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MARC Standards

MARBI Meeting Minutes

ALA Midwinter Meeting
Boston, MA - January 16-17, 2010

MARBI Members:

Laura Snyder, Chair             RUSA              University of Alberta
Renette Davis                   ALCTS             University of Chicago
Amber Meryman                   RUSA              Copyright Clearance Center
Nathan D.M. Robertson           LITA              University of Maryland    
Gary Strawn                     ALCTS             Northwestern University
Vicki Sipe                      ALCTS             University of Maryland, 
Matthew Wise, Intern            ALCTS             New York University

Ex-Officio Members:

Corine Deliot                   British Library
Sally H. McCallum               Library of Congress
Marg Stewart                    Library and Archives Canada

MARC Advisory Committee Representatives and Liaisons:

Jim Alberts                     MLA             Cornell University
Everett Allgood                 CC:DA           New York University
Sherman Clarke                  VRA             New York University (retired)
John Espley                     AVIAC           VTLS, Inc.
Catherine Gerhart               OLAC            University of Washington
Rich Greene                     OCLC            OCLC
Rebecca Guenther                LC              Library of Congress
Robert Hall                     PLA             Concord Free Public Library
Stephen Hearn                   SAC             University of Minnesota
Reinhold Heuvelmann             DNB             Deutsche Nationalbibliothek
Kris Kiesling                   SAA             University of Minnesota
Randy Klinger                   MicroLIF        Capstone Publishers
Susan Moore                     MAGERT          University of Northern Iowa
Elizabeth O'Keefe               ARLIS/NA        Morgan Library and Museum
Elizabeth Plantz                NLM             National Library of Medicine
George Prager                   AALL            New York University,
                                                    Law School Library
Tina Shrader                    NAL             National Agricultural Library


Matthew Wise                    ALCTS           New York University

Other Attendees:

Benjamin Abrahamse              MIT Libraries
Rich Aldred                     Haverford College
John Attig                      Penn State University
Penny Baker                     Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute
Matthew Beacom                  Yale University
Melissa Beck                    UCLA
Jennifer Bowen                  University of Rochester
Ivan Calimano                   University of Southern California, Los Angeles
Anders Cato                     National Library of Sweden
Anne Champagne                  Art Institute of Chicago
Ki Chen                         Argosy University
Karen Coyle                     Independent Consultant
Becky Culbertson                University of California, San Diego
Carroll Davis                   Library of Congress
Deborah Fritz                   TMQ Inc.
Harry Gaylord                   Bound To Stay Bound Books
Christopher Geissler            Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute
Kathy Glennan                   University of Maryland
Denise Hattwig                  University of Washington
Les Hawkins                     Library of Congress
Mar Hernandez                   Biblioteca Nacional de Espana
John Hostage                    Harvard Law School
Charles Husbands                Retired
Bruce Johnson                   Library of Congress
George Johnston                 University of Cincinnati
William Jones                   New York University
Anne Kern                       Harvard College Library
Judy Kuhagen                    Library of Congress
Elizabeth Lilker                New York University
John Maier                      Pratt Institute
Yael Mandelstam                 Fordham Law Library
Dorothy McGarry                 UCLA
Christian Meyer                 Unaffiliated
John Myers                      Union College
Adrian Nolte                    Public Library, Essen, Germany
Michael Panzer                  OCLC
Nathan Putnam                   George Mason University
Kevin Randall                   Northwestern University
Adam Schiff                     University of Washington
Becky Thompson                  Missouri State University
Marc Truitt                     University of Alberta Libraries
Ken Wade                        UCLA
Paul Weiss                      Unaffiliated
Jay Weitz                       OCLC
David Williamson                Library of Congress
Kathy Winzer                    Stanford Law Library
Martha Yee                      UCLA Film and Television Archives
John Zagas                      Library of Congress
Lisa Zhao                       University of Illinois, Chicago

[Note: anyone who attended and is not listed, please inform LC/Network 
Development and MARC Standards Office.]

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Introduction of members

Laura Snyder (RUSA, Chair) opened the meeting by asking committee members, representatives, and liaisons to introduce themselves.  A committee roster was passed around the table; and all were asked to “check in” and annotate their entries with any corrections.

