Thursday, October 27, 2011

Re: Radical proposal for RDA inclusions

Posting to RDA-L

On 27/10/2011 17:42, J. McRee Elrod wrote:
<snip>
When I object that many of RDA's media terms (MARC 336-338) are obscure, I am told that they are codes, and will be replaced in individual OPAC displays by alternate terms or icons.

Why not enter, for example, "[s.n]" as a code in 260$b, and have systems display "[publisher not identified]", "[editeur non identified]", "[Verlag nicht identifiziert]", "[chuban shang meiyou queding]", etc., based on 040$b?

That would greatly facilitate international exchange of bibliographic records, and would absolve bibliographic utilities, and those of us who serve multiple languages of the catalogue, from having duplicate records.
</snip>
The main requirement for this kind of scripting is that the information is consistent. In these cases, 260$b[s.n.], 245$c ... [et al.] and other terms have been entered very consistently for a very long time, so scripting would be pretty easy. Even I could do it.

Once these kinds of scripting solutions are accepted (the only choice, I think) then other similar types of solutions can appear. At least we should try these kinds of solutions before embarking on manual changes. After all, that is the very purpose of modern computer systems. They really can do a lot today.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Re: materials on tagging and/or tag clouds

Posting to Autocat

On 25/10/2011 19:55, Dawn Loomis wrote:
<snip>
I am doing some research for a project on tagging bibliographic data by students in academic situations. I am looking for material written about tagging in this context and am not finding much. I thought I would ask others out there what they have seen.
All contribution is welcome and appreciated.
</snip>
There is quite a bit of work done on "folksonomy" (and plural) which is very similar to tagging. I suggest searching, in addition to Google Scholar, Scirus. Also, the excellent British site Intute before it closes down.

I have gone back and forth on these "folksonomies" but right now I figure, why not? (Of course, in a year from now, I may be 100% against them!) Unfortunately, libraries have still not made their name and subject headings useful in an online environment, and therefore people have to do something. Still, tagging and folksonomies are based on this rather new idea of "the wisdom of crowds", which is certainly a completely different concept of what the crowd constitutes, from what  it was before. For what it's worth, a quick look at the Google Ngram viewer for "crowd, wisdom, ignorance" shows that "crowd" and "wisdom"
from 1800 to 2010 are coming closer together as opposed to "ignorance".
http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=crowd%2Cwisdom%2Cignorance&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=0&smoothing=3

I have mentioned this before, but when I have done indexing of individual articles where authors added their own keywords, it is rather easy to see that the keywords the authors added were much too general. This is also my impression of what I have seen of the popularly added tags, by the way.

A lot of this makes sense because it is unreasonable to assume that a casual person, or the authors, understand either how to do subject analysis, or the wealth of the terms available.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Re: multipart monographs

Posting to Autocat

In MARC, the only ways to handle these sorts of items are either as collected items brought together purposely by the publisher (normally one record with various 246/7xx/740 with different notes) or brought together after publication by the binder and then handled as bound withs (handled as separate records with various linking mechanisms).

In a non-MARC world however, there should be other possibilities, e.g.
in XML, you could have something like:
<record>
<collection>
<part>
<author></author>
<title></title>
<publication></publication>
...
</part>
<part>
<author></author>
<title></title>
<publication></publication>
...
</part>
</collection>
</record>

Playing with FRBR, you could even have:
<record>
<item>
<part>
<work>
<author></author>
<title></title>
</work>
<expression></expression>
<manifestation>
<publication></publication>
</manifestation>
...
</part>
<part>
<work>
<author></author>
<title></title>
</work>
<expression></expression>
<manifestation>
<publication></publication>
</manifestation>
...
</part>
</item>
</record>

I hesitate to consider how all of this could be with the various types of nebulous, ever-changing online resources that most probably will make our current structures look like child's play. The online world tends to disintegrate resources that previously were whole and this will have consequences.

Somehow we need to devise some kind of structure that will be relatively easy for people create and then to share with others.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Re: Are Too Many Americans Earning Four-Year Degrees?

Blog posting to Ruiz,Rebecca R. Are Too Many Americans Earning Four-Year Degrees? The New York Times. Education. The Choice. Oct. 22, 2011

The real change that I have seen is not so much in the education that college students get–the education students get in universities today is pretty much similar to what I had–the real difference is that the companies don’t want to invest in training the new graduate any longer.

