Re: [ACAT] Use of VIAF for authority

Posting to Autocat
On 12/05/2014 12.22, Ian Fairclough wrote:

Others have responded to the first part of Resoum Kidane’s message with subject “Help”. But I didn’t see any comment on his question about the use of VIAF: “When there is a book in a foreign language and there is no authority for a series or author Library of Congress but there is one in VIAF. Is it okay to use the one find in VIAF?”

My first reaction is to repeat what I was told when learning to catalog: “That’s just what some cataloger jotted down. A cataloger is not a valid reference source.” And my feeling is to agree with that. Of course, there are some things we can trust, but a date without any reference source is something different.

Then I think: “What the heck?” since all the time I see records in the NAF that cite “Wikipedia” as a source, in spite of the known problems (this is one of the newest I have found:–and librarians themselves normally tell students in their information
literacy workshops “Never cite Wikipedia. Check the source you find there. Otherwise, don’t trust it.”

But Wikipedia is allowed for 670s, so why shouldn’t we trust what some unknown person from another institution somewhere, inputs into a record?