Approval of minutes from MARBI's July 2009 meetings

Laura Snyder (RUSA, Chair) asked if there were any corrections to the most recent version of the minutes of the ALA Annual 2009 meeting in Chicago (dated 01/12/2010).  Being none, Renette Davis (ALCTS) moved to accept the minutes.  Gary Strawn (ALCTS) seconded the motion.  The minutes were approved unanimously.

Proposal No. 2010-01: Defining codes for online and direct access electronic resources in 008/23 and 008/29 (Form of item)

George Prager (AALL) presented this proposal to define new codes in the 008 field to differentiate between online and direct access electronic resources.  He reminded the committee that these codes should not be used with the “single-record approach.”  In section 3 (Proposed Changes), code “o” should be defined as “online” instead of "online access."  Renette Davis (ALCTS) suggested that these changes also be made to 008/22 (Form of original item) for Continuing Resources, that 008/23 be added to Computer Files, and that the 006 should also be changed in a parallel way.  George Prager (AALL) wondered about when these codes would be used in 006 for secondary aspects of the resource.  No one could provide a viable example.  Marg Stewart (LAC) wondered whether or not code “s” really needed to be made obsolete.

Regarding the fourth paragraph of Section 1, Richard Greene (OCLC) questioned whether cataloging agencies would actually code their local records differently from those they send to OCLC.  He doubted that they would.

John Attig (Penn State University) stated that before a motion could be formulated, Marg Stewart’s (LAC) concern needed to be resolved.  Becky Culbertson (UC San Diego) wondered, if code “s” were made obsolete, whether it would be difficult to recode legacy records.  She felt that it would probably be easy.  Richard Greene (OCLC) responded otherwise, though he said that the majority of records could be machine-converted.  Some expressed interest in using code “q” for "direct access", or "direct electronic", rather than “n”.

John Attig (Penn State) reminded the committee that making code “s” obsolete would not “require” us to recode legacy records.  Everett Allgood (CC:DA) countered that when updating serial records, most record validation programs usually require the records to be recoded.  Renette Davis (ALCTS) felt that the fact that some would still want to use code “s” was enough of an argument to retain it.  Corine Deliot (BL) agreed.  Becky Culbertson (UC San Diego) felt that unless OCLC converted all legacy records, to enhance searching granularity, then there would be no point in making that change.  Sally McCallum (LC) expressed concerns about ongoing recoding by OCLC as new records with code “s” are loaded.  Richard Greene (OCLC) responded that OCLC would continue to recode new loads.

Renette Davis (ALCTS) made a motion to accept the proposal as written, with the following changes: addition of the 008/23 byte for Computer Files, the change to the definition of code “o” from "online access" to "online," addition of values to 008/22 Continuing Resources, and addition of values to 006.  There was not immediately a second to her motion.  A straw poll found that the committee and audience seemed to be split on whether to make code “s” obsolete.  Rebecca Guenther (LC) noted that the MARC format already includes some broader and narrower codes that overlap, such as the codes for “Juvenile” audience and the codes for more-specific youth groups, as well as the codes for types of legal deposit.  Paul Weiss reminded the committee that we would not want to prevent communities from using code “s”, if desired.

Vicki Sipe (ALCTS) then seconded Davis’ motion (above) and the motion was defeated.  Renette Davis (ALCTS) then made the same motion without code “s” being made obsolete.  Nathan Robertson (LITA) seconded.  The motion passed.

Proposal No. 2010-02: Addition of subfield $5 (Institution to which field applies) in the 80X-830 Series Added Entry Fields of the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format

George Prager (AALL) presented this proposal to add subfield $5 to the 8XX group of fields to indicate use for specific institutions or projects.  John Attig (Penn State) wondered why such an access point would not apply to every library’s copy of the item.  Renette Davis (ALCTS) clarified that such coding would be in alignment with PCC practice for other fields when used for the Registry of Digital Masters (RDM). A series that applies to a particular digital version should not be in the provider neutral record. John Attig responded that this may not be correct practice.  Sherman Clarke (VRA) stated that such practice has also been used for non-digital resources.

