Re: Book by charlatan

On 9/24/2013 7:18 PM, john g marr wrote:

<snip>
Don’t overlook the fact that there are ways of classifying and providing subject analysis that can at least bring out all the *possible* “fraudulence” inherent in such materials. Doing such provides a more complete service to library patrons than just sticking such things on the shelf.

We’ve had discussions before about the phrase “Controversial works” being more liberally applied. Perhaps we should revisit the issue again relating to what a work *purports* to represent but actually does not? And when discussing that, consider the professionally determined parameters that define “psychopathic” communication (which is quite common, you know– just read the “news”):
</snip>

I still have a lot of problems with the idea that the cataloger should decide whether something is “true” or “fraudulent” or “misleading” or whatever. Of course, each cataloger has his or her own opinions on a whole variety of issues, but I believe that allowing those opinions to determine matters of access, i.e. information discovery for the general community of people, opens a huge can of worms that will lead to unpleasant consequences. I don’t believe it is the cataloger’s job to protect society from the errors of authors–that is someone else’s job.

There are more or less objective criteria, as was discussed earlier on this list (for my parts, see
http://blog.jweinheimer.net/2012/09/how-to-make-a-book-disappear-or-what-should-the-catalog-tell-you.html,
http://blog.jweinheimer.net/2012/10/re-acat-shouldnt-care-about-contents-of-what-we-catalog-2.html
and
http://blog.jweinheimer.net/2012/10/re-acat-shouldnt-care-about-contents-of-what-we-catalog.html),
e.g. a publisher actually withdrew a book, the author was fired (I believe), but does that mean that the book itself should disappear (as was discussed in the first of those posts) or that something else should happen?

I can imagine that another database could be built for these kinds of situations and that catalog records could interoperate with them using linked data or APIs, so that when a searcher sees a record for a resource, they can become aware that it has been declared an error. But having the cataloger (already overworked) determine that a specific item should be marked with a Scarlet Letter certainly has ethical consequences.

-360

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