DATE: December 1, 1996

NAME: Define a Generic Author Field in the Bibliographic, Authority, Classification, and Community Information Formats.

SOURCE: OCLC/NCSA Metadata Workshop, NLM

SUMMARY: This paper proposes defining a new, repeatable field for names of authors not formulated according to cataloging rules. This field would be useful in the internet environment where names are not designated as "main" or "added" and the distinction between personal and corporate name is not made.

RELATED: DP88 (June 1995); DP86 (June 1995)

KEYWORDS: OCLC/NCSA Metadata Workshop; Dublin core data elements; Author; Name; 7XX fields

STATUS/COMMENTS: 12/1/95 - Forwarded to USMARC Advisory Group for discussion at the MARBI meetings.

1/21/96 - Results of the USMARC Advisory Group discussion - Approved as amended, with Option 2 (defined first indicator) preferred; the first indicator value # should be called "Not specified". The description of the new field should indicate that the names are not "necessarily formulated according to cataloging rules or contained in an authority file or list". The proposal does NOT apply to the Authority format, as was erroneously indicated. The name in the field may be in any order, e.g., forename surname. Field tag is to be 720.

2/15/96 - Results of final LC review - Agreed with MARBI desicion.

PROPOSAL NO. 96-2:  Define a Generic Author Field


The USMARC bibliographic format was designed primarily to support
library cataloging, and to be used in conjunction with cataloging
rules that specify the formulation of the data.  Therefore there
are many data elements defined in USMARC that relate specifically
to particular cataloging constructs.  Such integral support for
cataloging is clearly a desirable feature in the bibliographic
formats, but it also raises problems when creating bibliographic
data for other purposes. 

For example, there is no MARC field defined specifically for
author, but rather sets of fields defined for main and added
entries, concepts that exist within cataloging codes (and which
also encompass a number of non-authorial relationships).   Since
the 1XX and 7XX tag ranges are defined explicitly in terms of the
cataloging concepts main and added entry, it is difficult to use
them in an environment that lacks these concepts.  In addition, in
order to properly encode the 1XX and 7XX name fields, one has to
know quite a large number of things, including the author's
relation to the work, whether the name in question is that of a
person, corporate body, or meeting, and the form of entry of
element of the name.  There is no option in USMARC to choose not to
supply any of this information or to indicate that it is unknown. 
This can pose a barrier to use of these fields for non-cataloging

A few such situations are the following.

   - A bibliographic record might be used in a library acquisitions
     system for the purpose of creating a purchase order.  In this
     case, the data may not be cataloging data, and the
     acquisitions clerk creating the data may neither know the
     rules governing form and choice of entry nor have sufficient
     information in the source citation to assign content
     designation congruent with the cataloging rules.

   - Bibliographic records might be created for the purpose of
     generating a set of references (endnotes or footnotes)
     according to some external authority such as the Chicago
     Manual of Style, which has quite different rules for citing
     authors' names than most cataloging standards.   For example,
     according to the Chicago Manual, the names of all four editors
     of a jointly edited work should be listed; whereas  according
     to AACR2, the name of the first editor only would be recorded
     as an added entry.

   - An increasingly common use of USMARC bibliographic records is
     as a vehicle for metadata created by various communities
     according to various other standards.  For example, the
     Government Information Locator Service (GILS) defines a set of
     GILS Core Elements and specifies that these must be
     represented in three different record syntaxes, one of them
     USMARC.  Another example is the National Library of Medicine
     (NLM) data from their MEDLINE database which has never
     distinguished the type of element for personal names, yet
     there is a need to distribute those records in MARC.  More
     recently another standard known as the Dublin Core Element set
     was proposed for describing network accessible electronic
     resources.  The Dublin Core, with only minor variations, is
     also being incorporated into the emerging IETF standard for
     Uniform Resource Characteristic (URC).  

There is clearly great utility in being able to represent metadata
created according to standards other than AACR and AACR2 into
USMARC.  The data can then be edited and manipulated by the many
existing software packages for processing MARC bibliographic
records, and the records can be integrated into existing library
catalogs and searched by MARC-based bibliographic retrieval
systems.  Both the library community and the information providers
are benefited.


In general the most problematic element for mapping into MARC is
the author.  The GILS Core Element set has no element for author
but does have an element for originator which identifies the
originator of the information resource.  This is by convention
mapped to the USMARC 710 field. The X10 was chosen because GILS
originators can be assumed to be government agencies, and the 7XX
block was chosen over the 1XX block because of its repeatability.

The Dublin Core, which is more fully described in Discussion Paper
No. 86 contains two data elements for names of entities responsible
for intellectual content, Author and Other Agent, which are not
necessarily governed by cataloging rules and which map only
imperfectly to USMARC 1XX and 7XX fields.  The Author element could
be recorded simply as "AUTHOR = Miller, Bruce".  A cataloger
converting this data to USMARC is likely to be able to infer that
this is a personal name, but may be less likely to know whether Mr.
Miller is related to the resource in the capacity of main or added

The Dublin Core does allow for qualifiers which, if extensively
used, could provide enough information about a name for accurate
human or even machine mapping to USMARC, assuming the name was
formulated according to cataloging rules.  The "scheme" qualifier
can be used to specify the cataloging rules, the "type" qualifier
can specify personal, corporate or other authorship, etc.

     AUTHOR (scheme = AACR2, role = Main Entry, type = Personal,
     form = Surname) = Miller, Bruce

However, since the Dublin Core was defined expressly for the
purpose of encouraging metadata creation by non-catalogers, the
likelihood of this information being supplied for the majority of
objects is low.

Three alternatives for solutions were discussed in DP88 in June
1995.  They included putting the data in the currently defined 1XX
and 7XX fields, making guesses for the supplying of content
designation and allowing irregularities.  This was rejected as
diminishing the usefulness of the highly controlled and refined
data in the existing fields.  A second solution, to adjust the
content designation in the 7XX fields so that non-standard data
could be identified was rejected as it would still require a level
of identification of names (e.g., distinguishing personal,
corporate, etc.) that would not meet the needs indicated. 

A third solution was endorsed: to create a new 7XX field for
uncontrolled names.  This "generic name" field would not
distinguish between main and added entry, and would not require the
distinction between types of authors.  Internal content designation
would be optional and kept to a minimum.  This solution is parallel
to fields that have been established for uncontrolled subject terms
(field 653) and titles (field 740).  There was a question
concerning whether to provide an indicator for showing the type of
name, when that was known.


--   Define a new, repeatable field for names (non-subject) that
     are not formulated according to cataloging rules or contained
     in an authority file or list.  

     713   Uncontrolled Name (R)
           This field contains names associated with a work that are
           not controlled by an authority file or list.  The names
           may be personal, corporate, or meeting.

                First      (see below)
                Second     Undefined; contains a blank

           Subfield codes
           $a   Name (NR
           $e   Relator term (R)

--   Options for first indicator

     Option 1:

           First      Undefined; contains a blank

           720  ##    $aBlacklock, Joseph
           720  ##    $aVonderohe, Robert, 1934-$eeditor
           720  ##    $aCAPCON Library Network$eauthor

     Option 2:

           First      Type of name
                #     Unknown or not specified
                1     Personal
                2     Other

           720  ##    $aBlacklock, Joseph
           720  1#    $aVonderohe, Robert, 1934-$eeditor
           720  2#    $aCAPCON Library Network$eauthor

Go to:

Library of Congress
Library of Congress Help Desk (09/02/98)