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Discussion Paper 2008-DP04 (Encoding RDA, Resource Description and Access data in MARC 21) explored ways to meaningfully encode RDA dissertation information into MARC 21. Because RDA specifies that dissertation or thesis information include data about the academic degree for which a work was presented, the granting institution or faculty and the year the degree was granted, the MARC Advisory Committee recommended defining subfields for each of these data elements. Participants also suggested that subfield $a in field 502 should continue to be defined as Dissertation note even after the additional subfields are added for the more specific RDA elements. This will allow non-RDA users to utilize field 502 fully and also allow catalogers to record dissertation information that is not included in the RDA specifications. Field 505 (Formatted contents note) was identified as a possible model for this “enhanced” 502 field because it contains an indicator position defined as “Level of content designation” with the values # (Basic) and 0 (Enhanced). Users may code the entire contents note in field 505 subfield $a (Formatted contents note) for Basic content designation or parse the formatted contents information into the field’s specifically-defined subfields for Enhanced content designation.
RDA Section 188.8.131.52.1 indicates that the following information should be recorded for theses and dissertations: the degree for which the author was a candidate, the name of the granting institution or faculty and the year that the degree was granted. Currently, this information may be recorded in field 502 subfield $a (Dissertation note) as free text. However, to support the level of detail indicated by RDA, the following subfields may be specifically defined for each of these three data elements:
Subfield $g (Miscellaneous information) may also be defined for data that is not more appropriately contained in another defined subfield used in a coding-enhanced field (second indicator is value 0).
To allow non-RDA users to utilize field 502 fully and to also allow catalogers to record dissertation information that is not included in the RDA specifications, subfield $a (Dissertation note) may continue to be defined as is. However, as in bibliographic field 505 (Formatted contents note), it may be advantageous to indicate the level of content designation present in field 502. For example, a field containing only subfield $a (Dissertation note) would include “basic” content designation and a field containing subfields $b (Degree for which an author was candidate), $c (Name of the granting institution), $d (Year that the degree was granted) $o (Dissertation number) [See section 2.2] and $g (Miscellaneous information) would include “Enhanced” content designation. The second indicator in field 502 may be defined as “Level of content designation” with indicator values for Basic (value #) and Enhanced (value 0).
Standard numbers may be assigned to dissertations and theses by institutions. For example, the German bibliography, Jahres-Verzeichnis der an den Deutschen Universitäten erschienenen Schriften (Annual index of writings published at the German universities) and its successors, up to the Jahresverzeichnis der Hochschulschriften der DDR, der BRD und von Berlin (West), compiled all writings that were published at German universities. From 1909 to 1987, when the index ceased, the entries were given a unique number, the so called “U-Nummer”. This number is used as a reference number in scientific publications. Likewise, the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek uses the U-Nummer as a shelving number for its collection of Universities' publications. The U-Nummer is assigned to the manifestation after the publication of the dissertation when the cataloging entry was created.
Other institutions may also assign standard numbers to dissertations and theses.
A subfield may be defined for dissertation numbers:
It may be defined as a repeatable subfield to allow for recording of dissertation numbers from multiple sources.
In field 502 (Dissertation note) of the MARC 21 bibliographic format, define the following indicator position and corresponding values:
Define the following subfields in field 502 (Dissertation note):
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( 12/21/2010 )
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