Saturday 25 August 2012

Development of the Multilingual UDC Online

The first complete UDC online schedules were published by BSI in 2000 for UDC in English (see UDC Online). In the subsequent years a number of other complete schedules appeared online in other languages: Czech, Slovenian and Slovakian and several free applications such as the Swedish and old Italian schedules that are not official UDC publications but are released to alleviate problems due to a lack of UDC schedules in these languages. To help with the teaching and training of UDC in 2009, the UDC Consortium released a free Multilingual UDC Summary, which now contains more than 2,500 subdivisions and is available in almost 50 languages and is published as linked data.

What we are able to do now?
In 2010 UDCC created a much needed database infrastructure to support an alignment and translation management tool for various language editions of the complete UDC. The UDC Consortium currently holds in its main UDC MRF mutlilingual database English, Spanish, Czech, Croatian, German and  Dutch UDC MRF data, and plans are being made for other languages to be imported. The translation of these languages has been progressing for over a year now.
The translation database service provided by the UDC Consortium means that UDC editions in preparation are being automatically aligned with every new update of the UDC and publishers have a much needed tool to manage translations online and plan the production of their editions.

The natural extension of such a service is a classification interface for end-users that would enable a straigtforward, quick and cost-efficient way of publishing online the full UDC schedules for all publishers. The UDC Consortium is currently working on developing a Multilingual UDC Online user interface to be released in 2013. The most obvious advantage for publishers is that they would avoid the costs of developing their own online products. In addition this service will  be supported by the translation tool comprising of automatic UDC alignments and translators' support which means that the editions can be made accessible to users simultaneously with the ongoing translation of newely revised areas.

Apart from functionality of UDC table browsing, searching and number-building functions already available in products such as BSI's UDC Online, the Multilingual UDC Online is envisaged to have the following features:
- provide access to cancelled UDC number records and their redirections to valid numbers
- allow adding of comments, local data and proposing search terms, mappings etc.
- have a tool to parse, validate or sort complex UDC strings that librarians would like to check
- allow launching of a UDC search against selected library catalogues or bibliographies
- have dedicated editors provide user support for particular languages

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