The BNBMARC currency survey was discontinued on April 1st 2005.
The survey was originally established in 1980 to address then widespread concern over currency of the British National Bibliography which had fallen to an average of 65%. However, following service developments, BNB currency improved significantly during the 1980s and 1990s to average well over 80%. During recent years the hit rate has improved still further to average 89%.
When the survey began the British Library supplied the bulk of its records directly to the UK library community via magnetic tape. Since then both the market and the technology used have changed dramatically. Numerous new data suppliers or aggregators have emerged with most end-users now obtaining BNB records via third parties. In addition, integrated library systems, Z39.50 derived record cataloguing and the Web drastically changed both the technical environment and the speed by which records are disseminated. These factors also made the currency survey an increasingly relative and potentially imprecise measurement.
On being informed that UKOLN, the survey compilers, would be unable to undertake the work in future the British Library reviewed the continuing requirement for the currency survey. As a result it was decided that the changed library market place coupled with the long sustained improvement to BNB currency rendered further monitoring increasingly superfluous and that it should cease with the end of the UKOLN agreement.
For further information please contact:
The British Library
Boston Spa, Wetherby