That's a good point. And it reminds me of the misnamed bibTeX "key" field, used to sort items in a reference list that are missing author data. Likewise a separate MODS element outside of <titleInfo> (with a more sensible name than <key>, <sort> for example) would be useful. The desired sort order in some applications might have nothing to do with the title. The title might even be a made-up identifier and not really a title at all (e.g. "personal communication" in a reference database). You mention using pinyin to sort Chinese. For Japanese titles, however, the sort order would be neither the original nor the transliterated title. (I'm not sure of the exact rules, but I think writing the title phonetically in katakana would sort properly by Unicode code point order). An element outside of <titleInfo> would come in handy here too, so one could set language attributes on it, e.g. <mods> <titleInfo script="Jpan">...</titleInfo> <titleInfo transliteration="kunrei">...</titleInfo> <sort script="Kana">...</sort> ... </mods> >>> [log in to unmask] 2004-01-27 12:17:57 >>> I'd like to add another bit of info to Caroline's very clear statement of support for the sort title element: machine sorting is only really easy when you limit your title to the basic ASCII characters. It gets more complex as you add accented characters, and then ramps up in complexity through non-Latin alphabets (i.e. Arabic and Hebrew) and the non-alphabetic languages (Chinese, etc.).