Report of the Task Force for the Review of Statement of International Cataloguing Principles (2015)

CC:DA/TF/Statement of International Cataloguing Principles (2015)/3
May 20, 2015

Report of the Task Force for the Review of Statement of International Cataloguing Principles (2015)

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3 Responses to Report of the Task Force for the Review of Statement of International Cataloguing Principles (2015)

  1. Robert L. Maxwell says:

    2.3 (Representation). I think the 2015 scope note is much inferior to that of 2009, and is written as instruction, not as principle.

    2009: Descriptions and controlled forms of names should be based on the way an entity describes itself.

    2015: A description should represent a resource as it appears. Controlled forms of names of persons, bodies and families should be based on the way an entity describes itself. Controlled forms of work titles should be based on the form appearing on the first manifestation of the original expression. If this is not feasible, the form commonly used in reference sources should be used.

    First, the 2015 scope note talks about “a resource” instead of “an entity”. But the principle of representation should apply to all entities, not just those we think of as “resources”.

    Second, there is no need to go into the exact detail of persons/bodies/families vs. works. In all cases the controlled form should be based on how the entity describes itself. This applies to the work entity as well; and furthermore, it is wrong to write into the principles that the controlled form of a work title should be based on the first manifestation. This unnecessarily contradicts the principle of common usage. If a work describes itself on most of its manifestations in a way that is different from the first manifestations, then that is the form that should be chosen for the controlled form of the title. But in any case, this sort of stuff is an instruction, not a principle; and furthermore this information is all repeated below in section 5.

    Third, the principle of representation applies to other entities (e.g. manifestations, which might in the future have controlled forms as well).

    Fourth, the principle of representation applies to more than just the form of the name of the entity. For example, with works it applies to the relationship to the creator that the work represents itself as having. If a work represents itself as being by Lewis Carroll, the principle of representation says that that should be recorded as the creator-work relationship. If another work represents itself as being by Charles Dodgson, then *that* is the relationship that the principle of representation calls on us to record. So the principle is broader than just forms of names or transcribing manifestation titles faithfully.

    By attempting to elaborate on the 2009 scope note the editors have weakened and misrepresented the principle. In my opinion the principle should simply read: “Representation: Description and controlled forms should be based on the way an entity describes itself.” Or “… the way an entity represents itself.”

    2.10. Again, the second sentence is not a principle. Encouraging the use of automatic translation is not a principle and does not belong in a statement of principles. As I mentioned above, it is unnecessary to contradict the principle of common usage with respect to works. The commonly known title should be the one chosen as the basis for the authorized access point, not necessarily the one that happens to appear in the first manifestation. and should be reversed. Again, however, these are instructions, not principles. But if they are included the order should be reversed.

    6.1.2. I question the phrase “All resources belonging to the same work”. Can a resource “belong” to a work? I suggest “all resources containing the same work”.

    I wonder if either these might all be worded “all resources related to the same …”. I admit this would broaden the scope. I’d like to see brought into this section, though, something that creates an expectation that, e.g., the catalogue should allow us to find related works, e.g. “The catalogue should enable a user to find sets of resources representing all resources related to the same work,” e.g. if I’m in a record for the novel Gone with the wind I should be able to expect the catalogue to enable me to find related works such as the film Gone with the wind, or the parody The wind done gone. Similarly for horizontal relationships to other related entities, not just vertical relationships within the primary entities. I don’t think 6.1.2 as currently written includes this concept.


  2. Dominique Bourassa says:

    A question: What are your arguments for suggesting to remove principle 2.13? Section 2 ended with a somewhat similar paragraph in the 2009 edition, so I just wonder why we should suggest to remove this principle. On the other hand, I really like your proposition to change “explained” with “justifiable.”

    I also like Bob’s suggestion for 6.1.2 to reword to “all resources related to the same…” I think the scope of this principle should be broadened.

    An aside: there are a few words in sections 5 and 6 that are in a larger font than the rest of the text.

    • Larisa Walsh says:

      Dominique, thank you for the question and for your comments. I will try to answer on behalf of Gayle Porter, the TF chair, who is currently away.

      The task force didn’t have a unified view of the 2.13 principle. Some TF members felt that the principle is still valid and should be retained, but others (the majority) thought that Rationality seems very obvious, and that “The effect of 2.13 seems to make it more difficult to make exceptions to rules and principles based on traditional practices. When all the principles cannot be respected, this principle that “defensible, practical solutions should be found and the rationale should be explained.” Where will such rationales be explained? To whom will they be addressed? This seems like a protection clause in case some of the principles are found to contradict one another.”

      I don’t recall really strong opposition to this principle though. Maybe the Task Force needs to look at the 2.13 again, and discuss this further.

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