June 6, 2002
ALA Representative to the Joint Steering Committee
Report on JSC meeting, 13-15 May, 2002,
New Haven, Connecticut
Also available as an Adobe Acrobat .pdf file
The Joint Steering Committee for the Revision of Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules met in executive session in New Haven, Connecticut May 13-15, 2002. The primary focus of this meeting was strategic planning for the JSC and AACR. The minutes of the meeting are forthcoming, but will not be available before CC:DA meets in Atlanta.
This report has several items that are informational, some that may benefit from discussion in CC:DA at ALA Annual in Atlanta, and a few that require action from ALA or the ALA Representative to the JSC before the next JSC meeting in Atlanta. This report does not strictly follow the agenda of the meeting.
- Strategic Planning
The representatives to the JSC discussed several aspects of a strategic plan for the JSC and AACR. The Chair of the JSC is drafting a plan based on the ideas developed at the meeting. The draft will be distributed at the end of June to the Committee of Principals and the constituencies so they can consider the draft and make an initial response in time for the September 2002 meetings of the JSC and the Committee of Principals.
The strategic plan is less a set of new ideas and goals than an articulation of existing ideas and goals. The JSC sees the plan in part as a tool for shaping and coordinating the many interconnected rule revisions that have been under consideration in the years since the Toronto conference in 1997. It is also part of the effort by the JSC to be a proactive partner in the revision process. In part, the JSC is proposing that we continue to work on a new edition of AACR along now familiar lines. Included among the aspects that would make it new are
- A focus on rules for online catalogs
- A shift in terminology and concepts from various entries to headings and records
- Use of the FRBR model, terminology, and concepts
- Addition of a new section on authority control
- Inclusion of an introduction to explain principles, objectives, and cataloging concepts
- Revision of chapter 21
- Revision of chapter 25 to incorporate the expression-level headings
Of course, not everything would be new. JSC proposes to keep the Anglo-American focus of AACR in order to effectively meet the needs of English-speaking communities. Yet, given this Anglo-American focus, the JSC further proposes that AACR become more interconnected with other national and international standards to meet the needs of other linguistic or cultural communities. For example, chapter 22 rules could be examined and possibly revised to be compatible with IFLAs Names of persons. And we all know that some aspects are more challenging than others. Resolving such problems associated with the class of materials concept, GMDs, and format variation (the unfinished business with rule 0.24) is perhaps our greatest challenge.
ACTION: JSC Chair will draft strategic plan by June 30 for review by Committee of Principals and constituencies.
ACTION: ALA and other constituents to give initial responses due by Aug. 9, 2002.
ACTION: JSC and CoP to discuss at meetings in Sept. 2002.
- Rule 024; JSC Format Variation Working Group
The JSC discussed the 2nd interim report of the Format Variation Working Group in detail and had a conference call discussion with the Chair of the Working Group, Jennifer Bowen. The JSC asked the Working Group to do several things.
- Develop criteria for evaluation of expression-based catalog projects such as that announced by OCLC:
- Develop rule revision proposals for chapter 25 to allow for expression-level collocation.
- Prefer the term citation to identifier for continuing work on developing a heading for the expression level.
- Distinguish between uniform titles that may show expression level and those that are used for collective titles.
- Propose a general rule for selection of elements in an expression-level heading as a first step.
- Building expression-level headings onto work-level headings is a reasonable approach.
- Dont try to clarify the role of main entry to the work-level heading. JSC is seeking a major revision to chapter 21.
The MARBI Discussion Paper appended to the Working Group report was not significantly altered by JSC comments.
ACTION: FVWG will make a third report to JSC by Aug. 9, 2002 for discussion at the JSC Sept. 2002 meeting.
- Incorporating FRBR Terminology in AACR
The JSC discussed Pat Rivas report and discussed it with her on a conference call, and the JSC has asked Pat to make revisions on several points by the end of June. That gives only a short time for ALA and the other constituents to respond by Aug. 9 for consideration at the Sept. JSC meeting. Some of the JSC comments are
- JSC prefers the use of the term object to document as an alternate term for non-FRBR meanings of item in the code. This use of object is idiomatic, consistent with work in digital information projects, and syntactically appropriate. The recent work with FRANAR moving in this direction. Document carries too much baggage: text and print orientated. As the rules all for all media, object is a better choice. Use of object in the rules now is limited, but needs to be identified and considered.
- No need to distinguish between the terms bibliographic resource and document (now object).
- JSC does not think that multipart monograph rather than multipart item is best. LC will check with its experts. May be possible to use object instead.
- JSC agrees with Riva that main entry, added entry, et al. needs to be reconsidered. JSC is interested in a revision of chapter 21 both per Rivas report and Delseys logical analysis. JSC is interested in exploring ways replace entry (main, added, etc.) vocabulary with vocabulary more appropriate to online catalogs, such as citation, heading, and record.
- Collapse the definition of edition into one definition.
ACTION: Pat Riva will make 2nd draft by June 30.
ACTION: ALA and other constituents to give initial responses by Aug. 9, 2002.
ACTION: JSC to discuss in Sept. 2002 meeting.
NOTE: I think a critical piece for ALA to comment on is the relation among the terms and definitions for item, object, and bibliographic resource. Are these distinctions necessary? Are they clear to catalogers? Will the results be clear to library users?
