Tuesday 5 March 2019

Drop metadata from the Catalog of Government Publications?

The great geeky librarians over at the Free Gov Info blog have posted their opinions of a new GPO proposal. GPO has proposed dropping "historic URLs" from govinfo records in the Catalog of Government Publications (CGP) and wants to know if this would have any negative effects. James R. Jacobs and Jim Jacobs (no relation) feel that it is a bad idea for three reasons:
1. GPO's premise is wrong
2. Historic URLs are valuable to users
3. The proposal ignores the future of govinfo
They explicate these reasons in their blogpost; but the conclusion is this:
The “historic URLs” in CGP provide information to users that PURLs do not. That information is useful to users because it will help them identify, understand, and locate copies of resources. “Historic URLs” may seem unnecessary to GPO today, but they will increase in value to users over time. Making a decision for “resources in govinfo” today fails to take into account what resources may be in GPO’s TDR in the future (including harvested content and digitizations). The proposal to drop historic URLs is short-sighted. Dropping historic URLs today would be a mistake that users would resent in the future. GPO should clarify the scope of the policy and how it would be applied in the future and evaluate its effects on users and long-term access.

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