It used to be that a B.A. or B.S. meant only that you had paid your dues and had proven that you are serious about pursuing a career in the chosen profession, not that you could just start in working. Then the company would be more willing to invest in training you and you were expected to stay with the company for a few years after you were trained so that the company could recover its costs in training you.

That hasn’t seemed to be the situation for some time now and companies prefer to expect new employees to be trained for work. So, students and companies expect students to emerge from college trained for work, while universities and faculties proclaim that they do not do job training.

Unfortunately, it’s the poor students who are left in the middle with now useless degrees. The students have done nothing wrong and done what they were told, often at great personal cost.

It seems like somebody will have to take responsibility sooner or later.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Re: Publisher names in bibliographic data: An experimental ...

Posting to Autocat

On 21/10/2011 14:40, McDonald, Stephen wrote:
<snip>
I can't quite agree with you, Jim. You pose a scenario of rejecting a particular publisher. Users aren't trying to find things they don't want; they are looking for things they do want. Like you, I can't imagine saying "Well, this one is published by Hachette, so I do not want it." But I _have_ said things like "Oh, this book is published by Baen, I might want to take a look at it." And that was me acting as a reader, not as a librarian. There are hundreds of publishers that specialize in particular fields which could be used by readers to find new reading material. I can imagine people wanting to find materials by a particular Christian press, an LGBT press, a science fiction press, a romance press, or even a specific university press. I don't know whether modern users would take advantage of such an access point, but I do know that I have scanned the shelves looking for particular publishers in my search for new reading material. I am undecided whether it is worth creating a controlled access point, but I know I would use it myself at least occasionally.
</snip>
That is a very good point and I stand corrected. When a publisher is some kind of a stand-in for a subject, it can be useful. That's how it works with the Italian bookstores here since the publishers are pretty closely aligned with the subjects of their books. And of course, Mike Tribby offered his own august proposals (thanks for those great publishers Mike! I didn't know them!)

Nevertheless, as you point out, it may not be worthwhile spending time making controlled access points and instead letting the general web do it for certain publishers, e.g. some of the Wikipedia pages I found referring to Mike's publishers seemed pretty impressive, plus, you can search Worldcat by "pb=" (exact) or "pb:" (contains), e.g. http://www.worldcat.org/search?qt=worldcat_org_all&q=pb:last+gasp.

When would all of this not be sufficient, I wonder?

Re: An RDA Manifesto

Posting to Autocat

On Fri, Oct 21, 2011 at 6:49 AM, Daibhidh mac Ùisdean wrote:
<snip>
I suspect that there are two basic groups of people who subscribe to this list, those that see themselves as cataloguers first and foremost, and those that see themselves as biblarians, to coin a term. Both have a future, but I can see them becoming increasingly distinct professions.
...
We pride ourselves on adding CDs, DVDs and ebooks to our library catalogues, but why not the carriers themselves, why not elements, minerals, soil samples, seeds, chemicals, living organisms, technical equipment, computing equipment, laboratory equipment, printing equipment, plant, fabric, nanomaterials, datasets, furniture, flags? The list is potentially endless. All of this will need catalogued, and as always been the way with library collections, *defended*.
...
I know I must come across as a complete reactionary, but print (and manuscripts, etc.) must be defended. I was only partly joking when I said that the world should be changed to be ready for libraries.
</snip>
Interesting points. I am hopelessly addicted to printed books and love to lose myself in archival research, but I also find the web materials liberating, so I personally like to think that I am "pro-everything", whether physical or virtual, so I'll call myself an "omni-larian"!

I am concerned that the librarian field itself should survive and one of the most important aspects of survival is not to promise too much. Therefore, librarians must face it that we cannot catalog "elements, minerals, soil samples, seeds, chemicals, living organisms, technical equipment, computing equipment, laboratory equipment" ... [et al.]. Even trying to keep up with what we currently do is getting more and more problematic, so if we would promise something so overwhelming, it would simply doom us to failure. Such a failure is something that may be permanently damaging to libraries at this juncture.

