Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA
Historic Documents

Outcomes of the Meeting of the Joint Steering Committee Held in Washington, DC, USA, 2-4 April 2001

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

Revising AACR2 to Accommodate Seriality

JSC spent a large part of the meeting discussing the revision of Chapter 12 of AACR2. The committee reviewed the clean copy prepared by the Library of Congress and all the responses and follow-ups from the other constituencies.

The first set of provisional decisions concerned the scope of the chapter and the definitions of key terms. JSC decided that the title of Chapter 12 should be “Continuing Resources.” JSC approved the following revision of 12.0A1:

12.0A1. The rules in this chapter cover the description of continuing resources, whether successively issued (i.e., serials) or integrating (e.g., updating loose-leafs). They also cover the description of the following categories of finite resources (i.e., those with a predetermined conclusion):

  1. resources that exhibit characteristics of serials, such as successive issues, numbering, and frequency, and that serve the same function as serials, but whose duration is limited (e.g., newsletters of events)
  2. reprints of serials
  3. finite integrating resources.

The rules in this chapter do not apply to the description of multipart items.
    These rules focus on the continuing nature of serials and integrating resources and are applied in conjunction with rules in other chapters of Part I. For example, in describing an electronic journal, consult chapter 9 for rules specifically applying to the electronic aspects of the journal and chapter 12 for the continuing aspects. [A sentence may be added indicating that chapter 12 may not be applied to all continuing resources in all formats.]
    If a rule does not apply to all continuing resources, the scope of that rule is indicated.
    See chapter 21 for guidelines to determine if a change on subsequent issues or parts of a serial or on subsequent iterations of an integrating resource requires a new description. If a new description is not made, see the rules regarding changes in this chapter (e.g., 12.1B8, 12.1D2, 12.1E2) for instructions.

The following definitions were provisionally approved for the Glossary:

Bibliographic resource.   An expression or a manifestation of a work or an item that forms the basis for bibliographic description. A bibliographic resource may be tangible or intangible.

Continuing resource.   A bibliographic resource that is issued over time with no predetermined conclusion. Continuing resources include serials and ongoing integrating resources.

Integrating resource.   A bibliographic resource that is added to or changed by means of updates that do not remain discrete and are integrated into the whole. Examples of integrating resources include updating loose-leafs and updating Web sites.

Serial.   A continuing resource issued in a succession of discrete parts, usually bearing numbering, that has no predetermined conclusion. Examples of serials include journals, magazines, electronic journals, continuing directories, annual reports, newspapers, and monographic series.

Updating loose-leaf.   An integrating resource that consists of one or more base volumes updated by separate pages that are inserted, removed, and/or substituted.

The text of the clean copy of Chapter 12 was reviewed, and further changes were made. Some of the more significant changes included:

  • 12.1B2 was revised to be consistent with ISSN practice: “When the title appears in full and in the form of an acronym or initialism in the chief source of information, choose the full form as the title proper.”
  • 12.1B4 and other rules relating to part/section titles were extended to cover all continuing resources, rather than just serials.
  • 12.2F was extended to cover changes to all types of edition information, not just edition statements.
  • The name of area 3 was changed from “Numeric and/or alphabetic, chronological, or other designation area” to “Numbering area” because the definition of numbering in AACR2 has been broadened to include all these types of designations.
  • 12.4G was added to cover changes in the place of manufacture or name of manufacturer.
  • 12.7B23 was revised to clarify that the date on which the resource was viewed should always be given for remote access electronic resources.
  • The rules for title changes in 21.2A were revised based on the joint discussions of JSC members with the ISBD(S) Working Group and the ISSN Network.

The Library of Congress will prepare a clean copy of the revised chapter for consideration by the JSC constituencies. Responses are due July 30, and final decisions will be made at the October JSC meeting.

JSC Format Variation Working Group

During the revision of AACR2 rule 0.24, two separate aspects of that rule were identified as in need of attention: the fact that many items exhibit “multiple characteristics” and the “format variation” between manifestations of the same work or expression. At its March 2000 meeting, JSC decided to appoint an international working group to develop an experiment to test the practicalities associated with the creation of bibliographic records for expressions.

The newly-appointed Chair of the Working Group, Jennifer Bowen of the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York, USA, attended the JSC meeting and discussed the plans for the working group. Having read the background documents, the group will create a database of appropriately constructed records. The Working Group will present an interim report to JSC by 1 October 2001 and a final report in April 2002.

Rule Revision Proposals for Cartographic Materials

At the September 2000 meeting in London, JSC approved a number of proposals relating to cartographic materials. At this meeting, a set of additional proposals was presented, dealing primarily with Area 3 (Mathematical Data Area). JSC gave tentative approval to the revisions; ALA will prepare a clean copy of the chapter for final review by the other constituencies.

