Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA
Historic Documents

Outcomes of the Meeting of the Joint Steering Committee Held in San Diego, California, USA, 22-24 March 2000

This is a summary of the most important decisions made by the JSC at its meeting in San Diego. A complete list of the topics discussed is contained in the agenda.

Alignment of AACR2 with ISBD(ER)

JSC continued its review of the revisions to Chapter 9 of AACR2. The discussion was based on (a) the report of a Task Force of the ALA Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA); (b) responses to that report, particularly an extensive document from the Library of Congress; and (c) an earlier proposal to replace “computer file” with “electronic resource” in AACR2, with responses to that proposal. These documents had previously been discussed by JSC; the decisions made in Brisbane, Australia, in October 1999 are reported in the outcomes of that meeting. Additional decisions were made in San Diego. Margaret Stewart, the Canadian Committee on Cataloguing representative, will prepare a revised version of Chapter 9 incorporating the decisions to date. Some specific issues will be discussed by the constituent organizations prior to the next JSC meeting.

JSC endorsed most of the LC recommendations, with some modifications. The following are some of the most significant changes:

  • The distinction between “disc” and /disk” will be retained, making the distinction between optical media (discs) and magnetic media (disks). This is a reversal of the decision made in Brisbane and is the result of constituent responses.

  • Reference in rule 9.0A1 to interactive multimedia will be removed. The word “computer” will be changed to “computerized devise” in order to include resources for PDAs (personal data assistants) and such devices.

  • The chief source of information for electronic resources (rule 9.0B1) will be the entire resource. The precedence given to “internal” sources over the carrier and its labels will be removed.

  • Instructions regarding what constitutes a new edition will be contained in a new appendix being drafted by ALA. It will cover the distinction between major and minor changes in a bibliographic resource. Some of the rules concerning edition statements in 9.2 will be removed and replaced by references to the new appendix once it has been approved.

The following issues will be discussed by the constituent organizations prior to the next JSC meeting:

  • Area 3: LC has proposed that Area 3 be eliminated from Chapter 9. The type of resource would then be identified in a note, and the extent of the resource would be added in parentheses following the SMD in Area 5.

  • Publication of remote resources: JSC has deferred a decision on whether all remote access resources are to be considered published pending further review by the constituent organization.

  • Physical description of remote resources: LC has suggested that footnote 3 at 9.5 be removed, thus opening up the possibility of recording characteristics such as sound and colour for remote access resources.

The Logical Structure of the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules

JSC conducted a detailed discussion of the recommendations contained in The Logical Structure of the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, by Tom Delsey. JSC took the following action:

Part I, Recommendation 1: Use the model developed for this study to assess options for restructuring Part I of the code to facilitate the integration of rules for new forms of expression and new media. One option for consideration would be to use the ISBD(G) areas of description as the primary organizing element for the overall structure of Part I.

JSC had asked Bruce Johnson to prepare a prototype of such a reorganization by cutting and pasting the relevant rules from AACR2e. Bruce demonstrated this prototype for JSC. It was clear (a) that there is already a great deal of parallel in the structure of the code, (b) that the reorganization of the rules would involve extensive editorial work to resolve the remaining discrepancies, and (c) that the electronic version of the rules already allows the rules for any particular element to be brought together virtually from the various chapters without actually reorganizing the code.

JSC concluded that the effort to reorganize the code would be more extensive than anticipated and that the benefits were far from clear. The prototype indicated that there were opportunities to “generalize” many rules by moving their provisions from Chapters 2-12 into Chapter 1, and JSC endorsed that concept.

Part I, Recommendation 2: Use the model developed for this study as the basis for examining the feasibility of modifying the internal logic of the code to accommodate documents that are defined in non-physical terms. Consultation should be undertaken with experts in the area of electronic document architecture.

This issue is being addressed in the context of the revisions to Chapter 9, in the Statement of Principles underlying AACR, and the work on rule 0.24.

Part I, Recommendation 3: Using the model developed for this study as a frame of reference, examine the issues raised with respect to the notion of “publication” in a networked context in consultation with experts in the area of electronic documents.

The question of whether remote access electronic resources are published is being considered by the constituent organizations, who should consult the Delsey model in their deliberations.

Part I, Recommendation 4: Continue the examination of the “seriality” issue initiated as a follow-up to the Conference on the Principles and Future Development of AACR, using the frame of reference set out in the model developed for this study as a tool to assist in the analysis of the issues.

The revisions to Chapter 12 are currently under consideration by JSC and its constituencies.

Part I, Recommendation 5: Review the conventions and rules for reflecting change in the attributes of the item described, as currently established, to determine their applicability to changes in the attributes of digital objects, and extend them as necessary to accommodate a broader range of variables.