What is it that librarians can realistically offer the members of the public that they cannot find anywhere else? This is the big question so far as I am concerned, and there are several possible answers. For instance, while I don't know how many of the general public have a tremendous respect for librarians (referring back to Bill Maher), I think people do tend to trust librarians to not just be focused on making a quick buck at the public's expense. Or that a librarian will intentionally feed them only their own propaganda on a topic. I suspect the public is becoming aware of the these subtleties and are realizing that these are not something they will find in a Google or Yahoo search. The public may come to value these basic tasks of a library if the library community could supply them somehow in an easy, useful, and attractive manner.

I think this would be an excellent base to build upon, to begin to share among different library systems in the world more widely and to interoperate with other projects that perhaps may deal with "elements, minerals, soil samples, seeds, chemicals... " but you made the subject of this message "An RDA Manifesto". Unfortunately, RDA just changes a few inconsequential cataloging rules and deals with none of the important challenges facing libraries and their catalogs today.

Re: Publisher names in bibliographic data: An experimental ...

Posting to Autocat

On Sat, Oct 15, 2011 at 5:19 AM, J. McRee Elrod wrote:
<snip>Bryan Campbell quoted:
The data captured for each publisher provide a model service for advanced collection analysis and provide additional value for user access to library resources.
How?  I've never wished to analyze a collection by publisher in any of the college or university libraries in which I have worked..
</snip>
Actually, in the Italian databases, the publishers are traced, e.g. if you go to the SBN catalog http://www.sbn.it/opacsbn/opac/iccu/free.jsp, (the equivalent of OCLC for Italy), go to "Ricerca avanzata" (Advanced search) and in one of the pull-down boxes, select "Editore", you will be searching the publisher. So, you can search for Springer or Elsevier etc. There is not perfect consistency in this, but neither is there in our catalogs.

Still, publishers are much more important in Italy than in the US and you see this when you walk into a bookstore. Although it is changing to more US-type methods now, books are still arranged mostly by publisher (something that really surprised me!). It is important to note that publishers are much more closely aligned with specific subjects here than in many other countries.

My own opinion is that I agree with Mac. When I search as a user, I am interested in content and I couldn't care less if something has been published by Oxford, Harvard, Random or Verso or anybody else. I can't imagine someone saying "Well, this one is published by Hachette, so I do not want it" ???? 

So, if such a tool is made, it will be made strictly for the purpose of librarians, such as Marc pointed out. Therefore, utilizing valuable cataloger time establishing forms of publisher names seems a waste of resources. 

If librarians really need to search by publisher, it would seem more efficient to copy the catalog into another database and then IT experts and librarians could create all kinds of innovative queries on that database without making things even more confusing for our users.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Re: RDA 2.4.1.8 Noun Phrase Occurring with a Statement of Responsibility

Posting to RDA-L

On 20/10/2011 00:56, Arakawa, Steven wrote:
<snip> 
When I attended the RDA 101 ALA preconference, one of the things that stuck with me was the RDA rule 2.4.1.8. AACR2 1.1F12 makes a fine distinction between noun phrases that are indicative of the nature of the work and noun phrases that are indicative of the role of the person named in the statement of responsibility. The former category is considered to be part of the title; the latter category is considered to be part of the statement of responsibility. RDA 2.4.1.8 simply states that if a noun phrase occurs with a statement of responsibility, it is part of the statement of responsibility. In fact, RDA takes the same examples used by AACR2 to represent the 2 categories and puts both of them in the statement of responsibility.  Dr. Robert Ellett, the presenter at RDA 101, had a much more striking example of a noun phrase than the ones used by RDA and AACR2: “a novel by …” which we have all seen at one time or another. AACR2 cataloging rather consistently interprets “a novel” as indicative of the nature of the work, with “a novel” in 245 $b, usually immediately preceding the ISBD slash and “by Ruth Latta” in 245 $c, following the ISBD slash. Explaining AACR2 1.1F12 has always been a headache for me when training staff, so I welcomed the rule simplification in RDA. However, if there is no grammatical connection to the author, my understanding has been that the noun (or the noun phrase) in RDA remains part of the title. So, “…  / a novel by Ruth Latta” but “...  : a novel / Ruth Latta.” For training purposes, I wanted to have a couple of  RDA examples, so I went to our LC resource file and did a combined keyword search on “a novel” and “rda” for all books cataloged from 2008.  All of the records continued the practice of leaving “a novel” in the other title and “by so and so” in the statement of responsibility. I then searched on “a novel” in the extra set file of the RDA test and the results were no different from the search limited to LC cataloging. I’ve checked the LCPS and 2.4.1.8 is without comment, and the rule is not covered in any of the LC Training presentations I’m aware of. The only reference to 2.4.1.8 I’ve been able to discover is in Adam Schiff’s AACR2/RDA comparison presentation, but the AACR2/RDA examples are taken from AACR2 1.1.F12 and RDA 2.4.1.8. So I’m wondering if I understand the RDA rule, or if the wisdom of the crowd has resulted in the correct application of the rule. One interesting note--I found quite a few poem collections in the same LC resource file where “poems by” is in the statement of responsibility; there are certainly examples of “poems / by” but the number of grammatically connected “poem” phrases in the statement of responsibility seemed to be noticeably different from the number of grammatically connected “novel” phrases.
</snip>
I personally think that a jury of twelve people would very quickly decide that a title page such as

