File Size and the Cost of Processing MARC Records

John P. Kennedy


Many systems being developed for utilizing MARC records in acquisitions and cataloging operations depend on the selection of records from a cumulative tape file. Analysis of cost data accumulated during two years' experience in using MARC records for the production of catalog cards at the Georgia Tech Library indicates that the ratio of titles selected to titles read from the cumulative file is the most significant determinant of cost. This implies that the number of passes of the file must be minimized and an effective formula for limiting the growth of the file must be developed in the design of an economical system.

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