Background: In 1996 CONSER adopted an experimental single record approach that specifies a means by which an electronic version can be noted on the record for the print original. In 1999, a small task group reevaluated the practice and recommended that it become standard practice and provided guidance for its use (see: CONSER Working Group Single or Separate Records? What's Appropriate and When).
More recently, there has been a proliferation of reproductions and electronic versions of monographs and serials by multiple publishers, producers, and aggregators and a variety of approaches to their description in the catalog. Developments in the bibliographic arena include a revision to AACR2 rule 0.24 and a new LC rule interpretation allowing electronic reproductions to be cataloged similarly to microforms.
At the May 2000 meeting of the BIBCO and CONSER Operations Committees, the groups discussed types of electronic resources currently available and the possible approaches to their description. Conflicting trends in the bibliographic utilities are the proliferation of multiple records for differing versions of e-resources and a tendency to incorporate information about all electronic versions on a single record for the electronic. The group recognized that a major difficulty arises when trying to contribute records to shared catalogs that meet the needs of the local catalog. Some of the main questions catalogers have been asking are when to use single records vs when to use multiple records, how to determine what entity to record as the publisher, and how to provide access to the producer, aggregator, or title of the aggregation.
It was decided that a task force comprised of CONSER and BIBCO members, reporting to the Standing Committee on Standards further develop the ideas from the meeting and provide recommended guidelines.
The PCC Task Force on Multiple Manifestations of Electronic Resources is charged with:
- Identifying the most common types of versions and reproductions for textual resources currently available and the most bibliographically significant characteristics of each
- Recommending best practices for each, taking into account both cataloging staff and workload levels.
Consideration should be given to:
- Methods of description that provide for clarity, efficiency, and low-maintenance
- Differing needs of shared and local catalogs
- The advisability of the single record technique (noting the existence of the electronic on the record for the print) and its applicability to monographic resources
- Defining principles by which determinations about whether to create single or separate records for versions and reproductions can be made in order to facilitate future decisions when new types of versions are published (e.g., Palm Pilot editions)
An interim report is due to the Standing Committee on Standards by ALA Midwinter. The final report is due to the Committee by April 15th for discussion at the annual BIBCO/CONSER meeting (May 3-4).
John Riemer, Chair
University of California, Los Angeles
National Library of Medicine
U.S. Government Printing Office
phone: 202.512.2010 ext. 30334
University of Maryland
IFLA Review Group liaison
University of Toronto
Liaison to CC:DA major/minor task force
Brooklyn Law School Library