The Professional Discussions of Catalogers: A Content Analysis of AUTOCAT

by Neuerburg, Laurie J.

Abstract (Summary)
This study reports on a content analysis conducted on AUTOCAT, an electronic mailing list dedicated to cataloging. The study was conducted to determine the trends and patterns that exist among the discussions occurring on AUTOCAT. This was done by analyzing the email messages posted on AUTOCAT according to topic, function, job title of message author, and institutional affiliation of message author. A systematic random sample of 567 messages was chosen from an estimated total of 10,300 messages posted to AUTOCAT during 2007. The findings of the study indicate that AUTOCAT is being used by cataloging professionals as a valuable resource for solving immediate cataloging questions, especially for message posters who are affiliated with academic libraries that are not members of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). Also, the study suggests that message posters who are affiliated with ARL libraries tend to use AUTOCAT as a discussion forum for general cataloging standards and policies. Other cataloging topics that appear to be heavily discussed on AUTOCAT are professional concerns and technology issues.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Jane Greenberg

School:University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

School Location:USA - North Carolina

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:cataloging content analysis communication library mailing lists professional


Date of Publication:04/07/2008

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