According to the German RAK rules, a thesis note is also recorded if there is no formal thesis statement, i.e. if it's not the "real" thesis which was handed in for the degree, but a later publication of the text. There is only a slight difference in the style of the notes:

Note for the "real" thesis (I translate):
Cologne, University, doctoral thesis, 2010

Note for the later publication without formal statement:
Also: Cologne, University, doctoral thesis, 2010

I know that the second case was treated differently under AACR2. You wouldn't give a dissertation note (MARC 502), but a general note (MARC 500) saying something like "Originally presented as the author's thesis (doctoral) ...".

As far as I know, this difference is still valid under RDA. Indeed seems to make it clear that a formal statement is needed: "Treat the work being described as a dissertation or thesis presented as part of the requirements for an academic degree if it contains a statement declaring that it is a dissertation or thesis." I assume that it wouldn't count as a "statement" if e.g. the author only mentions this in the preface.

On the other hand, 7.9 supposedly is an *attribute of the work*, which makes perfect sense: It certainly doesn't stop being a thesis when it's published by a commercial publisher.

BUT: If it's an attribute of the work, shouldn't this information be valid for *all expressions* and *all manifestations* of the work? So, in a composite description, shouldn't 7.9 be *always* recorded - even if we aren't cataloging the "real" thesis but a later publication? This would be close to the German practice, and I think it would also be helpful for our users. Do they care whether they read the thesis in its original form or as a later publication? But they might still be interested to get the full thesis information in a well-structured form in both cases.

OR: If we're supposed to record 7.9 only for the "real" thesis: Shouldn't 7.9 be an attribute of the *manifestation* rather than an attribute of the work? This would fit in much better with the requirement of a formal statement, because the presence or absence of this is certainly on manifestation level.

If you think about it, the wording in is decidedly odd: Does the work (the thesis) ever "contain" a formal dissertation statement? I'd say that such a statement isn't part of the work. It's simply something which is put on the title page, i.e. it's presented together with the work.

I don't want to challenge the usefulness of FRBR in general, but I think RDA hasn't always been successful in FRBRizing AACR2.


Prof. Heidrun Wiesenmueller M.A.
Stuttgart Media University
Wolframstr. 32, 70191 Stuttgart, Germany

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