Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Re: [ACAT] Objection to author's birth year

Posting to Autocat

On 27/09/2011 22:34, Mary Mastraccio wrote:
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I agree. I was addressing the issue of putting non-name data in the name field.

Actually, the last time I looked, VIAF, supplies an authorized form for various countries with variants. In other words there still is a Preferred/Common-usage/authorized form but it can be different in different settings (language/country/cultural). Some have suggested that we not even specify a preferred form of name but just show all variants of a name. I prefer a common-usage/preferred form [within each thesauri] so programmers know what to display when I supply the URI in my bib record. In other words the Chinese form can be different than the English form but each language/national NAF has a preferred/authorized form which will be displayed in the local catalog based on language (or some defined) preference.
</snip>
I agree too. In fact, I think most of us are pretty much in agreement. In reply to Brian's comment:
<snip>
What exactly is it that our users want in this "new environment?" Each of us propounds the way things should be for our users with precious little evidence to support such (aside from OCLC's user study).
</snip>
I don't know. Nobody knows because there hasn't been enough research (at least outside of Google ... [et al.]) and the environment is changing so quickly anyway that probably any conclusions from any research done today will probably not be valid in just a year or two. That is what Google lives with and it seems to be the nature of the changeable times we are experiencing.

Once again, holding on to the pronouncements of RDA and FRBR seems more and more like a carpenter of the early 20th century who insists on stubbornly holding on to his hand tools when there are power everything tools coming out constantly. I understand his predicament because buying the newest power tools require costs: for the tools, for additional electricity, he has to learn other skills and so on and so on, and in addition, he knows these latest power tools that he is spending his hard-earned money for will probably be superseded rather quickly, and he will be forced to buy even more costly tools in just a couple of years, starting the cycle all over again. Yet, if he doesn't buy those power tools and learn how to use them, he remains stuck in the world of the 19th century until he either retires or passes away.

We shouldn't get ourselves into that situation.

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