Title starts with search in Advanced Search
Change "Title Starts With" search in Advanced Search
There are situations when it's easier or more efficient to search by the beginning of the title. However, the “Title Starts With:” search in Advanced Search in Alma requires the user to know whether the title begins with an article (A, An, The) or not, and if so, which article it begins with. So users are expected to remember if a title begins with "A", "The", or no initial article in order to perform the search successfully. Why not just return both results, and let the user decide, instead of forcing them to remember the article?
This case is only about the Advanced search in Alma, not Primo. As such, it would never be employed by end users, only library staff, who are guided by ALA filing rules, the professional standard of which is to ignore initial articles in filing/searching/not index it in cataloging--and so would miss a lot of titles using this search.
Currently, the only way that a “Title Starts With” search which omits the initial article would work is if the record includes a 246 field for a variant title, without the initial article, which is not required by the AACR/RDA standard rules for description. The other primary cataloging standard, MARC format, allows catalogers to implement this via the 245 second indicator (number of non-filing characters). The Alma “Title starts with” search disregards these standards, in effect invalidating a large number of correctly cataloged records.
There is a reason catalogers use filing indicators and Alma should trust that if we think indicators are important, then they are. Please fix this problem.
Tina Gross commented
When I first heard about Alma having this entirely avoidable, already-solved problem I thought maybe it was a joke. Seriously?
I also cannot imagine why articles have to be used - that is not the way anyone in "libraryworld" works. Please allow searches to not use the articles - I support this fix.
Jean Kramer commented
On Aleph, when browsing on a phrase "beginners guide to," we have a variety of entries beginning with "A" and "The" and sometimes just "Beginers".
Separating these alphabetically makes finding all the guides more difficult. Please fix this in Alma.
've never worked in a library where items were filed under the initial article. Can't believe a library system is not following ALA filing rules. Please address this ASAP.
I support this response.
The use of the non-filing characters in the 2nd indicator position of the 245 has been standard MARC since its implementation way back in the 1970s. This is how the computer systems were able to handle the ALA filing rules and avoiding a mess when searching for an exact title online. ILS's for over 50 years have used this. That the implementation of this, one of the primary standards of MARC is not automatic in an ILS in 2018 baffles me.
I've never worked in a library where items were filed under the initial article. Can't believe a library system is not following ALA filing rules. Please address this ASAP.
Michael Wood commented
We just implemented Alma and was very surprised that the "Start with" is not functioning correctly as a browse search and one is required to know the "Article". The is not compliant with the ALA filing rules as Barry indicated. If there are filing indicators, the should be factored in the search. Traditional, articles are omitted or the system automatically eliminates it a stop word. Please fix this issue.