- Appendix of Major Changes
The JSC discussed the ALA proposal and do not agree that it should become part of the rules as it is. All agreed that the basic guidelines should be included in the introductory chapter. The representatives encouraged CC:DA to consider making the appendix a separate publication or a training document. As only CCC and ACOC have responded formally, the other constituents will make formal responses on the concept of the Appendix by Aug. 9, 2002.
ACTION: BL, CILIP (formerly LA), and LC will respond by Aug. 9, 2002.
ACTION: ALA should discuss at CC:DA meeting in Atlanta whether and how to rework the document as a separate publication.
- Chapter 21 revision proposal (rule of three)
JSC discussed. The constituencies agree that work on the proposal would be best done as part of a larger revision to chapter 21. Such a revision would not only the topic of the ACOC/1 series, but also follow up on the other recommendations from Tom Delseys logical analysis of AACR and suggestions from Pat
ACTION: ALA Representative to draft terms of reference (i.e. charge) by Aug. 9th for a group or consultant to revise chapter 21.
- Authority records
Authorities discussion paper (JSC only)
JSC discussed and has asked LC to draft a proposal for a part 3 of AACR explicitly on constructing authority records. This would be a set of principle-based rules, not a manual. The draft will be available for review by JSC and the Committee of Principals at their September 2002 meeting.
ACTION: LC to draft proposal for a part 3 of AACR on constructing authority records in time for discussion in September 2002 meetings of JSC and CoP.
- Specific Characteristics of Electronic Resources
There is no consensus among the constituencies on recommendation number 2. BL prefers 2b as 2a marginalizes the carrier. All constituencies agree in the straw ballot on recommendation 1 and 4a. Given the consensus on use of conventional terminology, CCC has agreed to draft a proposal on using conventional terminology for area 5 for chapters 6 and 7.
On the issue of eliminating use of area 3, we are at an impasse: we cannot act on recommendation 1 without resolving on a course of action on where to put the information that would have gone to area 3.
ACTION: BL and all other constituencies (except LC) will make a formal response to 4JSC/ALA/36/Rev by Aug. 9, 2002.
ACTION: ALA to wait for formal responses before further formal action.
NOTE: ALA may want to consider the possibility that our approach needs to be revised. We may find that we must resolve larger issues regarding the relation between carrier and content before we can resolve this one. Or, BL could change its mind.
ACTION: CCC will submit separate proposals on using conventional terminology for area 5 in chapters 6 and 7 by the end of June 2002.
ACTION: ALA and other constituencies to respond to CCC proposal by Aug. 9, 2002.
- Introductory Chapter
BL paper of March 2001 (JSC only)
JSC discussed themes of the proposed chapter and noted difficulties and slowness of the work so far. All agreed that the introduction should be written in as plain English as possible, i.e. using terms like find, identify, select, and obtain rather than disambiguate.
ACTION: BL will produce a draft introduction by the end of June 2002.
ACTION: ALA and other constituencies to give an initial response by Aug. 9, 2002.
- The GMD
JSC discussed the GMD extensively in the context of the class of materials concept and the resulting logical organization of the rules. It is not clear to JSC what should be done. JSC representatives agree that the GMD is poorly situated in area 1 as the GMD is unrelated to titles or statements of responsibility. Area 5 seems more suitable. It was noted that OPAC displays of the GMD or GMD-like early warning labels are set locally and are LMS-dependent. JSC representatives have strong preference for reliance on SMDs to characterize the carrier or content or combinations of carriers and content types over GMDs. Yet they recognize that for collocation of like materials something other than an SMD is needed, especially if conventional terminology is used for SMDs. There was some discussion of the usefulness of coded values in bibliographic records, but all felt that the rules should be independent of any specific communication format or LMS configuration.
ACTION: JSC Chair to draft a preliminary paper on the GMD, the class of materials concept, and the organization of Part 1 for the JSC in time for discussion by JSC at the September 2002 meeting.
- Prototype of a reorganized Part 1 of AACR
JSC discussion had two main points. First, JSC wishes the ALA Task Force on Consistency will move strongly to reduce redundancy in Part 1 by eliminating repetition of rules in chapters subsequent to chapter 1 and increase consistency among the chapters in Part 1. Second, the problems with the organization of the rules were discussed with reference to the concept of the class of materials, the revision to rule 0.24 to bring out all aspects of a resource, modes of issuance, and the GMD.
ACTION (same as above): JSC Chair to draft a preliminary paper on the GMD, the class of materials concept, and the organization of Part 1 for the JSC in time for discussion by JSC at the September 2002 meeting.
- Internationalization (including Malay names)
JSC discussed internationalization both broadly and narrowly. Regarding the Malay names and related issues, the JSC want AACR to follow international standards and reflect relevant expertise on usage. ACOC will take the lead on follow up. ACOC will compare AACR rules for Malay names to the IFLA Names of persons and work with such interested groups as the Malay Committee on Cataloguing. ACOC may expand this work to include other names such as Indonesian names.
ACTION: ACOC to draft rule revision proposal(s) by Aug. 9, 2002 for preliminary discussion at the September 2002 JSC meeting.
- Next Meeting
The next JSC meeting will be in York, England, from September 9-11, 2002. The JSC will meet jointly with the Committee of Principals on September 12, 2002.
Submitted by Matthew Beacom
ALA Representative to the Joint Steering Committee