On 26/01/2017 08:25, [log in to unmask] wrote:
> What definition of Work will give the best results for the community 
> that actually needs to use this data to actually do something useful?
> For example:
> ·Cataloging. Is it really to the benefit of catalogers that the Work 
> be split (or not split)?
> ·Discovery
> ·Work information as used by collection management or acquisition
> ·The rest of the world

Here's my opinion.

Catalogers themselves don't really need any of this. Catalogers are 
supposed to make what other groups need and want. Those other groups 
include users of the library collection, and other librarians who manage 
the collection. They are both equally important.

I personally have never met any non-librarian who needed or wanted the 
"work" of much of anything. I have known some pretty hardcore scholars 
and don't think that any of them would need the *work* of, e.g. Homer's 
Iliad--that is: all of the different manifestations of all the different 
expressions of the Iliad. Lots however, do want all kinds of versions of 
specific expressions, e.g. different versions of the Greek original, or 
they may want to compare different English translations, or even 
different versions of a single English translation which can very often 
include minute differences among various printers or individual 
printings--details that the regular cataloging of newer materials never, 
if ever, captures and is more a part of rare books cataloging.

So, gathering together all the different language versions of the Iliad, 
or of the Bible, or even of a modern popular novel, although the scholar 
may find it interesting to know there are Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese, 
Danish, etc. versions, the resulting group is far too big to work with. 
I admit this *might* change with digitization and "big data."

On the other hand, the library selector who is managing the collection 
may actually find work information useful, either for statistical 
purposes, to discover the strengths of the collection, or if something 
is found to be a weakness, the selector can begin to fill out the 

The average person I think, has very little interest in the work and is 
much more interested in specific expressions. What I mean is that 
someone will say "I want a copy of Homer's Iliad in English" and then 
they may need additional guidance, or just browse the versions on the 
shelf. The average user rarely need the work information except in two 
very important cases: 1) as subjects 2) as a related work. So, someone 
may not want Homer's Iliad, but they want history and criticism of 
Homer's Iliad. This does not have to be limited to history and criticism 
of specific languages or versions, but just history and criticism.

Someone may also want to know if there are any novels or movies based on 
Homer's Iliad. They are not concerned with any particular versions, e.g. 
whether the *real* related work that the novelist or writer of the 
screenplay used was in English or German or Greek, but they do want to 
know if there are other creative works  that are related to Homer's Iliad.

James Weinheimer [log in to unmask]
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