Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Alternatives Options and Exceptions in RDA : What Every Cataloger Needs to Know

RDA Alternatives Options Exceptions

Contents:
  • Alternatives Options and Exceptions in RDA : What Every Cataloger Needs to Know
  • What are RDA Alternatives?
  • Example of RDA Alternatives
  • What are RDA Options?
  • Example of RDA Optional Additions
  • Example of RDA Optional Omissions
  • What are RDA Exceptions? 
  • Example of RDA Exceptions
  • How to decide whether to apply the alternatives, options, or exceptions?
  • Note on the use of screen images from RDA Toolkit (Following RDA and RDA Toolkit Copyright Statement and guidelines)

Alternatives Options and Exceptions in RDA : What Every Cataloger Needs to Know
RDA contains a number of guidelines and instructions that are marked as alternatives, options (optional additions, optional omissions), and exceptions. Each of these is clearly identified by an italicized label, which in the RDA Toolkit appears in green color in the instruction (alternative, optional addition, optional omission, exception). A green vertical bar also appears in the left margin next of an alternative, optional, or exceptional instruction in RDA Toolkit. These allow individual libraries or cataloging agencies to make decisions based on individual considerations in cases where two or more provisions are equally valid. Guidelines for alternatives and options are provided in RDA rule 0.8, and instructions for applying exceptions is at RDA 0.9 of chapter 0. 

What are RDA Alternatives?
Glossary of Library & Information Science defines Alternatives in RDA as below:
RDA Alternatives  In Resource Description and Access (RDA) cataloging rules there are a number of guidelines and instructions that are labeled as alternativesAlternative guidelines and instructions  in Resource Description and Access (RDA) provide an alternative approach to what is specified in the immediately preceding guideline or instruction. A cataloger can choose to follow the rule or the alternative.

Example of RDA Alternatives: at RDA 2.3.2.9: Resource Lacking a Collective Title, the general instruction states: “If: the type of description chosen for the resource is a comprehensive description and the resource lacks a collective title then: record the titles proper of the parts as they appear on the source of information for the resource as a whole … …” Immediately after the examples, an alternative is given as: “Devise a collective title by applying the instructions … If considered important for identification or access, record the titles of individual parts as the titles proper of related manifestations …” If you observe the screen image of RDA Toolkit, just after the label Alternative there are icons that link to various policy statements. If you go to the LC-PCC PS for this alternative, it says: “LC practice/PCC practice for Alternative: Generally, do not apply.” So according to LC-PCC PS on the alternative instruction, the cataloger should not devise a collective title in this case.

RDA ALTERNATIVES
"Screen image from the RDA Toolkit (www.rdatoolkit.org) used by permission of the Co-Publishers for RDA (American Library Association, Canadian Library Association, and CILIP: Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals)".
What are RDA Options?
Glossary of Library & Information Science defines Options in RDA as below:
RDA Options  In Resource Description and Access (RDA) cataloging rules there are a number of guidelines and instructions that are labeled as optionsOptions appear in two forms in RDA, viz. optional additions and optional omissions. The optional addition of data that supplement what is called for in the immediately preceding instruction, or the optional omission of specific data called for in the immediately preceding instruction. Hence, it can be said that optional instruction offers the opportunity to either supplement required data with additional information (metadata), or omit data from what is instructed in the preceding rules. Here it is important to note that each library or cataloging agency can decide when or whether to follow the options or just follow the rules in the immediately preceding instruction. They may choose to establish their own policies and guidelines on the application of the options or leave decisions on the use of options to the cataloger’s judgment. 

Example of RDA Optional Additions: RDA rule 2.8.6.3 is for Recording Date of Publication. Here an optional addition instruction appears after the examples which say “If the date as it appears in the resource is not of the Gregorian or Julian calendar, add the corresponding date or dates of the Gregorian or Julian calendar. Indicate that the information was taken from a source outside the resource itself.” Just after the label Optional Addition, there are icons that link to various policy statements. If you go to the LC-PCC PS for this alternative, it says: “LC practice/PCC practice for Optional addition: Add the corresponding date or dates of the Gregorian or Julian calendar. If dates have been recorded using the Hebrew script, the Gregorian or Julian calendar date may be added in both the non-Latin and romanized field or only the romanized field.” (Click on the image to enlarge)

