Authority Files create links between authorised SCIS headings. This generates 'see' and 'see also' results within your Library Management System search results.
Some SCIS headings have additional linked terms, some do not. As an example, consider the image below:
"Car stars" and "Car crazy" do not have any additional linked terms. "Car manuals" and "Car drivers," on the other hand, do have linked headings connected to them.
The Full Authority Files are the entire list of Authority Files. This includes all headings with or without additional linked terms. Still using the example shown in the image above, a Full Authority Files download would include every one of those headings.
The Reference Only Authority Files are a subset of the Full Authority Files. These files only include headings that have other references. Using the image above again, this means that the Reference Only Authority Files would include the headings "Car manuals" and "Car drivers," but not "Car stars" and "Car crazy."
Which should you use?
Deciding whether to import Full or Reference Only Authority Files may depend on a few factors:
1. Your Library Management System (LMS)
Some LMS vendors will work better with one of these formats than the other. Your library system vendor should also be able to provide you with further information about whether Full or Reference Only Authority Files are preferable for your library system.
2. If the majority of the records in your system have been downloaded from SCIS
If most of your catalogue records are sourced from SCIS and you do little or no original cataloguing, you may benefit best from using the Reference Only Authority Files.
3. If your school library regularly creates (or has created in the past) original catalogue records, or has imported from sources other than SCIS
If your school library database contains a significant number of records that were not downloaded from SCIS, the Full Authority Files would benefit you best. The Full Authority Files allow you to use the list of authorised headings in your library system to ensure consistency with headings across your different types of catalogue records.