Content designators for machine-readable records: a working paper
Journal of library automation
Avram, Henriette D~Guiles, Kay D
Abstract: Under the auspices of the International Federation of Library Association''s Committees on Cataloging and Mechanization, an International Working Group on Content Designators was formed to attempt to resolve the differences in the content designators assigned by national agencies to their machine-readable bibliographic records. The members of the IFLA Working Group are: Henriette D. Avram, Chairman, MARC Development Office, Library of Congress; Kay D. Guiles, Secretary, MARC Development Office, Library of Congress; Edwin Buchinski, Research and Planning Branch, National Library of Canada; Marc Chauveinc, Bibliotheque Interuniversitaire de Grenoble, Section Science, Domaine Universitaire, France; Richard Coward, British Library Planning Secretariat, Department of Education & Science, United Kingdom; R. Erezepky, Deutsche Bibliothek, German Federal Republic; J. Poncet, Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, France; Mogens Weitemeyer, Det Kongelige Bibliotek, Denmark.All working papers emanating from the IFLA Working Group will be submitted to the International Standards Organization Technical Committee 46, Subcommittee 4, Working Group on Content Designators. Prior to any attempt to standardize the content designators for the international exchange of bibliographic data in machine-readable form, it is necessary to agree on certain basic points from which all future work will be derived. This first working paper is a statement of: 1) the obstacles that presently exist which prevent the effective international interchange of bibliographic data in machine-readable form; 2) the scope of concern for the IFLA Working Group; and 3) the definition of terms included in the broader term "content designators." If an international standard format can be derived, it would greatly facilitate the use in this country of machine-readable bibliographic records issued by other national agencies. It should also contribute significantly to the expansion of MARC to other languages by the Library of Congress. At present, the assignment of content designators of most national systems is so varied that tailor-made programs must be written to translate each agency''s records into the United State MARC format. The international communications format might become the common denominator between all countries, each national system maintaining its own national version.