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We recently had something very unusual happen to one of our PCC records
and need some clarification and advice from LC/PCC.

A few weeks ago we put a Bibco record into OCLC for a PDF version of a
document called "Human influences on forest ecosystems" (OCLC
#53079241).  There was already a record for the print edition in OCLC.
This appeared to fit the guidelines for electronic reproductions in LCRI
1.11A, and in fact is very similar to the fourth example in the LCRI
("Breeding design considerations for coastal Douglas-fir"), so this is
the way we did it.

Two weeks later our record was overlayed with a GPO record that treated
the PDF version as simply an electronic edition.  Our 533/539 fields
were removed and a 776 field was added, along with a few other changes.
I don't know if this represents a GPO policy or was just a different
interpretation of the nature of this document.

The end result is that we now appear to have input a pcc record that
doesn't follow LC policy, as required by Bibco. In looking all this over
again, I ask myself if there is any way one can look at a PDF file and
decide unambiguously whether it is an original or a reproduction from
another format.  The answer seems to be "no."  Further, does
distinguishing between electronic originals and reproductions add any
value for anybody?  I'm not sure that it does.

So there are multiple issues here. First, is the problem of
national-level records overlaying each other and undoing each other's
work, but I don't know how much can be done about this.  A more basic
underlying issue is why these multiple records embodying different
principles are being created in the first place. It might be more
fruitful to re-examine this "electronic reproduction" concept and
whether/why we need it.  If we do want to retain it, we need to add some
more concrete "matching points" or "tests" against which e-originals and
e-reproductions can be distinguished, or we will be spending time that
none of us can afford duplicating records for the same resource.

Meanwhile, I assume that I should just leave the record as GPO overlayed
it?  Thanks for any advice or comments on resolving this messy business.

Celine Noel
UNC-Chapel Hill