The testing group at Princeton looked at the editor as a functional tool for doing their work and provided a number of comments which are summarized in the text below.

Joyce Bell
Cataloging and Metadata Services Director
Princeton University Library


Catalogers do not take well to the bibframe editor in its current structure.  Some of the complaints they have center around features which could be accommodated by local profiles (display labels, presence of elements) while other complaints are a bit more fundamental.

Separating the input form into separate sections for work, instance and holdings seems like forcing the bibframe model on inputters when most (maybe all?) of this distinction can happen behind the scenes and the cataloger does not need to even be aware of it.  It makes sense for the order of elements on the form to match the order in which data tends to be encountered on material rather than forcing a cataloger to jump around following the bibframe model.

Popup boxes are time-consuming and distracting.  For example: in the instance I click on “provider entity” for publication.  A popup box appears.  I want to put in the provider’s name so I click on organization for the provider’s name.  Now I am in a second popup box.  There is potential for yet a third popup box if I want to fill in the authority assigner.    By the time I click on that I have completely lost track of what I started doing.

Why do we have a box for the aap?  This should be generated by taking data from other fields in the form. Since RDA still uses the concept of a main entry that combined with the title forms the aap, the editor should allow us to specify the name that is the main entry.  Doing so would allow for auto-generation of the app and less duplication of data.  [Or we change RDA?]

Visually the editor is troublesome.  Elements are spread out requiring a lot of scrolling.  The labels can be very confusing.  When a data element is set, very little of it is visible.  Some of the elements are not repeatable yet they have to be set and then aren’t editable without clicking them open, editing them, then setting them again.

There are some bugs.  If a subject is mistakenly added as the wrong type—place, for example, when it should have been topic—it must be deleted and added as the correct type.  This is a far cry from changing 651 to 650.  The editor does not allow you to edit the lookup form of an instance title (and since you can only view 15 characters, you can’t see properly what was chosen).  Are you supposed to go to the work lookup, which you can edit, to see the full data?

Lookups for names or subjects using keyword functionality often makes finding the right heading impossible.  Trying to set the subject for “London (England)” I simply can’t get that option to appear unless I type in “Londinium” which I happen to know is a variant name.  Lookups are also less than satisfactory when you need to view the authority record to choose the correct entity.

The form structure is inconsistent.  For subjects, authors and editors the form provides a row of buttons from which you choose the type.  Classification has separate row for each defined type of classification.  In all cases the links lead to the same form no matter what type is chosen.  If any differences are hidden behind the scenes, why not simplify the form?

LC, DDC and NLM classifications should have lookups.

ISBN popups should auto-populate the scheme.

The form doesn’t allow for inputting of parallel fields for alternate scripts.