successive entry AALGIER@SCU.BITNET 13 Dec 1990 17:10 UTC

In response to Crystal's note regarding the fact that a change in editorial
direction was an afterthought to the decision to adopt successive entry
I would like to add the following: The fact that it was an afterthought
and whether or not a practitioner or a theoretician made the decision
to adopt successive entry does not change the fact that successive entry
did not entirely solve the problem of having to recatalog a serial and
thus save in processing time. In the case that I cited--Latin American
annual reports--it actually increased the time in processing: not only
did the cataloger have to recatalog the serial, but also the check-in staff
now has to chase numerous linking entries to find the right title to
check in the piece, as does the patron in order to ascertain if a library
has the issue of the serial that he/she is searching for. It created more
work for the cataloger and created a situation where the patron and the
check-in staff remains confused as to what this bibliographic control
is all about. My point is that if changes in editorial direction was used
as a criteria for deciding to adopt successive entry, then serials people
should be able to make that judgement in order to avoid creating unnecessary
work and a bibliographic debacle. Investigating this issue could result in
coming up with a set of objective criteria for determining whether the serial
title change truly merits a successive entry. Two areas that I can think of
off the top of my head are: the deletion or the addition of frequency in
the title (Annual report vs. Report); and: changes in word order (Changes
and perspectives of the Soviet Republics vs. The Soviet Republics, changes
and perspectives OR The Soviet Republics : changes and perspectives).
I believe it is much easier to work with existing rules (these added esceptions
could be included in RI 21.2A) without having to revamp the entire concept
of successive entry. To change the rules now after so much work has already
been done would not sit well with alot of serial catalogers. This situation
that I am describing is a compromise, where I believe proponents of both
successive entry and latest entry could feel more satisfied if the issue
has to be hashed out again. My intention was not to open up this old
wound on bitnet but rather to suggest that this is an area that needs
empirical investigation in order to analyze what successive entry really
means to both catalogers, to check-in personnel, and to the end user.
If objective criteria could be established for determining changes in
editorial direction and if there could be a bit more room for cataloger
judgement in this area, I believe it could solve some of the problems
inherent in creating successive records for serial titles that do not
merit so much of the cataloger's attention.