Proposal: Revision to RDA 2.4.1.8 (Noun Phrase Occurring with a Statement of Responsibility)

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12 Responses to Proposal: Revision to RDA 2.4.1.8 (Noun Phrase Occurring with a Statement of Responsibility)

  1. Kathy Glennan says:

    I reviewed some of the various email correspondence on this topic in my personal archive, and I notice that some people made the distinction between other title information & statement of responsibility based on a grammatical connection.

    Thus,
    A fine balance : a novel / Rohinton Mistry.
    vs.
    A fine balance : a novel / by Rohinton Mistry.

    Is this something we’d like to include in the response, OR is the instruction to rely on sequence, layout, or typography sufficient?

    I’d be happy to support this proposal as presented.

    • Dominique Bourassa says:

      This seems to make sense. The appendices make the proposals clear.

      Kathy, I am one of those people who make “the distinction between other title information & statement of responsibility based on a grammatical connection.” This proposal, however, would give priority to layout over grammatical connection such as “by.” See the first example under the section “but”: a dramatic poem / by Lord Byron. Before reading this proposal, I would have written this as / dramatic poem by Lord Byron (that’s what I have been taught to do). If we do add wordings about grammatical connections, then we might have to mention the priority of layout over grammatical connection.

  2. Robert Bratton says:

    Wouldn’t it be great if RDA could have illustrated examples of chief sources? Those really make it clear.

    I like the concept of this proposal, but it would be nice to have something like the AACR2 provision: “In case of doubt, treat the noun or noun phrase as part of the statement of responsibility.” Undoubtedly, there will always be cases of doubt!

    I think it is also important to step back and consider what the elements: Title Proper, Other Title Information, and Statement of Responsibility may look like in a non-MARC context.

  3. Robert L. Maxwell says:

    I think this is one of the things that can perfectly well be left up to cataloger judgment and if different catalogers come up with different solutions it doesn’t in fact really matter. There are some things in a shared cataloging environment where we should all be doing things the same and there are others where it doesn’t matter, and in my opinion this is one of the places where it doesn’t matter.

    However given the high level of anxiety over this rather minor issue (and the high level of unwillingness to make decisions that might be different from those of others) the proposal is as good a way as any to clarify. I do think it has to do with the layout, not really the grammatical connection, so the first condition (“the sequence …”) is fine. I do think the “and” clause about whether the phrase is indicative of something or not will take us back to AACR2’s confusion. Do the phrases “research and text” or “maps” really indicate the function performed by the person? Perhaps, but this will just lead to more people having to go out on a limb and decide whether the words indicate function or not (which they’re already demonstrating unwillingness to do given the current instruction). I’d just say “Treat a noun or noun phrase as part of the statement of responsibility if the sequence, layout, or typography on the source of information indicates that the noun phrase is intended to be part of the statement of responsibility” and leave it at that.

    If we in fact really do need to clarify this instruction. Which I obviously don’t think we need to do 🙂

    I agree with Robert Bratton–this is something that clearly needs an illustration, and so it would indeed be more helpful than all the rewordings in the world simply to include photographs of title pages illustrating the instruction.

    Bob, SAC

  4. Tracey L. Snyder says:

    I agree that layout etc. should be the primary (and maybe the only, as Bob suggests) factor in deciding where to put the noun phrase (other title vs. SOR). I do think it matters where you put it. In our Blacklight catalog, for example, we are displaying the other title and the SOR on separate lines (see http://newcatalog.library.cornell.edu/catalog/2711691). So, if a noun phrase that looks on the resource as if it is intended to be read with the SOR is put into the 245 $c, then the catalog display is a nice approximation of what the title page (or other source) actually looks like. I think this is more important than a possible grammatical connection.

  5. Tracey L. Snyder says:

    If we do keep the “and…function performed” clause, I wonder if we should use language more like “indicative of the nature of the [work? contribution?] of the person…” That would cover all types of nouns and verbs in the SOR, since, as Bob says, “maps” is not a function performed.

  6. Tracey L. Snyder says:

    I think I understand that the proposed Barrere example is related to the bit in the background statement about a literal reading of the instruction resulting in the title proper being transcribed as part of the SOR. However, this example really makes me do a double-take. Can we find an example of a shorter title proper that is a noun phrase? (I also think “by Mozart” thrown in there makes it hard to process.) How about Sketches of Spain / Miles Davis? Of course, I know these are not literally sketches, so I would welcome a better suggestion. But it would guard against 245 $c “sketches of Spain, Miles Davis,” which I think is what the Barrere example is getting at.

