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Abstract 28th February 2014 – Session 3A

Agnese Galeffi (Scuola Vaticana di Biblioteconomia – IFLA Cataloguing Standing Committee)
Cataloguing principles, data, and catalogue features. Some reflections from IFLA ICP revision
The International Cataloguing Principles are currently being revised by IFLA’s Cataloguing Section. The group dedicated to carrying out this task is composed of Dorothy McGarry, Elena Escolano Rodriguez, Maria Violeta Bertolini, Bobby Bothman, and Agnese Galeffi. Rather than a radical revamping of the text, the revision is a relatively minor one.

Even if it seems a little paradoxical, the principles of cataloguing have to be updated in concomitance with the changes that occur in the functionality of catalogues. The aim of this presentation is to remind that principles, data, and the functionality of catalogues constantly exert a reciprocal influence on each other.
The title “Cataloguing principles, data, and catalogue features” juxtaposes three different elements: Principles (of cataloguing), Data, and the Functionality (of catalogues), but in reality this juxtaposition isn’t so bold. The section headed “Scope” in the 2009 ICP tells us that “The principles stated here are intended to guide the development of cataloguing codes. They apply to bibliographic and authority data and current library catalogues.”

Can it be possible that the principles are a “guide to the development of cataloguing codes” at the same time as being applicable to both data and catalogues? In order to effectively fulfil the role of a guide, principles should tend towards generality and universality. How, then, can it also possible to utilize them to assess two products of cataloguing work – data and library catalogues – which in turn are (also) composed of such data?

Cataloguing can be considered a phenomenology, which is to say a description of phenomena: the way in which a reality manifests itself. In fact, we can regard both resources and entities (to adopt FRBR terminology) as phenomena.
To gain a better insight into the revision of 2009’s ICP, it might be useful to ask ourselves exactly what, in a general sense, principles are. Well, it’s interesting to discover that they can actually be two different things, depending on whether you chose to interpret the term from a philosophical or scientific viewpoint.
The concept of a “principle” first emerged in the ancient Greek between the 7th and 6th centuries BC. The philosophers Thales, Anaximander and Anaximenes spoke of an αρχή (archí), meaning “principle, beginning”, in their effort to identify the primordial substance from which all things originated. This chronological precedent also served a benchmark of value. Thus the term αρχή took on the more general meaning of “foundation” or “raison d’etre” in an essentially ideal, intrinsic sense. The Oxford dictionary defines “principle” as “a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behaviour or for a chain of reasoning.”

In the realm of the natural sciences, however, the term “principle” refers to the (more or less) universal methodological laws that the said sciences have to obey within the structure of their respective doctrines. These principles are based on experience; they are, in fact, generalizations of more specific laws.

So, to which of these two categories do cataloguing principles in fact belong? Are they philosophical or scientific principles?

In order to be philosophical principles, they would have to be representative of a basic principle underlying everything; they would have to be intrinsic and universal in nature; they would have to belong to cataloguing per se, be at its core, be its very essence. But can this really be possible?
In order to be scientific principles, they would have to be derived from generalizations drawn from practical, real life experience. In the FRBR – one ICP’s basis –, when addressing the “recommendations for a basic level bibliographic record”, we are informed that “the assessment was based in large part on the knowledge and experience of the study group members and consultants, supplemented by evidence in the library science literature gathered from empirical research, as well as assessments made by several experts outside the study group”. I would like to underscore the terms evidence, empirical and assessments, all of which refer to the perceptible, phenomenological world.
If a principle is derived from a vast amount of experimental experience, it follows that if that experimental experience changes in some way, then the principle (or principles) will also change. The principles we’re concerned here with are closely bound to the cataloguing experience, which is aimed at creating research tools. Changing the descriptive experience – what is described and for whom – should necessarily result in changes in the underlying principle or principles.

