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All,

 

The BIC Library Metadata Group met on 8th June to consider the papers for the upcoming MAC meetings. Our feedback is given below in proposal and then discussion paper order.

 

Regards,

 

Thurstan

 

Thurstan Young,

U.K. Representative to the MARC Advisory Committee,

Collections,

The British Library,

Boston Spa,

Wetherby,

West Yorkshire,

LS23 7BQ,

United Kingdom

 

Proposal No. 2022-07: Modernization of Field 856 Second Indicator and Subfield $3 in the MARC 21 Formats

Response: We are pleased that the proposal includes changes which were suggested by our feedback at the discussion paper stage: e.g. substitution of the term “subset” with the more user-friendly “component part”; removal of the false distinction between tangible and electronic resources. However, we still have some concerns over the new language which has been proposed for use in the redefined second indicator definitions and revised set of second indicator values.

We question whether “online” is intended to cover only resources which are accessible via the internet. If a resource is only available via FTP or email and an 856 is coded with first indicator 0 or 1 accordingly, then the revised second indicator may not be usable in those contexts. All of the examples given in the paper are of resources available via http and which are coded second indicator 4. The current wording of the second indicator definition and its values contain the relatively neutral term “electronic” rather than “online”.

We question the inclusion of the term “literal” in the new and revised definitions for second indicator values 2, 3 and 4. This term appears to add nothing to the meaning of the definition.

We question the inclusion of the phrase “as a whole” in the new and revised definitions for second indicator values #, 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4, especially when the phrase “component part” occurs in the same sentence. The presence of the phrase “component part” makes it implicit that the record describes a whole resource.  Removal of the phrase “as a whole” in these cases would shorten the definitions with no loss of meaning. We also question the inclusion of the phase “as a whole” in the revised definition for the second indicator and $3.

We question the list of examples included in the revised definitions of second indicator value 2 and $3. This information is better accommodated in best practise guidance and not MARC coding information. In the case of $3, we think the standard $3 wording is sufficient. If a special case is made for the 856, then only the first and last sentences are essential to indicate the different use cases for $3 and $y.  

The discussion section of the proposal acknowledges the legacy implications of implementing those 856 changes described. It suggests some mitigating strategies to compensate for these. However, the widespread usage of field 856 by the community means that there could be a large overhead on implementation, even if changes can be made by automated means as batch enhancements. Some institutions may choose to continue using the existing 856 second indicator values (with or without $3) as they have done in the past. If uptake of the changes is partial within the community, then it may lead to a two tier application of field 856.

Proposal No. 2022-08: Recording Persistent Identifiers and File Formats in Field 856 of the MARC 21 Formats

Response: We appreciate the wording of the revised definition for 856 subfield $u. Including the following sentence means that legacy applications of this subfield would still be supported:

“URLs which no longer function to provide access to the described resource may be transferred to 856 $h.”

However, as noted in relation to the previous proposal, if uptake of the changes is partial within the community, then it may lead to a two tier application of field 856.

We also note that there appears to be a typo in background section 1.2 of the paper which lists subfield $g - Persistent identifier (PID) as being non-repeatable; section 3.1 lists it as being repeatable.

Discussion Paper No. 2022-DP06: Defining a New Field to Record Electronic Archive Location and Access in the MARC 21 Formats

6.1 The proposed new field 857 indicators mirror some of the indicators in 856 (Electronic Location and Access). Have we covered all the relevant access modes, or are there other access methods that should have their own indicators?

There is scope for adding further indicator values if necessary in order to cover more access methods. However, the paper’s authors have left out the following which are present in the 856 : 0 – Email, 2 - Remote login (Telnet), 3 - Dial-up. We would appreciate clarification from them as to whether these access methods are relevant to digital repositories and web archives.

6.2 The proposed new field 857 includes many of the same subfields in 856 (Electronic Location and Access); should all the subfields copied from 856 be kept?

Choosing which subfields to carry over from the 856 depends on what practical purpose they would serve from the perspective of a digital repository or web archive. Using up 857 subfields now may mean they are no longer available for use at a later point in time. 

6.3 In this new discussion paper, an additional subfield for the name of the archive has been provided in $c and the archive agency in $d. Is it clear how to use these subfields and are both needed?

It is useful to make the distinction encoded by $c and $d. The information recorded in each may be different : e.g. “Keepers Registry” and “ISSN” and may change over time. 

6.4 Does this paper accommodate the range of digital preservation systems or tools that might exist and need to be recorded in field 857?

There is scope for further development of the field should the need arise.

Discussion Paper No. 2022-DP07: Adding Subfield $3 to Field 041 in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format

6.1 Has the need for defining subfield $3 for the 041 field been sufficiently demonstrated?

Yes.

