THE AALL REPRESENTATIVE TO
THE ALA ALCTS/CCS SUBJECT ANALYSIS COMMITTEE
Philadelphia, January 29-Feb. 1, 1999
Marie E. Whited
Lillian Goldman Library at Yale Law School
The Subject Analysis Committee and its subcommittees held seven meetings during ALA Midwinter in Philadelphia.
SAC's liaison to MARBI, Bonnie Dede, reported on the status of MARBI proposals and asked for recommendations concerning 98-16R "Nonfiling characters in all MARC formats". These nonfiling characters exist in some subject headings. It was mentioned that the name for the harmonized United States and Canada MARC formats is MARC21. Lois Mai Chan reported on IFLA and their project MUSE (Multilingual Subject Entry) , an attempt to link and harmonize LCSH, RAMEAU (French), and Schlagwortnormdatei (German). IFLA has asked for comments on their "Guidelines for OPAC displays" which is available at http://www.ifla.org/VII/s13/guide/opac.htm.
LC Cataloging Policy and Support Office's SAC liaison, Lynn el-Hoshy, reported that LC is not using the new geographic area codes for Hong Kong and the former Soviet republics. They will begin to use them after the ILS implementation. The change from Wade-Giles to pinyin for Chinese names will impact place names, subject headings and the classification schedules. The next issue of the Cataloging Service Bulletin will include the place name changes. LC's adoption of core level cataloging includes special instructions for subject heading assignment. Subjects will be assigned for the primary focus of the book and not for secondary or tertiary aspects. The class number will correspond to the primary focus of the work. New subject headings will be established for core level titles when needed following the same instructions as for full level.
The new start date for form subdivisions implementation is now February 16. At that time catalogers will begin to use subfield $v in cataloging and authority records. There will be a project to recode form divisions in existing subject authority records. These records will be distributed on the weekly tapes. In order to use the subfield $v, please refer both to the authority records and to Subject Cataloging Manual: Subject Headings, 1998 Update Number 2. Once the authority system can accept the new 18x fields, LC will create subdivision records for the more than 3,100 free floating subdivisions. The 073 field will be used to identify the controlling instructions from Subject Cataloging Manual: Subject Headings, H1095-1200. There will be basic usage statements in the subdivision authority records. Some subdivisions will have two authority records - one for topic and one for form, e.g. subfield $v Periodicals and subfield $xPeriodicals. Records for two subdivisions in a string will be coded for the function of the first subdivision, i.e. $xForeign relations$vTreaties. The new edition of the free floating manual will contain the 18x tags. No work on subfield $y, free floating chronological subdivisions, is being planned until after ILS implementation.
Another new field appearing in the authority records is the 781 field which indicates the subdivision form of geographic headings. The 781 field will appear in new and revised authority records but will only be added to existing records as time permits. Hopefully this field will replace geographic information in the 667 and 680 fields.
The list of free floating subdivisions under individuals now includes composers and authors. New editions and updates to subject headings manuals will reflect the single list. Classification schedule HM will be in no. 273 of LC Classification: Additions and Changes. Please see http://lcweb.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/
The Subcommittee to Promote Subject Relationships/Reference Structures is preparing a panel on subject referencing in OPAC's for New Orleans ALA. In their sampling , the members found that only about 50% of the OPAC's display broader terms. They feel all the subject heading references should be displayed and available to aid patrons in searching subjects. Many users search subjects by keyword and about 30% of users search subjects by first searching title keywords. References are needed to provide additional access points and to better show the context of subject heading topics.
The Form Headings/Subdivisions Implementation Subcommittee held an educational panel where we actually got to do some exercises using the subfield $v. The exercises on form coding may eventually be posted on http://www.pitt.edu/~agtaylor/ala/implem.htm
Consider subfield $v Cases, subfield $xLegislation histories and Harvard University$xExaminations$xMathematics and you can understand some of the dilemmas involved. As mentioned above, information on coding will be given in subdivision authority records and in Subject Cataloging Manual: Subject Headings. This is a dynamic subject as demonstrated by the fact that some subdivisions coded with diamonds for form early on have now been changed to topical. The speakers suggested we all wait until the dust has settled before we begin changing bibliographic records. Keep in mind the following:
1. Ask LC when a practice seems strange
2. Ask if your system can do global changes for a specific location in a string
3. Ask if your system can distinguish , display, and index subfield $v versus subfield $x and do you want to distinguish yet?
4. Ask what you would like your vendor to do with subfield $v
The Subcommittee on Metadata and Classification is evaluating web sites that use classification to organize access to web resources of interest to the site organizer. Members have drawn up a set of criteria to be used for evaluation that will enable them to submit a report on the functions of classification as related to organizing and accessing electronic resources. An example of a classed site is http://link.bubl.ac.uk/ISC2
Metadata and Subject Analysis Subcommittee is working on defining the subject element in the Dublin Core. The element should be flexible, adaptable, and as specific as possible. The element should accommodate both keyword and controlled vocabulary. Whenever controlled vocabulary terms are used, the source of the term should be given, i.e. LCSH, MESH, etc. The work of the group should be finished around ALA 2000 midwinter.