I think this is an overly restrictive interpretation of RDA 11.7. RDA says “other designation” is (b) ANY term that differentiates the body from other entities; simply says “record a SUITABLE designation”. It seems to me that the language of the instruction leaves the choice of term completely wide open. I don’t see this language forbidding in any way the suggestion of using a spelled out form of the name to qualify an initialism.


However, I don’t actually see the necessity of qualifying initialisms recorded in 4XX fields at all and in fact I see disadvantages to the practice.


The proposition that an initialism does not convey the idea of a corporate body is very debatable in my opinion—UNICEF, UNESCO, and IBM all convey the idea of corporate body to me, at least. In fact, so many corporate bodies are known by initialisms, that seems to be one of the hallmarks of a corporate name nowadays. If I saw an unexplained initialism out of context, e.g. all alone on a bilboard or in an ad, I would instantly assume it was the name of a corporate body. So why do we think users wouldn’t realize an initialism stood for a corporate body in the context of searches or displays within a catalog?


Further, past and current NACO practice allows variant names to conflict with each other, so it doesn’t matter if various corporate bodies have the same initialism recorded as 4XXs. Past practice has been not to qualify them when recorded as variants. Starting now means that users will sometimes find references from IBM under just IBM, but newly established records will have IBM variants with qualifiers—and these will be easily missed because they will be FAR away from the basic “IBM” reference (there are a LOT of IBM access points). To me a better policy would be to agree NOT to qualify initialisms in 4XX. That way they are all gathered together in one place and the user chooses which one he/she wants, as “IBM” currently displays in authorities.loc.gov:



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Authority Record

See:  Institut biologii mori︠a︡ (Akademii︠a︡ nauk SSSR)

See:  Institut biologii mori︠a︡ (Rossiĭskai︠a︡ akademii︠a︡ nauk)

See:  Instituto de Biologia Marítima (Portugal)

See:  Instytut Budownictwa Mieszkaniowego (Poland)

See:  International Business Machines Corporation.



We’re making it harder on our users if we insist on their going and looking for “IBM (Programme)” or whatever to find the one they want instead of just “IBM”, which is the form they will have found and will be looking for.




Robert L. Maxwell
Head, Special Collections and Formats Catalog Dept.
6728 Harold B. Lee Library
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602

"We should set an example for all the world, rather than confine ourselves to the course which has been heretofore pursued"--Eliza R. Snow, 1842.


From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Culbertson, Rebecca
Sent: Friday, June 14, 2013 10:45 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: References from initialisms


Why don’t we send this through JSC as a proposed change?  This gives instant corroboration to the patron that this is the body they are seeking.


Becky Culbertson


From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Moore, Richard
Sent: Friday, June 14, 2013 9:25 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] References from initialisms




Unfortunately, I don't think the spelled out form of a body's name falls within the scope of


11.7.1 defines "Other designation associated with the corporate body" as:


"a) a word, phrase, or abbreviation that indicates incorporation or legal status of a corporate body


 b) any term that differentiates the body from other corporate bodies, persons, etc." has examples of the latter, that are used when the name does not convey the idea of a corporate body, but all are terms for the kind of thing the body is: Program, Firm, Organisation. I think that's what's meant by "Other designation".


The name in the 410 is  not an "Other Designation" but a "Variant Name for the Corporate Body" (11.2.3). There is no instruction that allows you to use a variant name as a qualifer in a preferred name, or vice versa. So I don't think either a 110 or a 410 in the form "BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation" is actually allowed in RDA, more's the pity.  





Richard Moore

Authority Control Team Manager

The British Library

From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging on behalf of Boehr, Diane (NIH/NLM) [E]
Sent: Thu 13/06/2013 20:36
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] References from initialisms

I am seeing other libraries using the full form of the name as the qualifier, which seems like a good idea. 




Diane Boehr

Head of Cataloging

National Library of Medicine

8600 Rockville Pike, MS3823

Bethesda, MD 20894

301-435-7059 (voice)

301-402-1211 (fax)

[log in to unmask]




From: Paiste, Marsha S. [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2013 9:58 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] References from initialisms


In view of Paul Franks’ clear message regarding initialisms, I wonder if there is  a list of acceptable qualifiers.  I am currently creating an authority record for the Boston School of Occupational Therapy or BSOT.  It was founding during the WWI for high school and college graduates to receive professional education.  (Later it joined with Tufts University, so a second record will be created for that form of name.) 


Can I use 410 BSOT (Professional school) and 410 B.S.O.T.  (Professional school)?  Is there a better qualifier?






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