6.2  Has the repeatability of field 041 in circumstances other than the accommodation of non-MARC language codes been sufficiently justified? Are there circumstances other than the use of more than one type of language code in a description, or the presence of multiple works with different language information, where the ability to repeat the 041 field might be beneficial?

There may be other use cases. The current paper demonstrates those which have been set out by the music and online audio visual cataloguing communities. It would be useful if any changes to MARC documentation which arise from this make it clear that they are not specific to music and AV. 

6.3 Would the presence of multiple 041 fields in a bibliographic record create additional ambiguity or confusion? If so, how might the situation(s) be rectified?

This depends on how they are indexed. If, for example, contextual information is provided in a set of search results which indicates whether a language code relates to an original or translated text, then this may help to mitigate any confusion. 

6.4 Are there other potential issues that need to be taken into account?

The proposed rewording of 041 $d and 008/35-37 seems cumbersome. It would be useful if the second sentence in each case could be broken down into more digestible chunks.

Discussion Paper No. 2022-DP08: Adding Subfields $0 and $1 to Fields 720 and 653 in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format

6.1. Do you agree that it should be possible to associate an uncontrolled name or subject with a linked data entity?

Yes. However, consideration should be given to what constitutes “uncontrolled”. In a MARC 21 context does this effectively mean anything outside NACO?

6.2. Does adding $1 to 720 and 653 provide a satisfactory way to make that association? If not, are there alternative approaches that should be considered?

We are satisfied.

6.3. Should $0 also be defined for non-URI identifiers? If so, will it be necessary to amend the definition of $0 in Appendix A?

The scope of the $0 definition in Appendix A encompasses standard numbers such as ISNIs. Whether the term “standard number” can be applied to all the identifiers referenced in the discussion paper examples is a different matter. It may be useful in such circumstances to append a $2 source code or $7 data provenance value to the $0 when this contains an alphanumeric form of identifier.  Flagging the provenance of an identifier would be helpful to determine whether it can be regarded as a standard number.

6.4. Are there relevant differences between names and subjects that should lead us to define $0 and $1 for one but not the other?

No.

6.5. Are there any potential consequences that this paper does not address?

There could be a risk of semantic drift in the process of assigning subject terms. 

Discussion Paper No. 2022-DP09: Defining a Field for Standardized Provenance Information in the MARC 21 Bibliographic, Holdings, and Authority Formats

6.1. Is the need for accommodating authority record control numbers for prior personal/corporate/jurisdictional owners/collections together with controlled terms for material evidence related to the respective prior owners sufficiently demonstrated?

Yes. The paper sufficiently sets out the need for change which exists within the German community. However, none of the changes proposed would prevent current applications of field 561 from continuing as before in the wider community.

6.2. Which one of the four options is preferred, as described in section 3: 1) no changes, 2) 561/7XX with $8, 3) additions to field 561,or 4) a new field "361"?

If a change is implemented, then option 3 is preferred. Amending field 561 would be less disruptive and reduce the risk of bifurcated metadata; defining field 361 would offer a more structured rather than free-text approach. However, some aspects of 361 have not been fully developed and their current language may cause confusion.  

6.3. If option 4 is preferred: Which one of the available field numbers should be chosen, "361", or a different one?

The tag number proposed would be acceptable if this option is chosen.

6.4. Is the proposed field name appropriate?

We suggest the alternative field name “Controlled Custodial History” or “Structured Custodial History” rather than “Provenance Information”. The term “provenance” already occurs in the name for field 881 (Metadata Provenance) and will occur in the subfield name for $7 (and other subfields by exception) as “Data provenance” following MARC 21 Update 34.  If $7 were defined to carry data provenance information in field 361 as question 6.7 suggests, then further confusion may arise in terms of distinguishing different types of provenance information in this context. The main difference between field 561 and the modelled field 361 appears to be that of recording method. Whereas the 561 allows for the recording of unstructured, free-text information, the 361 would allow information to be recorded in a controlled or structured form.

6.5. Does the internal structure of the new field, especially the subfields, meet the requirements? Do the subfields fit into the MARC structure?

Yes. Again though, an alternative could be sought for the term “provenance evidence term group” which has been attached to subfield $f.

6.6. More specifically: Can the issue of multiple links from one MARC field to separate authority records be solved? Is the distinction between subfield $0 and subfield $w, by changing the scope and internal structure of $w, a path worth exploring?

Solving the issue of one to many links relates to an issue which is broader than this paper. Perhaps it would benefit from a separate paper. Making a distinction between $0 and $w and the value of doing so depends on what uses they are meant to serve. Again, this issue might be addressed in its own paper.

