RDA-L Quotes in notes

Posting to RDA-L

On 6/11/2016 8:29 PM, Heidrun Wiesenmüller wrote:

I’ve taught the former German cataloging rules (RAK) to students for about eight years and I’m well aware that not everything I explained was explicitly stated in RAK. Sometimes I would say: “It doesn’t say so in the rules, but it is the common way among catalogers to do it like this…” or “This isn’t prohibited, but it would be highly unusual”, or something like that. So, in addition to the explicit rules, there are always certain conventions which are handed down to new catalogers, as it were, by oral tradition.

But when you start on a new cataloging standard, like we’ve done now in Germany, then there simply is no oral tradition to rely on. Instead, the written documentation, especially the rules themselves, become highly important. Consequently, we should really try to spell things out in RDA as much as possible.

This is interesting. One of the selling points of RDA, as I remember it, was to expand the role of “cataloger’s judgement” even in some areas that had earlier been off-limits to any judgement whatsoever, such as number of author tracings, 245$b and ALL CAPS. With RDA even the relator codes are optional. The purpose of the Core record is also relevant: “RDA Core Elements comprises elements that fulfill the user tasks of find, identify, and select.”

Quotation marks in notes do not seem to fulfill any of those FRBR user tasks. Therefore, couldn’t this be an area for cataloger’s judgement?

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