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62nd IFLA General Conference - Conference Proceedings - August 25-31, 1996
Bibliographic Control in China
The author starts with a brief history and the present status of bibliographic control in China, including the compilation of China National Bibliography, the creating of some large-scale bibliographic databases, standardization of bibliographic control, researches and practices and automation of bibliographic control. Then, the author analyses some problems and their contributing factors, and fu
rthermore, makes some comments on the future directions.
Bibliographic control is developed according to the increase of information quantity and needs for information. The aim of bibliographic control is to manage information more efficiently, to promote information interchange and to realize global information resources sharing.
It is in the last 20 years that people began to consider bibliographic control seriously. 1974 IFLA Conference proposed the definition, aim and plan of bibliographic control, and the concepts of NBC (National Bibliographic Control) and UBC (Universal Bibliographic Control). Since then, people all over the world have been making efforts to realize UBC and NBC and to compile national bibliographies
Though theories on bibliographic control reached China comparatively late, the Chinese librarians began to practise it very early, because they had been pregnant with ideas of bibliographic control throughout the bibliographic studies in ancient China. In 1980s, the Chinese librarians and information workers began to practise bibliographic control on a popular basis. Since then, they have acquir
ed good achievements. By now in China, there have already been systems of national bibliographic registration, national cataloguing, union catalogue announcement, periodical indexing, and international standardization in techniques and methodologies of bibliographic compilation.
I. A BRIEF HISTORY OF BIBLIOGRAPHIC CONTROL PRACTICES
China is a country with an age-old history and ancient civilization and has abundant literature. Governments of most dynasties put sufficient emphasis on the compilation of bibliographies. There are such kinds of national bibliographies as Bie lu and Qi lue in Han Dynasty, first of its kind in China, Jin zhong jing xin bu in Wei, Jin, Southern & Northern Dynasties, Sui shu
: Jing ji zhi in Sui Dynasty, Xin tang shu: Yi wen zhi in Tang Dynasty, Tong zhi: Yi wen lue in Song Dynasty, Wen xian tong kao: Jing ji kao in Yuan Dynasty, Si ku quan shu zong mu ti yao in Qing Dynasty. In view of these facts, our conclusions could be described as follows:
- Governments put emphasis on the compilation of bibliographies and used a great deal of human and material resources; there is a complete large-scale bibliography in almost every dynasty.
- The quality of these bibliographies is high, and their collection, description, classification, abstracting and arrangement are made in scientific ways.
- Governments tried to control ideology, culture and publications and to get statistical data about them through the compilation of bibliographies. Meanwhile, they also destroyed many important publications.
Affected by Western culture in modern times, Chinese people began to assimilate new ideology and new culture. We can see Riben shu mu zhi (Japan Bibliography) and Xi xue shu mu biao (Bibliography of Western culture), which introduced overseas culture, and Hangzhou cang shu lou shu mu and Gu yue cang shu lou shu mu, in which Western classification concepts were used. In
this period, there were some large-scale bibliographies, such as Tu shu zong mu (General bibliography of books), Quan guo chu ban wu hui bian (A complete list of publications in China), Quan guo chu ban wu zong mu lu (A general bibliography of publications in China), Zhongguo za zhi zong mu ti yao (The Chinese national bibliography of journals with annotations), Beiping ge tu shu guan suo can
g zhong wen qi kan lian he mu lu (An union catalogue of Chinese journals in libraries in Beiping), Zhongguo di fang zhi zong lu (A comprehensive catalogue of local gazetteers in China), and some monographs, such as Shu mu ju yao (An introduction to bibliography) and Zhongguo mu lu kao (A study of bibliography in China). The main characteristics in this period are as follows:
- People tried to integrate various kinds of classification systems, Chinese and Western, old and new.
- There were various kinds of bibliographies, such as general bibliography, union catalogue, bibliography of periodicals, bibliography of bibliographies, various forms of bibliographies, such as book form and catalogue card form, and various arrangements, such as those by titles, authors and subjects.
- These bibliographies were compiled by personal authors or corporate authors organized by publishers, not by governments.
Since the founding of the Peoples Republic of China in 1949, the government has been putting more and more emphasis on the development of book industry, and the work of bibliographic control and cataloguing are becoming standardized day by day.
- There are some organizations for document registration, such as the State Press and Publications Administration, which was established in 1949 and is in charge of registration of documents, and the Copyright Library, which was established in 1955 and is in charge of document registration and the compilation of national bulletin of new publications.
