Meeting 13 March 2006
Present:Ebe Kartus (ALIA: Chair), Ann Huthwaite (ALIA), Philip Hider (ALIA), Deirdre Kiorgaard (NLA), Julie Whiting (NLA), Rob Walls (NLA), Anne Robertson (EPC representative)
Apologies: Catherine Argus (NLA Observer)
Minutes:Jenny Stephens (NLA) and Fran D’Castro (NLA)
Ebe Kartus, the Chair of ACOC, opened the meeting.
Minutes and Business Arising from Previous Meeting
Minutes from the August and September 2005 Teleconferences were accepted. Discussion on the communication strategy for RDA was discussed at the end of the meeting.
Seminar: Beyond the OPAC
Program: Proposals for papers received from Western Australia (1) and South Australia (3) were circulated prior to the meeting. Ebe was expecting a proposal from Deborah Mould (Vision Australia) later in the week. An RDA session also needs to be included. It can start with a general overview, followed by detailing more specific items (for example, display options). Keynote speaker is confirmed as Martha Yee. ACOC discussed possible ideas for other papers. Program needs to be finalised over the next two-three weeks. Deadline for full paper submission still to be decided. (Possibly the end of June?)
Venue: Ebe has booked a room within the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre, the same venue being used for the ALIA conference.
Publishing: ACOC considered a proposal to publish the papers in Australian Academic and Research Libraries (AARL) journal. ACOC agreed to this, provided that it does not prevent them also being published on the website as soon as can be arranged. Ebe is investigating podcasting or MP3 recordings of the Seminar. Cost and timing issues still need to be worked through.
It was agreed that the rest of the planning for the Seminar will be done through email.
Anne Robertson reported on the last Teleconference of the Editorial Policy Committee, at which some time was spent discussing changes to the minutes. Anne noted that there had been some criticism about the new editorial rules. Next teleconference is this month and they will be discussing the concept of “Gentry” which needs a new number. The April teleconference has been held over until to May. Discussion will be on digital photography, a major issue as it has implications right across the schedules. (eg iconography).
Other ACOC business
Rob Walls reported that Libraries Australia have been talking to Barbara Tillett at the Library of Congress about their use of “Australia” in indirect geographic subdivisions. It is not in line with their practice for US and UK and is also not in line with AACR, which uses province or state levels in 6 countries, including Australia. However, the Library of Congress is cataloguing purely for their own market and argue that they need to use “Australia”. They suggested using a 781 tag to record the differing practices. The National Library is not keen to do this. The Airlie Conference on Subject Policy in 1991 is being cited as a source of discussion on this topic but Carol Denehy and Anne Robertson attended this conference and have no recollection of the indirect subdivision issue being discussed. Rob asked if ACOC could assist by writing a letter to the Library of Congress, to keep the issue alive. ACOC agreed to consider a draft letter at a future meeting.
JSC Business (Deirdre Kiorgaard)
ACOC initially discussed Chapters 1-2, 4-6, and then looked at Chapter 3 in conjunction with GMD/SMD working group proposal. Deirdre also sought comments on ACOC’s general assessment of the draft, and views on specific issues as outlined in the agenda.
Organisation and usability of Part 1
ACOC felt this draft was better than AACR2 and the previous draft offered. Generalisation of rules is good, and terminology and language are much better. The Introduction to Part 1 is extremely well laid out and clear, and ACOC endorsed the use of “resource” as a much better term than “manifestation”. The division of the chapters was questioned. Chapters 5 and 6 are very short (3 and 7 p. respectively), whilst Chapter 2 is very long (101 p). The number of see references in RDA was also discussed, and whether or not repeated text may be better than see references in some cases. The relationship of RDA to ISBD, and the impact on current cataloguing practices, were also discussed.
- ACOC suggested usability testing of the whole of RDA with end users.
- ACOC noted some inconsistencies of American vs. British spelling, and suggested that the web version have a “switch” between American and British spelling.
- ACOC prefers the use of ‘online’ instead of ‘remote access’ wherever it appears.
Deirdre informed ACOC that the General Introduction was due after Parts 2 and 3 are completed. The length and usefulness of a General Introduction was discussed. Suggestions for the General Introduction included explanation of why we do things the way we do, in particular our use of transcription, and when and why we “modify” information.