When questioned by John Myers (Union College) about whether subfield $5 should also be used in this way in the 490 field, Renette Davis (ALCTS) noted that the 490 example in the proposal is incorrect and should be removed.  John Attig (Penn State) reiterated his discomfort with using subfield $5 in this way.  Gary Strawn (ALCTS) wondered whether this method could or should be used with merged records from NetLibrary and ebrary.  Becky Culbertson (UC San Diego) stated that the original intent was to use this subfield when the series does not apply to all versions.  Paul Weiss suggested that these would be used for the series statements of local series.  Elizabeth Plantz (NLM) wondered whether these were not just collection names, and therefore should be coded as 710 headings.  Rebecca Guenther (LC) said that linking entry fields could also be used for collection names.  Judy Kuhagen (LC) said that we would want to let the catalogers define how these access points are characterized and coded.

Adam Schiff (University of Washington) pointed the committee to the proposal's Examples section, explaining that the series in the first example applies only to the University of Chicago’s copy.  But Gary Strawn (ALCTS) corrected that it applies to Chicago’s provision of that resource.  Everett Allgood (CC:DA) thought that defining the subfield $5 across the board would be a good idea, with the exception of the 8XX area.  John Attig (Penn State) thought that after this discussion, using subfield $5 would be a good way to identify fields that are not part of the “master record.”  Everett Allgood (CC:DA) expressed concern that such coding for local information is making it more and more difficult to edit shared records.  There was disagreement about whether this particular use of subfield $5 is the same as its use in other fields.

Renette Davis (ALCTS) moved to accept the proposal as written.  Amber Meryman (RUSA) seconded.  Gary Strawn (ALCTS) asked for an additional example that did not include a specific library.  Becky Culbertson (UC San Diego) responded that the subfield $5 should only be used for specific libraries.  But Paul Weiss countered that, once the subfield is defined, there is no way to enforce such a limited use.  The motion passed.

Proposal No. 2010-05: Adding subfield $3 (Materials specified) to field 034 (Coded Cartographic Mathematical Data) in the MARC 21 Bibliographic and Authority Formats

Rebecca Guenther (LC) presented the proposal to add subfield $3 to the 034 field in order to specify a smaller or more-specific geographic area.  John Myers (Union College) wondered whether “materials specified” was an appropriate name for the subfield, since it was not about “materials”, but rather for stating a particular locale.  Adam Schiff (University of Washington) agreed and suggested calling this “portion of entity," which could be used in the format definition.  He also suggested adding examples for how one would specify the coordinates of the Florida panhandle, as opposed to the Florida peninsula.  Stephen Hearn (SAC) also wondered about using the subfield when giving only the central coordinate of a particular region.  Susan Moore (MAGERT) agreed that this could be done.

Gary Strawn (ALCTS) moved that the committee accept the proposal as written.  Amber Meryman (RUSA) seconded.  The motion passed.

Discussion Paper No. 2010-DP01: ISBD punctuation in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format

Reinhold Heuvelmann (DNB) presented this discussion paper.  He compared the use of the MARC format, as a way to code well-formatted access points, with how ISBD has been used to “code” descriptive elements.  He suggested that MARC coding (i.e., content designation) could be used to automatically provide such punctuation.  This practice would require some kind of notification when the MARC record did not already contain ISBD punctuation.  Using the code “#” for such notification would not provide adequate granularity.  The German libraries suggest using code “n” to identify records which contain ISBD punctuation within some subfields (e.g., within a complex 245 subfield $b), but which do not have punctuation at the ends of the subfields.

John Attig (Penn State) asked for clarification of the German practice, specifically with regard to the 245 field, which cannot be automatically punctuated.  In this case, punctuation would be provided manually.  Punctuation would only be omitted when the punctuation could be provided automatically.  Would this open a very large can of worms for the shared-cataloging environment?  John Espley (AVIAC) wondered whether this would lead to a situation of “half-punctuated” and “double-punctuated” records.

John Myers (Union College) reminded the committee that RDA will not mandate ISBD for punctuation.  John Attig (Penn State) stated his fear that we are moving in a direction that will cause the MARC format to become a de facto presentation standard.  Kevin Randall (Northwestern) said that we will soon need something in the record to code the display standard.  Paul Weiss thought that putting the punctuation at the beginning of the subfield, rather than at the end, was a good idea, but that it would necessitate much more revision to the MARC format.  Sally McCallum (LC) thought the proposed change in the paper would be a good first step toward making this byte more useful.