  7. Steve Kelley says:

    I agree with Bob, in that I personally think that cataloger judgment could take care of this. However, if we’re going to have to codify it, the proposal seems sound.

  8. Robert Rendall says:

    Comments from Adam Schiff, University of Washington:

    Page 3 and page 4, Rechy example: The word “Coming” in the title should not be capitalized.

    I think all of the examples proposed are fine, but I think it could be even more helpful to have another example in the “but” section that contrasts directly with one of the examples above it. Hence I suggest adding this example or replacing the “by Lord Byron” one with it:

    by John Rechy
    Resource described: The life and adventures of Lyle Clemens : a novel / by John Rechy. On the source of information “a novel” appears on one line and “by John Rechy” appears on a separate line below

    In addition, I don’t think that the reference to 2.3.1.5 at the bottom of the proposed revised instruction is sufficient, or even really appropriate in this case. 2.3.1.5 doesn’t really deal with noun phrases in titles or in conjunction with statements of responsibility, it deals with the names of person, families, and corporate bodies as part of the title, e.g. when connected by a case ending.

    Also, if there is a reference in one direction from 2.4.1.8 to 2.3.1.5, shouldn’t there be the reverse reference at 2.3.1.5 to 2.4.1.8?

    Finally, I think it would be helpful to have one of the “but” examples added at 2.3.4.3 that shows when you would include the noun phrase as part of the other title. For example, this could be added at 2.3.4.3

    a novel
    Title proper: The life and adventures of Lyle Clemens. Resource described: The life and adventures of Lyle Clemens : a novel / by John Rechy. On the source of information “a novel” appears on one line and “by John Rechy” appears on a separate line below

    Which raises also the question the scope statement for Other Title at 2.3.4.1. Shouldn’t the scope be revised to include the opposite of what is proposed in 2.4.1.8? Or perhaps some instruction added in 2.3.4.3 that says something like:

    Treat a noun or noun phrase as other title information if neither:

    the sequence, layout, or typography on the source of information
    indicates the noun phrase is intended to be part of the statement of responsibility
    nor
    the noun phrase is indicative of the function performed by the person,
    family, or corporate body named in the statement of responsibility

  9. Robert Bratton says:

    In re-reading this proposal, I find the “a novel by John Rechy” example problematic. The wording of the example is confusing “‘novel by’ appears on one line and ‘John Rechy’ appears on a separate line below.” The scan of the title page leaves this one ambiguous to me, which is why I think “In case of doubt” language would be helpful.

  10. Robert Rendall says:

    Posting on behalf of Matthew Haugen, RBMS liaison to CC:DA:

    DCRM Comment on Revision to RDA 2.4.1.8 (Noun Phrase occurring with a statement of responsibility)

    The current RDA instruction stands to benefit from clarification, but the proposed revision emphasizes typography and layout over grammatical connection. As proposed, the wording implies that sequence, typography, and layout must indicate that the phrase is intended to be a part of the statement of responsibility. There are certain to be cases in which the character of the noun phrase is evident but the typography is ambiguous, or in which the typography and grammatical sense contradict each other.
    Furthermore, typeface, font size, spacing, layout, etc. may be variable or dynamically displayed in electronic formats. In any case, these features are not otherwise replicated or maintained in transcription or in displays. For these reasons, catalogers should be able to privilege grammatical sense over typographical considerations. Both typographical and grammatical considerations introduce potential for interpretive confusion, so a clause about “in case of doubt” as from the AACR2 equivalent, may be warranted.

    Suggested revision:

    Treat a noun or noun phrase as part of the statement of responsibility if:

    the noun phrase is indicative of the function performed by the person,
    family, or corporate body named in the statement of responsibility.

    or

    The character of the noun phrase is ambiguous but the sequence, layout, or typography on the source of information indicates it is intended to be part of the statement of responsibility

    In case of doubt, treat the noun or noun phrase as part of the statement of responsibility.

  11. Robert Bratton says:

    One other thought: the layout, typography, etc. can change between different editions, but I don’t think that’s a “deal breaker.”

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