ALCTS - Association of Library Collections & Technical Services

CC:DA/TF/Recommendation 2/3

February 29, 2000


Table of Contents
Conclusions and Recommendations


The Task Force on Recommendation 2 in 4JSC/ALA/30 was established in February 2000 in order to investigate a single recommendation in the report of the Task Force on Rule 0.24. Specifically, the current task force was charged with “developing the ALA response to the JSC request for comments on whether Option C in the discussion paper prepared by the Task Force on Rule 0.24 is the best approach to addressing the issue of format variation.”

Recommendation 2 is one of three fundamental recommendations given in the Overview and Recommendations Concerning Revision of Rule 0.24 — the “4JSC/ALA/30” in the document-naming parlance of CC:DA — which was presented Aug. 16, 1999, by CC:DA to the Joint Steering Committee for Revision of AACR. That overview was based on the report of the Task Force on Rule 0.24 and on the discussion of the report which took place at ALA Annual in New Orleans in June 1999. Recommendation 1 supported the rearrangement of AACR by ISBD area and contained a revised rule 0.24, and Recommendation 3 called for an introductory chapter. Recommendation 2, which is the focus of the current task force, reads in part as follows:

CC:DA feels that further investigation of the implications of changes to 0.24 regarding the format variation (or multiple versions) problem will be necessary before any specific text can be recommended for inclusion in AACR2. Rule 0.24 as currently written has implications for decisions on when to create a new record, but does not offer explicit guidance. Such specific guidelines on when to create a new record may or may not need to be added to AACR2 in order to clarify when to create a new record. As an aid to further discussion, the Task Force on Rule 0.24 presents text in Option C of its discussion paper below that illustrates one approach regarding what such guidelines might contain. It is not a given that further work must concentrate on instructions for determining when to create a new record. A rule cast in the form of a principle that would have clear implications for such instructions by other organizations is an alternative that must be considered.
The Task Force on Rule 0.24 presented four options for dealing with the multiple characteristics implications of the rule, and three options for dealing with the format variation implications. Option C, which was recommended by CC:DA as “a starting point for further discussion,” begins as follows:
Ignore any mere physical variation or any mere variation in distribution information (i.e. any manifestation variation) in determining when to make a new record.
And the new text of rule 0.24 which proposed in the option to address format variations reads:
Create a new record for each different expression of a monographic work. Do not create a new record if the only variation is a variation in manifestation. Optionally, create a new record for each manifestation. (See Appendix XXX, A & B.)

Create a new record for each new title of a successively issued work. Do not create a new record if there is only minor variation. (See Appendix XXX, C & D.)

All changes to an integrating work should be described on one latest-entry record.

This is the context for the deliberations, conclusions, and recommendations of the Task Force on Recommendation 2 in 4JSC/ALA/30. Given time constraints, and the imminent formation of another task force to address the issue of minor and major changes in more detail, we have concentrated our conclusions and recommendations on the actual text of rule 0.24 rather than on the delineation of minor and major changes which also formed part of recommendation 2 of the Task Force on Rule 0.24.

The members of the Task Force on Recommendation 2 in 4JSC/ALA/30 are: Matthew Beacom, Brad Eden, Laurel Jizba, Wayne Jones (chair), Mary L. Larsgaard, John Radencich, Steven Riel, Sally C. Tseng, and Mitch Turitz.

Conclusions and Recommendations

This task force does not support Option C as written as the best approach to addressing the issue of format variation.

However, there is no consensus among task force members on the exact details of how the option might be revised, or what might be substituted for it. This lack of consensus is reflected in the two wordings of a revised rule 0.24 proposed in recommendation 1 below. Both revisions do support the basic premise of Option C that record creation should be permitted for expressions as well as for manifestations: however, the second revision (B below) supports this outright but also proposes a simpler and more consistent wording for the rule, whereas the first revision (A below) asserts that records should continue to be based on manifestations and relegates expression-based records to an option.

The task force also discussed a third possibility: if the rules were ever revised to allow for the creation of both manifestation-based and expression-based records (that is, in the latter case, with more than one manifestation cataloged on a single record), then the cataloger would determine whether more than one manifestation existed before creating the record for the expression. Again, though, there was no consensus on this scenario.

