Z39.50, also known as ISO 23950, is a standard for information retrieval protocol used in library and information science. Developed by the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) and later adopted as an ISO standard, Z39.50/ISO 23950 provides a framework for searching and retrieving bibliographic records and other types of information from distributed library catalogs and databases. The standard defines a set of rules and protocols for communication between client applications and servers, allowing for interoperability and seamless access to diverse library resources. Z39.50/ISO 23950 facilitates the exchange of search queries, retrieval of records, and display of search results across different library systems, regardless of the underlying hardware, software, or database structures. It enables users to access and retrieve information from various library catalogs and databases, expanding their search capabilities and improving efficiency. The standard has played a significant role in enhancing resource sharing, collaborative cataloging, and integrated library systems, contributing to the development of global library networks and consortia.
Why Z39.50 used for?
Z39.50 is used as an information retrieval protocol primarily in library and information science contexts. It enables users to search and retrieve bibliographic records, as well as other types of information, from distributed library catalogs and databases. Z39.50 provides a standardized framework for communication between client applications (such as library catalogues or search interfaces) and servers that host the library’s resources.
The primary purpose of Z39.50 is to facilitate seamless access to library resources across different systems, regardless of the underlying hardware, software, or database structures. It allows users to perform searches and retrieve records from multiple library catalogs and databases using a single interface. This promotes resource sharing, collaboration, and interoperability among libraries and information institutions.
By implementing the Z39.50 protocol, libraries and information organizations can offer their users a more comprehensive and efficient search experience. It expands the range of resources available for discovery, improves search capabilities, and streamlines the retrieval of relevant information. Z39.50 has been instrumental in enabling integrated library systems, shared cataloging efforts, and the creation of global library networks and consortia.
Overall, Z39.50 serves as a key tool for efficient and standardized information retrieval in library environments, enhancing access to diverse library resources and facilitating seamless collaboration among libraries.
- Jain, C. (2017). Evolving a Model for National Digital Repository of Indian Government Publications using Institutional Repository Infrastructure. Retrieved from: http://hdl.handle.net/10603/190797