To become independent, we NACO contributors are supposed to demonstrate that we can consistently create records with errors in access points less than 10% of the time.  Seems like we’re having some slippage.  This should be a wake-up call.


While the errors John and Nancy describe can be exasperating (I’m working on the same reports as John and can attest to this), in most cases they won’t cause entities to be incorrectly identified; they do waste lots of precious time.  When we leave the realm of identities based on matching text strings (machine-matched or eye-resolved) and enter the realm of identities based on uri’s, the kinds of errors we cause and correct are likely to change—this is something I wonder about.  Will we discover, for example, that we have conflated a poet laureate with a particular mouse in someone’s laboratory, with data about one getting linked to the other?


Mary Jane Cuneo

Serials cataloging and NACO

Information and Technical Services

Harvard Library



From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Nancy Sack
Sent: Monday, October 24, 2016 6:25 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Changes to name authorities


Each week I load the newest file of name records that were added, deleted, or changed. In addition to the problems that John has identified, there are many others. Of the 10,000 or so records in each weekly file, I'd say that between 1500 and 2000 have mistakes of some kind. I have time to correct only the most egregious ones.


On 10/24/2016 10:31 AM, John Hostage wrote:

In applying changes to name authorities in our local catalog, I’ve seen a number of strange things.  There have been dates added to access points that didn’t seem to need to be distinguished, even a death date added to a name that had no dates, even though the 670 that was the source of the death date also contained a birth date.


Today I find a name to which a middle name was added.  The only publication that used the middle name in the statement of responsibility seems to have been his dissertation.  There were a couple of dozen works without it.  And no reference was made from the previously established form.


The record also disregarded the DCM guidelines on repeatability in the 3XX fields, but that’s piling on.



John Hostage

Senior Continuing Resources Cataloger

Harvard Library--Information and Technical Services

Langdell Hall 194

Harvard Law School Library

Cambridge, MA 02138

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Nancy Sack
Cataloging Department
University of Hawaii at Manoa
2550 McCarthy Mall, Honolulu, HI 96822
phone: 808-956-2648
fax: 808-956-5968
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