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PCCLIST  December 2010

PCCLIST December 2010

Subject:

Re: Policy Committee meeting outcomes (Clarification on Decision 2)

From:

Casey A Mullin <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Thu, 16 Dec 2010 09:55:24 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (140 lines)

I share Bob's concern for the lack of guidance on how to code "hybrid" 
headings. But I take exception to the premise that in RDA an access 
point absolutely must be qualified to the point of uniqueness. True, at 
6.27.3 the language reads: "Construct an access point representing a 
particular expression of a work or a part or parts of a work by adding 
to the authorized access point representing the work". While the ensuing 
instruction guides you on how to formulate such an access point, it does 
not prescribe that all access points be formulated thus. To that end, 
I'm looking at the instruction at 6.0 that reads "Authorized access 
points representing works and expressions can be used for different 
purposes." Two of the bullet points below, which are "bringing 
together..." and "organizing hierarchical displays" can support the idea 
of the absolutely unique expression access point, but they do not 
prescribe them. Also, point c) states "differentiating between two or 
more works with the same title", but there is no corresponding point for 
differentiating expressions, per se.

The other instructions that Bob cites (6.9-6.12) give means to 
distinguish expressions. And they are labeled core, "when needed to 
differentiate". But these instructions relate to recording the elements, 
not to creating access points. And, it makes no indication on just 
exactly when you need to differentiate! To my mind, 6.27.3 gives you the 
*means* to create as distinct an access point as you need in a given 
situation, but it does not, ipso facto, *require* absolutely unique 
access points for every possible expression. The language just isn't 
there. To wit, the LCPS there gives the case of conventional collective 
titles beginning with "works", namely that one routinely adds the date 
of expression. But doesn't this imply that in other situations, you 
wouldn't routinely add the date? Again, this is not explicit, but must 
be inferred.

The upshot, to my mind, is that the treatment of expression access 
points is purposefully non-specific in RDA, to allow for different kinds 
of implementations. In our Scenario 2/3 environment (bib and authority 
records), requiring that every access point be qualified to the point of 
uniqueness ensures that these access points will never serve their 
"gathering point" function, though they could still be used to generate 
meaningful hierarchical displays. In Scenario 1, it follows more 
intuitively that an expression ought to be described (in its own record) 
with sufficient elements to uniquely identify it, but we aren't in 
Scenario 1 yet.

I don't think what Bob describes is necessarily "wrong", and it is 
certainly supported by the RDA instructions as one possible 
implementation. But we will have to flesh out best practices as a 
community if we are to have any hope of consistency in our shared 
authority record environment. It seems that neither past practice, 
carried over wholesale, nor a radical shift, exemplified by Bob's 
examples, will be efficacious.

We are definitely in uncharted waters here.

Yours,
Casey

On 12/16/2010 9:13 AM, Robert Maxwell wrote:
> John and PoCo members,
>
> Diane Boehr makes an important point here when she brings up the topic of hybrid heading strings. This is particularly crucial regarding work and expression records.
>
> AACR2 uniform title headings were not designed with FRBR in mind and so unsurprisingly do not conform to the FRBR entity model followed by RDA. For example, the heading string
>
> Homer. Iliad
>
> represents in AACR2 not just the work "Iliad" but also all the Greek-language expressions of the Iliad (and there are many).
>
> Homer. Iliad. English
>
> represents in AACR2 not just "the" English-language expression of the Iliad, but *all* of the English-language expressions of the Iliad (and there are many).
>
> RDA does not admit authorized access points that represent more than one expression. They must be distinguished from one another. In the case of the Iliad,
>
> Homer. Iliad
>
> would stand for the work in RDA, but because this work has been realized in more than one expression, the same access point cannot stand for expressions of the work. It must be qualified in some way so that each expression is distinctly identified. See RDA 6.9-12 and 6.27.3. So the various Greek expressions would be given access points such as these:
>
> Homer. Iliad. Greek (West) [for the recent Teubner edition by Martin L. West]
>
> Homer. Iliad. Greek (Leaf) [for the school edition by Walter Leaf]
>
> Homer. Iliad. Greek (Dindorf and Hentze) [for the earlier Teubner edition edited by Dindorf and corrected by Hentze]
>
> Homer. Iliad. Greek (Dindorf) [for Dindorf's uncorrected edition]
>
> Because there are more than one English translation, there are more than one expression, and so "Homer. Iliad. English" can't be used without a qualifier in RDA; for example:
>
> Homer. Iliad. English (Rieu) [the translation by E.V. Rieu]
>
> Homer. Iliad. English (Chapman) [the translation by George Chapman]
>
> Homer. Iliad. English (Lang, Leaf and Myers) [the translation by Andrew Lang, Walter Leaf and Ernest Myers]
>
> So there's a fundamental (and I think irreconcilable) difference between how AACR2 and RDA treat access points for works and expressions. In many, perhaps most, cases the established AACR2 uniform title heading (if any) can't be used in an RDA record; and AACR2 authority records for uniform titles can't very well be used to represent RDA authorized access points because there isn't a one-to-one correspondence (the AACR2 authority record for "Homer. Iliad" stands for both the work and the Greek expressions; RDA needs distinct records for each of these).
>
> So, OK, in the case of Homer, we could follow the new PCC post-test policy: the name piece of the string "Homer" is to be used as established in AACR2, the "title" portion follows RDA. This is fine because "Homer" legitimately could be used in RDA for this person. We could create authority records for any of the expression access points above and legitimately code them "rda".
>
> But there are a good number of AACR2 name heading forms that cannot be used in RDA. For example, the form for the author Alcinous, as established in the authority file using AACR2, is
>
> Alcinous, fl. 2nd cent.
>
> By the RDA guidelines this heading cannot be used as is in RDA. It must be modified to
>
> Alcinous, active 2nd century
>
> This person wrote a work "Didaskalikos", which exists in more than one expression. In RDA we need at least the following access points:
>
> Alcinous, active 2nd century. Didaskalikos. French (Louis)
> Alcinous, active 2nd century. Didaskalikos. Greek (Whittaker)
>
> Following the announced PCC policy, we would instead use, and create new authority records for:
>
> Alcinous, fl. 2nd cent. Didaskalikos. French (Louis)
> Alcinous, fl. 2nd cent. Didaskalikos. Greek (Whittaker)
>
> These strings are neither correct for AACR2 nor are they correct for RDA. Would this authority record be coded AACR2 or RDA? And there is no way to notify the system or other catalogers when as here the authority record contains a hybrid string in 1XX. I see this as a major problem with the newly announced policy.
>
> Bob
>
> Robert L. Maxwell
> Head, Special Collections and Formats Catalog Dept.
> 6728 Harold B. Lee Library
> Brigham Young University
> Provo, UT 84602
> (801)422-5568
>

-- 
Casey A. Mullin
Discovery Metadata Librarian
Metadata Development Unit
Stanford University Libraries
650-736-0849
[log in to unmask]
http://www.caseymullin.com

--

"Those who need structured and granular data and the precise retrieval that results from it to carry out research and scholarship may constitute an elite minority rather than most of the people of the world (sadly), but that talented and intelligent minority is an important one for the cultural and technological advancement of humanity. It is even possible that if we did a better job of providing access to such data, we might enable the enlargement of that minority."
-Martha Yee

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