The most important revisions include:

  • In the scale statement, “Scales differ” may be given whenever there is more than one scale, with options either to repeat the scale statement (if other details such as projection or coordinates are the same) or to repeat the entire area (if the other details differ).
  • For items with nonlinear scales, a statement of scale may be given if it appears on the item. If the item is not drawn to scale, “Not drawn to scale” is given.
  • Information about ellipsoids is no longer included in the projection statement.
  • An option has been added to 3.3D1 allowing coordinates to be given as a set of coordinate pairs defining the vertices of a polygon.
  • In the same rule, an option has been added to record coordinates as decimal degrees.
  • A new rule has been added at 3.3F for recording digital graphic representation information for electronic resources: data type (raster, vector, point), object type (point, line, polygon, pixel), number of objects, and topology level.
  • Because more than one type of material specific area may be applicable to a cartographic item, specific rules have been added for the type and extent of resource (if this rule is retained in Chapter 9) and for the numbering area for serials. There is an instruction at 3.3A3 giving the appropriate order of these areas: mathematical data (Chapter 3); type and extent of resource; digital graphic representation; and numbering.
  • Additional rules have been added to the Physical Description Area for recording the following types of other physical details: layout, medium, and production method.
  • In the Glossary, the reference from “Chart (Cartography)” to “Map” has been changed to a definition. A chart is “a map designed primarily for navigation through water, air, or space.”

Other Agenda Items

Other items on the agenda received briefer discussion, and decisions were deferred pending constituency responses. Among the items discussed were:

  • A discussion paper on the topic of more adequately addressing multipart items in AACR2, which included recommendations for further action related to multipart items and to the organization of Part I of the rules.
  • An ALA proposal to provide an option for using nonroman forms of name; this proposal was greeted with largely negative responses, and ALA will consider withdrawing the proposal.
  • A proposal from the Library of Congress to add rules to AACR2 dealing with series authority records. LC will prepare a more general discussion paper on the inclusion of rules for both name and series authority records in AACR2.
  • A further draft of the proposed Appendix on Major Changes in a Bibliographic Resource requiring creation of a new record.
  • A proposal that would make the “rule of three” optional; constituency responses are still being prepared, although there is already concern about the impact of such a proposal on the code.
  • An ALA proposal on the future of Areas 3, 5 and 7 in Chapter 9 (Electronic Resources); the preliminary recommendation is to eliminate Area 3 and move the information to the Notes area.


  • The Statement of Principles for AACR2 is being revised by the LC representative and will be posted on the JSC Web site when completed.
  • The 2000 Annual Report of JSC has been submitted to the Committee of Principals and will be posted on the JSC Web site.
  • The JSC Statement of Policy and Procedures will be posted on the JSC Web site.
  • The Amendments 2000 revision package has been transmitted to the Publishers.

JSC Program of Work

  • Specific characteristics of electronic resources: constituents’ responses due by May 15; final recommendations from ALA by Sept. 15; decisions at Oct. JSC meeting; included in revision package in Feb. 2002
  • Chapter 12 & related rules: revised clean copy by April 30; constituents’ responses by July 30; decisions at Oct. JSC meeting; included in a rule revision package in Feb. 2002
  • Statement of principles: final version completed by May 31, 2001, and posted on the JSC Web site
  • Introduction to AACR2: draft to JSC by Sept. 15; discussion at Oct. JSC meeting; final decisions at May 2002 JSC meeting; included in revision package in Dec. 2002
  • Appendix on major changes: constituents’ responses due by May 15; revised draft from ALA by Aug. 15; constituents’ responses due by Sept. 15; final decisions at Oct. JSC meeting; included in revision package in Feb. 2002
  • Organization of Part I of AACR2: announcement of prototype by June 30; review by selected individuals from July-Sept.; discussion at Oct. JSC meeting
  • Chapter 3: clean copy of revised rules by May 31; clean copy of entire chapter by August 15; constituents’ responses by Sept. 15, 2001; final decisions at Oct. JSC meeting; included in revision package in Feb. 2002
  • Rule 0.24 and Format Variation Working Group: interim report by Sept. 30, 2001; discussion at Oct. JSC meeting; final report in April 2002; final decisions at Nov. 2002 JSC meeting; changes included in revision package in Dec. 2002
  • Rule 1.4D4 (Name of publisher): constituents’ responses due by Sept. 15; decisions at Oct. JSC meeting; included in revision package in Feb. 2002
  • Rule of three: constituents’ responses due by Sept. 15; decisions at Oct. JSC meeting; included in revision package in Feb. 2002
  • General Material Designations (GMDs): discussion paper revised for distribution and posted on the JSC Web site by May 31; discussion to continue at Oct. JSC meeting
  • Authority records in AACR: revised discussion paper from LC by Sept. 15; discussion to continue at Oct. JSC meeting
  • Multipart items: discussion to continue at Oct. JSC meeting

Next Meeting

JSC will meet the week of 15 October 2001 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Ann Huthwaite
Chair, JSC

1 August 2001
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