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Ed Jones


You're right that it should be possible to automatically generate ISBD punctuation from MARC 21. It would require only a few changes (such as separate subfields for parallel titles and subtitles [which currently share 245$b]). Of course, this was also true back in 1981 when AACR2 was implemented, in what was then USMARC. Perversely, automatic generation of ISBD punctuation was a function of UKMARC that the British gave up when they joined the MARC 21 community. I've heard many arguments over the years as to why this is not feasible, none very convincing, but apparently effective.


I would say you're absolutely right about redundancy. It seems absurd to need to put the date in the fixed fields, the 300 subfield c, AND in the call number. It (or they) should only have to be entered once.

As for punctuation, it's absurd for catalogers to have to input nit-picky punctuation in an online environment. There should simply be an entry, sans punctuation, and the ILS-OPAC display should handle the punctuation. Talk about a waste of time and effort that could be easily remedied.

Essentially, I think an XML-type coding would, if properly executed, work much better than our current methods of MARC entry, allowing the better granularity of tagging that MARC currently doesn't support (like your example of author dates).

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