As of 22 April 2009 this website is 'frozen' in time — see the current IFLA websites
This old website and all of its content will stay on as archive –
The IFLA Study Group on the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) has created a conceptual framework for answering this question. My aim is to find out how the ISBD(ER) meets the ideas and needs described in the Functional Requirements study.
The functional requirements have been planned for the changing environment of bibliographic data. The question has been arisen: what kind of bibliographic records are required nationally and to an increasing degree also internationally to meet the different uses and user needs. All kind of materials (including electronic resources) are found in bibliographic databases. How should these bibliographic data be organized and structured for intellectual and physical access to the documents? By providing a greater capability to share bibliographic records, technological development has promoted the realization of Universal Bibliographic Control -- the idea of international sharing of standard bibliographic descriptions created by national bibliographical agencies. The network environment and the usage of the internet protocol Z39.50 make the shared cataloguing and information searching globally possible.
The focus of the analysis was on the needs of the users. From this point of view, different functions of elements included in the bibliographic record were carefully analyzed. The idea was to find out what elements are needed in bibliographic records and how they should be organized for the user's needs. The Report states that the user should be able to see what information resources exist on a particular subject or person. The user may be looking for a particular document as well. He or she has to be able to select a document or group of documents and verify their availability. Sometimes it is important that the physical requirements for the use of an item are taken into account (for example, in the case of electronic resources). Besides descriptive information, authorized forms of names, works and subjects are needed. In this context I will focus,however, on the bibliographic description.
The entity-relationship model brings together descriptions of manifestations linked to authorized forms of names, works and subjects. In FRBR such elements associated with entities are called attributes. "They serve as the means by which users formulate queries and interpret responses when seeking information about a particular entity."
Attributes serving the finding function:
The most important attributes for finding the manifestation are the title and identifier. The title has been used as search criteria for locating the entity. The identifier serves to identify the entity. Moderate value has been assigned to the statement of responsibility, series statement, and form of carrier.
Attributes serving the identifying function:
The manifestation identifier serves to identify the entity. In the absence of a unique identifier, a minimal set of attributes are needed to differentiate entities that have a number of common characteristics. In the majority of cases, the following attributes serve this function: title, statement of responsibility, edition/issue designation, publisher/distributor and date of publication, series statement, and form of carrier. (Moderate value for file characteristics)
Attributes serving the selecting function:
The highest value was assigned to attributes and relationships indicating the intellectual or artistic content (e.g. subject of a work). For selection purposes the attributes concerning technical requirements (for example, systems requirements for electronic resources), form of carrier, or other conditions restricting access or use are informative. Besides the statement of responsibility, edition designation and date also serve this function.
Attributes serving the obtaining function:
The highest value was assigned to attributes and relationships serving the identification of the entity (e.g. manifestation identifier. If no unique identifier exists, a minimal set of distinctive elements are needed to differentiate almost identical manifestations. The minimal set of attributes in most cases comprises title, statement of responsibility, edition designation, publisher, date, series statement, and form of carrier. In most cases the attribute or relationship indicating the source from which the entity may be obtained and information concerning the restrictions of access are most significant: for example, place of publication/distribution, notes of access restrictions, mode of access, and access address. Moderate value has been assigned in certain circumstances to indicating the extent or physical medium of the carrier or to the file characteristics.
Conclusion: the identifier and the title of the manifestation are most important attributes to meet the different user tasks.
"Core level elements" in relation to the user tasks (As given Table 6.3, FRBR pp. 93-95: attributes and relationships of manifestations):
Title of manifestation: High value: find (work, expression, manifestation), identify (work, expression, manifestation), obtain (manifestation). Moderate value: select (work, expression, manifestation).
Statement of responsibility: High value: identify (expression, manifestation), select (expression, manifestation), obtain (manifestation). Moderate value: find (work, expression, manifestation), identify and select (work).
Edition: High value: identify (expression, manifestation), select (expression, manifestation), obtain (manifestation).
Place: High value: obtain (manifestation).
Publisher/distributor: High value: identify, obtain (manifestation). Moderate value: identify (expression), select (manifestation).
