Discussion Issue #2: Creator of an Expression

The organization of information

If you look at the manifestation record for the third edition of The organization of Information <jca20120437>, you will see that the statement of responsibility for this edition contains two names: “Arlene Taylor and Daniel N. Joudrey”.  Joudrey is clearly a Related Person, but it is not clear what entity he is related to.

The statement of responsibility names two persons as authors of the third edition.  Arlene Taylor is the author (Creator) of the work, but Daniel Joudrey is only the author of one edition (Expression).  My tentative decision was to record Danny as a Related Person for the Expression <jca20120438>.  This gives the relationship tree for the work shown on the page for this title.  The relationship tree from the Person record for Joudrey looks like this:

I believe that this is the correct relationship.  However, there are two further questions:

  1. What Relationship Designator applies to this Related Person relationship?  In RDA I.3.1 (Relationship Designators for Contributors) – the only designators association with an Expression – the only possibility seems to be “Writer of Added Text” and the definition of that designator is limited to contributions to a primarily non-textual work.The preface to the third edition makes it clear that two authors collaborated on the revision.  This suggests that the appropriate designator should be Author, but that is a designator for persons related to a Work.  Is this collaborative revision a new work?  I don’t think so, but RDA does not seem to account for persons, families, or corporate bodies who collaborated in the creation of an Expression.  The language here is deliberately confuses RDA/FRBR concepts; how can this be resolved?
  2. Should the statement of responsibility in the Manifestation record be a Statement of Responsibility Relating to the Title Proper or a Statement of Responsibility Relating to the Edition?  I chose to record it as the latter, because one of the persons named is only responsible for this edition.  However, the statement is presented on the title page as a statement relating to authorship of the resource.  Frankly, I’m not certain which practice is best.

— John

1 thought on “Discussion Issue #2: Creator of an Expression”

  1. John Attig said:

    I have thought some more about this, and consulted with Barbara Tillett. I think I got this wrong, and would like to change my position.

    A Creator relationship is by definition to the Work, even if the relationship does not apply to all Expressions of that Work. Therefore, the person Daniel Joudrey should be related to the Work “The organization of information” as a Creator. And the statement of responsibility should be recorded as a Statement of Responsibility Relating to the Title Proper.

    An argument could be made that the addition of another Creator for the third edition means that this is now a new Work, distinct from the Work created by Arlene Taylor alone and realized in the first and second editions. Famously, Barbara Tillett has described a continuum between resources that are clearly new Works and resources that are clearly new Expressions of the same Work — with a lot of less-than-clear cases in between. To my mind this case falls into the category of a new Expression, although it is fairly close to that imaginary line between new Work and new Expression. The continued involvement of the original author, and the presence of much of the same content between the second and third editions convinces me that this should be considered a new Expression of the same Work. However, this is definitely a case in which the cataloger needs to make a judgment, and a case can be made for both possibilities.

    What I have said here has implications for the interpretation of the relationships involved. My original assumption was that a relationship to a Work must necessarily apply to all Expressions and all Manifestations of that Work. Clearly, that is not going to be true.

    So how should one interpret these relationships? Barbara noted that there is a missing piece of metadata here: time. After 2009, Joudrey is the Creator of this Work, but before 2009, he is not. If metadata about date of applicability were included in the FRBR model and in descriptions based on it, then it would be possible to limit relationships based on date of applicability; relationships falling within the stated dates are valid, while relationships falling outside those dates are not.

    I’m not sure that dates of applicability will always distinguish valid from invalid relationships. Consider the case of a Work that appears in more than one series. Assuming that the series relationship is a Work-to-Work relationship (as most would argue), not all Expressions and Manifestations of a Work appear in the same series. I did a set of records showing Manifesttions of Shakespeare’s Hamlet that appeared in (1) The New Variorum Shakespeare and (2) The Arden Shakespeare, Third Series. Both series are related to the Work “Hamlet”, but clearly not all Manifestations of that Work are in both series. The only way to confirm which Expressions and Manifestations of the Work are related to a given series is to check the Series Statement for each Manifestation.

    To generalize this point: Following a chain of relationships between related entities can result in a large number of possible inferences; some of these inferences will be valid, some will not. The inference, for example, that Joudrey is the Creator of the first edition of “The organization of information” is invalid, while the inference that he is the Creator of the third edition is valid. The only way to confirm the validity of an inference is to check the metadata describing the related entities.

    One of the morals of this story is that visualization tools such as the Relationship Tree in RIMMF need to be used with considerable caution. The bibliographic universe is always more complicated that we expect it to be.

    Note: The revised JSC_RDA database that I posted today includes corrections to the records for “The organization of information”.

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