I'd just like to point out that the RDA element recorded in MARC 374 is RDA 9.16, "profession or occupation" and is defined as a persons "vocation or avocation." Nowhere does the definition narrow itself to "what the person gets paid for". So no, I don't agree that "editors" should only be used for persons who work in the publishing industry. If a person is known for editing, it's perfectly fine to record it. If a person is an amateur clarinetist and is known for it (perhaps the local community orchestra put out a recording of her playing a concerto) it is fine to record "clarinetists". As for "authors", while I mainly record it myself for authors of belles lettres, as others have mentioned, I would hesitate before laying down the law about it and saying other usages are wrong. So I don't think we should be removing data from records unless it is clearly incorrect.
It would be nice if PSD (and PCC) spent a decade or so applying these fields and working out the problems, BEFORE setting them loose in the cataloging world (so next time I
have my time machine I’ll go back and tell them).
Well, that's actually what we're doing right now. And I think a decade or so (at least) is what we need to find out what the best applications are for these fields, and we're only half way through. I think it's premature to begin questioning others' judgments
about some of this stuff, especially since we don't yet have any systems that I know of that make use of the data in a meaningful way. I'm not talking about the long-predicted post-MARC paradise. MARC-based library systems could perfectly well make use of
the RDA data we're adding to the authority records for searching and finding resources, but they aren't yet, at least not very much. Until we have systems that make use of the data to help database users I think it's difficult to say this or that data is or
is not useful.
-- Nancy Sack Cataloging Department University of Hawaii at Manoa 2550 McCarthy Mall, Honolulu, HI 96822 phone: 808-956-2648 fax: 808-956-5968 e-mail: [log in to unmask]