I agree that those differences matter; it's one of the reasons those 
much-maligned intermediary menus stay up.

But in the current, record-based environment, I'm not sure if it's such a great 
idea to have each separate manifestation on its own record.  A lot of the data 
will be redundant; and in any case most of the data we store to manage these 
resources live outside of the catalog, in an ERM and/or link-resolver.

In some future system--either an E/R system like the ones the original drafters 
of the FRBR report envisioned, or more likely something based on linked data--I 
can see how each manifestation having its own record (or identifier) will be 
useful both to staff and users.  But we're not there yet.


p.s. Let me hasten to add: I doubt Kevin was suggesting that each electronic 
manifestation requires a separate bib; I think he was just talking about the 
utility of the concept of related manifestations with respect to e-resources.  

Benjamin Abrahamse
Cataloging Coordinator
Acquisitions, Metadata and Enterprise Systems
MIT Libraries

-----Original Message-----
From: Resource Description and Access / Resource Description and Access 
[mailto:RDA-L@listserv.lac-bac.gc.ca] On Behalf Of Jonathan Rochkind
Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2012 3:44 PM
To: RDA-L@listserv.lac-bac.gc.ca
Subject: Re: [RDA-L] Multiple electronic manifestations (was RE: [RDA-L] The 
purpose of standards)

Yes, that doesn't surprise me. But they're going to care if one manifestation 
is PDF, and another is Kindle, and another is mobi, and another is ePub. (They 
might even know what those words mean, but they're going to care that if they 
have an e-reader, some of those formats will work on their particular e-reader 
and some won't).

If different electronic manifestations end up with slightly differnet textual 
content (different pagination if they have pagination at all, or slightly 
different actual text) -- then it's also going to matter for scholarly 
citations to know which text was cited (or which version's page 12), and be 
able to retrieve the appropriate cited version.

And it of course matters for own internal control,  which vendor platform hosts 
a given copy, so we can remove the advertisement of access temporarily (if 
vendor platform is down) or permanently (if vendor goes away or we stop 
licensing from them).

On 12/27/2012 3:39 PM, Benjamin A Abrahamse wrote:
> It is definitely true that, from the point of view of resource management, 
> each manifestation has its own particular information that needs to be looked 
> at separately.
> But its also true--or at least so it seems to me from the feedback our users 
> give us--that very few users care what provider they get their e-book or 
> articles from.  For example, we often get complaints from users about the 
> intermediary menu our link-resolver shows when we have the same content from 
> multiple providers, as it creates an extra step and occassionally some 
> confusion about exactly what is going on.
> The users that have preferred provider, I would guess, get to their 
> resources via the provider (or by other means, Google Scholar, etc.) 
> and not through our catalog.  (Then again, here at MIT we follow, 
> whenever possible, a "single record approach" which might be 
> understood in FRBR-terms as "expression-level cataloging". So maybe 
> our users are already particularly finnicky about what they see in the 
> catalog?)
> So while I think the concept of different electronic manifestations is 
> important for catalogers, but I'm not sure the practice of generating records 
> for each specific electronic manifestation is going to make our catalogs more 
> appealing to end-users.
> My .02,
> b
> Benjamin Abrahamse
> Cataloging Coordinator
> Acquisitions, Metadata and Enterprise Systems MIT Libraries
> 617-253-7137
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Resource Description and Access / Resource Description and Access 
> [mailto:RDA-L@listserv.lac-bac.gc.ca] On Behalf Of Kevin M Randall
> Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2012 12:52 PM
> To: RDA-L@listserv.lac-bac.gc.ca
> Subject: Re: [RDA-L] The purpose of standards
> James Weinheimer wrote:
>> With online resources, everyone is looking at *exactly the same files*
>> so the utility of even considering an online resource in terms of a
>> manifestation may be far less useful.
> It seems to me that the concept of manifestation is no less important when 
> considering online resources.  And they are certainly not always "exactly the 
> same files".  For things such as electronic journals, there can be very 
> significant differences between manifestations (the one found on the 
> publisher's web site vs. Ebsco vs. Gale, etc.).
> And then there are also ebooks, where you have versions for Kindle, for Nook, 
> etc.  Sound files can be in various formats and at different bit rates.  
> Graphic files can be in different formats and resolutions.
> Many books, films, sound recordings, etc. have been digitally converted and 
> remastered multiple times, and there are very real differences between the 
> versions--differences which can be significant, perhaps even critical, to the 
> user.
> Compared to the print world, one could argue that we are dealing with a 
> greater number of manifestations, and there will always be a need to 
> distinguish between them, on both the managerial side (e.g. selection and 
> acquisition) and the user side (obtaining files whose formats and features 
> meet the user's needs).
> Kevin M. Randall
> Principal Serials Cataloger
> Northwestern University Library
> k...@northwestern.edu
> (847) 491-2939
> Proudly wearing the sensible shoes since 1978!

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