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Re: Title change? Steve Shadle 18 May 2004 15:45 UTC

Enrique said:
> Some people are pleased that more and more stuff is being left up to
> "cataloger's judgment".  My feeling is that in the shared environment
> like CONSER/OCLC it can make it even worse if you're not a participant,
> because variations are unpredictable. And, it's hard to make a serials
> copy cataloging unit run if you don't have simple, clear, finite
> guidelines.

Enrqiue et al. -- There has always been a certain amount of judgment
involved in serials cataloging and I'm not sure that the 2002 revisions
actually provide for more cataloger judgment (although I will agree that
the new major/minor rules introduce a complexity that will require more
consideration and more cases of 'change of scope' will probably need to be
considered).  I've tried to train copy catalogers in the difference
between the 'rules' and 'judgment' and stressed that as long as the
record's internal logic is consistent and follows CONSER practice, then
different judgments can appropriately be made.  'Does the cataloging copy
clearly not follow a rule?' is one of the questions that needs to be asked

Getting back to Carol's question, now that I've referred to what many of
us informally call the 'look elsewhere' rule (12.1B3 & RI), I'll give you
my personal cataloger's judgment.  Carol stated that Feb. 2004 had an
issue-specific title and that Mar. 2004 (and on) had a different title.

Title A -Jan. 2004
Title B Feb. 2004
Title C Mar. 2004-

Obviously you have to go with chief source presentations and since Title A
& Title C appear to be stable, there should be records for these two
titles.  Personally, I would consider Title B a title of short duration
(one issue theme title) and would look elsewhere to determine whether the
publisher considered Feb. 2004 to be an issue of Title A or Title C.  Now
if the publisher changed every presentation (masthead, running, etc.) to
Title B, then it would seem a pretty conscious decision on the part of hte
publisher to change the title and it could be that maybe Title B should
get it's own record (as much as I hate to say it).

Was there any mention in a preface or editorial statement that Title B was
really a 'special' or one-time issue?  Any mention that it was going to
change it's scope to Title C?  Any mention in Mar. 2004 about *why* they
changed their title after a one-issue blip?  If presented with a situation
like Carol's, these are some of the questions I would be asking myself.

Now, if another CONSER library came along and made a different judgment,
as long as the cataloging was done correctly, I would probably accept it,
even though their judgment might differ from mine.  Given the nature of
serial publishing and AACR, I'm not sure how we could reduce cataloger's
judgment while still providing usable records.  One of the goals of the
new major/minor change rules was to eliminate what appeared to be
duplicate or useless records.  The old rules were generally easier to
apply (less subject to judgment) but produced more records.

Just some random thoughts.  --Steve

    Steve Shadle   *******
    Serials Cataloger                                *****
    University of Washington Libraries, Box 352900    ***
    Seattle, WA 98195               (206) 685-3983     *