OK, bear with me; I may be a little slow here.

On 11/22/05, Karen Coyle <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> The basic problem is that the names of the parts of the journal
> hierarchy don't tell you about their order. That's why the SICI standard
> (and some citation formats)  ignores what the parts are called and just
> gives the enumeration (yes, we can call it something else) as a
> highest-to-lowest list, like "4:3". Order makes a big difference in
> terms of actually identifying the part that you are citing ("3:4" is NE
> "4:3").

Order in this sense is representing a hierarchy level?

> For journals using simple numbering, using volume/number works
> fine, but so many journals don't follow that pattern. If you have an
> issue that is called neither volume nor number, where do you put it?

If it is a number attached to the issue to distinguish it from the
issue that precedes and follows it, then it is an issue number.

> (Also, "volume/number" works only for English language journals;
> presumably you want to cite what the level is called on the cover of the
> journal so that a person looking at it can verify that they have the
> right item.)

Actually, if I understand you right, no.  What appears on the cover is
sort of irrelevant to how it is formatted in any given citation. 
Formatting is specified by (usually publisher) document and/or
citation styles.  So one style may say to precede an issue number with
"n" (an abbrevitation for "number), while another may say to surround
it with parenthesis.  Likewise, order may vary depending on style.  So
how it is represented in the original does not matter.

Likewise, if I cite a German language journal article in an English
text, the citation uses the standards of the English language citation
style.  E.g. what on the original journal would be one word (my German
is terrible, so I don't remember what it'd be!) would in the Eingliish
citation be another.

So my argument here is it really doesn't matter what the semantics are
of the periodical in question.  What matters is the actual structures
they represent.  So what is often called a "number" is in fact not
just a number; it is an issue number.

> Although my example code looks complex, it's not what I would expect
> anyone to have to code directly. Also, library systems can store
> patterns that pertain to individual journal titles, so the person keying
> can be presented with a pattern already set to be filled in based on the
> title or ISSN. For citation systems, it is probably enough for someone
> to fill in the levels and their "numbers" (which can sometimes be
> letters, months, seasons or dates) in the correct order, something like:
> volume  1
> part      B
> number  6
> date  [whatever]
> And this would display nicely as: "volume 1, part B, number 6" or "v. 1,
> pt. B, no. 6" or "1(B)6" or any other number of citation formats. But if
> you haven't coded the order of the levels then things like linking (in
> the OpenURL sense) are likely to fail. So call them what you want, these
> are the data elements that are needed, and the relationship between them
> is key.

Right, except my argument would be order is not relevant per se, and
actually confuses the issue (um, no pun intended).  If the "part"
above is a different kind of part than is used in other contexts, then
they should just have different names.

Anyway, enjoy the holidays all!