The CLIP Project – Compatibilization of Indexing Languages in Portuguese – is a cooperative project of integrated conception and management for indexing terms. It is to be applied by Portuguese libraries that participate in PORBASE – National Bibliographic Database.
Indexing vocabulary standardization used by different libraries to access the same information has obvious advantages. From the users and indexers point of view there is the question of compatibility between catalogues as well as the rationalization of efforts and a more significant quality guarantee of the search tool.
The need of these standards, always recognized but rarely resolved due to the known personnel and equipment difficulties, now becomes imperative to PORBASE participating Portuguese libraries due to its cooperative nature.
Although the problem of the subject search extensive to all the database has, in principle, been safeguarded by the adoption of the UDC as the common indexing language it is verified that that solution, being the only one immediately executable, is efficient only for a generic level of searches. However, when it comes to the imminent contradictions of the use of different terminologies to represent the same information, in the same alphabetical subject index, it does not perform in a satisfactory manner.
If the current situation continues, in which the libraries individually decide their indexing terms meaning that their terminology control is organized and valid only for their records; from the work management point of view the correct advantage at PORBASE level is not being achieved. On the other hand, it may actually come into conflict with the terminological options of other libraries.
All theses reasons justify the need for cooperation when it comes to indexing but another motive of technical order demands cooperation: the correct use of the PORBASE authority control module. Controlling access points of one bibliographic database, even a cooperative one, can only be done by one authority file. Its efficiency relies on collective coordination, in which the various bibliographic record producing institutions should participate.
Awareness of these needs and that the collective solutions found dictate the quality of the subject access to the National Bibliographic Database, the National Library and university librarians began, at the 1 st PORBASE Conference in December of 1988, to organize efforts to establish regular cooperation mechanisms and methods.
On the 10 th of July of 1989, after a general and division’s meeting by the subject areas, the librarians referred above were represented by elected coordinators for each area, agreed on the definition of the project that they intended to carry out. Their objectives and manner of functioning with working groups can be consulted in the respective Regulation.