Details of LTI's Authority Control Processing

LTI’s authority control processing includes correction of non-filing indicators, pre-processing and MARC updates, programmed linkage of headings to authority records, editor review of a subset of headings that remained unlinked, final re-linking, and writing of bibliographic and linked authority records to separate files for return to the library or its local system vendor.

Record Load

Regardless of database size, FTP is the standard method to receive and return bibliographic and authority record files. This can be done directly through the LTI website, or by using an FTP client. Records are accepted in either MARC-8 or Unicode (UTF-8) character encoding format, based on library preference.

Data verification checks are made immediately after the transfer of records to LTI to ensure that records are properly formatted in the MARC-21 communications format. Bibliographic records are returned to the library in the same character set as received. Internally, prior to matching headings against LC authority records, we first convert controlled headings from Unicode to MARC-8. LTI returns LC authority records only in MARC-8.

Non-Filing Indicators

Setting of non-filing indicators in eight title fields is one of several pre-authority control processing operations. Non-filing indicators specify the number of initial characters to be ignored during computer filing.

For the title field (tag 245), the only title field to which the language code generally applies, articles associated with the fixed field language code are compared against the initial text in the title field. Based on this comparison, the non-filing indicator is set to 0 if no match is made, or to its proper matched value. The program takes into account leading diacritics and special characters that precede the first actual filing character.

If the fixed field language code in bytes 35-37 of the 008 is either blank or does not match a language code, the algorithm compares the title (245) field's initial text against a table of common articles in dozens of languages, and sets the non-filing indicator to its proper value.

Because the language of title fields other than 245 (e.g., X30, 240) is not necessarily the same as the language code, LTI's program compares non-245 field initial text against the table of common articles to set these non-filing indicators.

Automated non-filing indicator fix programs are sometimes unable to distinguish correctly between when a leading letter or word in a title is used as an article and when it is used as another part of speech that should not be ignored in filing. LTI's software uses, when appropriate, up to four words in the title to help determine if the initial word is actually used as an article. Examples of where the non-filing indicator is set properly to 0 based on an analysis of the second or subsequent word of the title are listed below:

A is for apple
A la orilla del viento
Das ist mir lieb
El Dorado, cuidad de oro
Lo que usted necesita saber sobre
Un de Baumugnes

While it is still possible for a non-filing indicator set correctly in the source record to be re-set to an incorrect value, it is unlikely. LTI creates an ASCII text report showing the before and after settings along with the relevant title text. For libraries receiving corrections, the report provides reassurance that its non-filing indicators are being correctly set. Should a library insist on retaining its original non-filing indicators in the 245 title field, LTI can preserve them upon request. These libraries also receive the report, listing the changes that need to be made locally. Retention of incoming indicators is not an option in controlled title fields where the removal of initial articles is controlled by explicit LC authorized headings.

In Resource Description and Access (RDA), catalogers are instructed to include initial articles in access points (RDA 6.2.1.7). However, LTI follows LC/PCC practice and applies the alternative instructions to omit initial articles in the formulation of headings. LC authority records do not contain non-filing indicators in 1XX fields, e.g., the geographic heading is Dalles (Or.)—not The Dalles (Or.) (n 82036146).

Preliminary Processing

Authority control at LTI begins with a generalized database clean-up program which increases the probability of bibliographic record heading matches against authority headings. To achieve consistency with the current MARC standards, bibliographic records are updated to reflect the latest MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data tagging and coding conventions.

Headings are normalized to correct a variety of typographical, punctuation, and spacing errors. Many changes are made at the subfield code level: additions (inserting $f, $l, $s, and $k in title fields, $c and $d in personal names, $b in corporate names, and $v in series), conversions (changing $b to $n in conference names, correcting errors caused by the omission or improper assignment of $c, $d, and $e in personal names), and deletions ($q in 780/785). Certain non-controlled heading fields are also revised. Obsolete fields are deleted (e.g. 023, 039), or converted (e.g. 301/305 to 300) and selected obsolete elements or subfields revised (e.g. $e removed from 041/052). An exhaustive table of authority control pre-processing fixes is found in the document LTI MARC Update Changes.

