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2011 Midwinter Forum minutes

Minutes of the Continuing Resources Cataloging Committee Update Forum

American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Boston, MA

Monday, January 10, 2011 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM

San Diego Convention Center Room 11A



Members present: Kelley Lasher, Heather McIntosh (Intern), Robert Rendall, Steve Shadle, Jennifer Young (Chair)




●      Welcome, introductions (Jennifer Young, Northwestern University)

●      CONSER Report (Les Hawkins, CONSER)

●      ISSN Report (Regina Romano Reynolds, Library of Congress)

●      CC:DA Report (Jennifer Young, Northwestern University)

●      Special program: Results from the CRCC Informal RDA Testing Task Force



CONSER Report 

Les Hawkins, CONSER


The Open Access Journals Project started in September and it is going well so far. They started with a set group of records not associated with CONSER, trying to find a way to keep up with records of open access journals that are added. CONSER should be thinking about how to document guidelines for things like maintenance in a mixed environment and where to post the documentation. All SCCTP workshops have been updated except the electronic serials course. 25 sections of draft revisions have been posted on the CONSER website for comments. CONSER wants to work with standing committee on cataloging, including module 31 on serials, which is the basis for the SCCTP electronic serials workshop.


ISSN Report

Regina Romano Reynolds, LC


Thank you to the committee for the informal testing of RDA in the serials environment. The committee has its history in doing testing for AACR2, so she is looking forward to the report.


Pre-publication records are going to be part of the ISSN register, visible to ISSN staff internationally to avoid duplications. Minor changes to pre-publication records will be made, including adding 130 fields into provisional key titles to avoid putting pre-title records in place for the finished register. Thanks to the Library and Archives of Canada, public domain software was developed for the ISSN centers. Outreach: Previously presented PIE-J, the NISO working group that is hoping to solve the problem of epub providers listing titles under current titles without linking to previous titles. More information can be found on the NISO page or on the handout. A working group has been formed to update the ISO-8 standard on the presentation of articles to improve how serials publications are created, with the idea of enlisting the publishers/pub providers to inform and recommend how to present the information to make it easier to catalog.


ISSN center and scholarly publishing division is working on linking ISSN and PIE-J. We need to still get the word out further about linking ISSN. OCLC intends to continue adding this data on a regular basis. The US-ISSN center is looking into developing a membership program for publishers, especially those needing pre-publication ISSNs. Thanks to ProQuest for providing a half-time staff member to work at the LC ISSN center, a new person in January will fill the position that was recently vacated.


Working groups are currently looking into the following:

●       The possibility of adding additional 022s to remedy the lack of correlation between ISSN and records.

●       The assignment of ISSN to digital reproductions (which is a very controversial topic). The ISSN working group is leaning towards changing the JSTOR policy of using ISSN under print only and putting the entire lifespan under one record = one ISSN for both print and electronic.

●       A working group for ISSN and RDA found a certain number of issues like assigning new numbers when serials turn into integrating resources.

●       FRBR levels into which ISSN levels pertain.

●       2 projects will provide (hopefully) more ISSN to the community:

○       ISSN centers will try to collectively assign ISSN to the lists of core resources lacking e-ISSN. The US-ISSN center is already ⅓ of the way through assigning numbers to all of the resources in ProQuest’s Heritage series.


Regina is a member of the US RDA test coordinating committee. Informal and formal testing is now complete. They will be going over the survey results and doing analysis between January and March, and a report will be prepared with a recommendation for a decision to be made at ALA annual.


CC:DA Report

Jennifer Young, Northwestern University

Bob Hyatt is retired from CPSO, and his position will not be filled. Paul Weiss will be retiring from OCLC, and his position will not be filled either. The JSC representative said they are correcting typographic spelling issues in RDA and started working on issues received previously. Corporate bodies Task Force is exploring the option of synchronizing governmental and other corporate name practices in RDA.  If every subordinate body is listed, title changes could be necessary if the intervening body name’s changes. Troy Linker, editor of the RDA toolkit, said that of the 5,000 subscriptions, about 20% were individual users. He will be resending the link for the survey for participants about using toolkit. Examples are still being added to the element set. The RDA print index into will be integrated into the online product, adding attribution to workflows. ALCTS pages are converting to Drupal in July, but since the CC:DA site is too big for Drupal, it will stay on Penn State server for the time being.


Results from the CRCC Informal RDA Testing Task Force

Jennifer Young (Northwestern University)


Thanks to Troy Linker for access to the toolkit and to the National Centers for their support.


See the document: Results of the CRCC Informal RDA Testing Task Force.



