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On the State of Genre/Form Vocabulary: A Quantitative Analysis of LCGFT Data in WorldCat

Colin Bitter, Yuji Tosaka


The purpose of this paper is to report on a quantitative analysis of the LCGFT vocabulary within a large set of MARC bibliographic data retrieved from the OCLC WorldCat database. The study aimed to provide a detailed analysis of the outcomes of the LCGFT project, which was launched by the Library of Congress (LC) in 2007. Findings point to a moderate increase in LCGFT use over time; however, the vocabulary has not been applied to the fullest extent possible in WorldCat. Further, adoption has been inconsistent between the various LCGFT disciplines. These and other findings discussed here suggest that retrospective application of the vocabulary using automated means should be investigated by catalogers and other technical services librarians. Indeed, as the data used for the analysis show somewhat uneven application of LCGFT, and with nearly half a billion records in WorldCat, it remains a certainty that much of LCGFT’s full potentials for genre/form access and retrieval will remain untapped until innovative solutions are introduced to further increase overall vocabulary usage in bibliographic databases.

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