Addition of new controlled vocabulary for 3.19.6 Regional Encoding

June 6, 2016

Addition of new controlled vocabulary for 3.19.6 Regional Encoding


Submitted by: Kelly McGrath, OLAC Liaison

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18 Responses to Addition of new controlled vocabulary for 3.19.6 Regional Encoding

  1. Robert Bratton says:

    It seems to me that there is a tension between those who want RDA to be a massive, all encompassing set of instructions, and those who want RDA to be relatively sleek, with the nitty gritty details residing in application profiles and the like. This reminds me of the “big Hall” vs. “small Hall” debate for the MLB Hall of Fame.

    Should this level of detail be in RDA or in an external controlled vocabulary? I agree with the background of the proposal that consistency of language is the proper goal — but what is the best way to get there?

    • kelleym says:

      It appears to me that for every other instruction in chapter 3 where it is possible to create a controlled vocabulary, RDA includes a controlled vocabulary. I’m not sure why regional encoding should be an exception unless there is a general move to use external vocabularies..

  2. Robert Bratton says:

    I’m confused by the language of the instruction: “Regional encoding is a code…” Is this referring to the “code” as in software on the resource that talks to the players and says “I’m Region 1?” Or is it “code” as in shorthand codes in the metadata that could be displayed to users in different ways? For example, the code “R1” could display as “Region 1 (DVD video).”

    • Peter Fletcher says:

      agree here also; this appears to be a circular definition

    • kelleym says:

      That was the existing definition and it does seem to have two possible readings. I think I ended up thinking that it meant code in terms of a label identifying the region that was encoded, but I agree the definition could be improved. We had enough trouble with the rest of the proposal and only changed the definition to expand it to non-video disc carriers.

  3. Robert Bratton says:

    Are the definitions for “Region 1 (video game), Region 2 (video game), Region 3 (video game), Region 4 (video game)” supposed to be identical?

    • kelleym says:

      Yes. We could not find an authoritative source for what exactly those regions cover. I don’t catalog video games and I’m not a gamer so this only comes from research. The numbered regions appear only to apply to Playstation (I found only two exceptions in WorldCat that weren’t games on DVD videodiscs and those are likely errors). Playstation games themselves are actually region-free, but the associated downloadable content and some other functions are region-restricted. I think the numbered game regions may be co-extensive with the DVD videodisc regions, but as I said, we couldn’t find an authoritative source for this. However, these do appear on the games so catalogers want to record them.

      • Kathy Glennan says:

        I’m fairly confident that the RSC will not approve identical definitions for different terms.

        We also will have to propose these terms without showing them defined under a particular resource type (DVD, video game, etc.). So, they need to make sense outside of this context.

        • Kathy Glennan says:

          It is awkward at best to propose a controlled vocabulary for an area where there’s a lack of industry-wide standardization. How important is it to define regions 1-4 for video games?

          • kelleym says:

            Let me see what I can do. The video game catalogers did want that because it appears on some games and it’ll be confusing if it’s not in the list.

        • kelleym says:

          I’m not sure what you mean by not defining them “under a particular resource type.” They only have meaning in the context of particular resource types.

          • Kathy Glennan says:

            Right. I think the definitions are clear enough (since they mention Blu-ray, DVD, etc.), but the presentation in this paper is grouped by carrier type. In a final RSC proposal, the Glossary terms will need to be presented in a single alphabetical list.

          • kelleym says:

            Gotcha. I think we just had that way because it was easier to track, but we can rearrange them.

  4. Peter Fletcher says:

    I agree with Robert’s first point; this will all have to be updated in RDA as regional encoding changes.

    • kelleym says:

      I think it’s unlikely very many, if any, new physical formats with regional encoding will be developed. The video region codes have been stable since they’ve been implemented and we hope that we have defined the video game ones in general enough terms that they won’t need to be revised. So I don’t anticipate much maintenance for this list.

  5. Kathy Glennan says:

    If we go forward with this proposal, is there a problem if the terms are not capitalized (e.g., “region 0”, “no regional encoding”)? I assume we would keep the capital letters associated with the regional encoding (e.g., “region U/C”, “region J”).

    If capitalization is important, we’ll need to explain why, since it goes against the Glossary conventions.

  6. Kathy Glennan says:

    And Kelley, thanks for your further consultation with video game experts. I’m wondering if we can get to a solution with controlled vocabulary (where industry standards exist) along with the opportunity to record the “uncontrolled” terms (maybe in a “details of” type of approach).

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