Electronic Cataloging: AACR2 and Metadata for Serials and Monographs

Ali Shiri (School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alberta, Canada)

Library Review

ISSN: 0024-2535

Article publication date: 1 October 2004




Shiri, A. (2004), "Electronic Cataloging: AACR2 and Metadata for Serials and Monographs", Library Review, Vol. 53 No. 8, pp. 418-419. https://doi.org/10.1108/00242530410556292



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

This book is the proceedings of the 2001‐2002 Association for Library Collections and Technical Services Regional Institutes on the Anglo‐American Cataloging Rules, 2nd edition, 2002 Revision and Metadata conference. It has three main parts. Part one, titled fundamentals, consists of two papers discussing definitional, historical and theoretical concepts of metadata and cataloguing rules and the challenges and problems in organising electronic information.

Part two follows with four papers on how libraries can employ metadata. The papers in this part have dealt with a range of practical issues concerning metadata creation, formats, standards and schemas. Some of the standards and formats touched on are MARC, AACR2, Dublin Core, XML, RDF and OAI. How metadata and cataloguing rules can contribute to improved resource description and discovery on the Internet and the significance of metadata in the context of the Web environment are among the issues discussed in part two. This part is followed by a discussion of metadata mapping and the role of subject schemes and thesauri in standardising the process of metadata development and maintenance.

“AACR2 and metadata” is the title of part three. The first paper in this part focuses on the applicability of AACR2 rules to Web‐based resources. It is emphasised that AACR2 should be used only for “resources of continuing importance”, while Dublin Core metadata elements lend themselves to the resources which are ephemeral or are of limited importance as judged by those selecting resources for organisation. The revision of AACR2, its relationship to other metadata standards and its future are also discussed in brief. Evolution of cataloguing and metadata and other standards such as ISBD and Dublin Core are addressed in the second paper in part three. It also describes the efforts made by the Library of Congress in developing an international authority file which can be viewed as an integral part of the “Semantic Web”. Two papers in part three discuss the issues surrounding the development and application of the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) and the revisions made to AACR2 and MARC 21, which will have an impact on serials. Also examined are international harmonisation and the role that the ISSN plays as a valuable metadata resource in managing serial collections. The last paper titled “MARC or mark‐up” addresses the issue of electronic resource description standards, in particular, the MARC format and the mark‐up languages used to code metadata elements. Some of the standards and formats discussed in the paper are MARC, AACR2, SGML, XML, RDF, and Text Encoding Initiative (TEI).

The well‐prepared index at the end of the volume provides a useful look‐up tool to find the issues and topics of interest. The strength of this volume lies in the fact that, taking all papers together, it provides a wide‐ranging account of issues surrounding cataloguing in the new information environment. This is achieved through providing a coherent framework to present and discuss well‐established standards and tools in the library profession and those developed as a result of technological changes and internet‐related developments.

This book is recommended to those who have a background of, and experience in cataloguing and would like to make themselves more acquainted with new cataloguing standards, contexts, applications, and formats in the Web information environment.

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