[title of book]
a novel by Joe Smith

that the word "novel" describes the title of the book and not Joe Smith. The alternative

[title of book]
a novel
Joe Smith

merely implies the word "by". In both cases, "a novel" is clearly linked to the title and becomes other title information.

But if the 245 statement read

[title of book]
by the novelist Joe Smith

the word "novelist" describes Joe Smith and not the title of the book. I think very few people would disagree with such reasoning and the conclusions are obvious.

Still, experience plus a quick search reveals that there is practically no consistency in how catalogers have applied any of this and the catalogs have not caved in. I have never even heard of a user ever questioning it so they seem to have no problem whether they see a colon or slash before "a novel". Or, if it is in a more modern display, e.g.
Title: [title of book]
Other Title Information: a novel
Author statement: by Joe Smith

or

Title: [title of book]
Author statement: a novel by Joe Smith

I would be absolutely shocked if anyone would even notice. I admit it would make some difference in searching if people were to search for "[title of book] novel" and the word "novel" were placed in the statement of responsibility and the 245c is not indexed for a title search, but what the heck? We've survived this long!

Seems to me like this could be a great time to face facts and declare "cataloger's judgment" since that's what has been happening for a long time! But no matter what, I have no doubt that catalogers will continue to record it however they want.

Re: Bill Maher on Libraries

Posting to Autocat concerning some statements made by Bill Maher about libraries. Here is an example article about it

I've been away from email for a bit and just saw this thread.

I must confess that I agree with John Marr on this. Do people really believe that Bill Maher is ignorant, or is he just voicing the opinion that many others out there--many of very high scholastic caliber--have concerning libraries? I have heard similar comments over and over again from some very surprising people. From a management point of view, when you hear one opinion or complaint--unless it is really far out in left field--then you should assume that complaint or opinion is shared by many others. How many others? You don't know if you don't try to find out.

Today, I think we can all easily take for granted that Bill Maher's opinion about libraries is shared with many, many others. Look at how libraries are being cut back all over the place, almost the world over!

In my opinion, one of the major stumbling blocks for librarians in this environment is that they want to believe that there is still an unspoken agreement among the general population that libraries are important. Of course, *I* think they are important--and not only to those who are in trouble economically, but libraries should be important to *everyone*. (I think it is vital not to couple ourselves too closely only with those in trouble. We need to appeal to everyone in our society) And yet, for an entire list of reasons, not everyone agrees with that automatically today. Therefore, we must be ready to prove it and to demonstrate it.

Unfortunately, the library community has been very slow to react to the changes in information technologies, especially in comparison with many other information agencies, and--I'll say it again--RDA does nothing to address any of the real problems facing libraries or their catalogs. 