Gary Strawn (ALCTS) felt that a solution for the issue of the internal 245 punctuation could be resolved with the addition of more granular subfield coding.  However, John Attig (Penn State) was concerned that the format has already run out of available subfields.  Kevin Randall (Northwestern) wondered whether the MARC format could be changed to allow for uppercase subfield codes, in order to increase the number of available subfields for this purpose.  Or perhaps the punctuation itself could be used to act in the place of subfield codes.

John Hostage (Harvard Law School) suggested having the Leader byte define only the existence of punctuation, and to name the cataloging rules used only in the 040 subfield $e.  Jim Alberts (MLA) expressed concerns about “unleashing the world” to such variant punctuation practices.

Renette Davis (ALCTS) directed the committee’s attention to the Questions for Discussion.  With regard to question 1, she felt that a new code was an appropriate solution.  Perhaps there also needed to be a code for “mixed punctuation”?  Or would the new code “n” really mean “mixed”?  John Myers (Union College) expressed concerns about the name of the Leader/18 byte: "Descriptive cataloging form".  Does the name and definition of this byte need to be expanded?

John Attig (Penn State) wondered whether, by defining this new code, we are requiring users to have a table that would automatically provide ISBD punctuation.  The code might act effectively as such a signal.

Overall, there was support for narrowing the use of Leader/18 to ISBD punctuation conventions. ISBD may be followed for description but not punctuation; participants thought that Leader/18 was an appropriate place to indicate this. A proposal is needed at the ALA annual 2010 meeting to add the new code for this purpose.

Finally John Attig (Penn State) raised a related issue about the 040 subfield $e.  When applying more than one set of descriptive conventions, subfield $e would need to be repeatable. Consequently, it was decided to make 040 $e (Description conventions) repeatable, since more than one convention may be applied to the record. 


Sally McCallum (LC) reported that MARC Update #10 had been issued this past fall.  RDA testing will probably reveal the need for further changes to the formats.  And new translation tables have been created to convert data from bytes in the current 007 and 008 fields to the new 336, 337, and 338 fields.

The Library of Congress has just published an updated crosswalk for moving records back and forth between MARC and MODS.  Rebecca Guenther (LC) will be doing a presentation on the changes in version 3.4 at the LC booth in the Exhibit Hall.

Business meeting

Laura Snyder (RUSA, Chair) reported that her term as MARBI Chair will end after the June 2010 meeting in Washington, DC.  The next MARBI Chair will need to be appointed by ALCTS.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Proposal No. 2010-03: Recording Place and Date of Capture in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format

Kathy Glennan (University of Maryland) presented this proposal which attempts to add granularity to recording place and date information in order to meet RDA requirements.  Option 1 would add subfield $d to field 033 for place of capture.  Option 2 would parse the contents of the current textual 518 note into separate subfields: $i for introductory phrase, $d for date of capture, and $p for place of capture.

Jim Alberts (MLA) reported that the Music Library Association is divided on the options.  Parsing the 518 field would be difficult because of its lack of standardized wording.  However, option 1 is undesirable because it would require catalogers to look up “G schedule” codes, which they currently try to avoid, rather than just transcribing information from the item.

John Attig (Penn State) believed that the primary purpose of this data is to generate displays for the user, and only secondarily for machine searching and manipulation.  He felt that the 518 option would be most in line with this principle, and that it would satisfy the RDA requirement.  However, parsed data that is only in coded form, i.e., the 033 data, would probably not fulfill the requirement.

Sherman Clarke (VRA) wondered whether the mere existence of subfield $2 would signify that a piece of data was coded.  Also Reinhold Heuvelmann (DNB) noted that subfield $0, as mentioned in the text of the proposal, was currently missing from both options. This is needed to link to an authority record.

The question was raised as to whether an option 3, to do nothing and leave the data un-parsed, would satisfy the RDA requirement.  This has been done in other areas of the format.  However, John Attig (Penn State) said that we should be cautious about continuing to move in this direction.  Catherine Gerhart (OLAC) reported that there is a slight preference by OLAC for option 2, though as a group they remain divided.  However, she expressed a personal preference for option 1.  It was noted that option 2 would only work if the field is repeatable, which it is.  But this is also dependent upon having introductory phrases to differentiate the fields for different materials specified, for which RDA does not currently provide instruction.

