In response to Tom Sanders message regarding research needed for serials
I have a few suggestions. With regard to "earliest entry cataloging" I would
suggest that an empirical study be made for ascertaining how many title
changes (successive entry records) truly reflect some sort of editorial change
of the serial. Successive entry cataloging is based, as you know, on the theory
that if a title changes, there has also been some change in the serial, thus
meriting a new record. I do not believe that this theory is necessarily
correct, especially in light of foreign materials such as Latin American
annual reports. IF a study were made, all of us serials people outside
of LC may be able to change the current practice and convince LC to utilize
the fluctuating title rule more liberally for silly title changes that cause
the catalogers unnecessary work and actually impede access for the patron.
But we need proof against this basic theory underlying making successive
records for each title. I have written numerous letters to LC about this
and have gotten a positive response but nothing has been done. I would
like to see more liberal application of the fluctuating title rule without
necessarily having to change any existing rules regarding this matter.
There also needs to be an analysis of how LC actually determines what
they will catalog as a serial and what they will decide to analyze so
that libraries who do original cataloging can better second-guess the
decision that LC will make and will not have to recatalog the serial
after LC has put in a series or
after LC has put in a series authority record or a serial record.
Santa Clara University
Santa Clara Calif.