Česká literární bibliografie Czech Literary Bibliography

Czech Literary Bibliography I (LM2015059)

Starting in 2016, the Czech Literary Bibliography was included in the Roadmap of Large Infrastructures for Research, Experimental Development and Innovation, and received support for carrying out the research infrastructure project of the same name. The project was implemented during the years 2016–2019. Thanks to financial support provided by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, the CLB underwent swift and rigorous development (and transformation), from which it emerged as a comprehensive bibliographic research infrastructure with a wide range of services and activities.

In the course of the project, the primary database resource of the CLB (namely the Contemporary Bibliography database) underwent a process of fundamental and qualitative change. In 2016, these resources were accessible only as a collection of discrete databases, with entries that followed differing standards for the presentation of descriptive and other data (seven databases in all, with three different default record types, two historically distinct database masks, and roughly 430,000 records total). In 2015 and 2016, however, the ICL undertook a long and thorough conversion of these databases, not only transposing data from the original (default) proprietary format to the international standardised exchange format MARC21, but also carrying out the comprehensive editing and cleaning of the databases. Data was enhanced with the customary persistent identifiers (ISSN codes, for example), bringing selection terms into line with a set of national data selection standards (successful connection reached approx. 65 %).

In 2017–2019, CLB data underwent further (qualitative) development, including comprehensive revision of the register of geographical terms, revision in full of the person-subject register, and formal unification of approximately 50% of all bibliographic citations. In 2019 alone, 137,000 records were brought up to date. More recently, CLB records have been supplemented with links to the full texts of individual documents. In the course of implementing the project, the biographical database of Czech Literary Figures (České literární osobnosti or ‘CLO’) was converted to the MARC21 format.

CLB activities in the area of international cooperation have also underwent rigorous development. Its operations are now supervised by the International Science Council (ISC), and it has found a key partner in its sister institution, the Polish Literary Bibliography, as well as the Digital Humanities Centre at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IBL). In cooperation with IBL, the CLB was then able to make significant progress through the founding of the Bibliographical Data Working Group within the auspices of the DARIAH-ERIC consortium, which is jointly coordinated by V. Malínek (CLB) and T. Umerle (IBL) – more information can be found at https://www.dariah.eu/activities/working-groups/bibliographical-data-bibliodata/). The CLB’s current activities and results of its research are regularly presented at a number of prestigious international conferences.

The CLB also cooperates closely with national networks for the exchange of scholarly information and is a member of major professional organisations (Association of Library and Information Professionals of the Czech Republic, and ‘SKIP’, and the bibliography section of the Czech Republic Libraries Association, or ‘SDRUK’,). It actively participates at conferences dealing with Czech literature and literary studies, library and information science, and related fields. CLB data is accessible through a number of common search engines, and it participates actively in the creation of national data selection standards, coordinated by the National Library of the Czech Republic. CLB gives presentations at such events as Science and Technology Week and the Archives, Libraries and Museums in the Digital World conference.

Collaborations between the CLB and places of higher education have significantly intensified. The CLB is regularly visited by first year students in Czech studies from the Charles University Faculty of Arts, and it also provides a standard course on working with scholarly information in the Pedagogy Department. In 2018, the CLB organised the series Jinonice Information Mondays for students of the Institute of Information Studies and Librarianship at Charles University, and it regularly co-organises schools of practical Czech studies for doctoral students at universities outside Prague (University of Ostrava, Masaryk University Brno, Palacký University Olomouc).

The CLB’s publishing activities have also increased. In addition to the regular column of annotated bibliographic reviews in major professional journal Česká literatura (‘Czech literature’), the CLB also prepares annual reviews of defended dissertations. Publications in foreign languages ​​have similarly increased. In 2016, the CLB specialised book series Bibliographica, focusing on the publication of extensive specialised bibliographies or professional and methodological works dealing with bibliographic topics.

The CLB actively follows and engages with its user community. In the period under review, the number of CLB database users doubled (from 59,741 in 2015 to 107,202 in 2019). In early 2018, the CLB conducted a questionnaire survey of its users’ satisfaction with its services, soliciting feedback from roughly 450 respondents. The most common request was for a unified search engine that would allow users to search all CLB resources using a single interface. This led to the swift implementation of the VuFind discovery system (mentioned above). For several years now, CLB has also managed its own independent Facebook account.

The CLB has also undergone significant quantitative change: during 2016–2019, its bases were expanded by approximately 95,000 records. The analytical bibliography of the Czech Literary Samizdat was retrospectively augmented (as of 31 December 2019, it contained a total of 10,314 records). As a result of the ČLI project, a Czech Literary Internet bibliography is currently under development (as of 31 December 2019, it featured 21,125 records in total). Within the Czech context, these partial databases are first in their field, both thematically and methodologically, covering areas that other analytical bibliographies do not deal with in a practical sense. At the time of the completion of the project, CLB databases contained a total of 616,388 records. Following completion of the research infrastructure project, the CLB now offers a modern bibliographic research infrastructure that – regarding both the quality and quantity of data, as well as methodological robustness, vast extent of excerpted materials, involvement in international communication, chronological scope of materials, open access, sophistication of internal control mechanisms, and complexity of activities – has few equals within the European context. This assessment is confirmed by comparative information obtained by the CLB through its involvement in international research (especially with respect to its cooperation with the DARIAH Bibliographical Data Working Group).