Re: Mistakes carried over fiction CIP

Posting to Autocat

On Sun, Oct 16, 2011 at 5:29 PM, Hal Cain wrote:
<snip>
As a veteran of some years of working a public library reader's advisor desk, at a time when searching a catalogue was less flexible than it is now, I can assure you that providing answers to questions of the kind "Have you any novels about [person, situation]?" or "Have you any novels set in [place or period]?" consumed quite a number of hours for me and my colleagues.  And that was in response to those (probably the minority) who came and asked -- when moving round in the fiction shelves, I often asked people who looked a bit lost, "Are you looking for something in particular?" and one of the common answers was "A novel about ...".
</snip>

I agree with the utility of these headings, so that something like "War and Peace" gets "Napoleonic Wars, 1800-1815--Campaigns--Russia--Fiction" e.g. http://lccn.loc.gov/2008297431. Also, these headings are useful when someone wants the next "Inspector Lynley" mystery. 

But I am skeptical of the utility of records like the one here (See: http://lccn.loc.gov/99025352): Here is the publisher's description:
"Lyman, a thirty-year-old orphan, is sipping coffee on the front steps of the trailer he calls home one morning, when a ninety-year-old parrot arrives with a beakful of cryptic sayings -- such as "That which hath wings shall tell the matter" -- and a mysterious past. Convinced that heeding the bird's wisdom will lead him to answers about himself he so desperately seeks, Lyman combines his night job as a courtesy patrolman, circling the highway that loops around Fort Worth, with days in the library. Together with Fiona, the loquacious librarian, he traces his adopted pet's origins, and while what Lyman ultimately discovers may not help him piece together his own past, it paves the way for a future he never imagined." 
And the subjects assigned are:
Librarians --Fiction.
Parrots --Fiction.
Police --Texas --Fort Worth --Fiction.
Fort Worth (Tex.) --Fiction.
plus a genre heading: Black humor (Literature)

What is the experience of most people on this list? Is somebody really going to look up "Parrots--Fiction" etc.? Also, is the genre heading correct, or is the cataloger drawing a conclusion that may, or may not, be correct?

What is the experience people have had with Amazon and their headings, e.g. "Police procedurals"? Or under Mystery, there is:
Anthologies (2,918)
British Detectives (3,722)
Canadian Detectives (321)
Cat Sleuths (118)
Hard-Boiled (4,017)
Historical (2,817)
Reference (701)
Sherlock Holmes (834)
Women Sleuths (10,618)

I assume that these are useful, otherwise Amazon would not employ them, but I honestly do not know.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Re: Death of Semantic Web - is it so, and how does it affect Cataloging on the Semantic web

Posting to NGC4LIB

On 12/10/2011 21:09, Diane Hillmann wrote:
<snip>
Also, from the point of view of the search engine community, this optimization by embedding metadata is their one-and-only use case for metadata. Those of us who remember early attempts to embed DC properties in web pages also know some limitations of this approach: it assumes metadata is static and unchanging, and makes it virtually impossible to maintain or re-use. We have a lot more than that we hope to do, and that niche, should we chose to accept it, really uses our skills and experience to the utmost.
</snip>
My own thoughts are that perhaps "Search Engine Optimization" (SEO) really is the future for all metadata, for better or worse. Its simplicity is going to make sense to a lot of people, and it can be implemented now. But as I mentioned earlier, I don't see why microdata would be any less susceptible to spam than "author created metadata" was before, when people would put in practically entire encyclopedias into the meta fields, and when search engines disallowed information in the meta fields and took only the text in the body of the webpage, people came up with all kinds of clever things. One I discovered that I thought was really neat, where people would put in all kinds of spam using white text on white backgrounds, so that you couldn't see it until you looked at the page source.

The only solution that was found was the Google-type solution that rated pages by links *to* the page, and not by what was *on* the page. This is liable to spam also, with Google-bombing and of course, SEO, which is actually a type of Google-bomb but more respectable.

Nevertheless, library use of microdata could provide a level of a predictability in the search result, which I think people want, at least sometimes, as opposed to the endlessly "personalized" search results that all of the information companies seem to be aiming for: personalized by your own previous searches, by what your friends searched, by what their friends searched, by what people with similar profiles searched and so on and on....

Libraries allow true *conceptual* searching, using Use Fors, Broader/Narrower Terms, Related Terms, and scope notes, so that people really can search by concept. Google-type searches will remain as more and more complex variations on searching text, using fuzzy searches for terms, thesauri and so on. But no matter what, it will remain textual.

Libraries and conceptual searching, no matter the problems with it, is wanted by many once people begin to understand it. But our conceptual searching is really weird for most of the public today.

