Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Typo of the Day

With input from participants in the electronic distribution list LIBTYPOS-L, Terry Ballard has created the Typo of the Day Blog. This may sound humorous, but it isn't a joke! Rather, it is a new tool in cooperative quality control.

Here are suggested steps for making use of the blog. If you are a library administrator or supervisor, please designate an individual to monitor it on a daily basis and take these steps.

  1. Consult the blog and copy the typographical error featured for that day.
  2. In your local catalog, search to see if records are retrieved using that character string as key.
  3. Investigate whether any bibliographic records retrieved actually have the typographical error in the source. For instance, records having typos followed by [sic] or [i.e. plus the corrected form] should NOT be adjusted. If not, proceed to step 7.
  4. If such indications are not present, use judgment to determine whether consultation of the bibliographic item is necessary, or whether you will edit the record to correct the typo without viewing the source.
  5. If you determine that the source contains the typo, add the notation [sic] or add the corrected form using [i.e.].
  6. If you determine that the source does not contain the typo, edit the bibliographic record to correct it.
  7. Congratulate yourself and your colleagues for helping to maintain your database at a high quality level!
Your cooperation in this matter will be greatly appreciated, particularly because not only are your local records affected, but others consulting consortial databases looking for typos will be happy to see fewer of them. Participants in the LIBTYPOS-L project, for instance, frequently consult the databases of OhioLINK and SEO Library Center to determine how widespread are the instances of particular errors.

More information about LIBTYPOS-L. Subscriptions are available. The list operates in association with the web sites Typographical Errors in Library Databases and More Typographical Errors in Library Databases maintained by Terry Ballard and Phalbe Henriksen respectively.

From an email by Ian Fairclough. Don't forget to check your authority files as well as your bib records.

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