References to Descriptions

June 9, 2015

References to Descriptions


Matthew Haugen,
ALA/ACRL/Rare Books and Manuscripts Section

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13 Responses to References to Descriptions

  1. Matthew Haugen says:

    I have a few questions/topics for discussion:

    1. Instructions for references existed in AACR2 but not RDA. They continue to be recorded in MARC 510, which currently maps to Chapter 25, and guidance on the use of Standard Citation Forms ( is currently given in LC-PCC PS 25.1. However, Chapter 25 accommodates work-work relationships, but the referential relationship embodied in a typical rare materials reference is manifestation-to-expression or item-to-expression; our proposal focuses primarily on these cases in revisions to Chapter 26 (related expressions), but in doing so it opens the door to other cross-entity relationships throughout chapters 24-28 and Appendix J. Does the proposal need to address other referential and/or cross-entity relationships as well?

    2. RDA gives four basic methods for identifying the related entity along with a relationship designator; authorized access point, identifier, structured description, or unstructured description. If I say “Referenced in: English Short Title Catalogue, R1234” using a form specified by Standard Citation Forms, does this satisfy one of the four methods? Which? And does “R1234”–an important piece of information–qualify as “Numbering of Part” or is the additional instruction proposed for chapter 24 needed to accommodate these specific entries?

    3. The proposal considers two options for conveying that a resource is NOT referenced in a given source. Expanding the scope of 26.2 (explanation of relationship) and using negatively-defined relationship designator “not referenced in.” In other cases, data not found and title not related are accommodated in MARC authority 675 and 672 but recording the LACK of a relationship would appear to be new for RDA. Should the proposal dispense with either or both of these options?

  2. Matthew Haugen says:

    A typo was brought to my attention. On pages 15-16, the definition of the proposed relationship designator “referenced in” should instead read:

    “​An expression that contains a reference to the described work, expression, manifestation, or item.”

    I also notice that this section on revision to Appendix J should be numbered Revision 4, not Revision 3.

  3. Robert Bratton says:

    I like this proposal, as it codifies long standing practice. I noticed the typo that Matthew mentioned. I also noticed: the marked up section on page 11, is missing the final example that appears on the clean copy on page 15: “Not referenced in Incunabula Short Title Catalog.”

    I don’t think this proposal needs to address other referential and/or cross-entity relationships, other than acknowledging that it opens the door for them.

    I think the additional instruction proposed for chapter 24 makes more sense than considering something like “R1234” to be “Numbering of Part.”

  4. Dominique Bourassa says:

    24.X Location within a resource: I think if you introduce this new concept, your definition needs to also be in the glossary. The definition in 24.x.1.1 will need to be preceded with a little triangle that links to the definition in the glossary.

    I like what this proposal is trying to achieve. However, I don’t think it totally works yet. As you mentioned, your relationships are, at this point, only to related expressions. However, if you introduce in 24.x.1.1 location as volume, page, etc., then you also need to introduce other relationships, at least to manifestation.

    Most of the current examples in are followed by explicative notes. Therefore, I would like to see such notes for most of the new proposed examples to understand how they related to an expression or to what is being described.

    The first proposed example (Referenced in: links to a bibliographic record of a specific item held at the British Library. An explanation similar to one just above (“Related expression represented in the manifestation…”) would help to understand how this relates to the expression and not to the manifestation or item that the URL links to.

    The second proposed example

    Referenced in: Short ¬title catalogue of books printed in England, Scotland, & Ireland and of English books printed abroad, 1475-¬1640 / A. W. Pollard. — Second edition, revised and enlarged. — London : Bibliographical Society, 1976-¬1991. 17615.

    could be followed by a note “Resource described” just like the examples above.

    Doesn’t the last example in (Identified as Wing B3300 on UMI microfilm “Early English books, 1641¬1700” reel 55) show a relationship to a manifestation? It clearly describes a specific carrier (reel 55).

    Finally, I do like the introduction of the “negatively-defined relationship.” It is sometimes useful to add such negative relationships. But I think it would be good to add a structured example containing either “not referenced in” or “does not refer to”

  5. Dominique Bourassa says:

    I am just wondering if we could we use the relationships define in J.3.3 (referential expression relationships) to refer to specific manifestations of expressions (for example by referencing to a specific page number of a specific publication). If so, could we then use “referenced in (manifestation)”? Then we would need to define the relationships in J.3.3. as “referenced in (expression)” and not just “reference in.” There is a place holder (J.4.3) for referential relationships that have not been defined yet. There is also a placeholder at (J.5.3) for references to items. Maybe those could be proposed at the same time.

