James Weinheimer wrote:

> With online resources, everyone is looking at *exactly the same files* so
> the utility of even considering an online resource in terms of a
> manifestation may be far less useful.

It seems to me that the concept of manifestation is no less important when 
considering online resources.  And they are certainly not always "exactly the 
same files".  For things such as electronic journals, there can be very 
significant differences between manifestations (the one found on the 
publisher's web site vs. Ebsco vs. Gale, etc.).

And then there are also ebooks, where you have versions for Kindle, for Nook, 
etc.  Sound files can be in various formats and at different bit rates.  
Graphic files can be in different formats and resolutions.

Many books, films, sound recordings, etc. have been digitally converted and 
remastered multiple times, and there are very real differences between the 
versions--differences which can be significant, perhaps even critical, to the 

Compared to the print world, one could argue that we are dealing with a greater 
number of manifestations, and there will always be a need to distinguish 
between them, on both the managerial side (e.g. selection and acquisition) and 
the user side (obtaining files whose formats and features meet the user's 

Kevin M. Randall
Principal Serials Cataloger
Northwestern University Library
(847) 491-2939

Proudly wearing the sensible shoes since 1978! 

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