A Task Force of CC:DA is preparing a draft appendix covering the distinction between major and minor changes in bibliographic information. The rule revisions for Chapter 12 also include provisions for recording changes.

Part II, Recommendation 1: Using the model developed for this study as a frame of reference, develop a specification for the functions of the catalogue that fully articulates the objectives underlying the rules in the code that relate to the choice of access points and the construction and use of uniform titles. The tables used in Chapter 7 of the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records might serve as a model for structuring the specifications.

A Statement of the Principles underlying AACR is being drafted and will include consideration of the functions of the catalogue. This statement will be one element in the Introduction which is also being drafted.

Part II, Recommendation 2: Re-assess the concept of “authorship” as it relates to the functions of the catalogue, and determine whether the exceptions in the rules that limit the assignment of access points in certain instances (including the “rule of three”) should be altered.

The Australian Committee on Cataloging (ACOC) will prepare a proposal to augment the “rule of 3” to allow the option for the cataloguing agency to determine what access points should be made.

Part II, Recommendation 3: Assess the need to reflect additional relationships between persons and corporate bodies and the content of an item in the context of newly emerging forms of intellectual expression and multimedia productions.

The Statement of Principles will include discussion of bibliographic relationships as a significant user task.

Part II, Recommendation 4: Using the model as a frame of reference, test the feasibility of developing and articulating principles relating to the identity of the work or works manifested in the content of an item that can be applied at a more generalized level than is currently reflected in the specific of the rules for choice of entry.

This issue will be considered in the context of the Statement of Principles.

Part II, Recommendation 5: Re-assess the current restrictions imposed by the application of the “rule of 3” on the identification of individual works in items containing collections of works by different persons or bodies.

See Part II, Recommendation 2.

Part II, Recommendation 6: Using the model developed for this study, re-examine the use of the citation form as it is developed in the code to determine whether it is an optimally effective device for reflecting work-to-work relationships in the catalogue in light of the technology currently available to support bibliographic databases.

Deferred until 2001.

Part II, Recommendation 7: Examine the feasibility of re-structuring the rules in Chapter 21 with a view to simplifying the use of the rules and facilitating the application of “general0 rules to particular cases in the absence of rules dealing specifically with the case in question.

This issue will be considered in the context of the Statement of Principles.

Recommendations Concerning Revision of Rule 0.24

The proposal regarding rule 0.24 from ALA contained three recommendations:

  1. Text of rule 0.24: JSC approved the following text:

    0.24. It is important to bring out all aspects of the item being described, including its content, its carrier, its type of publication, its bibliographic relationships, and whether it is published or unpublished. In any given area of the description, all relevant aspects should be described. As a rule of thumb, the cataloguer should follow the more specific rules applying to the item being catalogued, whenever they differ from the general rules.

  2. Format variations between manifestations of the same work: The constituent organizations were not ready to endorse any single option for resolving this problem. Therefore, JSC agreed to establish a working group to test various options.
  3. Introductory chapter for AACR2: The Library Association/British Library are drafting an Introduction.

Revising AACR2 to Accommodate Seriality

Rule revision proposals have been submitted to JSC by Jean Hirons and are being reviewed by the constituent organizations. The proposals are available on this site.

Ongoing Rule Revision

JSC also considered a number of other proposals, including a number which are still being reviewed by the constituent organizations. The most significant decision was to remove from rule 21.1B2(d) the requirement that a conference be named prominently in order to be selected as the main entry. The most significant new proposals were the rule revisions for Chapter 9 (see above) and some extensive revisions to Chapter 3 (Cartographic Materials) proposed by the Anglo-American Committee on the Cataloguing of Cartographic Materials.

JSC Program of Work and Schedule for Revision of AACR2

  • Chapter 9: constituent comments by mid-August; a clean draft before September; decisions incorporated into a rule revision package by December
  • Chapter 12: constituent comments by September; decisions incorporated into a rule revision package by December
  • Statement of principles for AACR: draft by mid-August (LC)
  • Appendix on major/minor changes: draft by mid-August (ALA)
  • General Material Designations: discussion document by mid-August (LC)
  • Introduction by AACR: framework document by mid-August (LA/BL)
  • Chapter 3: final proposals in July (ALA); responses by mid-August; decisions incorporated into rule revision package by December
  • Rule of 3 in Chapter 21: draft document by mid-August (ACOC)

Next Meetings

  • September 13-15, 2000: London, England
  • April 2-4, 2001: Washington, DC, USA
  • September 12-14, 2001: (Ottawa, Ont., Canada) [tentative]

Ann Huthwaite
Chair, JSC

30 May 2000
Last updated: 1 July 2009
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