Encoding Standards: Summary of Decisions Made at the MARC Advisory Committee Meetings: ALA 2017

Summary of Decisions Made at the MARC Advisory Committee Meetings at ALA Annual, June 24-25.

This summary also includes the MLA comments that were submitted to the MARC-L list in advance of the meeting.

Proposal 2017-08: Use of Subfields $0 and $1 to Capture Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) in the MARC 21 Formats
MLA comments: We support the proposal but would want it to specify in Proposed Changes that the new subfield $1 would be repeatable.
MAC: Confirmed that the field should be repeatable. Discussion included whether fundamentally MARC was the best place for the RWO information, or at least whether an authority record was the best place for this information. Linked data workflows don’t necessary acknowledge “authority files” as the library world
uses them. Mixed comments about the economics of supplying RWOs at all, system issues. In the end supported on the likelihood that $1 could see some use.

Passes: 14/2/3 (yes/no/abstain). (Voted to pass.)

Sally McCallum: Why doesn’t RDA ask you to supply RWO information?

Proposal 2017-09: Defining Field 758 (Resource Identifier) in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format
MLA comments: We concur that it is important to make up for the capability missing in MARC but worry about creating a field that could end up being used in ways that duplicate other fields, creating unnecessary confusion. We would like to be able to link the resource being described to an identifier, whether it be at the Group 1 entity level in FRBR or its equivalent in other models. Therefore we support what is described in the Discussion as the cord of this proposal. Although it be possible to use $i and $4 to broaden the scope of Field 758, analytical and related-work relationships are already accommodated in MARC. If Proposal 2017-08 were to be approved, it would be possible provide work the desired identifiers in established parts of the format.
MAC: Mixed support of various aspects of the proposal. Discussion that $4 is important as a source of the RDF predicate. Proposed to add $1 since it was approved in the discussion of Proposal 2017-08. General acknowledgement that this proposal can express primary and secondary relationships, including relationships that can already be expressed in other ways in MARC. There is some possibility for confusion, but felt there would be some use of the field.

Passes: 12/0/3. (Voted to pass.)

Proposal 2017-10: Rename and Broaden Definition of Field 257 in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format
MLA comments: We support this proposal as a reasonable compromise that sidesteps the more sensitive issues of the former version. As long as we are modifying the definition of $a we would welcome changing the second portion about unknown country of production to welcome other content standards. One possible alternative: May contain an abbreviation or statement value when the country, area, etc. is unknown.
MAC: Passes with the deletion of last sentence of definition: 16/0/2

(Voted to pass.)

Proposal 2017-11: Defining New Fields to Record Accessibility Content in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format
MLA comments: We strongly support this proposal as it fills a demonstrated and important need. We feel that it would be further strengthened with the addition of $8 for Field 341 and both $3 and $8 for Field 532 to clarify relationships within the record. If 2017-08 is approved there will also likely need to be $1 in the 532. One reviewer commented on the implication that the contents of 342 $a would be drawn from one of the four access modes mentioned parenthetically in the definition of the subfield. If it is not the intent to establish another vocabulary in MARC, perhaps definition could state the values as possibilities and not the only prescribed values. One option: “Mode required to access the content of the resource (e.g., textual,visual, auditory, or tactile).”
MAC: Add “note” to the end of $p? Supported. Discussions about the value of parsing out terms in the subfields.

Tabled for more community input. Many concerns that while the proposal made much sense to a specialist community, generalist catalogers might have trouble figuring out how to apply the new fields and subfields.
Much support in general principles, however.

Proposal 2017-12: Defining Subfields $u, $r and $z in Field 777 of the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format
MLA comments: We generally support this proposal. The second paragraph of 2.3 confused us a bit, however, in implying that relationships to entities other than manifestations could be described using Field 777. The field itself and the subfields being suggested do not support that idea. This is a quibble with the text supporting the proposal and not a problem with the field’s main proposed usage.

Coming at this from a community not well-served by ISBNs for much of what we deal with we would like to see a further expansion to accommodate various publisher or distributor numbers. This is a lack in the other linking fields, as well, and there may be discussions in MLA about whether we would like to look at adding another subfield.
MAC: Passed unanimously with no discussion.
Discussion Paper 2017-DP06: Coding 007 Field Positions for Digital Cartographic Materials in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format
No MLA comments provided on this discussion paper.
MAC discussion: This was extending out into the cartographic format changes that were extended out to streaming audio in a previous paper.
This SMD field has been a mess and some were loath to stir the pot further. Replacing terms like “atlas, diagram, etc” with a single term could lose the granularity.
Questions 5.2: In the end suggesting that the idea of altering the 01 byte would be better solved by using type “remote” and an 007.
Question 5:3: would make sense with above.
Question 5.4: position 007/06
Question 5.5: There COULD be a use case for a remote globe.
MAC: Will return as a proposal incorporating the feedback received.
Discussion Paper 2017-DP07: Repeatability of Subfield $s (Version) in MARC 21 Bibliographic and Authority Format Fields
MLA comments:
5.1 We support developing this idea into a proposal. We expect that it would help rationalize parsing information within the MARC context.
5.2-3 There could be some markup benefits to coding versions within versions. Any solution, however, would need to permit multiple levels of nesting, and we didn’t immediately come up with a need to make this distinction. If we don’t go with multiple nesting, there’s probably no need to disturb $g.
5.4 Arrangement within the field string will probably continue to be necessary to give meaning to the subfields, including cases involving complex nesting of “versions.”
Errata: In 1. iv) $o should be Arranged statement for music, not Arranged instrument for music.
MAC: In deference to non-RDA standards that might have titles in 100/110/111, there was a suggestion to add $s to those fields and make the subfield repeatable, but nobody wanted to add them at this point.
MAC moved to convert the corrected paper into a proposal, passed unanimously.
Discussion Paper 2017-DP08: Definition and Repeatability of Subfield $d in Field X11 of the MARC 21 Bibliographic and Authority Formats
MLA comments:
5.1 We see a benefit to changing $d’s usage in X11 fields.
5.2 A different subfield code for the title portion would be best, but changing X11 to mirror the other fields would at least align it with X10. Not distinguishing the different uses could impact systems that parse subfields into author or title access points for search and display, but that would already be an existing problem with $d in X10 fields. (This also has been an issue with miscellaneous subfield $g.)
MAC: Moved to convert to a proposal. Passed unanimously.
SIDE NOTE: Matthew Wise was technically termed out, but has been reappointed for another 2 years.