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Hello, my name is Martin from Argentina and I joined this list just a few days ago to learn about the future changes in the MARC format. I apologize if my english is not very skilled.

I think both points of views are correct. I always felt that the way of choosing the main creator is arbitrary indeed. Maybe the rule should let us do some research before assigning the main author rather than just choose the first one. Or, maybe we can just change the name of this element. What if we call it "citation author" instead of "main author" for example?

Hal Cain escribió:
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What I don't think is valuable, is having to pick one author of a work with 
    
multiple authors and designate that person as the "main" one, based on the 
almost arbitrary factor of position of the name on the title page, (which is 
often alphabetical), and ending up deeming this person "Creator" and 
relegating the other author(s) to "Contributor" status.  (Nor do I think 
that dichotomy is particularly useful.)

As you may gather from the above, I disagree.  The reason for my 
disagreement is twofold: it needs to be plain that the record (or other set 
of data if "record" is inappropriate) corresponds with the document in hand; 
and it needs to correspond as well as possible with the citations users 
bring to the catalogue -- the fact that citations may be imperfect does not 
mean the data content doesn't matter. The implication is that joint 
responsibility needs to be acknowledged (as, I believe, does editorial 
compilation of existing material, like volumes of readings -- the citations 
are written that way, why not cataloguing also?) otherwise we place a 
barrier of ambiguity between user and data.  And one of the functions of 
catalogue records is to be used to create citations -- Endnote, anyone?

So long as different elements are distinguished (names, relationships, 
titles, other significant data elements) the format in which it's recorded 
is very secondary.

Hal Cain
Melbourne, Australia
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-- 
Martín L. Saleme
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Centro de Información Geo-Biológico del NOA
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