Re: [RDA-L] AACR2 records in OCLC

Posting to RDA-L

On 19/07/2012 21:31, Robert Maxwell wrote:

For the same reasons we might upgrade a pre-AACR2 record to AACR2. RDA records have lots of advantages over AACR2 records. The abolishment of the rule of three is an example that comes to mind quickly.

Revising the rule of three to the rule of one plus illustrators of children’s books(!) is difficult to call an advantage–that is, if you are saying it is an advantage to the public. As I mentioned in my paper in Buenos Aires, somebody has to be realistic sooner or later. My own reality has always been to be happy when I see that fourth author or corporate body–and I don’t think I am all that different or terrible than anybody else! “Thank heaven for the rule of three!”

Catalogers are human beings, and to expect human beings to do more than is required is unrealistic. To expect people to do so without any rewards, or when the rewards lie elsewhere, as when catalogers are rewarded for making more records (as is the case almost everywhere today) is even more unrealistic. If rewards were changed from number of items processed to number of access points added, then sure–access points would go up but I don’t see cataloging departments changing that way. I can certainly imagine someone looking at the growing number of items waiting for cataloging, and deciding that I can do, e.g. 1/3 more records by following the rule of one. There are certain realities of human beings, and realities of following standards that should be acknowledged. People do what is required of them and very few do any more. Especially if there are no rewards except “spiritual” ones–or you may even be punished because your productivity goes down.

This rule will probably have the biggest consequences for the public.