The relationship between the library catalog and electronic resources is different than that between the catalog and physical materials. Cataloging rules were originally designed to help patrons use a manual card catalog to find physical works on a shelf. However, these rules apply awkwardly to electronic resources because functionally different electronic works raise special cataloging issues. This article discusses the problems of describing remote electronic resources in the online catalog. It concludes that descriptive information helps the user identify the work s/he needs, but that it is practical to provide only minimal descriptive information for remote electronic resources in the catalog record. To a limited extent, the access lost from less description can be replaced with new cataloging techniques designed to stabilize the catalog record.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Library and Information Sciences