Re: [RDA-L] Difference between Introduction and Preface

Posting to RDA-L

On 05/08/2013 16:46, Bernhard Eversberg wrote:

05.08.2013 16:04, JSC Secretary:

You can choose the higher-level designator “writer of supplementary textual content” if you don’t want to or cannot identify a more specific relationship.

This leaves me wondering whether or not the relationship designators are a D aspect or (also) an A aspect. To qualify as the latter, the rules should make that clear AND specify a hierarchy which would, for instance, make it algorithmically clear that “writer of supplementary textual content” covers Introduction, Preface, Forword, and Afterword. (And wouldn’t it be useful indeed to be able to search for Noam Chomsky as a “writer of supplementary textual content” but specifically not prefaces? ) Alas, zillions of our records exist and will remain without designators, which casts some doubt on the usefulness of this element.

If however, the designator is regarded as solely a D aspect, then why bother? Wouldn’t the Statement of responsibility do the job nicely enough?

I’ve been waiting for a response to this, but apparently nobody wants to. Lubetzky was well-known for his opposition to the ISBD statement of responsibility since he spent decades trying to get rid of what he considered to be needless repetition, which was (in his opinion) against the interests of the cataloger, who ends up inputting the same information over and over, and the user, who ends up having to look at the same information over and over. Today, we are adding to that repetition by adding the relators in the $e, thereby repeating what is in the statement of responsibility, plus adding the alphabet soup of peoples’ degrees after their names in the statement of responsibility, so you get something with a short title, e.g.
“Mechanical and electrical systems in buildings” 
when the statement of responsibility often takes over the entire record and is similar to reading someone’s business card:
“Richard R. Janis, M. Arch., P.E., AIA, LEED AP, Senior Lecturer, School of Engineering and School of Architecture, Washington University, William K.Y. Tao, M.S., D.Sc., P.E., Affiliate Professor, School of Engineering and School of Architecture, Washington University”

I guess this is useful enough to the public for the cataloger to type it all in. These people say they are in schools of architecture, and not Ufologists or experts in Klingonese or Parapsychology. Of course, on the web, there are some very, very strange job titles. Still, it would be much more efficient to handle this sort of information as links going into sites, e.g. and
or even (strangely enough) linking to an authority record where that information exists one time and does not have to be retyped over and over and over again?

But as Bernhard pointed out, all of these “points of information” have to be assigned either to “Description” or “Access” or both. And if it is to be “Access” there will be additional work for catalogers with associated responsibilities and costs. Those costs and responsibilities should be dealt with sooner by the profession rather than later, by individual libraries that are already strapped.