- A legal deposit system has been established. There are some new regulations indicated below:
- Zheng ji tu shu qi kan yang ben ban fa (Regulation concerning the collecting of sample copies of books and periodicals) (Press and Publications Administration, 1952);
- Zhonghua ren min gong he guo wen hua bu guan yu zheng ji tu shu, za zhi yang ben ban fa (Regulation concerning the collecting of sample copies of books and journals (Ministry of Culture, 1955);
- Tu shu, qi kan ban quan bao hu shi xing tiao li shi shi xi ze (Rules concerning copyright protection for books and periodicals) (Ministry of Culture, 1985).
- A national list of publications was compiled by the Copyright Library.
The main characteristics of this period are as follows:
- There are various kinds of large-scale bibliographies, such as national list of publications, local union catalogues, series bibliographies, bibliographies of bibliographies, subject bibliographies, etc.
- There are some library collection catalogues, subject catalogues, etc. to meet social needs.
- Quantity of bibliographies has been doubled.
II. CURRENT STATUS OF BIBLIOGRAPHIC CONTROL ACTIVITIES
The establishment of China National Technical Committee for Standardization of Information and Documentation in 1979 is a milestone for bibliographic control in China, which marks its internationalization. In this period, there is a trend of automation of bibliographic control and resources sharing of bibliographic data in the international library community. There are national bibliographic data
bases in many developed countries. In the same time, Chinese librarians are learning new technology and experiences from developed countries and have made great developments in bibliographic control.
i) Compilation of National Bibliography and Creating of Large-Scale Comprehensive Bibliographic Databases
During 1979-95, there are some great achievements in the compilation of national bibliography and the creating of large-scale comprehensive bibliographic databases, which include:
- Quan guo shan ben zong mu (National Union Catalogue of Rare Books in China) (jointly compiled by many libraries in China);
- Min kuo shi qi zong shu mu (General Catalogue of Publications in the Republican Period, 1911-49) (by National Library of China);
- Zhongguo guo jia shu mu (China National Bibliography) , 1985-1987, 1992 (by National Library of China);
- Zhongguo guo jia shu mu shu ju ku (China National Bibliography Database) , 1988-95 (by National Library of China);
- Zhongguo she ke bao kan pian ming shu ju ku (Database of Tables of Contents for Chinese Periodicals in Social Sciences & Humanities) , 1993-95 (by Shanghai Library);
- Zhongguo ke ji qi kan pian ming shu ju ku (Database of Tables of Contents for Chinese Periodicals in Science & Technology) , 1990-95 (by Chongqing Science & Technology Information Center);
- Zhongguo qi kan da ci dian (A Dictionary of Chinese Periodicals) database (jointly by many libraries in China; to be completed);
- Zhongguo gu ji zong mu ti yao (General Catalogue of Chinese Ancient Books with Abstracts) (organized by the Press and Publications Administration; to be completed);
- Zhongguo hui su shu mu shu ju ku (China National Bibliography Retrospective Database), 1949-87 (by National Library of China, etc.; to be completed).
In this period, the Copyright Library began a pilot CIP project in 1993, formally began to use it in January 1994, fully implemented it in 1995. The Tuxin New Technology Development Corporation, National Library of China, began to issue MARC version of China National Bibliography (CNB) in 1990, and has published by now several editions of printed version of CNB. In 1988, Shanghai Sh
enlian Document & Information Technology Corporation began to issue MARC of Chinese Books published in Shanghai. In 1987, Shenzhen Library began to compile MARC of Chinese Books.
From the compilation and development of bibliographies of Chinese publications, we can see the following characteristics:
- People, bibliographic workers or government officers, have more concepts in bibliographic control. For example, the Press and Publications Administration has promoted the production of CIP, and the Ministry of Culture is now coordinating and organizing the compilation of CNB Retrospective Database.
- The National Library has spent more human and material resources on the compilation of the CNB since 1986, has published the editions of 1985-1987, 1992 by now and will publish those of 1988-1991, 1993-1995.
- There are more efforts made on the standardization of bibliographic control. Some standards, which concern bibliographic control and were issued in the period of 1985-1987, began to be modified. Zhongguo bian mu shou ce (Cataloguing Manual for Chinese Librarians) is now under preparation.
