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What is a Work? Part 1, The User and the Objects of the Catalog.


The objects of the catalog, adopted internationally in 1961, assume that it is useful to display to users all the editions of a sought work, in order to enable the user to choose the best edition for his or her needs. No user study has ever divided so-called known item searchers into two groups: 1) those who benefit from the first objective alone; and 2) those who benefit from the second objective. Logic and common sense lead one to suspect that most users benefit from the second objective, and that multiple-edition works by prolific authors, those requiring the most cataloger effort to achieve collocation, are probably also the most frequently sought works.

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