I still say this is one place where libraries could provide something nobody else does. But I don't know--maybe it's too late. It would cost some rapidly-disappearing bucks that will be spent on implementing RDA! That will certainly solve all of our problems! :-)

Re: Death of Semantic Web - is it so, and how does it affect Cataloging on the Semantic web

Posting to NGC4LIB

On 12/10/2011 18:35, Sanchez, Elaine R wrote:
<snip>
Hello,
Does anyone on this list have an idea on what the following article means, if anything, for Cataloging on the Semantic Web, use of RDA, necessity of the granularity of bibliographic data, the future of transition from MARC to something else, difference between XML and RDF and does this affect our current projected plans? It seems to indicate that the Semantic web is dead.

I don't usually post on this list because it is almost always above my head, but I thought this would be a good place to ask these questions. I could try Autocat, but I thought this would be a more applicable list.

Anyway, the full article is here:
http://www.semantico.com/2011/09/triple-bypass-what-does-the-death-of-the-semantic-web-mean-for-publishers/
</snip>
Thank you so much for sharing this. I have been one of the "XML is best" guys, and that RDF is just so incredibly complicated that it can be used only with a great deal of trouble--in fact, so much trouble that I have wondered how any organization can really implement it.

The idea of "microdata", which is much easier to implement, seems to me to be a very logical extension of Cataloging in Publication. I think catalogers could really get into it and find a real niche as they begin to understand the different ramifications of the concept "Search Engine Optimization". (I wrote on this a bit on Autocat a few months back, where I discussed Eric Hellman's impressive talk. See http://catalogingmatters.blogspot.com/2011/07/library-data-why-bother-by-eric-hellman.html)

There are lots of problems with the current version of microdata however. For a cataloger, a look at the full hierarchy that they have created is a great place if you need a laugh! http://schema.org/docs/full.html. Codes for "AutoPartsStore" and "ComedyEvent"???!!! It's just too good to be true!

Still, I have thought there would be a great place for libraries in the area of extending it. The site http://schema.org/docs/gs.html#microdata_how says,
"3d. Extending schema.org
Most sites and organizations will not have a reason to extend schema.org. [Hahahahahahahahahaha! - JW] However, schema.org offers the ability to specify additional properties or sub-types to existing types. 
If you are interesting in doing this, read more about the schema.org extension mechanism." 
It can be extended, so that is critical and saves the entire project.

Naturally, microdata will be spammed by the webmasters in all kinds of ways, just as the "<meta>" area was before, with the result that the search engines had to ignore all of the information there. I think there will be great demand for library services which can supply a necessary and very desired area of trust--that is, if we play our cards right.

It would be so great if libraries could start building their own search engine that could take advantage of these tools. Maybe Hathitrust would be a good place to start... if it survives?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Re: [ACAT] RDA Question

On 10/10/2011 21:05, Daniel CannCasciato wrote:
<snip>
While I don't mind the display aspect all that much, I do find the heading of
"White, Michael, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, et al."
to be somewhat iffy for implementation - - as Bill Walker mentioned, do systems handle retrieval and indexing for these types of headings?
</snip>
If I understand this correctly, the question is whether all of those names represent a *single* heading? Well, I certainly hope not since that would be a step so far backward, I don't know how far in the past it would go!

Still, in FRBR terms, the "work" entity would contain all of these "creators", and would all be imported as a single item. Therefore, in relational database terms, instead of as it is now (in MARCXML):
<datafield tag="130" ind1="1" ind2="0">
<subfield code="a">Monty Python and the Holy Grail</subfield>
</datafield>
and each author/creator has to be added separately to the record, while
in an FRBR type of structure, the entire work record has it all and
would be something like:
<work>
<title>Monty Python and the Holy Grail</title>
<creator>White, Michael</creator>
<creator>Chapman, Graham</creator>
<creator>Cleese, John</creator>
[and so on]
</work>
so all would be imported at once.

It could be that this is what the example displays.

Where the [et al.] (or in RDA-speak, the [and others]) would be placed in FRBR terms (in the work, expression, manifestation or item), I do not know. Also, I am not saying that this kind of structure would be any kind of substantive improvement from what we have now.

