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DATE: Dec. 15, 2006
NAME: Definition of subfields $b and $j in field 041 in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format
SOURCE: Online Audiovisual Catalogers, Inc. (OLAC)
SUMMARY: To eliminate possible coding ambiguity in field 041, this paper proposes the definition of subfield $j as "Language code of subtitle or caption." It also proposes redefining subfield $b as "Language code of summary or abstract."
KEYWORDS: Subfield $b in field 041 (BD), Subfield $j in field 041 (BD), Language code (BD), Subtitles (BD), Captions (BD), Summaries (BD), Abstracts (BD)
RELATED: 2005-07 (June 2005); 2006-DP06 (June 2006)
12/15/2006 - Made available to the MARC 21 community for discussion.
01/20/2007 - Results of the MARC Advisory Committee discussion - Approved as amended. Subfield $j should use the plural, i.e., "Language code of subtitles or captions."
05/04/07 - Results of LC/LAC/BL review - Approved
Prior to format integration, field 041 (Language code) subfield $b had been coded for the language of summary or abstract in the Books, Music, Serials, and Machine-Readable Data Files formats and for the language of subtitles in the Visual Materials format. At the time of format integration, it was decided that the different format definitions of field 041 subfield $b were compatible and thus, the decision was made to leave them in field 041 subfield $b after format integration.
However, during the discussion of Proposal 2005-07 (Revision of subfield $b in field 041 in the MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data), which renamed subfield $b in field 041 as "Language code of summary, abstract, or subtitles," it was noted that coding the language of summaries and abstracts in the same subfield as the language of subtitles and captions provided ambiguous language information. For example, it is currently not clear whether the language code in field 041 subfield $b for a moving image item refers to its subtitles or to the language of a summary that might appear on its container.
Discussion Paper No. 2006-DP06 (Defining separate subfields for language codes of Summaries/Abstracts and Subtitles/Captions in field 041) discussed the need to differentiate summaries and abstracts from subtitles and captions in field 041 subfield $b. The MARC Advisory Committee agreed that this differentiation is important because it would eliminate coding ambiguity, thus, making the data more useful for processing and searching.
Discussion Paper No. 2006-DP06 explored two options that would differentiate summaries and abstracts from subtitles and captions in field 041. The first option was to make subfield $b obsolete and then define two new subfields in field 041: one for "Language code of summary or abstract" and one for "Language code of subtitle or caption." The second option was to redefine subfield $b as "Language code of summary or abstract" and then define a new subfield for "Language code of subtitle or caption." Although some members thought that defining two new subfields would be a "cleaner" approach, the MARC Advisory Committee preferred the second option because statistics show that the vast majority of MARC records containing field 041 subfield $b are for summaries and abstracts. For example, the majority of records in the WorldCat database are coded "a" (Language material) in Leader/06 (Type of record). Likewise, only 9% of records in the WorldCat database are for visual materials (Leader/06 code "g" (Projected medium)). Thus, redefining subfield $b as "Language code of summary or abstract" would cause the least amount of change and disruption to MARC bibliographic records.
Field 041 is currently defined as follows:
041 - LANGUAGE CODE (R) Indicators First - Translation indication 0 - Item not a translation/does not include a translation 1 - Item is or includes a translation Second - Source of code # - MARC language code 7 - Source specified in subfield $2 Subfield Codes $a - Language code of text/sound track or separate title (R) $b - Language code for summary, abstract or subtitles (R) $d - Language code of sung or spoken text (R) $e - Language code of librettos (R) $f - Language code of table of contents (R) $g - Language code of accompanying material other than librettos (R) $h - Language code of original and/or intermediate translations of text (R) $2 - Source of code (NR) $6 - Linkage (NR) $8 - Field link and sequence number (R)
[An English language book contains a summary in French]
[An English language video contains a German language summary on its package and German subtitles]
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