Date: High value: identify, select, obtain (manifestation). Moderate value: find, identify, select (work, expression).
Form of carrier: High value: identify, select, obtain (manifestation). Moderate: find (manifestation.)
Extent of carrier: Moderate value: identify (manifestation), select (expression, manifestation).
Series statement: High value: identify, obtain (manifestation). Moderate value: find, select (manifestation)
System requirements: High value: select (manifestation). Moderate value: identify, obtain (manifestation).
Note on mode of access : High value: obtain (manifestation). Moderate value: select (manifestation).
Note on access restrictions: High value: obtain (manifestation). Moderate value: select (manifestation).
Note on access address: High value: obtain (manifestation).
Manifestation identifier: High value: find, identify, obtain (manifestation). Moderate value: identify (expression).
File characteristics: Moderate value: identify, obtain manifestation.
There is considerable pressure on the profession to determine a common agreement for core-level cataloguing record to be used in library catalogues and especially in national bibliographies. Enclosed is a model of core-level description for electronic resources based on the "high value" elements (if applicable) for establishing a basic-level of functionality of the catalogue to enable the user to find, identify, select, and obtain a manifestation. (See Table 6.3 Attributes and relationships of manifestations of the FRBR Report, pp. 93-96.) Mandatory elements according to the ISBD(ER) are indicated in boldface.
Notes relating to system requirements (for local access electronic resources)
Notes relating to mode of access (for remote access electronic resources)
Note on access restrictions
Note on access address (for remote access electronic resources)
Manifestation identifier (Standard number or alternative)
Workshop Discussion Question: What elements are necessary for the minimal-level description of electronic resources?
Notes on system requirements (for local access electronic resources).
Notes relating to mode of access (for remote access electronic resources)
Note on access address (remote access electronic resources)
Notes on the source of the title proper
Notes on the source of the edition statement (mandatory if applicable)
Note on edition and bibliographic history - (successor, supplement, complement, revision, translation, parent work)
Note on physical description (medium)
Note on use/access restrictions
Standard number (or alternative)
Further notes given in FRBR: Note on the form of expression (only if not inferred from other data), note on language (if significant), note on distinguishing characteristics of expression, note relating to availability-source for acquisition/access.
In addition to the descriptive elements the organizing elements (name headings, uniform title headings for work, series headings, and subject headings/classification numbers) are needed for the recommended basic-level national bibliographic record.
Workshop Discussion Question: Is the recommended basic-level national bibliographic record for electronic resources sufficient?
The revised edition area of ISBD(ER) gives practical applications with regard to the "philosophy" of the Functional Requirement study. The expression of the work reflects the intellectual and artistic content of the work. Because there are relationships between works, expression, manifestation and item, any change in form or intellectual or artistic content constitutes a change in expression (e.g. revised or modified text, translation). Variant expressions of the work, even when in the same form (revised versions), will often be identified as different expressions. If the production process involves modifications, additions, deletions, etc. -- such as differences and modifications in the programming language or operating system -- that affect the intellectual or artistic content, the result is a new manifestation embodying a new expression.
When the production process involves changes in physical form or in producing and publication processes, the result may be considered as a new manifestation which does not constitute a new edition (e.g. differences in the type and/or the size of the fonts or physical carrier, differences in formats, output mediums, or display formats).
Workshop Discussion Question: Regarding bibliographic control of changing and variable documents, should guidelines for creating single/multiple records be created?
Workshop Discussion Question: Could the authoritative database of manifestation-level descriptions according to ISBD(ER) be realized?
Future libraries, future catalogues / Pat Oddy. - London : Library Association, 1996. - 180 p.ISBN 1.85604-161-1.
ISBD(ER) : International Standard Bibliographic Description for Electronic Resources : revised from the ISBD(CF): International Standard Bibliographic Description for Computer Files / recommended by the ISBD(CF) Review Group. - München : Saur, 1977 . - (UBCIM Publications -new Series ; Vol. 17). - X, 109 p. ISBN 3-598-11369-2.