Complex Bible, music, and other controlled title headings are parsed and updated. Unneeded spaces are removed. Leading non-filing articles are removed from added titles and title portions of author/title headings, and unnecessary parentheses and brackets are deleted from name headings. If the records contain GMDs in controlled title fields, and they are not enclosed by brackets, the brackets are added. Cancelled subject subdivisions such as Addresses, essays, and lectures and Collected works are removed. The letters l and O are converted to 1 and 0 respectively in date subfields, a check is made to ensure that subfield code $d precedes dates in personal names, and second indicators in 1xx fields are set to blank.

Processing options chosen by the library are implemented: removal of $4 from name headings, deletion of selected heading types, and conversion of headings tagged as Children’s or Sears headings to LCSH.

Other Pre-processing Routines

Changes to cataloging rules and the MARC format require special processing of series, conference names, and titles prior to authority record linkage.

Obsolete series fields (400/410/411/440) are retagged as 490 fields with a first indicator of 1, and the content copied into appropriate 800/810/811/830 field. Removal of initial articles, capitalization changes, and adjustment of filing indicators is frequently necessary as part of this processing. To illustrate, the series:

440 4$aThe series in computer science
is retagged
490 1 $aThe series in computer science

and an RDA series field is added to the record using the LC/PCC alternative to eliminate initial articles:
830 0$aSeries in computer science

If the original 4XX series begins with the pronoun His, Hers, Its, or Their, the pronoun is replaced in the 8XX field with the full heading from the bibliographic record's 1XX field. Series tagged as 840 are retagged to 830.

In older conference name headings, the order and punctuation of data elements in $b, $c, $d, and $n are updated to current practice. In the 111/611/711/811 fields, the obsolete $b is converted to $n and the number, place, and date are placed in parentheses with proper subfield coding and punctuation. To illustrate, the conference heading:

111 20$aPermanent International Altaistic Conference, $b12th, $cBerlin, Germany, $d1969
is converted to:
111 2 $aPermanent International Altaistic Conference $n(12th :$d1969 :$cBerlin, Germany)

Controlled title fields are checked for proper punctuation and subfield coding. Omitted subfield coding, including subfield $l before languages and $f before dates, is inserted. In records containing a GMD in $h, the required corrections will be made.

Extraction of Controlled Headings

Following preliminary processing, headings in fields subject to authority control are extracted from bibliographic records. A unique, sequentially assigned number is appended to each field as a link for reinsertion of the authority controlled heading into the bibliographic record when processing has been completed.

Table I lists MARC record fields and subfields checked by LTI's authority service. With the exception of subfields $u, $w, $4, $5, $6, and $9, all subfields in bibliographic record headings are matched against all appropriate subfields in LC authority record headings. Volume designation in $v in 8XX fields is validated and corrected wherever possible, e.g., when it has been miscoded as part of $a or miscoded as $n or $p, or when other clear errors in formatting occur. In addition, subfield $v data is corrected based on the 642 field of the linked authority record. For LC subject authority control, only subject fields with a second indicator of 0 or blank are authorized. LTI offers optional authority control of LC Children's subjects, NLM's MeSH subject headings, and some genre headings.

  100 $a q b c d e k t n p l f g
  110 $a b e n d c k t p l f g j
  111 $a q e g k t p l f j
  130 $a t n p l f k s g d m o r h
  240 $a n p l f k s g d m o r h
* 400 $a q b c d k t n p l f g v
* 410 $a b n d c k t p l f g v
* 411 $a q e g k t p l f v
* 440 $a n p v
  490 1st ind. 0 - (recommended but optional)
  600 $a q b c d k t n p l f m o r s h g v x y z
  610 $a b n d c k t p l f m o r s h g v x y z
  611 $a q e g k t p l f s h v x y z
  630 $a t n p l f k s g d m o r h v x y z
  650 $a b v x y z
  651 $a v x y z
  655 $a 2nd indicator 0 or 7 if $2 = MeSH, LCSH, LCGFT, or GSAFD (for conversion to LCGFT) (optional)
  700 $a q b c d e k t n p l f m o r s h g i
  710 $a b e n d c t p l f m o r s h g j i
  711 $a q e g k t p l f s h j i
  730 $a t n p l f k s g d m o r h i
  800 $a q b c d k t n p l f m o r s h g v
  810 $a b n d c k t p l f m o r s h g v
  811 $a q e g k t p l f s h v
  830 $a t n p l f k s g d m o r h v
  840 $a h v 
* converted to corresponding 8XX

Table I. MARC fields and subfields validated by LTI's authority control service