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MARC Scenarios

Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 5 months ago

Scenarios for the Creation of a Replacement for the Current MARC21 Record



Scenario 1 - Expand MARC using MARCXML

In this scenario, the library world converts to MARCXML for bibliographic, authorities and holdings, using the tags and subfield codes, etc., that exist today. After that conversion is stable, the MARC record is able to expand using new tags and new subfields that are not limited to the one-character that is used by MARC/Z39.2.

  • Advantages
    • Retains all MARC data currently in library catalogs; no loss of fields or data
    • Round-trip mapping could be done as long as it is acceptable to drop data elements added with new types of tags
    • Initially can have zero effect on systems, which can re-convert to MARC21 format on input
  • Disadvantages
    • Maintains some elements of MARC, like fixed fields, that are basically obsolete in today's IT world.
    • Does not fix specific problems, like bringing 008 language together with 041 language codes. (This might be mitigated through the cataloger user interface.)
    • Not FRBR-ized


Scenario 2 - Expand MODS/MADS into the new record formats

In this scenario, additions are made incrementally to the MODS and MADS records until they are considered suitable to serve as the data format for library catalogs. To complete the "set" it will be necessary to create a similar format for holdings data.

  • Advantages
    • Breaks away from some of the obsolete aspects of MARC (fixed fields; authority lists contained within the standard rather than being external)
  • Disadvantages
    • May take a while before MODS is considered complete; would take some intense work with the cataloging community.
    • There may be some loss from MARC records to the MODS formats
    • Round-trip conversion will not be possible (already is not, with MODS)
    • Not FRBR-ized


Scenario 3 - Create new record format(s)

This scenario is a kind of "start over" vision. With an eye to backward compatibility, new data elements are defined and a new structure is developed. This would have to include MARC Authorities and MARC Holdings. The end result may be more than three record formats.

  • Advantages
    • New formats can be designed around FRBR principles
  • Disadvantages
    • Creating all new record formats is a huge task
    • Backward compatibility will be unlikely

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