Monday, August 8, 2011

Re: Completeness of records

Posting to RDA-L

On 06/08/2011 19:00, Brenndorfer, Thomas wrote:
<snip>
But it's not true FRBR, and it doesn't do translations well, and so it requires extra effort to answer patron queries about titles in our small language collections. And part of the problem with translations stems from removing fields like 240 for display purposes when that destroys the only mechanism left to relate those resources. It's that tangling of display and user task functionality in fields that causes so much grief. That's why those aspects of catalog design need to be separated. Fortunately, FRBR absolutely does NOT depend upon those antiquated methods, such as collocation by uniform titles, to specify relationships. As the FRBR report
(http://archive.ifla.org/VII/s13/frbr/frbr2.htm#5) indicates, the current methods of creating relationships in catalog records are haphazard.
</snip>
FRBR does need the uniform title in some form, that is, some bit of data that brings the different records together. How that data is to be encoded, using a 130/240/etc. textual string, or some kind of URI, URJ,  URK, L M N O or P, the final product will be to bring the metadata records together in some way, just as the heading did in the card catalog. The primary task is to ensure that it is consistently entered and then many things can happen. If the information is inconsistent, or does not exist in textual or some kind of form, there is not enough information to bring everything together.

As I demonstrated with searching Worldcat, for those records that have the uniform title entered, collocation of those records can be done *right now* and there is no reason to change any of our current records or procedures if the purpose is to get the FRBR-type results to show what works, expressions, manifestations and items exist. For those records that do not have the uniform title entered, they fall outside, and there is nothing to do except to add the uniform titles (or URIs or whatever), that is, *if* it can be demonstrated that this provides the public with what they really want (which should not be accepted on faith) and it is judged worthwhile to edit those records at the cost of doing other things that our patrons would prefer, such as cataloging more items, or perhaps cataloging more deeply, with better and more useful subjects and/or analysing more collections.

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