Recent years have seen national bibliographic agencies increasingly migrate from print, and CD-ROM to online, web based options for the delivery of national bibliographic services. However, the choice any NBA makes for service delivery is inevitably influenced by:

  • The level of automation present in its parent country
  • Its preferred business model
  • Availability of resources and technical expertise

While the ICNBS provides some guidance concerning the format and design of the national bibliography, these primarily focus upon on print publications rather than online products.

The online national bibliography is an important information resource for various user groups in different contexts and the interface should, ideally, enable the functionality required by each group i.e.:

  • End-users (including groups, corporate bodies etc, which use the national bibliography as an information source): to obtain information on authors and their publications, on topics etc to identify publications or authors
  • Collection development and publisher analysis (to analyse available publications (including awareness of future publications))
  • Acquisition and booksellers (to select and order publications)
  • Cataloguing (for copy cataloguing or cataloguing support)
  • Re-use of records (downloading or export of records into other databases and other computer applications: CERL, Index Translationum, library catalogues (for retrospective conversion))
  • Rights management (to track publications and identify authors)
  • Computer software (federated searching, distributed searching, harvesting etc.)