Re: [RDA-L] Offlist reactions to the LC Bibliographic Framework statement

Posting to RDA-L

On 08/11/2011 17:23, J. McRee Elrod wrote:

Jim said:

Getting rid of a *single* main entry would be the equivalent of DC’s <creator> and <contributor> where <creator> is repeatable, thereby creating multiple main entries.

How would you produce single entry bibliographies? How would scholars cite in footnotes? How would cataloguers construct subject and added entries for works? Libraries are part of a larger bibliographic universe, and should adhere to its standards and practices, which would include returning to compiler main entry.

Could you point me in the direction of a bibliographic citation format that demands someone choosing a *single* main entry? I have worked a lot with them and have never found anything resembling a single main entry. While the practices vary, the main rule is, copy the authors in the order they appear on the title page. Some stop at a maximum of four, none more than seven. Some want the forms of names as spelled out on the item, others say to abbreviate first and middle names. These formats mostly want people to differentiate between authors and others, e.g. editors, compilers, and translators, by putting in (ed.) or mentioning translations. Here is the Chicago format Another nice page is from Ursinus Here is a guide for the Harvard rules “For books with two, three or four authors of equal status the names should all be included in the order they appear in the document. Use an and to link the last two multiple authors.” These rules, and others, actually use “et al.“!

I admit that these considerations would provide a reason to go back to the practice of adding relator codes (which I do *not* think is the right thing to do, by the way).

Now, as far as cataloging items for subject or added entries for works with two or more main entries, it can be done in XML quite easily, but more difficult with ISO2709. With XML, for a subject entry for Masters and Johnson (two main entries), you could have (an abbreviated MARCXML record. I think catalogers can follow):

  <a>Smith, John</a><d>1960-</d>
  <a>The book by Masters and Johnson</a>
  <b>some thought</b>
  <c>by John Smith</c>
New York</a>
    <a>Masters, William Howell</a>
    <a>Johnson, Virginia</a>
    <a>Human Sexual Response

The same could be done with an analytic or series, just replacing <subjectUniformTitle> with <analyticUniformTitle> or <seriesUniformTitle>. How this could be done in ISO2709, I do not know, but I won’t say that it cannot be done because somebody may figure out a way, but I can’t imagine why anyone should want to. XML can do it right now and it could be utilized by browsers the world over–right now. 

Once we get away from ISO2709, there will be all kinds of novel bibliographic structures that can be implemented. ISO2709 leads catalogers to think in certain ways about how information in structures. There is no need for that any longer.