ALCTS - Association of Library Collections & Technical Services

CC:DA/MARBI Rep/2003/1

February 25, 2003

Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access

Report of the MARBI Representative to CC:DA
Midwinter Meeting 2003

Provided below are summaries of the proposals and discussion papers considered by MARBI at the ALA 2003 Midwinter Conference in Philadelphia. This report contains discussions which took place at the meetings regarding the MARBI proposals and discussion papers which may be of particular interest to CC:DA.

Complete text of the MARBI proposals and discussion papers summarized below is available from the MARC Advisory Committee web page:

Proposal No. 2003-01: Defining subfield $2 in Field 022 for ISSN Center code.

Source: ISSN International Centre

Summary: This paper proposes defining subfield $2 (Source) in field 022 (International Standard Serial Number) in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format, to accommodate unique identifiers for active ISSN centers not currently facilitated by byte 008/20.

Related MARBI Documents: None.


In today’s environment, publishers for serial publications often change. Individual ISSN Centers are responsible for all publications produced within a given geographic area. When publications move from one country to another, the ISSN Center responsible for maintaining the title often changes as well. It would be helpful for the ISSN Centers to be able to record the Center of responsibility for a given title within the bibliographic record.

The proposed solution is a subfield which would require maintenance by the ISSN Centers.

Both OCLC (R. Greene) and RLG (J. Altimus) preferred that the currently-used 008/20 be made obsolete so that prospectively there will only be one place to enter this data.

MARBI action taken: Approved, with the caveat that it also be defined for byte 006/03. Will not at this time be defined in the MARC21 Holdings or Authority formats.

The advice of OCLC and RLG was also heeded. Therefore, with implementation of this proposal, all ISSN identifier codes will be entered in $2 of the 022 field.

Proposal No. 2003-02: Definition of subfield $u (URI) in Field 538 (Systems Details Note) in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format

Source: DLF Digital Registry Working Group

Summary: This paper proposes the definition of a subfield in field 538 to contain a URI intended to link to a description of technical details concerning how a digital resource was created.

Related MARBI Documents: None.

Discussion: This proposal will expand the usage of the 538 field beyond “System details.” The desire is to use this field to contain a URL linking to high-level metadata including the technical details about the creation of a digital resource.

MARBI action taken: Approved with the following amendments:

  1. include subfields $i and $3
  2. establish and validate the field in the MARC21 Holdings format
  3. redefine the “Field definition and scope” for the field’s expanded usage.

Discussion Paper 2003-DP01: Data Elements for Article Level Description.

Source: California Digital Library

Summary: This paper explores data elements in the MARC 21 bibliographic format that record citation information for the description of a journal article. Field 773 (Host Item Entry) allows for a link to the record for the journal. The citation data elements are not parsed into separate subfields, but contained as free text in subfield $g.

The paper discusses ways to facilitate automated linking from MARC 21 records, such as what is intended in the CrossRef project or developing Open URL standard.

Related MARBI Documents: None.


Liz O’Keefe (ARLIS/NA), David Goldberg (NAL) and Marti Scheel (NLM) brought up the issue that they, or their constituent libraries, are making use of this field and then distributing the records. Any changes to the field need to be considered in light of record distribution.

John Espley (AVIAC) stated that use of this field within individual libraries is more widespread than is represented in the discussion paper.

Everett Allgood (CC:DA) and D. Hillmann (guest in the audience) both raised the concern that if captioning data is applied either whimsically or erratically by vendors, it should be dropped altogether. Instruction should be given to enter enumerative data only — drop all captions.

Alan Danskin (BL) pointed out that the proposed variable field 363 in section 4.5 is under consideration for use within another context by the British Library. Would it be possible to use another variable field?

Based on the discussion, two of the proposed solutions seemed to be favored by the committee. A straw poll vote of those present resulted in:

  • Solution 4.3 — Add a single subfield for enumeration (without captions) (14 votes)

  • Solution 4.5 — Add a separate variable field (to be determined) that parses the data elements (17 votes)
The California Digital Library will develop both possibilities and submit a proposal.

Discussion Paper 2003-DP02: Coding graphic images in Leader/06 in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format.

Source: Library of Congress

Summary: This paper discusses changing the definitions of values g and k in Leader/06 (projected medium and two-dimensional nonprojectable graphic) and in Field 007/00 (projected graphic and nonprojected graphic).

Related MARBI Documents: None.


John Attig (OLAC) and Martha Yee (ALCTS) both indicated that the distinction between moving and still images remains a very valuable one, and they would like to see it added.

John Attig (OLAC) and Diane Hillmann (guest in the audience) suggested there is a strong need to address digital materials, but felt the current discussion paper may only represent the tip of the iceberg. Martha Yee (ALCTS) agreed with this assessment.

John raised three specific areas of concern which need to be pursued:

  1. current definitions do not match current usage
  2. current definitions do not address digital materials
  3. the full range of elements and features present in these materials are not currently addressed in the format
Robin Wendler (guest in the audience) wondered if MARBI should poll the interested parties, compile the results and then determine if a clear direction is indicated.

Because the paper also addresses Leader/06, GMDs were discussed as well. The JSC is considering the use of the FRBR-defined “mode of expression” as the GMD, and exploring the provision of carrier information elsewhere in the record.

A follow-up document or survey will be forwarded to other communities (AMIA, OLAC, VRA, etc.) for reactions and, hopefully, directions to pursue.

Discussion Paper 2003-DP03: Adding Field 024 (Other Standard Identifier) into the MARC 21 Authority Format

Source: OCLC

Summary: This paper discusses adding Field 024 (Other Standard Identifier) to the MARC 21 Authority Format to allow for recording standard identifiers relevant to the entity described in the authority record.

Related MARBI Documents: None.


Glenn Patton of OCLC, presented the discussion paper and the IFLA FRANAR (Functional Requirements and Numbering for Authority Records).

There was confusion on the part of the committee as to whether this identifier addressed the FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) entity Work or Expression. Patton clarified that the intent was to represent an Expression level identifier.

As we move in the direction of a FRBR/FRANAR based catalog, the role of authority records and the benefits we derive from them will increase dramatically. With the need to create more and more authority records to serve as citations, committee members were hopeful that we will be able to generate these authority records — or at least preliminary ones — from automated algorithms.

There was a great deal of discussion concerning the relationship of the 024 field in the bibliographic and authority formats.

The committee expressed its desire for a proposal from this discussion paper:

  1. The proposal needs to specifically address the relationship between the bibliographic and the authority 024 field.
  2. Joe Altimus (RLG) wants the proposal to address the issue of transcription as well.

Everett Allgood,
MARBI Representative to CC:DA