Re: RDA Question

Posting to Autocat


On 10/10/2011 20:04, Myers, John F. wrote:
<snip>
I suspect that the alternative exists to allow for the construction of access points that approximate entries for bibliographies. And I have seen this very construction in some skeletal records received as part of the acquisitions process. I would be hard pressed though to advocate for its employment in general cataloging usage, at least in the Anglo-American cataloging tradition. But RDA is intended as a more general code, so there may be non-library and/or non-Anglo-American communities for whom this is desirable.
</snip>
If I were just a normal, non-librarian type of person, I would prefer this RDA/bibliographic form to the library format, since I could probably use it in my bibliographies. Take a look the citations generated by Worldcat for http://www.worldcat.org/title/monty-python-and-the-holy-grail/oclc/48204903.
Chicago:
White, Michael, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, et al. 2001. Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Burbank, CA: Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment.

Turabian:
White, Michael, et al. Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Burbank, CA: Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, 2001.

Chicago:
White, Michael, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, John Goldstone, Mark Forstater, Connie Booth, Carol Cleveland, Neil Innes, Bee Duffell, John Young, Rita Davies, and Terry Bedford. Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Burbank, CA: Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, 2001.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Re: Recording ISBNs for RDA records in Connexion

Posting to RDA-L

On 06/10/2011 17:49, Robert Maxwell wrote:
<snip>
I agree with Kevin and point out that this is not a new issue with RDA. AACR2 1.8B1 says "Give such numbers [e.g. ISBN] with the agreed abbreviation and with the standard spacing or hyphenation."

OCLC is just following the MARC documentation, which under "Display constants" in 020 says "ISBN usually appears on an item with the prefix ISBN and with each of its parts separated from the other by hyphens or spaces. The initialism ISBN, the phrase ISBN (invalid), and the embedded hyphens are not carried in the MARC record. They may be system generated as display constants associated with the content of subfields $a and $z, respectively." It's not clear to me how any system could actually generate the hyphens since the hyphens in ISBNs do not appear to follow a regular pattern.
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There is this tool from LC that adds the hyphens and converts to ISBN 13 at the same time! http://pcn.loc.gov/isbncnvt.html. Non-English language areas seem to be beyond its abilities, though.

If we look at the situation through the international viewpoint however, some organizations put in the hyphens and others do not. Extremely few of the members of the public who will use our bibliographic tools will even notice whether the hyphens are there or not, and will care less. Therefore, any systems we create should just handle ISBNs with and without hyphens for searching purposes. Then, hyphens in ISBNs could be one of those rules that literally could be left to "cataloger's judgment" because it won't make any difference in searching, while for display purposes, nobody will notice one way or the other. If people are so picky as to complain over hyphens in an ISBN, they will very easily find far more serious problems with the rest of the catalog and even for them hyphenated ISBNs will take a back-seat.

The problems I have seen the public have with ISBNs relate to their misunderstandings of ISBNs, such as why something can have a different ISBN and yet be considered a copy. Plus, ISBN reuse, shows misapplications on a much more important level. The publisher cares only about the materials being published now, not those OP items. A logical idea at one time, but it no longer applies.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Re: Outsourcing (fwd)

Posting to Autocat

On 03/10/2011 22:25, Aaron Kuperman wrote:
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... Please note that I am suggesting that many if not most libraries would probably do better to outsource since unless one can afford multiple full time catalogers they never will get very good at it - cataloging is learned by experience and if you only spend a few hours a week at it you won't get learn it well.
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Well, I am really glad you mentioned this instead of me. I think this observation brings up a couple of broader points, however. First, if we assume that the current standards are so high that many libraries and librarians cannot be expected to fulfill them, could it be a problem that the current standards are too "high"? Or if not too high, are they focused on the wrong areas? In other words, why doesn't the current situation work? Do our standards really have to be so "high" (or however we want to characterize them) as to make them practically unachievable except for the most highly trained and highly specialized of us? While such a situation may have been sustainable in the past, is it reasonable to expect it to continue into the indefinite future?

And second, when comparing this to the possible implementation of RDA, it seems as if the current situation (which already seems inadequate) will only get more complicated instead of less. Can it be realistically
achieved?

Is this the correct direction our field should be heading?