6.7. Is there a solution for the non-repeatable subfield $2? Can the recently designed subfield $7 play a role here?

Subfield $7 (Data provenance) will be defined in the MARC authority and bibliographic formats as part of Update 34. Thus far, no plans have been made for its inclusion in the holdings format. However, it will be repeatable and a code list will be provided which allows the linkage of values recorded in $7 to other subfields occurring in the same string. Apart from a source consulted, it will be possible to record many other categories of data provenance information using $7. 

6.8. Is there anything else that should be taken into account?

The paper references the LRM and the Original RDA Toolkit, but not the Official RDA Toolkit in its background and discussion sections. The Official RDA Toolkit has recently implemented the Collections Model which may have some bearing on the issues which this paper seeks to address. For example, a new RDA element and vocabulary encoding scheme for accrual method has been established which overlaps the list of indicator values associated with 361 Indicator 1. The paper provides a list of first indicator values for field 361, but no definitions are provided for what these mean. 

There does not appear to be any discussion of the issues around continuing resources as opposed to those which are static in nature. That could be a useful subject to address in any follow up proposal.

The coverage offered by authority files may reflect historic cultural bias. An increased reliance on authority files to record custodial history information may serve to perpetuate this bias.

Discussion Paper No. 2022-DP10: Defining a New Subfield in Field 264 to Record an Unparsed Statement in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format

6.1. Do you agree there is an acceptable case for a user to employ a single subfield for imprint/provision information should a user opt to?

Yes and field 264 appears to be an appropriate location for recording an unparsed publication, distribution, manufacture or production information.

6.2. Does the proposed solution meet the needs discussed?

To some extent. The Bibframe application for this change might be made more prominent in the background and discussion. 

6.3. Are there any potential consequences that this paper does not address?

Yes. Parsing data in the 264 allows for the indexing and sorting of search results by name of publisher, place and date of publication, etc. Keyword searching a string of unparsed data does not support the same functionality. If unparsed data were to be recorded in 264 $s, then ideally it would be in addition to rather than instead of parsed data elsewhere in the field. Perhaps a preference order could be set out which explains this. Alternatively, it could indicate that 7XX entries for name of publisher and place of publication are to be recorded when 264 $a and $b are not. Moving away from the current application of 264 $a, $b and $c could have a significant impact on the index routines applied by current LMSs.

6.4. Would it be worth revisiting the definition and intended use of Field 881?

No. The paper correctly notes that the unparsed information is structured and not unstructured in nature.  The order of elements modelled in examples of $s corresponds to a string encoding scheme. Rather than representing a form of manifestation publication statement, it corresponds more closely to the RDA element “publication statement” which occurs in the Official RDA Toolkit. Unlike manifestation statements, the element “publication statement” can be recorded using a structured recording method. 

6.5. Should a subfield for the General Statement be defined in field 260 as well?

No. The 264 was developed as a way of moving away from 260 usage. Adding similar coding here risks bifurcation.

6.6. Are there any alternative format solutions to what is being proposed?

Not that we can think of, but there may be additional scope for MARC 21 developments in this area. The paper mainly focusses on the coverage of unparsed publication information. Its examples could also extend to unparsed distribution, manufacture and production information.

Discussion Paper No. 2022-DP11: Defining a New Subfield in Field 490 to Record an Unparsed Statement in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format

6.1. Do you agree there is an acceptable case for a user to employ a single subfield for series information should a user opt to?

Yes and field 490 appears to be an appropriate location for recording unparsed series information.

6.2. Does the proposed solution meet the needs discussed?

To some extent. However the Bibframe application for this change might be made more prominent in the background and discussion.

6.3. Are there any potential consequences that this paper does not address?

Yes. Parsing data in the 490 allows for the indexing and sorting of search results by series title, ISSN, etc. Keyword searching a string of unparsed data does not support the same functionality. If unparsed data were to be recorded in 490 $s, then ideally it would be in addition to rather than instead of parsed data elsewhere in the field. Perhaps a preference order could be set out which explains this. Moving away from the current application of 490 $a, $x, etc. could have a significant impact on the index routines applied by current LMSs.

6.4. Would it be worth revisiting the definition and intended use of Field 881?

No. The paper correctly notes that the unparsed information is structured and not unstructured in nature.  The order of elements modelled in $s corresponds to a string encoding scheme. Rather than representing a form of manifestation series statement, it corresponds more closely to the RDA element “series statement” which occurs in the Official RDA Toolkit. Unlike manifestation statements, the element “series statement” can be recorded using a structured recording method. 

6.5. Would adding clarifying text to the statements, such as "ISSN: " before an ISSN or "(canceled)" after a canceled ISSN, be helpful?

No. The purpose of 490 $s would be that the data it contains is not parsed. The addition of clarifying information to that data runs contrary to this principle.

6.6. Are there any alternative format solutions to what is being proposed?

Not that we can think of.

 


 
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