NACO > Yale Policies for NACO Independence

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General Comments

Yale University Library is an independent NACO institution. With this privilege comes responsibility for developing and maintaining our own internal quality control procedures. If the overall quality of our records were to become unacceptable, our institutional independence could be revoked by the Library of Congress.

The following guidelines will be used to help the members of the NACO Coordinating Committee determine when an individual cataloger may be granted independence for NACO work. The guidelines are intended to ensure that each cataloger is reviewed in a consistent and fair manner. 

Catalogers who have achieved independence are no longer required to submit their authority records for review; they may produce their own records. However, they are responsible for proofreading their records carefully and sending any BFM notices to the NACO Coordinator. They are encouraged to ask for advice and to submit any particularly difficult or unusual headings for review. If an independent cataloger has had a long absence from doing NACO work, it is recommended that he or she submit headings for review for a short period when resuming NACO activities.

Types of Independence 

Independence will usually be granted in stages, with each stage corresponding to a particular heading type: 

  • Personal names
  • Corporate/conference names
  • Jurisdiction names
  • Non-series uniform titles
  • Series uniform titles 

These stages do not have to be completed in any particular order.

Review Process

Reviewees may send no more than 10 records at a time (fewer than 10 is fine) and must wait until their reviewer has responded before sending another batch. Each batch may include a mix of heading types.

Reviewers must return the records to the reviewee within 2 weeks of receipt. If the batch contains a heading that is particularly problematic (and the reviewer has had to ask the NACO Coordinator to forward a query to LC), then the reviewer should return the batch minus the problematic heading and inform the reviewee that he or she may send another batch while the reviewer is waiting for the response from LC. Reviewers taking significant vacation or other approved release time should inform their reviewees and make interim arrangements as needed (e.g., asking reviewees to hold their headings or submit them to a designated temporary reviewer).

Both quantitative and qualitative standards will be used to evaluate the records submitted for review (see below). Each record will be counted as either being of acceptable or unacceptable quality. 

Quantitative Standards 

The cataloger must contribute a minimum number of authority records of acceptable quality to be eligible for independence for a particular heading type. The minimum numbers required are:

  • Personal names: 50 records
  • Corporate/conference names: 25 records
  • Jurisdiction names: 10 records
  • Non-series uniform titles: 25 records
  • Series uniform titles: 25 records 

For each record type, the minimum number of acceptable records must be submitted consecutively and the number of unacceptable records within the sequence should constitute no more than 10%. For example, if a cataloger has submitted 60 personal name records in the last couple of months, 54 of the 60 records must be of acceptable quality for the cataloger to be granted independence. 

This system allows the reviewee to make mistakes during the initial "learning phase" without being penalized. Example: if a cataloger submits 20 unacceptable series records in her first two batches, learns from her mistakes, and then submits 25 acceptable series records, the first 20 records may be ignored and she may be granted independence.

Qualitative Standards 

The cataloger must contribute a mix of new and updated authority records. The cataloger must also contribute a mix of "simple" headings and headings that require cross references.

Ideally, the cataloger will contribute a broad range of authority records that demonstrate the application of a variety of rules. Some of the heading types that it is desirable to see demonstrated include: 

  • surname vs. non-surname entry elements
  • compound surnames
  • names containing articles and prepositions
  • expansion of initials
  • pseudonyms vs. real names
  • name changes
  • undifferentiated names
  • authors vs. non-authors
  • pre-1800 names
  • government bodies
  • subordinate body vs. direct entry
  • title changes
  • numbered vs. unnumbered series
  • subseries
  • series-like phrases

If the cataloger does not encounter a broad enough spectrum of headings in his or her everyday work, the NACO reviewer may devise some other method for testing the cataloger's knowledge (e.g., asking the cataloger to establish a heading for a hypothetical item or for an item found in Orbis). Such testing should be kept at a minimum, however, and used only as a method of last resort.  

If the reviewee regularly reports duplicate authority records encountered in the LC/NAF, or discovers errors in existing authority records, the reviewer should interpret this as additional evidence that the cataloger is developing the qualitative expertise needed to function as an independent NACO contributor.

