Karen Coyle replied
Quoting "J. McRee Elrod" <[log in to unmask]>:
> Where a resource is published is data only second to title and
> statement of responsibility as wanted information, I suspect, and
> perhaps equal with date of publication.
We're going to need real data on that. I don't recall myself EVER
looking at place of publication when identifying and selecting and
obtaining from a library catalog.
Mac would answer this question with his usual example of the implications of London, Ont. And London, England for his law clients. And I would add that in cataloging early books, the place of publication has mattered for identification of the resource or of the corresponding record, sometimes because the publisher name was not clear, not present, or published in multiple places. This can also be pertinent for all time frames when working with resources outside one's preferred character set, where place of publication may be easier to decipher (or may have parallel representation).
But, to launch a larger dialogue, I am not unconvinced that conducting a zero-sum analysis of the perceived relative worth of individual data elements in a data format is a bit of a straw man. We can lob personal and anecdotal assessments around all we want, but the data element needs are going to come from the respective descriptive rules -- a conversation for another list or at least another day. Any prospective upgrade or replacement to MARC needs to be sufficiently robust and flexible to accommodate the descriptive requirements for any number of communities.
It was embarrassingly recent that I learned MARC was not the be-all and end-all of ISO2709, but rather a significantly constrained application of it. I don't know if "NEWMARC" as Jeffrey Trimble proposes would or should be the answer, but it certainly has merit as part of the conversation.
Regardless of the mechanism for the resulting communication format, I think there is a need to address the larger issues of:
* transcribed vs. controlled data,
* controlled data rendered in representational (i.e. text) and non-representational (e.g. URIs) forms (because regardless of the disadvantages of the former, there will likely be instances where that is the only option available),
* how to connect those respective representations of the same data element,
* how to connect the individual data elements applicable to a given resource,
* how to connect those out to other resources and entities,
* extensibility, as much as possible, with respect to future data needs (witness the cited regret of Avram in developing different bibliographic formats for specific media, and the implications of FRBR that alters the bifurcation between authority/bibliographic data and replaces it with data for entity groups).
(And all while keeping the data relatively compact!)
Somewhat farther afield, how to realize all of that into an interface that:
* translates computer friendly, language-neutral coding (element labels and data) into something intelligible for those performing the data entry in the context of multiple languages and descriptive codes,
* won't require full double entry of transcribed and controlled data, and ultimately
* renders a coherent and consistent display to end-users of the data.
John F. Myers, Catalog Librarian
Schaffer Library, Union College
807 Union St.
Schenectady NY 12308
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