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MARC  December 2005

MARC December 2005

Subject:

RDA and MARC

From:

"J. McRee Elrod" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

MARC <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 28 Dec 2005 09:10:19 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (207 lines)

With the posting of the RDA draft at:

http://www.collectionscanada.ca/jsc/rdadraftpt1.html

one can't help wondering reading it just what the impact upon MARC w
development might be.  In teaching cataloguing, I follow the order of
MARC fields in teaching AACR2, since that is the order the students as
novice cataloguers will deal with the data.  RDA follows neither ISBD
nor MARC in order.

Un terms of the goal of being written in understandable language, the
authors and editors have done a suburb job.  Only occasionally did I
have to stop and wonder what something meant, e.g, standard numbers
being called "resource identifiers"; isn't the whole bibliographic
record a resource identifier?

When cataloguing, we tend to do so using a MARC electronic worksheet
which has MARC21 fields in tag order.  When I say I prefer ISBD order
to the new RDA order. what I really mean is that, as I said above, I
prefer rules in the order in which the elements are encountered on an
electronic worksheet.  I'm not convinced there is good reason to
depart from ISBD order (which MARC21 order pretty well follows from
245-5XX).  In particular, I find having traced titles and notes mixed
in with descriptive elements difficult.  There will be a lot of
scrolling up and down (if one follows RDA), or flipping back and forth
(if one uses print RDA following a MARC21 worksheet).

I assume Chapter 3 will cover GMD, SMD, and collation, which are not
covered in Chapter 2, where they would occur in MARC21, i.e., after
title proper, and after date of publication.

In terms of punctuation in examples (using MARC21 shorthand), only one
hyphen is used in 362 and 502, making what should be a dash appear
confusing to me.  I would prefer two hyphens for a dash when closed up
on both sides.

One of the basic objectives of the ISBDs is that an item may be
catalogued once in the country of publication, and then that
description used internationally.  The RDA substitution of English
phrases, e.g., "[publisher unknown]" or "[Publisher unknown]" (this
phrase is inconsistently given), with the phrases in other languages
introduced in other language libraries, strikes at the heart of that
basic purpose.  In our case, we would have to go through the labour
intensive task of establishing those phrases in a variety of
languages, as well as having unwanted duplicates of the record in our
files with the phrases in those various languages.  This is an RDA
practice we will *not* substitute for the AACR2 more universal Latin
abbreviations.  What language would we use for WHO, a library in a
bilingual country serving an international patronage?  Latin
abbreviations are a useful compromise in a multilingual situation.

Bilingual catalogues use 040$b to determine the language used for
display constants, e.g., a record with 040$bfre would have French
phrases used for the 246 2nd indicators.  This allows us to have one
record serving libraries with English, French, or bilingual
catalogues.

There is also the matter of the relative length of "et al". vs. "and
others", "s.n." vs. "publisher unknown", in terms of what appears in a
one line display or printed new titles list.

It is good that in 0.1.9 we are told that examples will use ISBD
punctuation.  It frees examples from supplied "[by]" and the like, as
was done before ISBD's "/".

The introduction (1.1.1) is very well written.

In most cases experienced cataloguers will know what MARC21 tag
applies to which element of RDA description.  But sometimes it is not
so clear.  For example for, 1.2.3 multilevel description, in which the
description of the whole and the description of the parts are in a
single record, even with the example at D.1.4, it is not clear to me
what elements will be coded how.  Without UKMARC's 248, it's hard to
picture what the coded record will look like.  Why was 248 rejected
with other elements of UK and CAN MARC were added to MARC21?

The distinction between major title changes (1.3) and minor (as listed
in 2.3.1.12 b) does not include as minor a single issue change as
recently discussed on Autocat, and covered by CONSER but not AACR2.  
Perhaps this deserves inclusion, as well as allowing the reopening of
a record when a serial reverts to an earlier title, as opposed to
having two records with the same 245 for the same publication as now.  
We've never had a customer which will accept the three records for
Atlanic/Atlaning monthy for example, another minor change which should
be added, with perhaps 247 allowed for more than integrating
resources.

The list of mandatory elements (1.4) includes Extent 300 (even though
not covered in this draft), but does not include place of publication
260$a .  The latter is a major oversight from my point of view.  Our
law firm library customers consider jurisdiction of publication far
more important than name of publisher - some of whom are
international.

The option to provide controlled access points rather than transcribed
elements is one which I hope can be removed.  I do *not* want to
return to missing statements of responsibility in 245$c when it is the
same as the prime entry in 1XX.  As we all know, the form of the
personal or corporate prime entry can change, e.g., when the author
marries.  It's no substitute for the statement as transcribed from the
item.  It seems to me this option should be limited to 440, 780, and
785.

