Research Output
Library catalogue’s search interface: Making the most of subject metadata
  This article addresses the underutilization of knowledge organization systems (KOS) elements in online library catalogues, hindering effective subject-based search and discovery. It highlights the International Society for Knowledge Organization's initiative to develop metadata guidelines for library catalog procurement, focusing on maximizing the value of subject metadata from classification systems and controlled vocabularies. The paper discusses the rationale for quality subject access, proposes desirable search functionalities based on research, explores implementation challenges, and outlines future developments. The conclusion emphasizes the importance of providing quality subject access in digital services and calls for further research on interface design, guideline adoption, KOS evolution, and the impact of language models on subject metadata use. The work underscores the need for applying controlled vocabularies in search interfaces across libraries, archives, and museums while acknowledging the complementary role of alternative approaches like social tagging and automatic indexing. Extensive future research is suggested to implement search functionalities, promote guidelines adoption, enhance KOS evolution, and assess the influence of language models on subject metadata utilization.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    29 December 2023

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  • ISSN:


  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Golub, K., Gnoli, C., Haynes, D., Salaba, A., Shiri, A., & Slavic, A. (in press). Library catalogue’s search interface: Making the most of subject metadata. Knowledge Organization,


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