Posits that in library cataloguing and for optimal functionality of bibiliographic records, the indexing of fields and subfields should follow a uniform approach. This would maintain effectiveness in searching, retrieval and display of bibliographic information both within systems and between systems. However, a review of different postings to the AUTOCAT and USMARC discussion lists indicates that the indexing and tagging of cataloguing data do not, at present, follow a consistent approach in online library systems. If the rationale of cataloguing principles is to bring uniformity in bibliographic description and effectiveness in access, they should also address the question of uniform approaches to the indexing of cataloguing data. In this context and in terms of the identification and handling of data elements, cataloguing standards (codes, MARC formats and the Z39.50 standard) should be brought closer, in that they should provide guidelines for the designation of data elements for machine‐readable records.
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