It's good to see in 1.6.1.1 such capitalizations as "e-Commerce", and
"www. ..." allowed at the beginning of title transcription.

We are told (in 1.6.7) to transcribe jurisdictions when present (as
opposed to when needed as in AACR2), and we are told to use prescribed
abbreviations, *substituting one abbreviation for another*.  Now I
hope they provide an example of "MA" being transcribed as "Mass."  I
also hope they take the next step and have jurisdiction supplied when
lacking.

We are (according to 1.6.8) to transcribe inaccuracies as is without
"[sic]", but we are at least allowed to correct inaccuracies in items
issued in successive parts.  We simply won't be able to adopt this.  
Too many records would be returned by customers for "correction".  We
will have to continue the use of this Latin term along with the Latin
abbreviations in imprint.

The LCRI turning AACR2 on its head for reproductions fortunately (from
my point of view) did not make it into RDA.  So if following RDA, we
would have 534 as opposed to the 533 used in following the LCRI. In
2.2.2 (choice of prime source), 2.3.1.5 (title), 2.5.0.4 (edition
statement), 2.10.9.4 (series), 2.12.0.4, and 4.10..2 we are told to
choose the facsimile in hand, over the item reproduced, for
transcription.

The instruction in 2.2.4 to use [ ] only for information supplied from
outside the resource makes great sense.  Our customers never
understood why we bracket something they could plainly see on the
item.

The rule of three is now optional (2.3) for statements of
responsibility.  Presumably if the option is not adopted, the number
of 700's will greatly increase, as well as the length of 245$c.

The inclusion of variant title transcription (2.3.4) following title
transcription might make sense for MARC21 246 and even 247.  But
wouldn't those earlier and former titles (2.3.5.4) be in 780/785?
  
Recording earlier and later title information (2.3.5.6) still only
applies to continuaing resources (even though the category is not
expressed).  These titles are defined as applying to serials and
integrating resources only.  Mongraphs also have earlier and later
titles in successive editions, but these relationships are not
coverend in this section, so one assumes 247 and 780/785 will not be
extended to monographs.  The 780/785 way of relating earlier and later
editions would seem to me a simple way of meeting FRBR objectives.

In 2.8.0.3, as mentioned earlier, jurisdiction for place of
publication is to be transcribed if present (in contrast to the rarely
observed AACR2 provision), but lacking jurisdictions are not supplied.  
This is something we have to do for our international customer base.  
We can't expect an European or Asian patron to know the jurisdiction
of North American cities.  Also, if we have "London, Ont." it seems to
me we should have "London [England]".

Some changes in 2.9.1.3 for date of publication seem wise: "[1800s?]"
seems clearer than the present "[18--?]".  But why not "[late 1800s or
early 1900s]" as opposed to "[date unknown]", if that is the case?  
Certainly the cataloguer with item in hand is better able to determine
that than the patron at the catalogue.
                                                               
The instruction in 2.3.5 to omit introductory words at the beginning
of titles (first allowed for motion pictures) is very welcome.  One of
the great advantages of RDA integrating all types of resources in one
set of rules is that they are much more consistent.  The exceptions
and additional provisions for particular genres are clearly stated.

Unfortunately 2.3.1.1 still defines alternate title as being part of
title proper.  If so, why does it begin with an upper case letter?  
That first portion of the title should be followed by a 245$hGMD, and
the alternate title should be coded 245$b, as happens with all the
other titles other than first title proper, whether parallel title, or
a later title in an item without a collective title (the latter being
a rule change).

It's good to see in 2.3.1.8 that medium and key for music are to be
transcribed as part of 245 title area.

D.1.2.0 continues the mistake of AACR2 in describing the period at the
end of an element as of it is to "precede" the following element.  We
all key that full stop at the end of the relevant MARC field, and
think of it as ending that element.  I suspect that silly way of
saying it is why 246 lacks a full stop, creating notes lacking a full
stop.  It is also silly to continue calling for "--".  I know of no
system which now has us key those in the MARC record (if used they are
system supplied), and back when we did key them in on Catss, they were
at the end of MARC fields, not at the beginning.

It's certainly worthwhile reading through the draft.  With the
exception of the difficulty of coordinating the elements to be
transcribed with the appropriate MARC21 field, it should be a useful
teaching aid.  I can see a lot of annotating of the printed version
with MARC21 field tag numbers.  Wouldn't an appendix doing that be
helpful?

It would be much more useful if the order of rules corresponded with
the order in which most of us key the the elements, i.e., ISBD or
MARC21.


   __       __   J. McRee (Mac) Elrod ([log in to unmask])
  {__  |   /     Special Libraries Cataloguing   HTTP://www.slc.bc.ca/
  ___} |__ \__________________________________________________________

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