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Use of BRS/Search in OPAC experiments

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  • Design
  • Education


A project was devised to develop a number of user interfaces to an experimental online public access catalogue which could then be evaluated in a series of user tests. BRS/Search commercial software, mounted on a large 16-bit microcomputer, was used to create the interfaces; this saved time and effort in producing the software. The database was small, consisting of only a few thousand records obtained from the education section of a real library catalogue. Particular attention was paid to the average person's understanding of Boolean logic and terms when searching an online catalogue. It is hoped to investigate the design and format of browse screens in online catalogues. The software and hardware used in this project are described at some length. The problems and advantages of using commercial software for this research are discussed.

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