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Library and Information Science Paper (ID LIS080001)

The Characteristics of “Work” in RDA, NCR1987, and NCR2018: A Comparative Analysis from the Viewpoint of Operational Definitions on its Identity
No.80, p.1-23
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Purpose: To improve the function of library catalogs, the concept of “Work” and navigation functions based on the concept of Work are both essential. However, its definition often varies depending on individual catalogers, resulting in unstable interpretations. Subsequently, the concept of Work is found to be difficult to use for the creation of bibliographic records. To handle the abstract concept of Work in a practical context, it is necessary to provide an operational definition on its identity. The purpose of this study is to examine the characteristics of Work in descriptive rules in terms of operational definitions on its identity.

Methods: In this study, three descriptive rules were examined: Resource Description and Access (RDA), Nippon Cataloging Rules, 1987 Edition, 3rd Revised Edition (NCR1987) and Nippon Cataloging Rules, 2018 Edition draft (NCR2018). They were examined and analyzed from the viewpoints of: (1) the definitions of Work within the rules, (2) the collocating function of Works, and (3) the criteria for determining the boundaries between one Work and another. Finally, an improvement plan is discussed.

Results: The definition of Work in NCR 1987 is different from the definition in FRBR and it is not a fully operable entity. In contrast, NCR 2018 and RDA include sufficient rules, which can easily lead to Work collocation, and those rules link the definition of Work based on FRBR and its operational definition on identity. While the boundaries of Work are fixed in NCR2018 and RDA, there remain cases where the boundaries vary depending on individual catalogers' judgment for identifying Works.

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