The two wordings proposed below in recommendation 1 are therefore kind of mirror images of each other: what one proposes as the basic rule, the other proposes as the option, and vice versa. However, both of the wordings are proposing that cataloging institutions be permitted to create records for expressions or for manifestations, depending on what their local or national policies demand. Some guidance on making the choice between making records for manifestations or for expressions needs to be developed, and our recommendations 2 and 3 address this need.

Though it is unfortunate that we cannot propose a single clean and simple revision or alternative to Option C, yet we feel strongly that the divergence is indicative of the same divergence of opinions which likely existed among members of the Task Force on Rule 0.24 itself, and which exists in the library community generally on this difficult issue.

There is consensus among task force members on all the remaining recommendations.

recommendation 1

The task force recommends that the JSC adopt one of the following rewordings of rule 0.24:

  1. Either create a new record for each manifestation of a work, or, optionally, create a new record for each expression. (See Appendix XXX for additional guidance, e.g.: when a record for each expression may be preferred; what constitutes major and minor changes; special considerations for monographic, successively issued, or integrating works.)


  2. Either create a new record for each expression of a work, or, optionally, create a new record for each manifestation. (See Appendix XXX for additional guidance, e.g.: when a record for each manifestation may be preferred; what constitutes major and minor changes; special considerations for monographic, successively issued, or integrating works.)

(Appendix XXX is dealt with in recommendation 2.)

Even given the relatively narrow time frame in which the task force carried out its work, there was considerable discussion among members of the various reasons for which A or B might be preferable over the other, and much cogent articulation of the favorable and unfavorable repercussions of both. Disregarding the options in each case for the moment, those who favor A feel that Option C would be a fundamental change to AACR which deserves further study and testing before a decision is made to implement it or not, and that the desire for an expression-based record should be accomplished by display in the OPAC rather than the actual compacting of the descriptions of all manifestations onto one record. Those who favor B feel that it would codify an expansion and improvement of the widely spread practice of “piggybacking” the noting of a version of a work onto the record for another version (for example, the cataloging of e-serials within CONSER).

All task force members feel strongly that any revised 0.24 and any accompanying rules should provide some practical “road map” instructions for catalogers. There should be latitude for local decisions, and cataloger’s judgment should be permitted as it generally is in complex situations, but there should also be explicit guidance. As one member put it: “We shouldn’t replace a cut-and-dry rule with vague, theoretical instructions unless the minute details are available.”

recommendation 2

In support of recommendation 1, add an appendix to AACR that gives the circumstances under which a record for each expression may be preferred over one for each manifestation, and vice versa. Also in the appendix list major and minor changes, new records being required only for major changes. At ALA Midwinter in San Antonio in Jan. 2000 a separate task force was struck to draft an appendix listing major and minor changes, and we recommend that the charge of this task force, when officially formed, also take into account the recommendations of this current report.

recommendation 3

Form a group to test and experiment with the creation of records for expressions. The group should be given a “proof of concept” mandate, and should work cooperatively with the Library of Congress, which is charged to experiment with the concept of the reorganization of AACR by ISBD area. The group should be composed of representatives from CC:DA, MARBI, OCLC, RLIN, LC, the British Library, the National Library of Australia, the National Library of Canada, various vendors of integrated library systems, and other library organizations as it is expedient for them to participate.

The operative words are test and experiment. The focus of the group should not be on the theoretical and philosophical reasonings for creating records based on expressions, but rather on the practicalities and results of doing so. Does it work? Are the resulting records intelligible to the average catalog user? Is there a cooperative will to implement it in a not-too-distant future?


The following definitions are from IFLA’s Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records.


the intellectual or artistic realization of a work in the form of alpha-numeric, musical, or choreographic notation, sound, image, object, movement, etc., or any combination of such forms.

An expression is the specific intellectual or artistic form that a work takes each time it is “realized.” Expression encompasses, for example, the specific words, sentences, paragraphs, etc. that result from the realization of a work in the form of a text, or the particular notes, phrasing, etc. resulting from the realization of a musical work. The boundaries of the entity expression are defined, however, so as to exclude aspects of physical form, such as typeface and page layout, that are not integral to the intellectual or artistic realization of the work as such.

