MATARKA: Cross-country development in the searchable Hungarian periodicals Table of Contents (TOC) database
In the field of information service the librarians usually meet the problem of literature searching. Information mostly could be found in journals. Sometimes a user knows the title or author of an article without the exact data of the published article. Many times this article could not be found in any bibliography or website. In these cases the user or librarian has to check many issues, volumes of the periodicals. This could take lots of time and lots of persistence.
The table of contents (TOC) of journals could give the quickest information about the complete content of an issue.
This gave the idea of building up a database helping in this service: librarians should collect the TOCs of the journals and make them searchable.
In our poster we would like to present how important MATARKA is for the Hungarian librarianship. Furthermore, we would like to show the presence of the subject of medicine in this project.
MATARKA is an abbreviation: Hungarian Periodicals Table of Contents Database (Magyar Folyóiratok Tartalomjegyzékeinek Kereshető Adatbázisa). This name covers a database of table of contents (TOC) of nearly 1300 Hungarian periodicals. The web address of the database: http://www.matarka.hu (The page has an English interface too.)
MATARKA is valuable not only in searching and browsing current TOCs, but could also be used as:
- a publication database of authors publishing in Hungarian journals,
- checking of bibliographic information,
- holdings and location information of the journals,
- TOCs of papers that have ceased publication,
- in some case even the first volumes of periodicals could be found.
The database has some other, important benefits, for example it is available online and free of charge. A lot of journals - in a wide range of sciences - could be searched using only one website.
In 2002, an independent, unique project was launched in the Library of the University of Miskolc (Hungary). The librarians planned an online tool for the TOCs of their subscribed periodicals (15 technical journals). They developed a database with open source software: MySQL, PHP. The librarians filled up the database with the data. They chose the 15 most important journals of their holding.
After a year other 8 libraries joined this project: libraries of Hungarian colleges, universities and the library of the Budapest City Archives. This shows that the subjects were broadened: not only technical journals appeared in MATARKA, but even journals in the humanities, social sciences, applied sciences, too. Each joined library focused on further journals that are useful for them and recorded the TOCs in MATARKA.
The project is still based on voluntary, daily work of the librarians.
In 2004, a consortium was established. The cooperation is managed by the Library of University of Miskolc.
In 2006, a MATARKA Association was created, now the association could compete for support and sponsorship.
MATARKA has now become known: librarians, researchers, students use it every day. It is mentioned and built in a lot of cross-national content provider projects.
Having received financial support through a national tender, last year 600,000 records were put into the database.
This year MATARKA celebrates its 10th anniversary.
One of the first developments was the possibility to attach URL links to the titles. If an article has a freely accessible full-text online, then this URL link will be attached (the URLs are checked every day).
As a next step, on-site registration was worked out, personal registration could be processed, RSS alert could be set.
MATARKA is now serviceable with other software and databases: bibliographic data could be downloaded of selected articles in txt, html, MARC and RIS format.
In 2007, a copy service was started. The National Széchényi Library (national library of Hungary) assumed this service. Users could select articles in MATARKA and send order to the national library through the order form of MATARKA.
Developments in the future
In the future, MATARKA will continue to improve its services: for example automatic TOC sending to e-mail addresses (on request). According to the new mobile tools, MATARKA will be operated on portable communications devices, too. MATARKA wants to end the cooperation with other national services like the Hungarian common catalogue (MOKKA) and the national document sending system (ODR).
In the database 10 subjects are represented:
Documentation. Books. Libraries.
- Social Sciences: Statistics. Demography. Sociology, Economy, Economics, Law, Politics, Administration, Education and teaching,
- Natural Sciences: Conservation, Environmental science, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry. Mineralogy, Earth sciences, Biology
- Applied sciences: Medicine, Health, Engineering, Agriculture, Industry
- Arts, games, sport
Statistics: today (20/04/2012) 1,252 journal titles, 1,730,830 article titles, 253,898 authors are in the database; 301,182 titles have online full-text links. In March 2012, the average daily record processing was about 500 new article titles. Usage statistics: 81,303 searches were run and 30,902 articles were downloaded.
Medical science in MATARKA
Our library, the National Health Policy Library, publishes the Hungarian Medical Bibliography (HMB), which is a part of the Hungarian National Bibliography System. HMB has a long history dating back to 1950’s. So it was obvious that our library would cooperate with MATARKA.
We joined to this initiative in 2006. Our library was the first to process medical journals in this database. Our first large uploading was the last ten years of Orvosi Hetilap (the leading clinical weekly paper in Hungary). Ten years: 520 issues, about 5,200 titles.
For example we record the TOC of
- Egészségügyi Menedzsment (=Health Management)
- Egészségügyi Gazdasági Szemle (=Journal of Health Economy, accessible TOC in MATARKA from the starting year: 1963)
- IME (=Informatics and Management in Healthcare, this journal is published in print and online version, too. The online full-text is freely accessible and is linked in MATARKA)
- Orvosi Könyvtáros (=Health Librarian)
Our library records 8 current health policy periodicals into MATARKA. Five colleagues work together as daily routine in this project.
Other medical libraries
At present 14 libraries with 87 medical journals (more than 100 thousand articles) participate in this work.
In Hungary, a medical bibliography and many information portals, publisher sites exist. HMB is a professional bibliography of selected articles; peer-reviewed papers could be searched in it. A lot of medical information portals provide access to medical journals and some publisher have website, too. Without skills it is very difficult to find the right portal or website. That is why MATARKA is very useful for medical librarianship: any user could find TOCs on one site: easily, quickly and free of charge.
The project was started by one library as a small unbidden work, to give better, current information about contents of periodicals to the users. In ten years it has become a nationwide cooperation. MATARKA now has a consortium and an association.
Being an innovative, independent venture, this work effects a priceless service. That is the reason why MATARKA is so prosperous and will continue to exist.
National Institute for Quality- and Organizational Development in Healthcare and Medicines (GYEMSZI) - Directorate General of IT and System Analysis - National Health Policy Library, Budapest, Hungary
- Burmeister E. MATARKA - magyar folyóiratok tartalomjegyzékeinek kereshetõ adatbázisa [MATARKA - Hungarian Periodicals Table of Contents Database]. Könyv, könyvtár, könyvtáros. 2003;12(12):36-43.
- Burmeister E, Kiss A, Gubán S. Nyolc könyvtár közös adatbázis építésének tapasztalatai [Experience of eight libraries in building common database]. Networkshop; Pécs. 2003.
- Bajnok L. MATARKA. Könyvtári kis híradó. 2007;12(1/2):9-10.
- Burmeister E. Újdonságok a MATARKÁ-ban [New features in MATARKA]. Könyvtári levelező/lap. 2009;21(3):15.
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