RDA OPTIONAL ADDITION
"Screen image from the RDA Toolkit (www.rdatoolkit.org) used by permission of the Co-Publishers for RDA (American Library Association, Canadian Library Association, and CILIP: Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals)".
Example of RDA Optional Omissions: RDA rule 2.4.1.5 is for Statement Naming More Than One Person, etc. Here an optional addition instruction appears after the examples which say “If a single statement of responsibility names more than three persons, families, or corporate bodies performing the same function (or with the same degree of responsibility), omit any but the first of each group of such persons, families, or bodies... If you observe the screen image of RDA Toolkit, just after the label Optional Omission there are icons that link to various policy statements. If you go to the LC-PCC PS for this alternative, it says: “LC practice/PCC practice for Optional omission: Generally, do not omit names in a statement of responsibility.” (Click on the image to enlarge)


"Screen image from the RDA Toolkit (www.rdatoolkit.org) used by permission of the Co-Publishers for RDA (American Library Association, Canadian Library Association, and CILIP: Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals)". 


What are RDA Exceptions? 
Glossary of Library & Information Science defines Exceptions in RDA as below:
RDA Exceptions  In Resource Description and Access (RDA) cataloging rules there are a number of guidelines and instructions that are labeled as exceptions. Some instructions are scoped as being applicable only to certain types of resources (such as serials). An exception is an instruction that takes precedence over the immediately preceding instruction and applies to a specific type of resource, condition, etc. Here in RDA Toolkit, an LC-PCC PS appears which suggests the LC practice is to apply the guidelines in Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Books) (DCRM(B)) for books published before 1801 and selected early 19th century resources instead of RDA rules. Unlike alternatives and optionsexceptions are not subordinate to general instructions, therefore, RDA exceptions generally do not require policy statements, although some exceptional situations may require some additional considerations. Exceptions must be followed when applicable. They are provided when it is necessary to depart from a rule’s instructions because of a specific type of resource or situation.

Example of RDA Exceptions: RDA rule 2.3.2.5 is for Title in More Than One Form. After the instructions and example, an exception to this rules appears as for Serials and integrating resources, which suggests “If the title of a serial or integrating resource appears on the source of information for the title proper in full as well as in the form of an acronym or initialism, choose the full form as the title proper.” (Click on the image to enlarge)

RDA EXCEPTIONS
"Screen image from the RDA Toolkit (www.rdatoolkit.org) used by permission of the Co-Publishers for RDA (American Library Association, Canadian Library Association, and CILIP: Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals)".
How to decide whether to apply the alternatives, options, or exceptions?
Whether to apply the alternatives, options, or exceptions is cataloger judgment, unless an LC practice has been identified in an LC-PCC PS (for LC catalogers). Each library or cataloging agency must decide whether or not to use each of these alternatives and options. This can be done by choosing one or more of the following approaches: (a) Establishing local policies for all options and alternatives, or (b) Establishing local policies for some, but not all, options and alternatives, or (c) Following the policy statements of other libraries and programs, such as the Library of Congress-Program for Cooperative Cataloging Policy Statements (LC-PCC PS) or British Library Policy Statements (BL PS), or (d) Allowing individual catalogers to use their judgement who are responsible for creating the metadata for the bibliographic items.

Unlike alternatives and options, exceptions are not subordinate to general instructions, therefore, RDA exceptions generally do not require policy statements, although some exceptional situations may require some additional clarification. Exceptions must be followed when applicable. They are provided when it is necessary to depart from a rule’s instructions because of a specific type of resource or situation.

Note on the use of screen images from RDA Toolkit: Screen images from RDA Toolkit is used here for educational and research (non-profit) purposes by following the RDA and RDA Toolkit Copyright Statement, which says: "You are free to copy, distribute, and otherwise share screen images of RDA Toolkit for educational purposes, including training, classroom or online teaching, presentations, review, evaluation, internal library use, and handouts for related activities. You may not use RDA Toolkit screen images for commercial gain, and may not alter, transform, or build upon them without written permission from the Co-Publishers. Each use of an image from RDA Toolkit should be attributed as follows: "Screen image from the RDA Toolkit (www.rdatoolkit.org) used by permission of the Co-Publishers for RDA (American Library Association, Canadian Library Association, and CILIP: Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals)"."

This article is updated in RDA Frequently Asked Questions

Author: Salman Haider [Revised 2016-03-30 | Written 2016-03-30]

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