work is underway to add SWD headings to RAMEAU-LCSH links • Search Interface (SI) – New interface needs to be developed • MACS linking manual is being written (using the BS 8723, Part 4 (draft) as standard source) • Investigating integration in The European Library (TEL)

  22. Future • An operational system and cross-language subject access to the Catalogues of European National Libraries THANK YOU!

  23. Contacts • http://macs.cenl.org • Patrice.Landry@slb.admin.ch • Genevieve.Clavel@slb.admin.ch