Posting to RDA-L
I have been following this discussion about whether title pages such as:
by Greg Kearney
should be handled as:
The desperates : a novel / by Greg Kearney.
The desperates / a novel by Greg Kearney.
and it seems to me that the main question should be: what is more useful to the people who will use the system? In the card/print environment it made a difference for filing, but today, the difference is in indexing.
In this case, would the word “novel” be best indexed as a title, or for those systems that index the 245$c other than simple keyword, would it be best indexed as an author? (some systems have indexed 245$c also as a keyword author) When considering the matter this way, it seems to me there is no doubt at all: nobody would ever consider looking for “novel” in an author search, but I can certainly imagine someone making a more specific title search for:
find title “desperates” [and] “novel”
so as to narrow the search. Otherwise, the words are pretty common.
I do not consider these questions to be unimportant, nor do I consider them to be aesthetic or simply theoretical. They have practical consequences on how users find, or cannot find, our records. Therefore, these types of apparently small decisions can have much greater impacts when the public considers whether our records are useful for their purposes, or not.