Access to Scholarly Information across Disciplines, Languages, and Alphabets

Access to Scholarly Information across Disciplines, Languages, and Alphabets

YooJin Ha (Clarion University of Pennsylvania, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4466-3.ch015
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Abstract

The global conglomerate enterprise called libraries has spent over a century providing access to specialized trans-language and trans-alphabet information by converting non-Latin alphabets to Latin through transliteration. This endeavor has recently been challenged by efficiencies of scale provided by machine translation. A collective case study of United States national library practices shows that transliteration is still a priority for access to monographic materials at a bibliographic level, although the intended end-users are often confused by such practices and rely more on access through translation. It appears that well-established systems can co-exist in isolation from preferred systems even when both are needed. The result of such a case study shows that separate silos exist in the world of bibliographic access systems for monographic materials with the possibility that the future morphing of electronic materials including books and serials may clarify and possibly resolve this core access issue.

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