Claudio Gnoli (ISKO, Italy)
Which knowledge organization systems for conceptual interoperability?
Convergence to digital media with such standards as HTTP, XML-RDF and library linked data can soon make possible to search a wide variety of information collections, including libraries, archives, museums and galleries, through common interfaces. This, however, only solves the technical part of the problem: the remaining part is conceptual, that is, having the different resources indexed by knowledge organization
systems (KOS) that are truly interoperable. The role of KOSs is becoming more and more relevant in the development of a semantic Web, as they are the only device able to act as a bridge between contents in different formats and media. KOSs themselves may have limitations of several natures, including linguistic, disciplinary, and representational, that affect the possibility of mapping them to each other. Conceptual structure and availability in interoperable formats make some of them more suitable than others for exploiting bibliographical and factual data in the wider context of networked information exchange.
Dogan Atilgan, Nevzat Özel, (Ankara University, Turkey), Tolga Çakmak (Hacettepe University, Turkey)
RDA in Turkey: Perceptions and Expectations on Implementation
Integration of user-generated content with library catalogs is a remarkable point with the developments in web technologies and semantic networks. In the light of these developments, library catalogs are linked with open data resources like VIAF, DBpedia and with the aim of bibliographic description via URI based structures. On the other hand RDA, as a new cataloging standard, supports libraries for their bibliographic description studies by increasing access points. Furthermore, many initiatives have been launched by countries who would like to keep themselves up-to-date by using and implementing RDA in their catalogs.
All kinds of libraries in Turkey use Anglo American Cataloging Rules Second Revised Version and MAchine Readable Cataloging in order to describe information resources. Howewer, some libraries have been observed to utilize different rules which brings out some problems. Moreover, there is no national cataloging policy, subject and author headings lists, the catalogers have the lack of knowledge and experience about new rules, standards and models and encounter problems in cooperation, their needs of in-service training are not met, copy catalogers use the headings of records they download directly or by translating them into Turkish, there are differences between the records related to the period and persons in Turkey. The increasing importance of RDA implemantation requires the adaptation of new bibliographic environment by removing the existing problems. Therefore, it is crucial to determine the perceptions and expectations of Turkish catalogers as regards RDA and their institutional enterprises about the transition to RDA.
In this study, it is aimed to point out the awareness, expectations of catalogers in academic libraries in Turkey about transation to RDA and their probable problems while adapting RDA. The situation in Turkey in terms of academic libraries have been evaluated with the help of findings obtained from this study. As an originality value, this paper reflects the insights and perceptions of research librarians for the first time in Turkey.
Eliane Serrão Alves Mey, Isabel Arino Grau, Fernanda Salgado Biar (Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO), Brazil)
RDA’s Pros And Cons: One Point Of View From Brazil
This study group intends to analyze the Resource Description and Access (RDA) code’s pros and cons, under one point of view of some Brazilian catalogers, that is, from an emerging country. The five International Meetings of Experts on an International Cataloguing Code (IME ICC) brought many expectations world-wide about a new international cataloging code, free as the International Standard Bibliogrpahic Description (ISBD), and that could merge different points of view for cataloging questions. The RDA proposes itself to be this international cataloging code. Undoubtedly, it brings innovations and various positive points, as the introduction of digital materials and some elements from the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Description (FRBR) family. At the same time, RDA can be analyzed under other aspects, such as: a) it is not as close to FRBR as expected, by keeping a more descriptive approach instead of a relationship model one; b) it is not as far from AACR2 as expected, by keeping rules and examples to catalog manifestations instead of a multiple level approach; c) as a consequence, it doesn’t use all possibilities offered by the new computer technologies; d) the facet translation versus adaptation: in Brazil, AACR2’s translation was restricted to the original text, not including solutions and examples used in our country and with our language. It is expected that RDA respects these issues; e) and last, but not least, the RDA prices for licencing or copyright must consider the current world economic crisis, specially for emergent and developing countries. RDA remains an open question, although it brough many improvements for cataloging practices.
Kambiz Mirbaha, Elham Chzarifard (University of Tehran, Iran)
Persian Library Materials: A Review on Romanization, Storage and Retrieval Issues
Keywords: Cataloging, Persian Romanization, Data retrieval
The problems of cataloging of non-roman library materials, especially the use of Romanized data in bibliographic and authority records, have raised some discussions among catalogers in recent years. In this regard, the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS) Non-English Access Working Group on Romanization recommends in its final report recommended that the factors discussed in the report are significant enough to make a general shift to the use of non-Roman data in vernacular script in bibliographic records, and at the same time, having Romanized access points in records provides enough added value that their use should be continued indefinitely. In addition, Resource Description and Access (RDA) 1.4 Language and script, advises vernacular transcription of virtually all elements of the description, and advises transliteration only when transcription in the language of the work is not possible. This article discusses which problems encounter catalogers implementing each recommendation in cataloging of Persian library materials. How these problems cause false drops in information retrieval, and finally, the article presents some solutions.
Simona Turbanti (University of Pisa, Italy)
Cui prodest libraries authority work?
Keywords: authority control, authority file, UNIMARC Authorities format
Eleven years are passed since the International Conference on Authority Control took place in Florence and the today meeting give us the possibility to look at the current state of the traditionally most relevant activity in library life, the authority control. It is known that the functionality of a catalog without syndetic structure is limited, for this reason in the 70Th several authorities archives doing a connection with bibliographic data have been developed. The main authority control standard is UNIMARC Authorities, developed in 1991 from IFLA, and in 2009 at its third edition (with the updates of 2012); it gives the possibility to organise and structure analytically the authority data. But in spite of it analysis capacity this format is not so used in the world’s authority archives. We will examine some examples of authority files local, national and international, based on UNIMARC Authorities to explore the potentiality of the format.
In the second part of the speech we will face the downside of authority archives being. They present inadequate advantages for users. It is not possible to do a complex research, for example it is not possible to select an author starting from sex, or languages used in writing or starting from the period they are operative, although if these informations are present and codified with the right etiquette in the database.
Therefore, to one side we have authority data well structured in codified fields and we are not able to capitalize on it, on the other side our authority files are not enough competitive in information if we compare with the data sources of Wikipedia or similar.
It is time to ask ourselves if it is worth to still invest time and resources in the complex construction and maintenance of the authorities archives. Are we sure that the instrument, as it stands now, is useful in the world of the web 2.0 in continuous evolution? If yes the question is: how can we improve the authorities archives? What is the best way to reshape this instrument? In the last part of the speech we can try to answer together to this questions about the future of the authority control in library field.

URL: Copyright AIB 2014-02-04. Creata da Artemisia Gentileschi, ultima modifica 2014-02-10 di Andrea Marchitelli