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PCCLIST  November 2008

PCCLIST November 2008

Subject:

Re: Form of Heading for a Thesis

From:

john g marr <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Program for Cooperative Cataloging <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 5 Nov 2008 15:46:23 -0700

Content-Type:

TEXT/PLAIN

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (150 lines)

On Wed, 5 Nov 2008, Laurence Creider wrote:

   It appears that the problems we are thrashing out in this thread are the 
result of different approaches: whether to take the language of the 
"rules" specifically and literally (inluding AACR2 0.14) or to justify as 
many subjective interpretations of them as possible.  We get into less 
difficulty by taking the rules verbatim, although that may result in less 
flexibility of application.

>  The LCRI for 22.3A explicitly says to take the form used on the thesis 
> into account when choosing the form to be used in the heading.

   The only "explicit" reference to theses in the LCRI is in relation to 
making 80% determinations.  The only reason theses are "explicitly" 
mentioned at all is because they are considered exceptional (see below).

> Further, Dutch dissertations are published and do use the fullest form of the 
> authors names, so your distinction falls down.

   Published dissertations are publications and, as such, would be taken 
into consideration as such, not just under the specific reference to 
theses for 80% determinations.

>  Some countries, like the former Soviet Union, used to require that 
> initials be used in scholarly publications, regardless of whether they 
> were theses or not and regardless of what an author's desires were.

   A lot of current publications, especially from India, would seem to be 
following a similar tack-- or a lot of foreign authors simply do not 
realize that they cannot be "uniquely" identified by initials alone.

   You can still get a "full form" out of initialisms.

   That "regardless of what an author's wishes were" does evoke the reason 
why thesis transcriptions are not considered acceptable as "bases" for 
established names.

   If I do have to "establish" a name on the "basis" (qualified) of a 
thesis transcription (e.g., only work by an author and name as transcribed 
is not unique), I [prefer to] leave open the option of revising the 
authority record the 1st time I encounter a publication.

> I do not believe that this means that B.E.F. Pagen is as full as Bernard 
> Edward Francis Pagen.  The point of the LCRI is that three initials is 
> fuller than two names.

   That is the "effect" of the illustration, but it is not the "point" of 
either it or the LCRI.  The illustration was simply chosen as the most 
blatant (and unfortunately unusual) case that could be found.  You can see 
that the illustration has a narrower meaning that the text it illustrates.

   Simply put, the language of the LCRI is poor and logic is the only guide 
to its interpretation.   Additional illustrations might help (even if 
negative, e.g, "Bernard Edward Francis Pagan is [or is not] fuller than 
B.E.F. Pagan").

   The simplest way to resolve the ambiguity we are discussing would be to 
rewrite the text [e.g.]: "(When determining the fullest form ... *take into 
consideration the number of elements in the name and* make no distinction 
between forename initials and forenames ...)"

>  I've proceeded on this basis since 1983 without finding evidence to the 
> contrary.

   That would be difficult.  LC and NACO catalogers are inconsistent 
(obviously), and refer to different catalogs for information.  Evidence to 
the contrary" is in authority records that are explicit (and "correct"), 
but they are rarely explicit enough to constitute "substantial" evidence. 
And if you believed one thing for 25 years, what would motivate you to 
dispute yourself and even look for "evidence to the contrary"?

>> AACR2 0.14 = "The examples ... are ... not prescriptive",

> I would agree, but the example in this case is intended to be prescriptive.

   That is a statement contrary to logic and the "rules."

> I would also note that our extrapolations of what the illustration means 
> are not the same.

  The illustration represent an example of the number of elements in the 
name determining fullness, not the completeness of those elements. 
Another more practical example would be as I described above, where the 
number of elements is the same, so fullness is equal.

>>  Making "no distinction between forename initials and forenames" in 
>> determining "fullness", and giving precedence of consideration to (1) the 
>> work in hand and (2) publications (over theses) and (3) "Marc J." being 
>> "fuller" than "Marc", the "basis" for the heading is "Russell, Marc J."

> I believe both (1) and (2) are incorrect

   That problem could be simply resolved by the resolution of the language 
of the LCRI to either make or dismiss them.  The explicit mention of 
theses *only* under the 80% rule implies that theses are to be given 
special (less) consideration than publications.  Otherwise, theses would 
not have to mentioned at all.  Language changes to 22.3A could resolve the 
problem: either take out the exception mentioning theses or state earlier 
"This LCRI applies to formal publications and not theses, etc., unless 
otherwise specified."

   A little research *at LC* (inside) would reveal the original intent of 
the language.

> and (3) is irrelevant to the discussion since "Marc" does not show up by 
> itself in heading or usage for this individual.

   "Marc" shows up by itself (i.e. without the "J." or "James") three times 
in OCLC, on 2 publications and the author's M.A. thesis.

>  If one treats the the three names as instances of bibliographic usage, 
> the two forms with Marc J. do not add up to 80%, and so one falls back 
> on Marc James.

   There are 2 publications with "Marc" and 1 ("in hand") with "Marc J." 
"Marc J." predominates amongst these 3 according to LCRI 22.3A because it 
is "fuller than "Marc." Since there is no 80% consideration, the theses 
are not considered further (except to provide possible qualifiers).

> ... either form would serve the purpose of distinguishing the works by 
> this author.

   *Any* unique form would serve that purpose, but the point of "the rules" 
is to specify a consistent way of getting there.  I suspect that a lot of 
LCRIs that apply perfectly well inside LC do not work as well in OCLC 
because LC is creating records for their database, not for OCLC or any 
other database.

   Obviously, either this LCRI works only for LC [e.g., I have yet to see 
any personal name established by LC on the basis of a thesis when LC is 
cataloging a publication], or it does not do its job [my experience taken 
from NACO training and 25 yrs. of practice is different from yours], so we 
ought to change the language of the LCRI, one way or the other (my way of 
course, is preferred [grin?])!

Cheers!
                                             John G. Marr
                                             Cataloger
                                             CDS, UL
                                             Univ. of New Mexico
                                             Albuquerque, NM 87131
                                             [log in to unmask]
                                             [log in to unmask]

         **"I really like to know the reasons for what I do!"**
                                             Martha Watson

Opinions belong exclusively to the individuals expressing them, but
sharing is permitted.

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