In RDA there isn’t actually any such thing as a variant title of an expression (there’s no title element at the expression level) so technically speaking all variants are variant titles of the work (RDA 6.2.3), and as such could appropriately be included in the authority record representing the work. This makes theoretical sense because the authorized access point for the work, while it is usually based on a form in first language expression of the work, it does not represent any particular expression, it represents all expressions of the work. “130  0 Da xue” does not represent the work in Chinese, it represents all expressions of the work. It is the authorized access point for the work, not for any particular expression of the work.


Note that the authorized access point for the work is based on the preferred title of the work. The preferred title is usually based on a form in the language of the original expression, but this is not always the case. Preferred titles for classical and Byzantine Greek works, for example, use an English or Latin form rather than a Greek form, if possible (; similarly, the preferred title for a liturgical work is “a well-established title … in a language preferred by the agency creating the data”, i.e. English for PCC ( Preferred titles for books of the Bible are English in PCC practice. Preferred titles for musical works are often in English even though the original title of the piece was in another language. Etc.—there are many many examples of this practice. I think you’ll find that authority records representing the work in all of these cases contain a mix of linguistic variants, at least a variant title from the original language to the English preferred title.


I point out that these instructions for choice of preferred title aren’t different in any major way from the rules for choosing the title in AACR2.


RDA does have the concept of a “variant title associated with an expression” (, which allows such variants to be included in authority records representing the expression. Again, this was also the practice in AACR2.


All that said, I generally don’t include variant titles associated with an expression in the authority description of a work unless they’re in the same language as the preferred title, or if the preferred title is not in the language of the original expression (in which case I usually include a variant in the language of the original expression). I think this is a fairly common practice, but it’s only a practice; it’s not required by RDA.




Robert L. Maxwell
Ancient Languages and Special Collections Librarian
6728 Harold B. Lee Library
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602


From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Michael Chopey
Sent: Friday, December 1, 2017 3:16 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Question about two work records: Da xue (n82031679) and Zhong yong (n79068391)


Dear PCC colleagues,

Does anyone know why these two work records have SEE references from various other-language expressions of the work? I can't find the rule that justifies doing this.


130  0 Da xue
430  0 Taehak
430  0 Daigaku
430  0 Velikai︠a︡ nauka
430  0 Great learning
430  0 Grande étude
etc., etc.

130  0 Zhong yong
430  0 Chungyong
430  0 Chūyō
430  0 Nauk o sredini
430  0 Doctrine of the mean
430  0 Tchoung ioung
etc. etc.

As you might know, these are two of the "Four books" (Si shu; 四書), Chinese classics of Confucian thought.  The other two are attributed to Confucius and to Mencius, and each of them is entered under the creator's name heading. The one by Confucius represents only the work and its original Chinese-language expression, as I would expect, and other-language expressions of that work are entered variously as:

100 0  Confucius. ǂt Lun yu. ǂl English
100 0  Confucius. ǂt Lun yu. ǂl Japanese
100 0  Confucius. ǂt Lun yu. ǂl Indonesian
etc. etc.

The one by Mencius is a mixture of the two different approaches. The work record seems to represent the original Chinese-language expression and also an English-language expression and a Japanese-language expression:

100 0  Mencius. ǂt Mengzi
100 0  Mencius. ǂt Sayings of Mencius
100 0  Mencius. ǂt Mōshi

but there are also other-language expression records, as I would expect to find, e.g.:

100 0  Mencius. ǂt Mengzi. ǂl English
100 0  Mencius. ǂt Mengzi. ǂl Japanese
100 0  Mencius. ǂt Mengzi. ǂl Korean
100 0  Mencius. ǂt Mengzi. ǂl Russian
100 0  Mencius. ǂt Mengzi. ǂl Latin
100 0  Mencius. ǂt Mengzi. ǂl Portuguese
etc., etc.

Can someone explain what is going with these?  Three of the four work record are RDA, and the other is coded AACR, but I can't remember any reason why you wouldn't have established the other-language expressions separately in AACR either.

Thank you in advance if someone can show me what I'm missing!

Mike Chopey

Michael A. Chopey
Catalog Librarian
University of Hawaii at Manoa Libraries
Hamilton 008
Honolulu, HI  96822

phone (808) 956-2753
fax (808) 956-5968