April 11, 2005
Source of Title note for Internet resources
The OLAC Cataloging Policy Committe convened a subcommittee to recommend best practices for the required source of title note for Internet resources. The committee has just publicized their second draft, and they are seeking comments.
To see the full text of the subcommittee's announcement of the draft (including some of the rationale behind their recommendations), click below.
CALL FOR REVIEW AND COMMENTS ON NEW DRAFT
The OLAC CAPC Subcommittee on the Source of Title Note for Internet Resources has completed a second draft of the revised document that is ready for review and comment. The draft is temporarily available at: http://www.uwm.edu/People/mll/stnir-2.html. We would very much appreciate feedback on the current draft by May 2.
For those who reviewed the previous draft, please note that Sections 3 and 4 have been heavily revised, with the most significant changes given in red font. Section 3 is taking a quite new and different approach to the source of title note compared to what has been taken in the past. The subcommittee kept running into roadblocks in trying to reconcile different uses of common terms in existing catalog records and in AACR2, LCRI, and PCC examples. One conflict, for example, was whether "caption" or "Web page" or "home page" should be used for a title displayed prominently towards the top of a Web page or home page. It
eventually became obvious that these terms are not really synonymous. One refers to a type of page and the other to a place on the page. This took us back to one of the principles of the existing, version 1, document in making a distinction between "the page and the place on the page" when thinking about the source of title. We judged that citing a single source for Web resources did not in most cases resolve ambiguity and that citing a double source would be much less ambiguous and also provide a consistent format that could be used for all types of Internet resources and title situations. Even though this format is a bit more
wordy, we decided to recommend this as a way to resolve a host of problems.
We want to remind folks that this document is intended to serve as a best practice guide developed by a community of electronic and audiovisual catalogers. Like most best practice guides, it has been developed because existing resources have not fully addressed the needs of working catalogers. It therefore goes beyond the examples given AACR2, LCRIs, etc., which are not consistent with one another, to recommend a form of the note that we think better serves the intent of the note and its value for catalogers of remote access electronic resources. Like any best practice guide, catalogers and institutions
will be free to follow this or not, as they choose.
The comments we received on our first draft confirmed that many catalogers find a need for further guidance for the wording of this note. In some ways it seems that the exact wording of this note is not relatively all that important for catalogers to be spending much time and effort on. But this may be exactly why this guide is useful. For those who choose to follow it, it offers a list of terms, definitions, and recommendations for a consistent format that catalogers can use
quickly and then move on to more important aspects of their cataloging. Please send any comments by May 2 to Steve Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greta de Groat, Stanford University
Susan Leister, Rice University
Steven Miller, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Punctuation in 508/511 notes (credits)
A recent discussion on the OLAC list has focused on whether and how punctuation between names is prescribed in the 508 and 511 notes. The 511, of course, is for performers, actors, and participants in the program, while the 508 is for "behind the scenes" credits that aren't given in 245 $c (often including cinematographers, writers, editors, and composers). This can be confusing because practice has become more fluid in the last few years, which means that you will see records done a couple of different ways:
- Some use the equivalent of prescribed ISBD punctuation (i.e., space-semicolon-space between each name): Gene Kelly ; Debbie Reynolds ; Donald O'Connor ; Cyd Charisse.
- Other records use standard English punctuation and forgo the space preceding the semicolon.: Gene Kelly; Debbie Reynolds; Donald O'Connor; Cyd Charisse.
Which one, if either, is correct? A Music Cataloging Decision (MCD) made some years ago clarifies the situation. Prescribed punctuation (space-semicolon-space) is not required in 508 and 511, since they are not necessarily transcribed from the item being cataloged. Many catalogers continue to use space-semicolon-space, however, since it can aid readability, especially if the list of names is very long.
So in copy cataloging, it is not worthwhile to change the punctuation in these fields, unless you judge that readability is compromised by the existing punctuation. In original cataloging, do whatever best suits the particular situation.
The full text of Jay Weitz's OLAC posting on this topic follows. Click below to read it.
First, let's keep in mind the statement found in AACR2's General Introduction 0.14: "The examples used throughout these rules are illustrative and not prescriptive. That is, they illuminate the provisions of the rule to which they are attached, rather than extend those provisions. Do not take the examples or the form in which they are presented as instructions unless specifically told to do so by the accompanying text." Since 7.7B6 does not address punctuation and the
rules on punctuation of notes (7.7A1 and 1.7A) do not directly address such internal punctuation, the examples in 7.7B6 should not be taken as establishing any punctuation rules. In fact, 1.7A3 states in part, "If data in a note correspond to data found in the title and statement of responsibility ... give the elements of the data in the order in which they appear in those areas. In such a case, use prescribed punctuation ...."
Because both fields 508 and 511 are logical extensions of the statement of responsibility, and 1.1A1 states, "Precede each subsequent statement of responsibility by a semicolon," and 1.0C1, paragraph 3 states "Precede each mark of prescribed punctuation by a space and follow it by a space ...," it seems that the space-semicolon-space practice is at least acceptable.
As far as I have been able to determine, the last official word on this topic appeared as Music Cataloging Decision 6.7B6 in the December 1992 issue of "Music Cataloging Bulletin," based on a memo from Bob Ewald in LC's Cataloging Policy and Support Office. Although this is a Music Cataloging Decision, it refers likewise to corresponding examples in various AACR2 rules (including also 7.7B6 and 9.7B6) that variously followed and did not follow prescribed punctuation. It should be noted that the MCD was citing the 1978 and 1988 texts of AACR2; in the current text of AACR2, the examples under 6.7B6 and 7.7B6 use standard
punctuation, but the 9.7B6 example uses prescribed punctuation. So, although the specific discrepancies have shifted around, they remain within the text, and I believe that we can still take the MCD's advice.
In the MCD, Mr. Ewald reports that the issue was discussed at LC. He writes, in part: "The consensus of the discussion was that prescribed punctuation in the note was not required by rule 1.7A3 since the note does not necessarily reflect exact transcription from the source from which the data are taken. On the other hand, the presence of prescribed punctuation in the 1988 rule 9.7B6 indicates that prescribed punctuation is not forbidden, and in fact may be useful when the note contains a long listing of entities performing a number of different functions.
Conclusion: Standard punctuation (semicolon-space) or prescribed punctuation (space-semicolon-space) may be used when making the notes called for [in] AACR 2 rules 6.7B6, 7.7B6, 9.7B6." In other words, one is not required to use prescribed punctuation in fields 508 and 511, but it is often helpful in making the notes more readable.