- There are more developments in automation, such as the computerization of compilation of large-scale bibliographies and the release of printed, diskette and CD-ROM formats of bibliographies.
ii) Standardization of Bibliographic Work
The aim of bibliographic control is to control publications, to establish bibliographic information retrieval systems and to help people get useful information as soon as possible by bibliographies. To establish a high-quality bibliographic control system, we should have to master complete and standard techniques and methodologies of bibliographic compilation, use internationally standard bibliog
raphic formats, easily understandable bibliographic languages and reasonable sorting methods. In recent years, there have been great developments in the standardization of bibliographic searching languages and in techniques of bibliographic compilation, although there are still gaps between China and some developed countries in the field of standardization of bibliographic description and indexin
To promote bibliographic control and bibliographic compilation, China National Technical Committee for Standardization of Information and Documentation has issued several dozens of national standards concerning bibliographic work in the light of the requirements of ISBD (International Standard Bibliographic Description), which include:
- Wen xian zhu lu zong ze (General Bibliographical Description);
- Pu tong tu shu zhu lu gui ze (Bibliographical Description for Monographs);
- Lian xu chu ban wu zhu lu gui ze (Bibliographical Description for Serials);
- Fei shu zi liao zhu lu gui ze (Bibliographical Description for Non-Book Materials);
- Di tu zi liao zhu lu gui ze (Bibliographical Description for Maps);
- Wen zhai bian xie gui ze (Rules of Abstracting);
- Zhongguo biao zhun shu hao (Chinese Standard Book Number);
- Qing bao he wen xian xin xi jiao huan yong shu xue zi fu bian ma zi fu ji (Mathematical Character Set for Bibliographical Communication of Documents & Information);
- Wen xian mu lu xin xi jiao huan yong ci dai ge shi (Tape Format for Document and Information Communication);
- Ke xue ji shu qi kan bian pai gui ze (Arrangement Rules for Science & Technology Periodicals);
- Zhong wen shu kan ming cheng han yu pin yin pin xie fa (Pinyin Romanization for Titles of Chinese Publications);
- Jian suo qi kan bian ji zong ze (General Rules for the Abstracting & Indexing of Serials);
- Wen xian lei xing yu wen xian zai ti dai ma (Codes for Types and Media of Documents);
- Jian suo qi kan tiao mu zhu lu gui ze (Bibliographical Description for the Abstracting & Indexing of Periodicals);
- Wen xian zhu ti biao yin gui ze deng biao zhun yu gui ze (Standards & Rules Concerning Subject Heading of Documents).
In 1982, ISDS China Center, the present ISSN China Center, was established and has been located in the National Library of China since then. Since 1987, ISBN has been fully used in China. In 1990, Zhongguo ji du mu lu tong xun ge shi (China MARC Format) began to be used. In 1995, Zhongguo ji du mu lu tong xun ge shi ji shi yong shuo ming (China MARC Format with Users Guide) was com
pleted. In 1994, Zhongguo wen xian bian mu tiao li (Cataloguing Rules for Chinese Documents) began to be compiled. In 1995, a revised edition of Zhongguo ji du gui fan ge shi (China MARC Authority File Format) was completed. In 1993, Han yu zhu ti ci biao (Chinese Thesaurus: Science & Technology) was revised. In 1995, Zhongguo fen lei zhu ti ci biao (Classified Chinese Th
esaurus) was published. These standards and rules become a good basis for the development of bibliographic work and bibliographic control.
iii) Research Activities
In 1980s, Chinese librarians began to introduce theories and activities in bibliographic control from foreign countries, which include: thoughts, theories, history, methodologies in bibliographic control, UBC, NBC, bibliographic control of various kinds of publications, computer applications in bibliographic control and future trends of bibliographic control, etc.
In 1986, a national conference concerning UBC and UAP, first of its kind in Chinese library community, was held in China, and there were quite a lot of presentations of high quality. This was an influential activity which promoted work in bibliographic control in China in a great way.
Since then, Chinese librarians have been doing researches in theories, techniques, methodologies, systems, etc., of bibliographic control in China, including:
- Shu mu kong zhi jian lun (A brief study on bibliographic control) by HUANG Jungui;
- Shu mu kong zhi lun (A treatise on bibliographic control) by CHEN Chuanfu;
- Shu mu kong zhi yuan li (Fundamentals of bibliographic control) by QIN Yimin;
- Shu mu kong zhi de han yi ji shi yong xing yan jiu (A study on the implications and practicability of bibliographic control) by WANG Yan;
- Shi lun shu mu kong zhi de mu di xing (On the objectives of bibliographic control) by WU Qili; which are concerning the theory of bibliographic control;
- Shi shi zai ban bian mu dui wo guo guo jia shu mu he shi jie shu mu kong zhi de ying xiang (On the importance of CIP on China National Bibliography and UBC) by LI Yongming;
- Zhongguo shu mu kong zhi yan jiu zhi fan si (A review of studies in bibliographic control in China) by CHENG Huanwen;
- Xin yi guo jia shu mu - lun Zhongguo guo jia shu mu kong zhi (On the bibliographic control of China National Bibliography) by CHENG Lei; which are concerning bibliographic control in China;
- Wo guo di fang wen xian de shu mu kong zhi (Bibliographic control of Chinese local documents) by KE Ping;
- Wo guo bo shi, shuo shi xue wei lun wen de shu mu kong zhi (Bibliographic control of doctoral dissertations and master theses in China) by KE Ping;
- Cong shu shu mu kong zhi jian lun (A brief study on the bibliographic control of series) by CHEN Shaojiang;
- Lun quan guo qi kan shu mu de kong zhi (On the bibliographic control of Chinese periodicals) by LI Zhenfen; which are concerning subject bibliographic control;
- Wo guo shu mu kong zhi yan jiu shu ping (A review of studies in bibliographic control in China) by QIN Yimin;
- Wo guo shu mu kong zhi lun yan jiu shu lue (A review of studies in bibliographic control in China) by CHENG Guohong; which are reviews of studies in bibliographic control in China.