    • Matthew Haugen says:

      We initially tried to keep the proposal narrow but I’m realizing that because the proposed relationship “referenced in” points from any WEMI level to an expression, the reciprocals pointing to works, manifestations, or items should be in the other sections of Appendix J. That would perhaps look something more like this:

      referenced in (expression): An expression that contains a reference to the described work, expression, manifestation, or item. Reciprocal relationships: refers to (work), refers to (expression), refers to (manifestation), or refers to (item).
      refers to (expression): An expression that is referenced in the described work, expression, manifestation, or item. Reciprocal relationships: referenced in (work), referenced in (expression), referenced in (manifestation), or referenced in (item)

      And then we have to do the same at each of the other WEMI levels; ditto for the “not referenced in.”

      So, a more comprehensive proposal may be inevitable. In addition to the relationship designators and their reciprocals at each WEMI level, this will require revisions to chapters 25 and 27-28 similar to those already proposed for Chapter 26 to open them up to cross-entity WEMI-WEMI relationships.

  6. Kathy Glennan says:

    First, I must acknowledge that this is outside my area of expertise.

    Thus, I need help understanding why all of this is not just a manifestation-to-manifestation relationship. In looking at the brief summary of what an SCF reference encompasses, this appears to include manifestation level information (imprint, OCLC #). In addition, DCRMB3 7B14.2 has examples which include edition information (when appropriate), as well as specific page numbers.

    Alternatively, I could try to take the FRAD “descriptive relationship” definition (FRAD p. 39) and argue that this has to be a work-to-[WEMI] relationship, just like subjects have been treated in RDA (Chapter 23/Appendix M).

    Am I confusing the resource and the target here?

  7. Kathy Glennan says:

    Creating a one-to-many entity reference structure in Chapters 24-28 will challenge the current organization, structure, etc. of RDA, and I don’t think the changes can be restricted to just Chapter 26. In some ways, it would be great to introduce a broad multi-entity to multi-entity relationships chapter (along the lines of what the Appendix K task force has proposed for agent-to-agent relationships), but I can’t identify an easy way to bring that about without substantial renumbering — and that goes against the JSC’s working principle (

    As Dominique notes above, if 24.X is part of the proposal, “Location within resource” needs to be added to the Glossary. In addition, 24.X needs to be referenced in 24.0 somehow.

  8. Kathy Glennan says:

    What is the relationship between the current 24.7 (Source Consulted) and the proposed 24.X (Location within Resource)? Could 24.X be a sub-instruction in 24.7?

    (However, doing that would raise the question if all of the other RDA “source consulted” instructions should also have similar citation information added.)

  9. Kathy Glennan says:

    By the way, redefining “related expression” as proposed also needs to be reflected in 24.1.3, and in the Glossary.

  10. Kathy Glennan says:

    I think we have a problem with the form of some of the proposed relationship designators in J.3.3. According to Gordon Dunsire, all designators in Appendix J are verbalized by prefixing “is” to the label. So:

    [is] referenced in & [is] not referenced in — OK
    [is] refers to & [is] does not refer to— not good: maybe “reference to” and “not reference to” instead?

  11. Tracey L. Snyder says:

    Comments from an MLA member (June 17):

    This is an interesting proposal. I am in favor of treating references to descriptions as relationships between resources. While the rare book cataloging community does have standard citation forms for reference sources, the MARC 510 is a free text note, and not searchable in all catalogs. This proposal would introduce several welcome changes, particularly the potential for enhanced control, searching, and updating. With the recent revisions in Standard Citation Forms for Rare Materials Catalogers, the need for easy updating is particularly timely.

    Regarding Matthew’s questions:

    1. I agree with Robert Bratton’s comment; I don’t feel that the proposal needs to address other referential relationships. Acknowledging that it might lead to other changes seems adequate.

    2. This is a difficult one. This is not an authorized access point or an identifier. I tend to think this is a structured description, particularly if coded as a MARC 510 and the standard citation forms are applied. I’m not sure that “Numbering of part” applies here. defines this as “designation of the sequencing of a part or parts within a larger work.” Maybe I’m reading this too literally, but this proposal addresses numbering within an expression, not a work. I think the new instruction will be necessary.

    3. While I agree that defining a negative relationship is a substantial departure from typical RDA practice, I am in favor of keeping these options. For rare book researchers, knowing that a manifestation is not in a standard bibliography is as important as knowing it is. If this is omitted, it will not be clear if, for example, a book isn’t in Wing, or if the cataloger didn’t consult Wing. The negative relationship does need to be expressed in some way, and the “not referenced in”/”does not refer to” relationship identifiers fit this need.

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