John Myers (Union College) was concerned about having to make separately coded subfields serve multiple purposes.  As an aside, he preferred to transcribe data “textually”.  Rebecca Guenther (LC) stated that it boils down to the question of whether the coding is principally for access or display.

Elizabeth O’Keefe (ARLIS/NA) reminded the committee that her community is interested in using these fields for other materials beyond audio and video recordings.  John Attig (Penn State) responded that we should probably retain the current definition for the time being.  But Elizabeth Plantz (NLM) and Tina Shrader (NAL) echoed that there is a similar need being expressed by their respective communities, though they differ on which option they prefer.

A straw poll was taken to determine which option was preferred by the committee, or whether there was no interest in taking action at this time.  Option 2 gathered the largest number of votes, though there seemed to be great interest expressed in yet another option, to do both.  Sherman Clarke (VRA) stated that to do both would allow for both controlled and uncontrolled data.  Rebecca Guenther (LC) pointed out that, in such a case, subfield $2 in the 518 field would be unnecessary.

Martha Yee (UCLA Film & Television Archive) wondered whether RDA makes any distinction between data meant to be searched and data meant to be displayed.  John Attig (Penn State) responded that RDA does not make any type of explicit statement.  Following upon the suggestion in Daniel Paradis’ email of January 6, 2010, Nathan Robertson (LITA) requested that, rather than implementing subfield $i as merely an introductory phrase, a subfield which could contain more general information should be added.

Renette Davis (ALCTS) made a motion to adopt both options, to add subfield $0’s to both fields, and to add subfield $o for other event information (rather than subfield $i) to the 518.  Nathan Robertson (LITA) seconded.  In this way, the MARC coding would accommodate other cataloging rules.  The motion passed.

Proposal No. 2010-04: New data elements in the MARC 21 Authority and Bibliographic Formats for works and expressions

Kathy Glennan (University of Maryland) introduced this proposal to add subfields to encode various other attributes of works and expressions.  John Attig (Penn State) noted that some of these attributes may not be necessary to differentiate a work or expression at the time of initially recording the data, but may prove useful when differentiating future access points.  John Myers (Union College) expressed a desire to use the parsed data, especially data having to do with musical works and expressions, in assisting him to generate music uniform titles.

Elizabeth O’Keefe (ARLIS/NA) expressed a concern that the “form of work” element is not repeatable, though a work may be in multiple forms.  Kathy Glennan (University of Maryland) stated that the sole purpose of this element in RDA is to break a conflict when establishing an access point, and that only one “form of work” would be needed to  break such a conflict.  John Attig (Penn State) was not sure that this is a definitive statement about RDA principles.  He suggested that this field (380) should be made repeatable, but not the subfield $a, since the source of term (subfield $2) should not be repeatable within the same field.  In the Authority format, would the 380 field also need a subfield $0?  It was agreed that it would.  Kathy Glennan assumed that subfield $0 should also be added to all of the other fields in this proposal, as a matter of course.

Gary Strawn (ALCTS) moved to approve the proposal outlined in section 3.1, with the addition of a subfield $0.  Nathan Robertson (LITA) seconded.  The motion was approved.

In section 3.2, since subfields $k and $l already exist in the Bibliographic format, the proposal is to add them to the Authority format only.  Catherine Gerhart (OLAC) reported that her constituents feel that these subfields would be perfect for transcribing the year in which a motion picture was produced or released, but not workable for transcribing both.  Sherman Clarke (VRA) stated that the art community is also interested in using these subfields.  John Attig (Penn State) understands that different communities recognize different types of dates that they want to record, but he thought that now is not the time for the MARC format to deal with those needs.

Gary Strawn (ALCTS) moved that the proposal be accepted as written.  Renette Davis (ALCTS) seconded.  The motion was approved unanimously.

With regard to “other distinguishing characteristics” (section 3.3), Kathy Glennan (University of Maryland) stated that this is a very difficult concept to explain.  Elizabeth Plantz (NLM) wanted to pin down the meaning of “characteristic”.  John Attig (Penn State) stated that it is a “catch-all” category.  Elizabeth Plantz expressed that many of the examples are meaningless without context, or would be meaningless to catalogers who do not normally deal with such special types of materials.  John Attig (Penn State) countered that, since it would be unusual to record the characteristic without then using it in an access point, the heading would often define or give the necessary context for the characteristic.  John Myers (Union College) attempted to further clarify Attig’s answer with an example.