iv) Automation of Bibliographic Control
Since LC applied computer technology to library work in 1960s, there have been great changes in libraries and a lot of manual labor has been replaced by computers. Bibliographic work has also been changed since the release of LC MARC. Since 1980s, quite a lot of Chinese libraries have begun to use computers. Now, most information organizations are using microcomputers to process documents and t
here are almost a hundred application softwares and more than 400 databases. Among them, The National Library of China, Shanghai Library, Liaoning Provincial Library, Zhongshan Library of Guangdong Province and Shenzhen Library each has a database of more than 200,000 bibliographic records.
III. FUTURE DEVELOPMENT OF BIBLIOGRAPHIC CONTROL IN CHINA
Bibliographic control is a kind of system engineering. To fully implement a national bibliographic control, we need various kinds of conditions. Only if society, politics, economy, culture develop more rapidly, the total quantity of document information increases, and people have more knowledge about information, can bibliographic control make greater progress. China is now a developing country a
nd has gaps from developed countries both in socialization of bibliography and in bibliographic control. The main problems are summarized as follows:
- Because there is a lack of social labor division, bibliographic work has not become socialized and has not yet become a kind of social information industry.
- Because there is a lack of coordination, there is a lack of planning and management, which causes wastes of human and materials resources.
- Because of a lack of money and the low level of automation, bibliographic compilation takes a long time and is not of high quality. Up until now, about 20-30% of documents are still not in control.
To realize bibliographic control in China, we need support from various circles. Firstly, we should have more knowledge about information technology, put more emphasis on work and studies in bibliographic control, learn advanced technologies, experiences and methodologies from foreign countries. Secondly, we should establish a center of bibliographic control based on the National Library of China
, spend more human and material resources to compile national bibliography and establish databases of CNB, Chinese TOCs, union catalogues, database of Chinese ancient books and retrospective database of CNB. Thirdly, we should manage to get other funds than budgets from the government. We should also mobilize various libraries under a centralized control and concentrate all resources to establish
large-scale bibliographic databases, including full-text databases, thus realizing bibliographic control. Fourthly, we should improve quality of bibliography, promote its standardization and realize its automation.
It has been a long way for the development of bibliographic control in China. There is no doubt that it occupies an important position in UBC. Its development will meet social needs and make contributions to the transformation of Chinese society into an information society and to the resource sharing of all human being.
- QIN Yimin: Wo guo shu mu kong zhi yan jiu shu ping (A review of studies in bibliographic control in China), Tu shu guan (Library) , 3 (1992), pp. 17-23; 4 (1992), pp. 22-26.
- LU Lin: Wo guo shu mu qing bao de fa zhan qian jing (Perspective of bibliographic information in China), Tu shu guan xue tong xun (Bulletin of Library Science) , 3 (1990), pp. 39-43.
- CHEN Chuanfu: Qiang hua wo guo wen xian zi yuan kong zhi xi tong gong neng de ji dian jian yi yu she xiang (Some recommendations on the bibliographic control in China), Gao xiao tu shu guan xue kan (University Library Journal) , 1 (1989), pp. 38-41.
- NI Bo & HUANG Jungui (ed.): Shu mu gong zuo gai lun (An introduction to bibliographic work) , Bibliography & Document Publishing House, 1989, pp. 15-45.
- CHEN Yuanzhen: Hong guan tu shu guan xue (Macroscopic Library Science) , Peking University Press, 1989, pp. 106-131.
- NI Xiaojian (ed.): Shu mu kong zhi gai lun (An introduction to bibliographic control) , Peking University Press, pp. 174-182.
- LI Jiyou et al.: Tu shu guan mu lu (Library Catalogues) , 1982, pp. 22-36.
- CHENG Guohong: Wo guo shu mu kong zhi lun yan jiu shu lue (A review of studies in bibliographic control in China), Tu shu guan xue yan jiu (Studies in Library Science) , 1 (1993), pp. 21-24.