Elements vs. areas of description
The concept of “elements” is the main way RDA differs from ISBD. ACOC agreed that in general, data relating to an element should be with the element, not in a separate notes element. Data that doesn’t fit anywhere could remain in “Notes”. Some labelling is needed to clarify what type of data is being recorded (eg. dates of publication or production). Suggestions included a list of recommended labels for OPAC displays in the Appendix and for RDA to recommend when libraries should do something to indicate the nature of data elements (whether it is with labels, print constants or coding)
ACOC was generally in favour of elements being repeatable, with specification about what is not repeatable. (eg Title and primary access point). There was some discussion about whether “repeatability” is really the right term, as “repeated” elements are usually recording different aspects. ACOC also felt that there needed to be some correspondence with MARC to allow for more repeatability in the coding. Repeatability could have a big impact on the reproduction vs. original issue as we could potentially record equal information about both formats in one record.
Removal of abbreviations
ACOC agreed that there should no abbreviations for transcribed areas, and there was some support for getting rid of them altogether but non-transcribed areas need to be further investigated. Deirdre noted that Latin abbreviations such as ‘sl and ‘sn’ are already gone. Cataloguers will be advised to use English or an equivalent in the language of agency. It was noted that system vendors might be able to assist with automatic filling out of abbreviations.
Relationship to MARC
Deirdre offered to circulate a list of things that are in MARC and not RDA, and asked ACOC members to let her know if they notice anything that RDA is doing that is not covered by MARC. Deirdre said there are both formal relationships and some cross-pollination between JSC, USMARC and ISBD. MARC and ISBD are also aware of the directions RDA is taking, but further work was needed with a range of stakeholders.
Specific rules, Ch. 1, 2,4,5,6
0.1.1 Relationship to other standards for resource description
ACOC agreed that other standards should be mentioned in RDA, but not necessarily in this section. Other standards suggested included Graphic materials, Cataloguing cultural objects, Dublin Core, FRBR, FRAR, Cartographic materials. Deirdre noted that RDA is trying to avoid too much detail in relation to specific material types. RDA will refer to other standards as a suggested supplement to RDA.
The usability of RDA by other resource description communities was considered. If we use library speak, we should at least say why. ACOC suggested that RDA Concise be pitched at these communities.
0.1.9 Punctuation in examples, and Appendix D Presentation of descriptive data
ACOC found D.1 ISBD presentation difficult to read. It is useful as a mapping of elements, but not as an indication of how the data would be presented. ACOC would prefer that Appendix D also present this information in the format given in AACR under 1.0D Levels of detail in the description, and suggested consideration be given to displaying the same record in ISBD, MARC and opac displays. ACOC also suggested two views of examples in Web version, one with ISBD punctuation and one without.
1.4 Mandatory elements
ACOC discussed mandatory elements extensively, particularly in regard to what should be mandatory and what the basis should be for deciding what is mandatory. ACOC look forward to seeing the list of mandatory elements for Part II and suggest the inclusion of a composite list of mandatory elements for both Parts.
1.6 Transcription (Option to use digital sources without modification)
Deirdre noted that there are changes to the transcription rules that have been pushed by LC and influenced by the trend towards using automated creation of descriptive elements. The second option allows for unmodified titles when transcribed automatically through scanning or metadata harvest.
ACOC discussed both options under 1.6. They prefer not to have the first option, regarding use of in-house guidelines, but the second option is important because of the cost-effectiveness of harvesting and scanning, which will increase in future. Libraries will not want to modify titles that have been harvested.
However, flagging would be needed in MARC to indicate whether title was manually transcribed or automatically derived.
ACOC also discussed some disadvantages of the second option. It might give people an excuse to ignore the rules and could be problematic for titles with introductory statements such as “Walt Disney presents…”, “Welcome to the website of…”. It may create variation between print and electronic versions. A suggestion was to use controlled titles to bring versions together and eliminate problem of introductory statements. Two rule systems can be problematic and it might be better to go one way or the other. Perhaps there is room for a more literal approach to manual transcription?
ACOC discussed current transcription rules and whether they are still relevant. Will they tend be to be outdated as the trend moves more towards automated harvesting? Possible impediments to the removal of transcription rules included the issue of introductory statements in titles, and the general effect on user access. General feeling is that the Title is a key access point so it is important to get this right.
2.2 Sources of information
ACOC supported the changes made in this area. In particular, the reduction in use of square brackets.
188.8.131.52 Recording statements of responsibility
ACOC agrees that statement of responsibility is not necessary purely to justify the controlled access point. However, sometimes the statement of responsibility contains useful information about roles. ACOC would like there to be a provision for instances where principle responsibility is not known.
