We get lots and lots of email, and we do our best to answer all of them. In order to enlighten all our users to some common and very pertinent questions (and maybe to lighten our correspondence load a bit), it seems useful to address some of those email questions here.
This month's tips have two things in common. First, they all address recommendations that arose from last year's U.S. RDA Test. Second and, depending on your perspective, more importantly, none of the tips really require you to do anything. They are just there for you to chose. Certainly one could argue that pointing out something that does really require any thoughtful action does not constitute a "tip." But these are all new features to RDA Toolkit, ones that users specifically requested.
If you rarely ever think to click on the Advanced Search button, then hopefully the following tips will illustrate how the Advanced Search can actually be a time saver and will move you to take greater advantage of this feature. If you are already willing to take the time to click through to the Advanced Search menu, then you likely are open to some ideas that involve a few more clicks in order to get the best possible answer to your query. Advanced search allows you to add a filter for document type or metadata type to your search terms, leading to more precise results. Here are a few tips for honing your search.
The Quick Search feature of RDA Toolkit seems simple enough. Just type in your search term or terms and away you go. But there are ways to return better results without having to click through to the Advanced Search form. The following tips will allow you to get a bit more out of Quick Search, including getting more precise results and improving recall for your query.
The recent ALA Conference in New Orleans offered a lot of news and quite a few good ideas in regard to RDA. Cheryl Boettcher Tarsala's presentation on RDA workflows, entitled "Fashioning Effective Workflows," was particularly full of the latter and immediately struck us a good material for Tips in Three. Dr. Tarsala, most recently an instructor for the GSLIS LEEP program at the University of Illinois, spoke about the value of workflows in making the most efficient use of RDA Toolkit.
This is the first of what we plan to make a regular type of post here. "Tips in Threes" is meant to give you some "I had no idea you could do that" type of advice for getting more from your RDA Toolkit experience. Each post will include three such tips, hence the name. Why three? Well, catalogers supposedly love things in threes, right? At least before RDA came along. But mostly because three seems like a manageable number of tips resulting in a post that is rich incontent without being overwhelming. On to the tips.