I think "rulers" is a very odd choice as a qualifier and as a BT for presidents, prime ministers, and governors. "Ruler" is almost never used in the context of democratically chosen political leaders.
I always try to be more specific, if I can. For example, if the person writes only novels or they describe themselves as a novelist, I’ll use Novelists. If they only write poetry and plays, I’ll use Poets and Dramatists. However, if they write all kinds of literature or they refer to themselves as an author, which isn’t uncommon, then Authors gets recorded.
Incidentally, we prefer LCDGT for occupation/profession terms, if a term is available. We’ve made a number of proposals for types of writers, but they haven’t yet made it onto a monthly list or been approved. Instead of Authors, we’ve proposed Writers as the authorized term in LCDGT. Narrower terms that we’ve proposed include: Bloggers; Crime writers; Essayists; Food writers; Ghostwriters; Lexicographers; Memoirists; Nature writers; Novelists; Playwrights; Poets; Science writers; Screenwriters; Speechwriters; Sportswriters; Television writers. You’ll find all of these terms in NARs with the “lcdgt” code because SACO proposals are supposed to be preapproved. Unfortunately, they won’t actually yet match a distributed LCDGT authority record yet, so they will show up as a term that can’t be validated. LC has a big backlog of proposals (mostly from us), and has put a temporary moratorium on additional LCDGT proposals. Hopefully they’ll be able to work through the backlog through the rest of this year, but I haven’t heard what their plans are.
University of Washington Libraries
I appreciate that the terms recorded in 374 fields are not restricted to those for which a person gets paid. I cataloged a book of underwater photography that was written by a facial surgeon and I thought it was important for identification purposes to record both occupations/fields of activity in the NAR. Same thing for the editor/clarinetist. I understand that academics or pipe fitters or whatever may publish short stories and in those cases, I agree that "Authors" is justified. What I'm questioning are the more straightforward cases in which a single citation in a NAR indicates only that the author is, say, a physicist at MIT. I don't think it's reasonable, in such a case, to record Authors (or as I see frequently, Writers $2 lcsh) along with Physicists and College teachers in a 374 field. To my mind that's misleading. As I mentioned, I encounter these NARs only because they contain "real" mistakes such as coding errors or terms incorrectly citing a particular thesaurus. In all but a very few cases, I have not deleted anyone's authors, editors, or compilers. I'm just asking whether, as a community, we want to restrict the use of these terms. If we record "Authors" for everyone who publishes a book, we'd have no way to limit a search to literary authors.
On 5/10/2018 4:35 AM, Robert Maxwell wrote:
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.
Robert L. Maxwell
Ancient Languages and Special Collections Cataloger
6728 Harold B. Lee Library
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
"We should set an example for all the world, rather than confine ourselves to the course which has been heretofore pursued"--Eliza R. Snow, 1842.