Inasmuch as the form of expression is an inherent characteristic of the expression, any change in form (e.g., from alpha-numeric notation to spoken word) results in a new expression. Similarly, changes in the intellectual conventions or instruments that are employed to express a work (e.g., translation from one language to another) result in the production of a new expression. Strictly speaking, any change in intellectual or artistic content constitutes a change in expression. Thus, if a text is revised or modified, the resulting expression is considered to be a new expression, no matter how minor the modification may be.


the physical embodiment of an expression of a work.

The entity defined as manifestation encompasses a wide range of materials, including manuscripts, books, periodicals, maps, posters, sound recordings, films, video recordings, CD-ROMs, multimedia kits, etc. As an entity, manifestation represents all the physical objects that bear the same characteristics, in respect to both intellectual content and physical form.

When a work is realized, the resulting expression of the work may be physically embodied on or in a medium such as paper, audio tape, video tape, canvas, plaster, etc. That physical embodiment constitutes a manifestation of the work. In some cases there may be only a single physical exemplar produced of that manifestation of the work (e.g., an author’s manuscript, a tape recorded for an oral history archive, an original oil painting, etc.). In other cases there are multiple copies produced in order to facilitate public dissemination or distribution. In those cases there is normally a more formal production process involved, and a publisher, producer, or distributor takes responsibility for the process. In other cases there may be only a limited number of copies made of an original exemplar for purposes such as private study (e.g., a dubbing of an original recording of a piece of music), or preservation (e.g., a photocopy produced on permanent paper of an author’s original typescript). Whether the scope of production is broad (e.g., in the case of publication, etc.) or limited (e.g., in the case of copies made for private study, etc.), the set of copies produced in each case constitutes a manifestation. All copies produced that form part of the same set are considered to be copies of the same manifestation.

The boundaries between one manifestation and another are drawn on the basis of both intellectual content and physical form. When the production process involves changes in physical form the resulting product is considered a new manifestation. Changes in physical form include changes affecting display characteristics (e.g., a change in typeface, size of font, page layout, etc.), changes in physical medium (e.g., a change from paper to microfilm as the medium of conveyance), and changes in the container (e.g., a change from cassette to cartridge as the container for a tape). Where the production process involves a publisher, producer, distributor, etc., and there are changes signaled in the product that are related to publication, marketing, etc. (e.g., a change in publisher, repackaging, etc.), the resulting product may be considered a new manifestation. Whenever the production process involves modifications, additions, deletions, etc. that affect the intellectual or artistic content, the result is a new manifestation embodying a new expression of the work.


a distinct intellectual or artistic creation.

A work is an abstract entity; there is no single material object one can point to as the work. We recognize the work through individual realizations or expressions of the work, but the work itself exists only in the commonality of content between and among the various expressions of the work. When we speak of Homer’s Iliad as a work, our point of reference is not a particular recitation or text of the work, but the intellectual creation that lies behind all the various expressions of the work.

Because the notion of a work is abstract, it is difficult to define precise boundaries for the entity. The concept of what constitutes a work and where the line of demarcation lies between one work and another may in fact be viewed differently from one culture to another. Consequently the bibliographic conventions established by various cultures or national groups may differ in terms of the criteria they use for determining the boundaries between one work and another.

For the purposes of this study variant texts incorporating revisions or updates to an earlier text are viewed simply as expressions of the same work (i.e., the variant texts are not viewed as separate work(s). Similarly, abridgements or enlargements of an existing text, or the addition of parts or an accompaniment to a musical composition are considered to be different expressions of the same work. Translations from one language to another, musical transcriptions and arrangements, and dubbed or subtitled versions of a film are also considered simply as different expressions of the same original work.


Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd ed., 1988 rev. Chicago: American Library Association, 1988.

CC:DA. Overview and Recommendations Concerning Revision of Rule 0.24. Aug. 16, 1999.

CC:DA Task Force on Rule 0.24. Report. May 26, 1999.

CONSER. CONSER Cataloging Manual. Module 31: Remote Access Computer File Serials.

IFLA Study Group on the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records. Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records. Munich: Saur, 1998.

last revised Feb. 29, 2000, by Wayne Jones;
further revised March 20, 2000, by CC:DA