Les Hawkins (CONSER) sent 3 questions re: what CONSER should focus on re: RDA

Respondents wanted:


  • Guidance on pre-RDA records and maintenance
  • Single-record approach should still be an option
  • Best practices for microforms and reprints
  • Reconsideration of DLR practices needed
  • Guidelines if RDA implemented
  • Seeing more outreach (“CONSER hotline”)
  • Creation of automation tools for creating records
  • Creation of sandbox space for posting records and receiving feedback before posting them.


Valerie Bross (UCLA)

Experience as tester


See PowerPoint presentation (attached).


  • Judy Kuhagen (LC) was great in answering all our questions
  • UCLA decided to test maintenance of RDA records that were already RDA
  • Learned that it was possible with the help of the people from LC
  • Discovered working with FRBR is very different. Though records may look similar, the thought behind them has changed.
  • She feels strongly that as a community, no matter what happens, we have the resources and leadership to come up with common processes to allow us to share linked data


Robert Rendall (Columbia University)

Experience as reviewer


See PowerPoint presentation (attached).


Columbia was an official testing center, but he also served as reviewer for informal test. He also trained people at Columbia in RDA. Reviewers tried to stay ahead of the testers, but they wound up working together because no one is an expert.


There were several misunderstandings because of the different options of standards to choose:

  • RDA as written
  • CONSER standard record guidelines
  • Library of Congress Policy Statements
  • whatever you can find on the Web (institution-specific policies, AUTOCAT postings)



Things we’re not supposed to worry about any more

  • no punctuation standards
  • capitalization in the 3XX fields (frequency terms vs. content, media type and carrier)
  • wording of notes
  • people feeling set loose and uncomfortable about this


Not many terrible mistakes in records


Questions to all three presenters


Q: (Audience): What is involved in creating a good workflow?

A: (Robert Rendall): Have not yet created a workflow. If we go ahead with RDA we will have to use workflows extensively, so it would be good to have “authorized” or “certified” workflows, like from CONSER. It’s not clear that many of us cataloging a particular format will be efficient using RDA directly.

A: (Jennifer Young): Has used a workflow for serials extensively and RDA to MARC mapping a lot.


Q: (Judy Kuhagen, Library of Congress): Concerned about keeping serials in sync with continuing resources.

A: (Valerie): Based on LCPS and RDA wording, following rules for serial description record would be different in what you would do with authorities, i.e. numbered to unnumbered, bib description vs. authority record.

A: (Judy): They did not intend that to be different, so they will need to clarify that.


Q: (Regina): For the testers, regarding applying FRBR group 1 entities- if you had to apply the MARBI discussion paper proposal to code every record as to whether it represented a manifestation or expression, would your thought process have been different?

A: (Jennifer): More worried about what to do now as opposed to something that was just a proposal.

A: (Robert): Could be a problem with authority records, how much would we be forced to think about it? If we don’t have to we won’t.

A: (Valerie): Tried to avoid uncertainty in her own mind since the appendices were optional, so when she was stuck she decided not to go there.


Q: (Mitch Turitz, San Francisco State University): The purview was to examine from catalogers point of view, but input from not only public services but also end users should be taken into account if RDA is going to affect the display.

A: (Valerie): Public services people noted that since we’re still in a MARC-composite record situation, many of the differences are masked and they doubted the users would even notice the difference. There are other aspects to be considered.

A: (Robert): At official testing sites, public services staff  provided input. They looked at the records and filled out surveys (that went straight to JSC) comparing the old and new records.


C: (Judy): The MARBI proposal is mostly for authority records, but they like to be all-inclusive. Germany is working in expression authority elements, but right now we couldn’t code a bib record with any of those values. At Library of Congress, templates for which level authority record are being developed.


C: (John Asby, VTLS): VTLS has decided to keep the RDA sandbox open through June. For more information, see vtls.com.


Q: (Steven Riel, Harvard): Regarding costs and benefits, were there things that occurred to you that seemed more or less costly for cataloging? Were you thinking this might be worth it, or would we try to streamline processes to limit costs?

A: (Jennifer Young): More automated tools like macros and templates were suggested. She could see applying constant data for the 3XX fields.

A: (Valerie Bross): Once copy catalogers feel comfortable with what they’re doing, they won’t be using the toolkit anymore, instead basing everything on the prior record.

A: (Jennifer Young): Things will take longer to catalog at first due to having to learn the new code, but once we’re used to it not much will change other than 3XX and relator codes.

A: (Robert Rendall): Not many changes have been noted, but that is also because we’re testing in the current environment, not in a future environment.


