I think that Adam has described accurately the expectations for applying Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) in PCC records.
As Adam also pointed out, the guidelines state that an “established thesaurus, list, or subject headings system” should be used.
How one applies the thesaurus, list, or subject headings system is governed by the guidelines specific to that thesaurus, list or subject headings system. I think that PCC guidelines assume that the cataloger is following those guidelines.
So, in Adam’s example with LCSH and LCGFT, he’s referring to the guidelines established by LC for applying those terms, rather than a PCC policy.
The question was raised to the PCC Policy Committee a year or more again about whether a member could authenticate a record as PCC that used only FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology) and not also LCSH. As I recall, PoCo affirmed that it would be acceptable to authenticate a record as PCC that used FAST in providing subject access. (FAST is an established list.) FAST uses the genre term approach (field 655) rather than form subdivisions. Of course, PCC members who use Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) as their primary thesaurus follow NLM’s guidelines in applying MeSH, which now also use the publication type approach in field 655 rather than a form subdivision. (This is based on NLM’s decision about how MeSH should be applied rather than a PCC policy decision). I know that some PCC members are considering using FAST rather than LCSH as their primary thesaurus.
I just wanted to point out that I don’t think it’s the purview of PCC to establish policy on how to apply guidelines specific to an established thesaurus, list, or subject headings system. I see that as the purview of the organization that promulgates or governs the use of these lists.
Team Leader for Cataloging
Ralph J. Bunche Library
U.S. Department of State
(202) 647-2191 (voice)
[log in to unmask]" alt="https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ98cbmoBcllgdf0edh13ysYD1UWN40YaHnlGs_yRsSVneVOj4P">No part of any article sent to you by the Bunche Library can be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted without prior written permission of the publisher. The exception are brief quotations. For a synopsis click here: http://diplopedia.state.gov/index.php?title=Copyright:_Synopsis_of_Important_Facts (Link not valid outside the Department of State.)
Official - Transitory
Steven asked "Does the PCC have a current position on the 655 over $v, as Deborah suggests?"
PCC policy is found in the BIBCO Standard Record (BSR) RDA Metadata Application Profile (http://www.loc.gov/aba/pcc/bibco/documents/PCC-RDA-BSR.pdf):
Subject and genre/form access:
Use judgment in assessing each resource. As appropriate, assign a complement of access points that provide access to at least the primary/essential subject and/or form of the work at the appropriate level of specificity. Assign such access points from an established thesaurus, list, or subject heading system.
Archival materials: Addition of genre/form terms (655), occupational terms (656), or functional terms (657) to the bibliographic record is encouraged if local policy calls for the use of such terms, as appropriate to the collection being described.
Rare books: Adding genre/form terms from one of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) Controlled Vocabularies is strongly recommended. Assign terms from other thesauri as appropriate.
Rare cartographic resources: Include at least one topic subdivided geographically or one geographic subject access field at a minimum.
The relevant words here are "established thesaurus, list, or subject heading system." For PCC libraries using LCSH as their subject heading system, that means they must assign full LCSH strings including form subdivisions. And in addition, they may also assign LCGFT from that established thesaurus, if they use that thesaurus. So, one may not omit form subdivisions in LCSH if also using LCGFT for genre/form access.
University of Washington Libraries
From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging <[log in to unmask]>
on behalf of Steven Michael Folsom <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, August 8, 2017 7:14:03 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Form subdivision--Commentaries
+1 to Deborah and Bob's responses.
Does the PCC have a current position on the 655 over $v, as Deborah suggests?
These rules on subdivisions, especially form/genre are often hard to justify. As an example, Are $v Introductions still only applicable to sacred works?
The cost of maintaining a standard is not lost on me, but we can't blame people for uneven implementation of standards when they aren't intuitive or when they are behind paywalls (http://www.loc.gov/cds/products/product.php?productID=28).
On Aug 8, 2017, at 6:07 PM, Deborah J. Leslie <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
A more intellectually satisfying solution is to drop the form subdivision from the subject string entirely, and add it as a 655. It's too bad about the lcgft rejection that Adam speaks of, but fortunately, "commentaries" does exist as an aat term, scoped as "Treatises or series of comments that systematically explain or annotate another work."
Deborah J. Leslie | Folger Shakespeare Library | [log in to unmask] |
On this particular issue, another approach would be to ask the question “Why is there this restriction?” A commentary on Aristotle’s Poetics is just as much a commentary as a commentary on the Book of Leviticus. So why in the world shouldn’t we be able to use the subdivision on the former? Our catalog users certainly wouldn’t think anything was strange about “Aristotle. Poetics—Commentaries” and they might in fact find it quite useful. Many of the LCSH rules about subdivisions are overly restrictive, in my opinion.
Robert L. Maxwell
Ancient Languages and Special Collections Librarian
6728 Harold B. Lee Library
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
“--the proper solution is to mark the subdivision usage itself as invalid”
Yes, I agree, if the commonly used subject validation program could detect it, for instance, if “600” present, then “$v Commentaries” is invalid. My point is, as thousands of new bib records enter OCLC daily and then pass onto thousands of individual institutions, would it be possible for OCLC/FAST to catch and mark them as questionable or invalid (thus no ‡2 fast ‡0 (OCoLC)fst01423723)? One would think it would be both efficient and economical to do so. Otherwise, the effort would be thousand fold more expensive.
I think one thing that contributes this problem is that people assume a subject heading string is valid if it is controllable in OCLC. The subdivision authority record for Commentaries includes a 073 field relating it to SHM 1188 (Sacred works), but unfortunately the authority records for sacred works don’t have coding to match up with this. OCLC can’t tell what is a heading for a sacred work, so it allows the subdivision to be applied more broadly than is appropriate.
Christopher Thomas, M.L.S.| Electronic Resources and Metadata Librarian
Law Library · University of California · Irvine
The automated FAST generation in OCLC relies on the subject headings being correct. This is not a special issue with the term Commentaries; it is a problem with every subject heading which is incorrect or invalid. As you point out, the system cannot tell whether a wide range of subdivisions are used correctly. There is no good reason to single out the FAST term Commentaries for special attention and work-arounds for correction. If there is a way to detect that a subdivision is used incorrectly, then the proper solution is not to have a work-around fix for the FAST terms--the proper solution is to mark the subdivision usage itself as invalid. If that cannot be done in a practical way, then there is also no practical way to detect it for the FAST generation.
I need to point this out because lately I have been seeing “655 #7 Commentaries. ‡2 fast ‡0 (OCoLC)fst01423723” generated for faulty subject headings everywhere, after names (600), name/titles (600), secular literary works (630), non-literary works (630). Or has there been a policy change on the use of “$v Commentaries” recently that I am unaware of?
Under SHM H1188 [Sacred works], there is an A-Z list of subdivisions that can be assigned. This is the only place we find the form subdivision $v Commentaries. That is to say, “$v Commentaries” can only be used for sacred works entered under the title in the bib (630 0 [Title]). For secular literary works (whether entered under title or author), there is a different list (H1155.8). Neither “$v Commentaries” nor “$x Criticism and interpretation” can be used for a work that is a commentary on such works.
Now, It’s understandable that the machine cannot tell if “630 00 Anacreontea ‡v Commentaries” is valid or not. But what about “600 00 Aristotle $v Commentaries” or “Aristotle. $t Poetics. $v Commentaries”? Would it be too difficult for OCLC to catch this type of mistakes and not to generate “655 #7 Commentaries. ‡2 fast ‡0 (OCoLC)fst01423723” automatically? Because, by definition, this form subdivision applies only to sacred works.
Just an observation.