[Koha] Authorities help

Ian Bays ian.bays at ptfs-europe.com
Sat Sep 19 02:32:25 NZST 2009

Hi Alejandro,
We have been trying to figure out getting Koha Authorities to work for ourselves and some of our customers.  A number of things seem to be in the system but not working properly.  It looks like it maybe worked in a previous version (does Paul P know?).  

Most of the UK libraries expect to be able to use an authority file and many are happy to build and maintain an authority file if needed.  We have tried loading authority files but at version 3.0.x the indexing has often not worked and even when we get that to work, the script to link bib to authorities does not work.  In these cases if you manually edit a bib record it will then check and link to correct authorities, but if you then rerun the script to link them it breaks the link again :-(  

We have also found that the See From and other authority linking seems to not work at all although there is mention of being able to create these structures.  A while ago I looked some of this up on bugzilla and found some indication that the major developers thought that it might not need fixing as nobody used it much.  I guess nobody will use it if it is broken :-)  A cynic might think it got in the way of a sponsored development.

I appreciate this is not a detailed description of the problems or solutions but I wanted to say that lots of people would use authorities if it worked reliably.  We have also come across customers who are interested in multi-lingual authority/thesaurus.

Is there much interest in getting authorities working to at least the level of the documentation or as implied by the migration tools on the system?

PTFS Europe
(not a librarian but worked with library systems for 15 years)
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Alejandro Tiraboschi 
  To: koha at lists.katipo.co.nz 
  Sent: Friday, September 18, 2009 12:47 PM
  Subject: Re: [Koha] Authorities help

  Authorities are great, but I think that don't work well in Koha. See below my post on May 5 (nobody answer). 

  Bye, Alejandro Tiraboschi.

  Hi: I have a question related with searching when koha has authorities enabled.

  In the OPAC 
  http://biblio.bmayor.famaf.unc.edu.ar (http://biblio.bmayor.unc.edu.ar in the near future)
  you can  Browse by Subject (switch previously to english) for example "POESIA" and you get some authority records, in particular

        used for/see from: GENERO LIRICO
        used for/see from: GENERO POETICO
        see also: GENEROS LITERARIOS
        see also: VERSIFICACION

  The biblios linked to/from this authority are 212. If you search "poesia" in the usual way (without using authorities) you  get a lot of records (including those 212) and it is ok.  The problem is, in my opinion, when you search for a "non used term", for example "GENERO LIRICO", because you get a No Result found!. I think  the correct answer should be, at least, that you get all the records that link to the authority record "POESIA". If not, the autorithy system has no sense (o very little) for the OPAC user.

  My question is: 
  Do Koha work in this way or is a problem of missconfiguration? 
  Is it possible to configure/modify Koha/Zebra in such way that the usual search works with the non used terms? 

  Bye. Thanks in advance. 

  On Thu, Sep 17, 2009 at 10:48 PM, Chris Nighswonger <cnighswonger at foundations.edu> wrote:

    Hi Kathy,

    On Thu, Sep 17, 2009 at 9:38 PM, kdr at ckls.org <kdr at ckls.org> wrote:
    > The Koha set up is somewhat clunky, but is at least a beginning in trying
    > to make things standardized. The first improvement I would suggest is the
    > ability to import LC authority headings into Koha...

    I think this is a great enhancement idea. Something similar to the
    marc import tool or possibly similar to the z3950 biblio search.
    Would you mind opening an enhancement request at http://bugs.koha.org
    so that we can keep track of it and possibly garner some sponsorship
    for it?

    Kind Regards,

    Christopher Nighswonger
    Faculty Member
    Network & Systems Director
    Foundations Bible College & Seminary

    > Original Message:
    > -----------------
    > From: scott scott at sedc.k12.ut.us
    > Date: Thu, 17 Sep 2009 10:05:07 -0600
    > To: koha at lists.katipo.co.nz
    > Subject: [Koha] Authorities help
    > What are the authorities for? I cant find a explanation for them, I am
    > trying to edit the 100 $a field, i figured out how to add authorities,
    > do a search for that authority to stick it in the 100$a field, but whats
    > the point? I could just turn them off, would it have a great affect on
    > things?
    > Thanks. For those that reply.
    > -Scott
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