How are revised editions treated differently in RDA?

ANSS Subject and Bibliographic Access Committee
Question/Answer on cataloging issues – January 2015

By Isabel del Carmen Quintana, Harvard University

Question:     How are revised editions treated differently in RDA?


RDA, Resource Description and Access, is based on FRBR (the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records), and therefore is focused on the question of a “work.” A “work” is defined in RDA as “a distinct intellectual or artistic creation.”

Revised editions create a new challenge in RDA because, in some cases, an edition has been revised to the extent that it is a new work. Therefore the Library of Congress has come up with some guidelines to help catalogers discern how best to catalog revised editions. These guidelines are posted at:

There are two basic considerations. The first is whether the new edition is a new work or not. The second is whether the new edition has a new creator or not.

In this document I will look at these questions and give some examples. Please note that all examples are invented and do not represent any actual titles. Correspondingly all OCLC numbers in the 775s are contrived and shown for illustrative purposes only.

Let’s start with the first consideration, and let’s deal with new works first. A revised edition becomes a new work when the intellectual content of the work has changed sufficiently enough to consider this a new work. Usually the change in scope is evident because the title changes, or there is a note in the text.

The two works would be cataloged as separate works. However, they can be linked to each other with the use of notes and/or linking fields. For example:
100 10  Potter, Will.
245 10  Ethnology of Cuba / |c Will Potter.

100 10  Bru, Hada.
245 10  Ethnology of the West Indies / |c Hada Bru.
775 08 |i Expanded version of (work): |a Potter, Will. |t Ethnology of Cuba |w (OCoLC)5673897

Now let’s look at the situation if the new edition is not considered a new work. In other words, the new edition has the same basic scope of the original work.
If the new edition is not a new work and it has the same creator and title, then we use the same author/title combination and “relate” the two editions by using a different edition statement. This is the most common and easiest case to resolve. The scope of the material has remained the same and the creator has not changed.
For example:
100 1   Swenson, Adam.
245 10 Navajo jewelry / |c Adam Swenson.
250      First edition.

100 1    Swenson, Adam.
245 14  Navajo jewelry / |c Adam Swenson.
250       Second revised edition.
775 08  |i Revision of: $a Swenson, Adam. |t Navajo jewelry. |w (OCoLC)60656179345

In MARC we can now use a 775 field to “link” the two records together. Unfortunately, this field does not create a hot link in many OPACs. However, the information is at least being entered so that perhaps future OPACs can create a hot link between the various editions.

Let’s move on to the next possibility – the new edition is still not a new work, but it has a different title. We catalog these titles differently than we did in AACR2. In AACR2 we would use the creator or title of the new work, and refer to the previous author and/or title in a note and added entry field, much as you saw in the first example for the new work above.

In RDA, since the work is the same, we use the title of the first edition as the uniform title, and connect the two editions this way:
100 10 Smith, Allen.
245 10 Somatology / |c Allen Smith.
264    1 New York : |b Parker, |c 2000.

100 10 Smith, Allen.
240 10 Somatology
245 10 Physical anthropology / |c Allen Smith.
250      Revised edition.
264    1 London : |b H. Frams, |c 2014.
775 08 |i Revision of: |a Smith, Allen. |t Somatology. |d New York : Parker, 2000. |w (OCoLC)617934544

If we had no author, we would still use the title of the first/earlier edition as the uniform title:
245 10 Mesoamerican gold.
264    1 Berkeley : |b Museum of Gold, |c 2002.

130 0   Mesoamerican gold.
245 14 The gold of Mesoamerica.
250      Second edition.
264    1 Boston : |b Museum of Fine Arts, |c 2013.
775 08 |i Revision of: |t Mesoamerican gold. |d Berkeley : Museum of gold, 2002. |w (OCoLC)56179345

Now, let’s look at examples that deal with editions with more than one author. There are times when the order of the authors change between the editions.
100 10 Gonzalez, Angel.
245 10 Archaeology of Massachusetts / |c Angel Gonzalez, Francisco Reigosa.
250      First edition.

100 10  Gonzalez, Angel.
245 10  Archaeology of Massachusetts / |c Francisco Reigosa, Angel Gonzalez.
250       Second edition.
The main entry author remains as “Angel Gonzalez” regardless of the placement on the title page.

We will also see cases where there are additional creators on later editions. Here the cataloger needs to ascertain if the work is a new work or not. Has this new creator substantially changed the text enough that this is now a new work? If so, it will be treated as a new work; if not, the main entry will remain with the original first creator.

Finally, there are cases where an original creator no longer appears on a later edition. In these cases, we always consider the new edition a new work and would link it to the original edition. Here is an example:
100 10 Perk, Christie.
245 10 Dogs in antiquity / |c Christie Perk.
250      Sixth edition.
775 08 |i Based on (work): |a Avoy, Kenneth. |t Canines in Rome. |w (OCoLC)257588

One key issue that has not changed in the cataloging rules is that we always want to relate various editions to each other. It is important for patrons to be able to find later and earlier editions, regardless of whether the authors have changed, or whether the scope has changed. These guidelines from the Library of Congress help catalogers create those links consistently. Hopefully, these guidelines will also help our patrons understand how to better search for these relationships.


NOTE: All examples are invented and do not represent any actual titles. Correspondingly all OCLC numbers in the 775s are contrived and shown for illustrative purposes only.

This document is based on information from a Powerpoint, “RDA Special Topics: revised editions of monographs,” which was written by Dave Reser, at the Library of Congress in December 2011.