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Subject retrieval in OPAC's: a study of three interfacesSchallier, Wouter; Gascón, Jesús; Burguillos, Ferran; Pons, Amadeu (Departament de Biblioteconomia i Documentació de la Universitat de Barcelona, 2005)In this paper we study three OPAC interfaces of K.U.Leuven University Library. All three interfaces have been on-line between 2002 and 2005. The characteristics of these OPACs (search fields, labeling of the fields, search facilities, searching vs. browsing, basic vs. advanced search) are systematically examined. Special attention is given to subject search and display, and more specifically to Universal Decimal Classification (UDC) and Medical Subject Headings (MeSH). This comparison is particularly interesting because the indexing and classification tools (UDC, Library of Congress Subject Headings, MeSH) remain the same in all three OPACs. However, the way these tools are presented for subject retrieval in the respective OPACs undergoes an interesting evolution. It is demonstrated that subject search and display in library catalogs can be largely improved by investing in optimal use of existing tools. We also stress the importance of user-oriented OPAC design.