Q: (1st commenter, again): We might all be suffering from analysis paralysis. What date would RDA be implemented if it is adopted?

A: (Jennifer Young): At the earliest, the beginning of 2012, assuming it is recommended and passes in June. There are PCC implications as well to consider.


Q: (Kevin Randall, Northwestern University): Regarding relator codes: was there any response from public services staff about FRBR entities being included in the RDA records?

A: (Robert Rendall): Yes, they commented that it was not helpful.

C: (Kevin): Depending on what cataloging infrastructure we’re using, we’ll have to decide which entity level we’ll use for serials. Thanks for the test, it took away a lot of fears because it wasn’t as bad as he thought it would be. It still has a long way to go to be useful, but he’s glad they opened it up for participation during the entire process so we can give input. The rules will be much more helpful once we have systems that can use them. We can’t wait for the systems to catch up. Once we get in the habit of using the new rules, more records will have the new codes.


C: (Tina Shrader, U.S. Agriculture Library): Echoes Regina thanking CRCC as member of the RDA testing task force. Robert commented that he hasn’t heard anyone screaming about RDA. Is there anyone really excited about RDA and can’t wait to get started? Not too much response.

C: (Bob Maxwell): Was not in favor of RDA until testing it.


C: (Audience): A lot of catalogers actually chose to continue using RDA when given the option after testing was over.


C: (Audience): The biggest frustration and cause for ambivalence is that FRBR and continuing resources don’t get along well… doesn’t see how we could choose which level to use.


C: (Adolfo Tarago, University of California San Diego): RDA testing has proved that we have the capacity to evolve as a community. We’ve learned a lot about what we need our records to do to serve our users. We can build on whatever we have based on what we have learned. He is feeling hopeful because regardless of whether or not RDA is implemented, we’ve learned what our focus should be, and that will serve us well.


Q: (Nancy, Colorado State University): Colorado State only has 5 RDA records in their system, but one is an electronic monograph. Not using 245$h is not working for their system, so they went back in and added it. Has anyone else had experience with this?

A: (Naomi Young, University of Florida): Their system generates little icons from the fixed fields.

A: (Nancy): III native system doesn’t have that capacity. Everyone uses the discovery layer at some libraries except the back end.

A: (Julie Su): Their library doesn’t have the icons because they would cost extra. They use separate records for online resources, so they couldn’t remove the 245$h either. They asked for a 130 field for uniform titles, but browse results usually go by title and GMD.

A: (Kevin): Why not put the 245$h in their local records if needed until they get a new system? They could easily do a global update on any new system they might get.

A: (Audience): There are gaps in the GMD and 3XX fields, i.e. manuscripts, which shows up almost identical to a monograph- no clear way to map a combo of the three 3XX fields for display purposes. Can be answered with additions to the vocabulary.



Regina: Has anyone started to grapple with the implications of provider-neutral records? No response.

Valerie: Hoping that ejournals will be part of the future suggestion, because how could they have multiple provider-specific records?

Kevin: Provider-neutral is getting back to the core of what FRBR is supposed to do.

Audience: Provider-neutral should be at the expression level.

Robert: The feedback from public services showed concern about date limits.

Audience: Provider-neutral goes beyond formats so it is a wider question… even more problematic in databases and integrating resources… titles can be slightly different based on provider.

Audience: They have a problem with coverage varying from semester to semester for ejournals in databases. The easiest way they’ve found to deal with it is for them to provide the records, but then they won’t go into the integrated record. Then you end up with 9 records… how can we deal with this?

Steve: re: provider-neutral approach – need to identify manifestation-level elements… still working on composite records which comprise information at all FRBR levels. Until databases become truly relational, we could find places in the existing MARC record where we can place that data in different places… where does it end up?

John from VTLS: if you take composite record and FRBRize it, there’s no way, we’ll further change mapping routine once it’s decided what should represent what.

Steve: we can try to figure out where the gaps are by doing an element by element approach

Regina/John: Does the RDA sandbox allow you to experiment with mapping? Yes.

Steve: It is hard to apply FRBR relationships to continuing resources because the elements just don’t apply to serials, and the ones that do have already been codified in linked fields… the elements refer to levels in FRBR.

Regina: Yes, but systems aren’t even taking advantage of that.


Regina: Thought for annual: if there are people who are playing in the sandbox, see what comes out of that, compare and contrast the approaches- program title “Playing in the Sandbox”

Julie Su: We should explore using FRBR for article level records.

John: They will be adding Atlantic Monthly examples to the sandbox to play with- they use the “super work”


Attendance: 60


Respectfully submitted,


Heather McIntosh (Intern)