What are the differences of MARC21 and UNIMARC?

Document Type : Original Article


Assistant Professor of Knowledge & Information Science. Isfahan University


Introduction: Nowadays libraries collect and gather different kinds of materials in all formats, e.g., books, periodicals, newspapers, tapes, pamphlet, CD, electronic materials, and on various subjects and in different languages, all according to the needs of their users. For this reason, they need to have access to relevant catalogues and appropriate bibliographic services suitable to their needs. One of the best solutions for this problem is using MARC format for libraries’ bibliographic network.
 Purpose: UNIMARC and MARC21 are quite well-known formats in the world, hence the aim of the present research is to compare these two formats (i.e., UNIMARC and MARC21) and to study their points of weakness and strength. The results of this comparison may help librarians for choosing the best basic format(s) for their bibliographic network.
 Method: In this research, the comparison of these two MARCs is done according to such different features as history and performance, content and structure, all via the latest version of UNIMARC (2012) and MARC 21 (2015).
 Findings: Data analysis showed that MARC 21 has more capabilities compared with UNIMARC.


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