LETTERS TO THE EDITOR


Letter 1

Dr. Ruth C. Carter, Editor

Cataloging & Classification Quarterly

Dear Dr. Carter:

I just received 26:2 of CCQ and read through the Toronto report by Dr. Barbara Tillett, which seems to have several errors in its description of my Toronto presentation, which I have itemized below: 

Dr. Tillett wrote:

1. "Unfortunately, she did not understand that the FRBR conceptual model includes editions, and she instead focused on 'editions' as a separate entity."

My correction:

Word for word, my statement in Toronto concerning the FRBR was as follows:

The IFLA Study Group on the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records ... seemed to define 'edition' as 'expression' in the introduction, but then failed to associate all areas of the bibliographic description with the function of identifying an 'expression' in the tables that make up the bulk of their work.

This was true of the draft report for world-wide review, sent out in May 1996, which was all that was available to conference participants, and it still seems to be true of the final published edition of FRBR, published in 1998 (the year after the Toronto conference), even though the actual definition of expression has changed considerably between those two editions.  The tables continue to assign statement of responsibility (which might contain the name of a translator) and edition designation (which might indicate that the text has been revised) to the manifestation entity, not to the expression entity.

2. "Although she didn't recognize it, Yee's superwork in fact is a recursive work in the FRBR conceptual model."

My correction:

I am not sure when the manuscript you published was submitted for publication, but in an Email exchange with Dr. Tillett in December, 1997, in which she referred to 'recursive works,' she admitted that the concept of 'recursive works' is not mentioned, let alone defined or discussed, in either the draft sent out for world-wide review, or the final version published in 1998.  It sounds a most interesting concept, but until a definition and discussion of it appears in print, it is difficult to determine what it means.  It is also hard to tell whether it is really part of the FRBR conceptual model, since it is never mentioned in any of the official publications describing the FRBR conceptual model.

3. "She failed to provide a clear indication of when we have the same work, a separate new work, or two related works..."

My correction:

The paper I wrote and posted on the JSC web site prior to the Toronto meeting contained what I thought was a rather clear statement of current AACR2 practice concerning when creation of an edition of the same work is held to have occurred, and when creation of a new related work is held to have occurred, as well as an analysis of a number of areas in which current practice produces less than optimal results in the opinion of some.  Since we were directed not to simply deliver our previously published paper in Toronto, but rather to summarize and respond to discussion on the listserv, I did not repeat my written statement orally, thinking I could assume all participants would have read my paper prior to my oral presentation.

4. "In the question/answer period she suggested that perhaps machines can compare and identify differences that would constitute when we have a new work..."

My correction:

In fact, what I suggested in the question/answer period was that we might be able to use machines eventually to compare two strings of data (e.g. digitized textual characters, digitized images or digitized sound) that could be either similar (two different editions) or identical (the same edition).  I would never have suggested that a machine could be used to tell when two items were two different WORKS or the same WORK.  In fact, I have published arguments to the contrary, notably:

Martha M. Yee. Editions: brainstorming for AACR2000. In: The future of the descriptive cataloging rules, ed. by Brian E.C. Schottlaender. Chicago: American Library Association, 1998. p. 54.

Thank you for the opportunity to correct these erroneous statements.

Sincerely,

Martha M. Yee, Ph.D.

Letter 2

Dear Dr. Carter:

In response to the letter from Martha Yee, regarding the report on the Toronto conference on AACR principles, I hope the following helps clarify.

1. Editions in the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records are indeed considered "manifestations," not "expressions." Yee’s "editions" are in the realm of the physical entity, since they are associated with a specific intellectual content and a physical form. As soon as there is a "statement of responsibility" then there is a physical thing from which that statement is taken, so then we have a "manifestation." Dr. Yee appeared to identify a separate entity that she labeled "edition" throughout her presentation, which was a cross between the FRBR "expression" and "manifestation."

2. Yee’s superworks are a wonderful concept and the people who developed FRBR also recognized the usefulness of such an entity, but considered it taken care of through "work." In discussions about entity-relationship models, recursive properties (and indeed cardinalities) can be diagrammatically shown, but the writers of FRBR chose not to get to that level of detail in the IFLA presentation, so indeed it is not documented in the report. I was simply indicating that it was a terrific concept that was discussed by the FRBR writers, and the concept should be considered included in the "work" entity in the FRBR model.

3. Same work, separate work, and two related works - My statement simply pointed out that it was missing from the Toronto presentation, though Dr. Yee did indeed include the current US practice in the posting to the JSC web prior to the conference.

4. Thanks for the further explanation of machine comparison of items rather than works!

Sincerely,

Barbara B. Tillett, Ph.D.


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