For the reasons I already stated, I would argue that while the multiple dated 375s may be specific (precise), they are not appropriate (accurate). Whether or not you agree, RDA does not actually have an element or instruction for associating dates with gender to satisfy that precision.

On the other hand, while the term female is appropriate in this case, I think it is not sufficiently specific--so long as "cisgender" is otherwise assumed or implied, and insofar as there is warrant to record her gender at all. So we would then have recourse to the second clause.

Also, I believe a fast-track proposal has been submitted to include "transgender" in the RDA list of gender terms. The CC:DA minutes from ALA Midwinter 2015 are not posted, but there was an announcement at the meeting to this effect by Amber Billey, who is a co-author of the article that has been mentioned. If included, this could be used separately or in addition to male and female for additional specificity.


On Tue, Jun 2, 2015 at 7:32 PM, Kevin M Randall <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Many thanks to John for mentioning the article by Billey, Drabinski and Roberto.  I hadn't seen it, and now having read it, I recommend it highly.  Here are citations to the article:


Amber Billey, Emily Drabinski & K. R. Roberto (2014) What's Gender Got to Do with It? A Critique of RDA 9.7, Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, 52:4, 412-421, DOI:

10.1080/01639374.2014.882465 (


Billey, Amber; Drabinski, Emily; and Roberto, K.R., "What's Gender Got to Do With It? A Critique of RDA Rule 9.7" (2014). University Libraries Faculty and Staff Publications. Paper 19.


While the authors may perhaps be overstating the degree to which catalogers are "instructed" to record gender in authority records, this might be due to the confusing state of PCC documentation.  Here is what I know of as of today:


·         The source that I always consider to be the most authoritative is the LC-PCC Policy Statements, and that document is totally silent on the matter of recording gender (and appears to have been silent from the start).

·         DCM Z1, 375 seems to merely tell the cataloger how to use the field, not when to use it.

·         MARC 21 encoding to accommodate new RDA elements 046 and 3XX in NARs and SARs ( is basically like DCM Z1, telling us how, not when to use field 375.

·         The training documents (videos and slideshows) are really quite out of date, with some of the matters discussed therein still unsettled at the time of creation.


There may indeed be environments in which the RDA gender element is warranted.  But I don't know what those environments are, and I would say that the LC/NACO authority file is one in which such warrant occurs only very rarely, if even at all.


Kevin M. Randall

Principal Serials Cataloger

Northwestern University Library

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(847) 491-2939


Proudly wearing the sensible shoes since 1978!


From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of John C. DeSantis
Sent: Tuesday, June 02, 2015 4:49 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Inevitable Caitlyn Jenner NAR question



   You're correct to wonder about this. Recording gender in 375 has been controversial from the beginning of RDA implementation, particularly so for transgender individuals. See the recent article authored by Amber Billey, Emily Drabinski, and KR Roberto, which addresses this issue far more eloquently than I could. 


John DeSantis

Matthew C. Haugen
Rare Book Cataloger
102 Butler Library
Columbia University Libraries
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Phone: 212-851-2451