Re: same edition?

Posting to Autocat

On 26/07/2011 01:29, Jamie King wrote:

I agree with Mac and Mark. From OCLC’s When to input a new record: “Specific differences in the extent of item (other than those noted) justify a new record.” (A large chunk of plates missing isn’t one of the exceptions.)

Mark Ehlert wrote: I’d vote for new record, judging from the description of the Bergoriginal and your Ingram copy.  The 32 pages of plates make up a significant part of the book’s content at about 13% of the whole.  And the text may make reference to the (non-existent in Ingram’s run) plate illustrations.

Dawn Loomis wrote: I have an Ingram print on demand of a publication: Visibly Muslim. ISBN:9781845204327 OCLC: 460711288. This printing does not have the pages of plates indicated in the bib. record. Do I need to create a new record or can I use the above mentioned record.?


Well, I just figure that this is why catalogers are paid the BIG money! 🙂

In reality, there are a lot of possibilities here, depending on whose guidelines you are following. LCRI 2.5B9 (formerly 2.5B10)–leaves-or-pages-of-plates, we are told that, “If the leaves or pages of plates are unnumbered, give the number only when the plates clearly represent an important feature of the book.  Otherwise, generally do not count unnumbered leaves or pages of plates.” (Before this RI in 1991, we always counted unnumbered plates.) Also, in LCRI 1.0–decisions-before-cataloging—rev#TOC-Edition-or-Copy-of-Monograph “Decisions before cataloging –> Edition or Copy of Monograph”, we are told that there is a new edition whenever “anything in the following areas or elements of areas differs from one bibliographic record to another: title and statement of responsibility area, edition area, the extent statement of the physical description area, and series area.”

Obviously, this becomes tricky when unnumbered plates exist in a book, and whether or not the cataloger considers them “important”.

Now, when we contrast this to ALA’s “Differences between, changes within”, (pdf p. 12), we see A5a: “A different extent of item, including the specific material designation, indicating a significant difference in extent or in the nature of the resource is MAJOR. Minor variations due to bracketed or estimated information are MINOR. Variation or presence vs. absence of preliminary paging is MINOR. Use of an equivalent conventional term vs. a specific material designation is MINOR.”

Finally, the OCLC guidelines are apparently based mainly on the ALA guidelines.

Based on all of this, what can we conclude? A lot depends on what you believe about the original cataloger: did he or she think that the unnumbered leaves were “clearly an important feature of the book” or not. Did the original cataloger not really care and wanted to go home early, or was overwhelmed with work, or did he or she consult with others and only then decide? Since any of this is obviously impossible to know, it turns out that what we are seeing here is an illustration of the complexities of leaving matters to “cataloger’s judgment” which at first blush seems to make matters easier while saving time. While it may be true that it saves the time of the original cataloger, we can see that such a policy can demand a lot more time from *other catalogers* out there who have to interpret the cataloger’s judgment. There is exactly the same problem with the ALA/OCLC guideline of paging is:

“A different extent of item, including the specific material designation, indicating a significant difference in extent or in the nature of the resource is MAJOR.
351 p. vs. 353 p. is MINOR”

This is in direct conflict with the LCRI which says “anything in … the extent statement of the physical description area…” while many scholars I know would consider the difference between 351 p. or 353 p. to be very MAJOR indeed.

I discussed this problem of determining “manifestations” in some more detail in my second podcast of my personal journey with FRBR. (I had to throw that in!)

As I stated before somewhere, as a *cataloger* I personally don’t care which rules are chosen, just so long as everybody follows the same rules. As a *researcher* however, I consider that the paging/extent of a resource is very important with physical items and I cannot see the horrible difficulty of making a new record, change the 351 p. to 353 p., so that the record at least tells the truth about the item everyone is working with.