Catherine Gerhart (OLAC) felt that the 381 field would solve a long-standing problem with this information, which is often lacking from the 670 field.  Martha Yee (UCLA Film & Television Archive) expressed that such a field might also assist with machine-generated headings.  Adam Schiff (University of Washington) believed that each community would need to decide what data would be most-appropriately coded in this field.

Gary Strawn (ALCTS) made a motion that the proposal be accepted as written, with the addition of a subfield $0.  Vicki Sipe (ALCTS) seconded.  The motion passed.

Kathy Glennan (University of Maryland) explained the purpose of the 382 field (Medium of Performance) as proposed in Section 3.4.  Additionally, its existence might improve the ability to search for specific musical instruments and voices.

Vicki Sipe (ALCTS) moved that the proposal be approved as written, with the addition of a subfield $0.  Nathan Robertson (LITA) seconded.  The motion passed.

Section 3.5 similarly proposes the recording of the numeric designation of a musical work in field 383.  Sherman Clarke (VRA) wondered whether each of the movements of the “Four Seasons” might be separately annotated with subfield $3’s in the Vivaldi example.  But Kathy Glennan (University of Maryland) responded that such granularity would reside in the individual records for each of the separate movements.

Rebecca Guenther (LC) asked about how subfield $2 would be used in the 383 field.  If the subfield is added, it would need an example, which does not currently exist in the proposal.  So perhaps there is no need to add subfield $2 at this time.  But is there a need for subfield $v, where the title of the thematic index would be cited?  And when there are multiple thematic indexes and numeric designations, would the “preferred” index and number be identified?  John Espley (AVIAC) wondered whether the definition of this field could be expanded to other types of works?  John Attig (Penn State) responded that these are already dealt with in other parts of the format.

Gary Strawn (ALCTS) moved that the proposal be approved as written, without the subfield $2.  Nathan Robertson (LITA) seconded.  The motion passed.

And Section 3.6 similarly proposes the recording of the key of the musical work in field 384.  Catherine Gerhart (OLAC) wondered about how a record would represent multiple arrangements of a single musical work, each arrangement being in a different key.  Would this field need to be repeatable?  Or would RDA force us to create separate expression-level records for each arrangement.  John Attig (Penn State) reported that this seems to be the direction in which RDA is headed.

Rebecca Guenther (LC) posed a similar question to that above, about subfield $2.  John Myers (Union College) pointed out that there are actually four options, rather than the two listed in the proposal: those with and without indicators and those with and without a separate subfield for mode.  Jim Alberts (MLA) wondered about the benefits of parsing out the mode.

Corine Deliot (BL) noted that, in option 2, there is no mention of the second indicator, which should be undefined.

Gary Strawn (ALCTS) made a motion to define the first indicators as in option 2, the second indicator as ‘#”, to define the subfields as in option 1, and to add subfield $0.  Renette Davis (ALCTS) seconded.  Margaret Stewart (LAC) wondered about Daniel Paradis’ suggestion to name the subfield $a “Pitch”.  But if option 1 is selected, that name change would be unnecessary.  The motion passed.

Sally McCallum (LC) thanked Kathy Glennan (University of Maryland) for all of her hard work on the two previous proposals.

Discussion Paper No. 2010-DP02: Encoding URIs for controlled values in MARC records

Sally McCallum (LC) introduced this discussion paper about URIs that represent controlled values and headings.  She reported that there is a division in feelings as to whether angle brackets are sufficient for the identification of a URI, or whether an additional character would be necessary.  Elizabeth Plantz (NLM) wondered how this would be used in actual practice.  She also noted that there were some inconsistencies of spacing in the examples, and wondered whether the spaces had any meaning.  Sally McCallum noted that URIs would normally not be manually keyed into records; so the existence of spaces was inconsequential.

Sherman Clarke (VRA) asked for an example in which the URI represented an author-title heading.  Sally McCallum (LC) responded that such a URI would reside in a subfield $0 of the 240 or 700 field.  Tina Shrader (NAL) asked about the existence of multiple Unicode representations of angle brackets.  Which representation should be used?  Perhaps a label, such as “URI:”, might be preferable.  Also, since angle brackets are already defined differently in XML, will this not make crosswalks difficult to implement?

