Vol. 6 No. 1 (2015)

Authority control. Operational aspects in a university context and new experiences

Sabina Cavicchi
Università degli studi di Firenze

Published 2015-01-15


  • Authority control,
  • Authority archives,
  • OPAC,
  • Database

How to Cite

Cavicchi, Sabina. 2015. “Authority Control. Operational Aspects in a University Context and New Experiences”. JLIS.It 6 (1):161-82. https://doi.org/10.4403/jlis.it-10340.


Accuracy in management and presentation of data is probably the most relevant feature that characterizes libraries catalogues in the wide universe of information available online. This characteristic, which originates from the basic need of organizing knowledge, requires a constant activity of control. Authority control is part of such an activity.

This paper examines authority control of personal names, and how it is carried out.

The first part shows the international standards and local codes that govern it: these are necessary to understand the activities that create the network of links and references of the data in a catalogue entry. This activity is also influenced by the management information system; the second part of the paper thus examines the Italian Sistema Bibliotecario Nazionale and specifically the library system of the University of Florence, through an analysis of procedures, workflows and monitoring activities. The third part points out the importance of verifying data and access points in databases and in the web itself, in addition to catalogues, in order to manage information in a uniform and shared way.

This work aims at showing the topicality of controlling access points to information in order to avoid data proliferation, an event that ultimately produces ‘noise’ in the activities of information retrieval and data description. It also aims at stressing the importance of promoting correct information in the web within a set of sharing policies pursued by library cooperation systems, also through technologies currently offered by the web itself.


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