Major vs. Minor Errors

To determine whether a record is of acceptable quality, NACO reviewers will differentiate between major and minor errors using the chart below as a guide. Generally, a record containing a major error is not considered an acceptable record. A record that contains multiple minor errors may sometimes also be considered unacceptable. NACO reviewers should use their judgment on such matters.

MARC Tag

Type of Error

Description of Error

008

Major

incorrect coding

022

Minor

field missing (if needed)

050

Major

field missing (if needed)

Major

incorrect indicator

Major

incorrect or missing subfields

1XX

Major

incorrect choice or form of heading

Major

heading conflicts with another 1xx heading or 4xx reference

Major

heading already established (duplicate record)

Major

parent body or qualifier in heading not established

Major

incorrect tag, indicator, or subfield

Major

incorrect spacing, capitalization, or punctuation

Major

typos

Minor

when doing a record update:
-forgot to delete final period
-forgot to delete obsolete 2nd indicator
-forgot to add diacritic to initial capital letter (French, Spanish, Portuguese)

MARC Tag

Type of Error

Description of Error

4XX

Major

incorrect choice or form of reference

Major

parent body or qualifier in reference not established

Major

reference needed but not added

Major

reference added but prohibited by rules

Major

reference conflicts with an established 1xx heading

Major

incorrect tag, indicator, or subfield

Major

incorrect spacing, capitalization, or punctuation

Major

typos

Minor

when doing a record update:
-forgot to delete obsolete 2nd indicator
-forgot to add diacritic to initial capital letter (French, Spanish, Portuguese)

5XX

Major

incorrect choice or form of reference

Major

reference needed but not added

Major

reference added but prohibited by rules

Major

reference conflicts with a 4xx reference

Major

reference does not match an established 1xx heading in another record

Major

incorrect tag, indicator, or subfield

Major

incorrect spacing, capitalization, or punctuation

Major

typos

Minor

when doing a record update:
-forgot to delete obsolete 2nd indicator
-forgot to add diacritic to initial capital letter (French, Spanish, Portuguese)

MARC Tag

Type of Error

Description of Error

640

Major

field missing (if needed)

Major

incorrect use of field (e.g., information should be in 667 field)

Major

incorrect indicator

Major

incorrect subfield

Minor

incorrect spacing, capitalization, or punctuation

Minor

typos

641

Major

field missing (if needed)

Major

incorrect use of field (e.g., information should be in 667 field)

Major

incorrect indicator

Major

incorrect subfield

Minor

incorrect spacing, capitalization, or punctuation

Minor

typos

642

Major

 

field missing (if needed)

Major

incorrect form of numbering

Major

$5DPCC missing in new SAR (post-1981 series)

Major

$5DPCC added in new SAR (pre-1981 series)

Major

when doing a record update: added $5DPCC

643 

Major

field missing

Major

information doesn't match the 260 field in the bib record

Major

incorrect subfield

Minor

incorrect spacing, capitalization, or punctuation

Minor

typos

MARC Tag

Type of Error

Description of Error

644/ 645/ 646

Major

field missing

Major

incorrect decision

Major

$5DPCC missing in 645 field in new SAR (post-1981 series)

Major

$5DPCC added in 645 field in new SAR (pre-1981 series)

Major

when doing a record update: added $5DPCC (645 field)

667

Major

field missing (if needed)

Major

incorrect use of field (e.g., the information should go in 640/641)

Minor

incorrect spacing, capitalization, or punctuation

Minor

typos

670

Major

field missing (for item cataloged or to justify heading or reference)

Major

information missing (to justify heading or reference)

Major

information doesn't match the 245/260 fields in the bib record

Major

incorrect subfield

Minor

redundant or unnecessary 670 field

Minor

incorrect spacing, capitalization, or punctuation

Minor

typos

675

Major

field missing (if needed)

Minor

incorrect spacing, capitalization, or punctuation

Minor

typos

781

Major

incorrect choice or form of subdivision

Major

incorrect indicator or subfield

Major

incorrect spacing, capitalization, or punctuation

Major

typo

Major

when doing a record update: forgot to revise 781 if changing 151 heading


Document created and maintained by the Authority Control Advisory Committee.

Comments to: Rick Sarcia

Last revised: 11/05/2010

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