Acting as “devil’s advocate”, Richard Greene (OCLC) wondered whether we could just do nothing now.  He also noted that the publication of changes to the MARC format, even if only for experimental purposes, often lead to much work on the part of system developers, such as OCLC.  Rebecca Guenther (LC) suggested that perhaps the changes would not need to be published beyond the “community of experimenters”.  Jennifer Bowen (University of Rochester) expressed interest in being one of the experimenters.  Stephen Hearn (SAC) wondered about the use of subfield $0 when it applies only to a portion of a heading.  Sally McCallum (LC) responded that this had been previously resolved with other occurrences of subfield $0 in the format.

Sally McCallum (LC) eventually concluded that the Library of Congress, and perhaps others, could do some experimentation without actually forming a proposal for changes to the format based on ideas in this paper.

Discussion Paper No. 2010-DP03: Encoding the International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) and the International Standard Text Code (ISTC) in the MARC 21 Bibliographic and Authority Formats

Corine Deliot (BL) introduced this discussion paper about recording ISNI and ISTC codes.  She stated that, since the ISTC portion of the paper needs further work, she will be focusing mainly on the ISNI portion.  Similar to the ISBN, it is anticipated that the ISNI will facilitate the creation of authorized name headings in bibliographic records.  However, the paper describes the difficulty of finding an appropriate place for the ISNI in the MARC format.

Reinhold Heuvelmann (DNB) expressed concern about a redefinition of subfield $0 as suggested in Pat Riva's comments in an email of January 10, 2010.  He suggested using a MARC organization code to “mark” the ISNI, though he realized that there would then be redundancy with the “ISNI” label at the beginning of the identifier itself.  Gary Strawn (ALCTS) stated that there is a similar problem with OCLC numbers in the 035 field, which need to be “digested” before being useful.  Corine Deliot (BL) pointed out that no similar constraint had been imposed on the recording of URIs in the previous discussion paper (2010-DP02).

What about using subfield $1 (one) instead, as in Question 3.2?  But Gary Strawn (ALCTS) expressed hesitance about using this last available subfield.  Reinhold Heuvelmann (DNB) suggested using subfield $w in addition to subfield $0 as a linkage device.  And John Espley (AVIAC) responded that VTLS had been using the 004 field in this way.  John Attig (Penn State) reminded the committee that we are speaking of field-to-record links, not record-to-record links (by which he tangentially provided an answer to Question 3.3 -- asking whether 024 should be used, it should not be).  However, the use of subfield $0 seemed to be the preference of the committee.

In answer to Question 3.6 (repeatability of the ISNI in various LCSH strings containing the same heading), John Attig (Penn State) stated that if the ISNI was to be used in authority control work in the future, it would have to be repeated in every string. Corine Deliot (BL) agreed. Then, in relation to Question 3.9 (position of subfield $0 within a field), John Attig (Penn State) asked whether or not the repeatability of the ISNI would depend on its context within the heading; how would subfield $0 work in a multi-subfielded heading?  Is the position of the subfield $0 important?  It was noted that, although this paper discusses only names, the committee will eventually need to implement a solution that could be carried out with other types of identifiers.  Reinhold Heuvelmann (DNB) added that the Germans had recognized the need for such forethought back when subfield $0 was originally implemented.  This issue of placement will require further examination.  It was concluded that a proposal regarding the ISNI should be presented at the Annual meeting in Washington, DC, and that a follow-up discussion paper should be drafted concerning the ISTC.

Before the meeting adjourned, Stephen Hearn (SAC) wondered generally about the mechanism by which ISNIs are created, and whether the same group of agencies would be responsible for creating identifiers for other types of entities.  There already exists another mechanism for establishing ISBNs.  How many of these agencies should we expect to be developed?  And how would the MARC format handle identifiers generated by “competing” registries?  Sherman Clarke (VRA) mentioned the International Standard Collections Identifier (ISCI), which could potentially compete with the ISTC for prominence.  Paul Weiss commented that similar (or dissimilar) registries will need to be taken into account.

Respectfully submitted,
Matthew Wise


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