Build Your Own Database

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$41.00
ALA Member: 
$ 36.90
Item Number: 
978-0-8389-0750-4
Published: 
1999
Publisher: 
ALA Editions
Pages: 
176
Width: 
6"
Height: 
9"
Format: 
Softcover
  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the Authors
  • Reviews

What makes a database good?

Quality, as applied to databases, is not something abstract or theoretical. It is a very practical issue. In the simplest terms, a database is of high quality if it's useful to the community it's designed to serve.

Commercial databases serve some needs of your user community, but not all. For instance, you may wish to create databases of community resources or unique documents in your collection. With ever-improving computer technology, it's easier than ever to create a database. However, the challenges of creating a good database remain.

In Build Your Own Database, authors Peter Jacso and F. W. Lancaster, show you how to create quality in databases with advice in such areas as:

  • designing content while considering domain of coverage, accessibilty, currency, critical mass, and other criteria;

  • constructing databases that facilitate retrieval of useful information;

  • selecting the best software tools for your needs;

  • indexing your data; and

  • determining how software features affect database capabilities.

    Acknowledgments
    Preface
    Part 1 Content And Organization of the Database
    1 Database Types
    2 Database Content
    • Domain of Coverage
    • Accessibility of Content
    • Predictability of Coverage
    • Continuity of Coverage
    • Currency of Coverage
    • Critical Mass
    3 Quality and Usability Factors
    • Retrievability Factors
    • Number of Access Points
    • Consistency of Terminology
    • Specificity
    • Other Quality factors
    • Automatic Methods
    • Special Applications
    Part 2 Software Issues
    4 Types of Database Software
    • The Components of a Database
    • Categories of Database Software
    • Advantages and Disadvantages of Software Categories
    • Hardware and Operating System Platform
    • Selection of the Best Alternative
    • Prices
    5 Record and Database Structuring
    • Structure of Data Fields
    • Maximum Number of Data Fields
    • Multiple Types of Records
    • Maximum Length of Fields and Records
    • Fixed versus Variable Field and Record Length
    • Inter-database Linking of Records and Fields
    • Database Definition
    • Sample Databases
    • Building the Database
    • Data Entry Related Criteria
    • Template Design Features
    • Importing Records
    • Correcting Legacy Data
    6 Index Creation
    • Choice of Data Elements for Indexing
    • Modes of Indexing
    • Prefixed Indexes
    • Merged Indexes
    • Absence/Presence Indexes
    7 Index Browsing
    • The Reasons for Index Browsing
    • Index Types and Characteristics
    • Posting Information
    • Term Selection
    8 Searching
    • Boolean Operators
    • Truncation and Masking
    • Case Sensitivity
    • Field Qualification
    • Proximity and Positional Operators
    • Natural Language Searching and Relevance Ranking
    9 Sorting
      type="disc"
    • Choice and Number of Sort Keys
    • Alternate Sort Fields
    • Sorting Repeated Sort Fields
    • Number Sorting
    • Date Sorting
    • Sorting Special Characters
    • Ignoring Lead Terms in Sorting
    • Substitute String for Sorting
    10 Display, Print and Download Functions
    • Predefined and User-definable Output
    • Formats
    • Content Definition
    • Layout Definition
    • Widow and Orphan Control
    • Export Formats
    11 Interface Considerations
    • Interface Types and Levels
    • Ergonomics
    • Documentation and Help Facilities

Peter Jacso

Peter Jacso is an associate professor in the Department of Information and Computer Sciences' Library and Information Science Program at the University of Hawaii. He has been developing textual databases for libraries and information centers and has been teaching Database Design courses for more than twenty years. He won the 1998 ALISE/Pratt-Severn Faculty Innovation Award for his course development work related to databases. He also is a columnist for Computers in Libraries, Database, and Information Today, and has won several awards for his writings, including the 1998 Louis Shores/Oryx Press Award for his discerning database reviews.

F. Wilfrid Lancaster

F. Wilfrid Lancaster is professor emeritus in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois, where he has taught courses relating to information transfer, bibliometrics, bibliographic organization, and the evaluation of library and information services. He continues to serve as editor of Library Trends. He was appointed University Scholar for the period 1989-92. Lancaster is the author of eleven-six of which have received national awards-and has received three Fulbright fellowships for research and teaching abroad. From the American society for Information Science he has received both the Award of Merit and the Outstanding Information Science Teacher award. Lancaster has been involved in a wide range of consulting activities, including service for Unesco and other agencies of the United Nations. He is coauthor of the 1997 book Technology and Management in Library and Information Services and is also working on a book dealing with potential applications of artificial intelligence and expert system technologies within libraries.

"Written for librarians and others with little previous database-building experience, this offers a solid introduction. Recommended."
—Library Journal

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