2.7, 2.8 and 2.9 Publication details
Issues needing comment here included order of elements, guidance on dealing with names in a hierarchy, different types of dates, and the placement of rule 184.108.40.206. Deirdre explained that the absence of the “between” ranges in 2.9.1 was an omission. JSC had agreed to retain these ranges, though in a more flexible form.
ACOC commented that there are many dates associated with an item and not all are to do with publication. Perhaps any to do with publishing should stay with publishing but those relating to content should be in Chapter 4. Because of this variety, dates are one of the elements where labelling is important.
220.127.116.11 seems misplaced in its current wording. Unclear whether it refers to publishing dates or dates associated with content. As a minimum, the rule should be re-worded, but perhaps something could also be added to Chapter 4 to cover content dates.
Chapters 5 and 6
ACOC felt there needs to be clearer definition of the scope of these chapters. Chapter 5 could be broadened to include all data relating to access (including 3.10, 6.4 and 6.5). Chapter 6 needs to clarify that item-specific data for unique items can be covered in Chapters 2 and 3. Given the size of Chapter 6, it was also suggested that it could be incorporated into Chapter 4.
Chapter 3 and GMD/SMD
ACOC thought that “Carrier” or “Carrier description” would be a better title for the chapter than “Technical description”. ACOC also prefers the use of ‘online’ instead of ‘remote access’ wherever it appears. At the very least, the terminology should be consistent (“remote access digital resource”, “remote access resource”). ACOC has problems with the organisation of the chapter as there is a lot of moving back and forth, and a lot of see references. There was some discussion on the boundaries between “carrier” and “content”, and deciding what constituted a “logical unit”. Cartographic was discussed as an example.
Deirdre noted that there is a proposal to include recording of width. This proposal is driven by a need to predict future growth of physical collections.
“Record formal elements of technical description … if it is considered important”. ACOC discussed whether recording such data should be optional or mandatory.
ACOC found this table problematic and would prefer a general rule, with references to the GMD/SMC sections in 3.3. This table seems more in line with the previous “class of materials” approach. If the list is retained, a better workflow may be achievable if the instructions about number of units and subunits (18.104.22.168, 22.214.171.124) were placed before 126.96.36.199 and 3.3.
ACOC felt that remote access resources are not given enough prominence in the table, given their current and future prevalence.
3.10 Mode of access
This rule relates to access and should be part of Chapter 5. ACOC also felt that a rule on mode of access for online resources (188.8.131.52) was considered no longer necessary.
ACOC discussed the recommendations in the report and the tabled lists of carrier and content terms. The approximate correspondence to RDA Chapter 3 is as follows:
3.2 Media category = part of GMD = broad content
3.3 Type of carrier = SMD = specific carrier
4.2 Type and form of content = part of GMD = broad carrier
1.1 Broad content
The terms recommended in the report came from the original draft of AACR3 and were checked against AACR2. Ebe indicated she was not certain that music notation and recordings required separate terms, and that there was some discussion within the working group on ‘choreographic’. ACOC indicated general support for the terms
1.3 and 1.4 Broad and specific carriers
Ebe explained that the Group had looked at both existing SMDs and the ONIX code list, and that some of the examples needed further work. ACOC liked the idea of a specific carrier being quite specific and repeatable, and recommends having one controlled list of specific carrier terms, and then allow for more specific uncontrolled description beyond that. With this arrangement, ACOC felt that a broad carrier term may not be needed. There was some discussion about the placement of the ‘third level’ terms in the specific carrier list, and whether it should be controlled or uncontrolled. ACOC agreed that all aspects of the resource should be able to be represented.
ACOC felt that “online” should have greater prominence, perhaps at the broad carrier level.
Communication strategy for RDA
Various opportunities for promoting RDA were highlighted by members. Philip gave a talk in Singapore that was very well received. They were interested in issues related to vernacular script. Ann Huthwaite is speaking to Hong Kong universities in August. Deirdre commented that ACOC is becoming the “regional” contact for RDA.
Ebe spoke at VALA to an audience of over 200, which Deirdre noted received positive comments from NLA delegates. The Victorian Kinetica User Group has RDA reports from Ebe as standing item at their meetings.
It was agreed another Teleconference would be needed before the next RDA Joint Meeting in May. Proposed dates would be circulated through email when members returned to their workplaces.
The meeting closed at 4:30.