Posting to RDA-L
Jonathan Rochkind wrote:
Concerning: “One example of this can be found reported in this article: http://journal.code4lib.org/articles/3832“
Okay, what would someone who “knows library metadata” do to get a displayable title out of records in an arbitrary corpus of MARC data?
There’s an easy answer that only those who know library metadata (apparently unlike people like Thomale or me who have been working with it for years) can provide? I have my doubts.
I agree that this is an excellent article that everyone should read, but I wrote a comment myself there (no. 7) discussing how this article illustrates how important it is to know cataloging rules and/or to work closely with experienced catalogers when building something like this. It also shows how many programmers concentrate on certain parts of a record and tend to ignore the overall view, while catalogers concentrate on whole records.
In this case, the parsing is *always* done manually by the cataloger, who is directed to make title added entries, along with uniform titles, including the authors–that is, so long as the cataloger is competent and following the rules. So, it is always a mistake to concentrate only on a single field since a record must be must be considered in its entirety. It would be unrealistic for systems people to know these intricacies, but it just shows how important it is that they work closely with catalogers.
Therefore, it’s not *necessarily* arbitrary. Many of these issues have been known since the very beginnings and have been dealt with in various ways.