I'd like to support an explicit element for the title to be used for
sorting (when present), as in the example Bruce provided (with minor
adjustments to end tags) based on Roy's suggestion.
<title>A shield in space?</title>
<titleSub>technology, politics, and the strategic defense initiative:
how the Reagan Administration set out to make nuclear weapons "impotent
and obsolete" and succumbed to the fallacy of the last move</titleSub>
<titleSort>shield in space?</titleSort>
<titleAbbrev>A shield in space?</titleAbbrev>
To me this is simple and unambiguous.
> Roy's suggestion of including a
> sort title is a possibility, although, as already expressed, requires
> redundant keying or extra programming.
True, but, in practice, I see no likelihood that it would be achieved by
redundant keying other than in exceptional cases. In most cases, it would
be achieved by simple programming (extra, maybe, but worthwhile when
considering the overall economy -- including building systems that use the
records to help users find the content described and the productivity of
those users). If done explicitly at data entry, the worst case would be
copy-and-paste and automated population of the titleSort element for the
bulk of cases should be feasible, especially if the language of the title
is known. Transformation from MARC can take advantage of the existing
I used the phrase "overall economy" deliberately. The newly published
draft STATEMENT OF INTERNATIONAL CATALOGUING PRINCIPLES from IFLA includes
Economy. When alternative ways exist to achieve a goal, preference should
be given to the way that best furthers overall economy (i.e., the least
cost or the simplest approach).
It is not clear as stated, that "overall" should include the use of the
records and not just their creation, but I would personally argue that if
that is not the intent it should be.
Caroline Arms [log in to unmask]
Office of Strategic Initiatives
Library of Congress
Views are my own.