Greater Flexibility in Creating Variant Access Points for Persons, Families and Corporate Bodies

CC:DA/RSC Rep/KPG/2016/1 (Superceded)
June 1, 2016

Superceded version: Greater Flexibility in Creating Variant Access Points for Persons, Families and Corporate Bodies

For the later revision: See http://alcts.ala.org/ccdablog/?p=2866

Submitted by: Kathy Glennan, ALA Representative to the RDA Steering Committee

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10 Responses to Greater Flexibility in Creating Variant Access Points for Persons, Families and Corporate Bodies

  1. Matthew Haugen says:

    I support this proposal.

  2. Larisa Walsh says:

    I like the general idea of the proposal, but I wonder if this addition is really necessary. All three instructions have the following phrase in them: “Make other additions to the name, if considered important for identification”. I read this phrase as basically the same as “Construct additional variant access points if considered important for access”. Additions to names are made only when an AAP constructed.
    Chapter 6.27.4.1 for works and expressions, however, does include both sentences which seem redundant. Is there a reason why we want to separate “identification” from “access”?
    I think that proposed wording is clearer, and wonder if instruction “Make other additions to the name, if considered important for identification” should be replaced by “Construct additional variant access points if considered important for access”.

    • Kathy Glennan says:

      I think there are actually two different situations:
      1. Variant name that differs from the preferred name. In this case the ability to add elements to the “base” name makes sense.

      2. The desire to have an VAP that uses the same name as the preferred name; the variations in this case have to do with the additions to the name.

      The focus of this proposal is on #2.

  3. Robert L. Maxwell says:

    I also support the proposal.

    I, too, believe that the variants that will clearly be allowed under the proposal have actually been permissible all along (a number of points in the NACO training explicitly shows variant access points based on the form chosen as the preferred name but with different cataloger additions), but enough people have objected online, saying these were not permitted, that I am in favor of spelling it out.

  4. Dominique Bourassa says:

    From Mark K. Ehlert, Cataloging & Metadata Librarian, O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library, University of St. Thomas

    First, the definition of “variant access point” at RDA 8.1.4 states, “A variant access point … is constructed using a *variant name* …,” the emphasized term defined at 8.1.3. Would the proposed new wording at 9.19.2.1, 10.11.2.1, and 11.13.2.1, which includes the phrase “variant access points,” need revision to work around these definitions? Perhaps dropping “variant” to yield “additional access points” instead? (Ditto revising the complementary lines at RDA 6.27.4.1, etc., in light of what 5.1.4 has to say.) I presume revising the definitions would be much less appetizing.

    Second, Robert Maxwell ended his June 14th post with the words “spelling it out,” which I agree with. I believe providing additional wording to the proposed sentences will go further in clarifying the intention of the instruction. For instance, the following would apply to Chapter 9:

    “Construct additional variant access points if considered important for access. Use the preferred name for the person or the variant name for the person as the basis for the access point.”

    And given this wording, would it be prudent to add a new instruction number for it, such as “9.19.2.2 Additional [Variant?] Access Points Representing Persons”?

    • Lori Robare says:

      [Adding this as a reply to the above comment, as it expresses a similar concern]
      From Richard Moore, British Library, PCC member:
      Your proposal to provide greater flexibility in creating variant access points needs also to amend the start of 9.19.2.1, which currently says:

      “When constructing a variant access point to represent a person, use a variant name for the person (see 9.2.3) as the basis for the access point.”

      Otherwise your new example in the proposal contradicts the instruction, as it does not have a variant name as its basis, but a preferred name. If the aim of the proposal is to allow a preferred name to be the basis of a variant access point, then it needs to remove the requirement for the basis to be a variant name.

  5. Kathy Glennan says:

    Thanks for the comments so far; they have caused me to rethink the solution, which would be to remove the word “variant” before name in 9.19.2.1 (and to update the instruction reference), so it would read:

    When constructing a variant access point to represent a person, use a name for the person (see 9.2.1) as the basis for the access point.

    If we go in this direction, I think this solution should also be applied to the relevant VAP instructions in Chapter 6.

    I will work on developing a revised draft (affecting instructions in Chapters 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, & 11), which should be available on the CC:DA blog by Friday.

    • Kathy Glennan says:

      If any of you think that messing with Chapter 6 is a bad idea (and it might be), please let me know.

      I may end up creating two options due to the complexities of AAPs & VAPs when they involve names & titles together.

  6. Robert Bratton says:

    So long as we’re operating in the world of matching text strings instead of truly unique identifiers, I think it is a bad idea to add VAPs like “Price, Billy, 1949-” That could cause a problem down the road when I need to establish an AAP for another Billy Price, and want to use his birth year of 1949. Yes, I could delete the VAP, but why create more work? The authority record for “Price, Billy (Singer)” should already have his date(s) recorded as a separate data element (046 in MARC).

    I am not opposed to changing the language of the instruction to allow for more freedom of adding VAPs when they make sense. However, I would not include the Sue Bailey, Jeremy Brown, and Billy Price examples as I think they set a bad precedent.

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