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66th IFLA Council and General

Jerusalem, Israel, 13-18 August


Code Number: 166-96-E
Division Number: IV
Professional Group: Open Forum: Division of Bibliographic Control
Joint Meeting with: -
Meeting Number: 96
Simultaneous Interpretation:   No  

The IFLA UBCIM Programme and the Permanent UNIMARC Committee (PUC) - Report of activities 1999-2000

Marie-France Plassard
Programme Director
Mirna Willer
Chair of the PUC


The IFLA UBCIM Programme continued to work towards fulfillment of the main goals of its Medium Term Programme (MTP) 1. The first is related to the development and promotion of bibliographic standards and guidelines, with particular attention to new technologies. Activities in this field are conducted in close cooperation with the Division of Bibliographic Control, for example the follow up of the International Conference on National Bibliographic Services (ICNBS). UBCIM is also represented in some of the Division's Working Groups, such as the WG on Metadata.

An important joint project is the posting of all ISBDs on the IFLANET. At present only the ISBD(ER) is available electronically 2, but a list of all ISBDs in English has been posted 3 and links to electronic versions will be provided step by step. The ISBDs have been translated into 26 languages and all countries having published those translations were contacted in June 2000 and encouraged to produce lists and electronic versions of their publications on their respective homepages (which will be later on linked to the IFLANET list).

Promotion of standards continues through worldwide seminars organized by UBCIM and the Division of Bibliographic Control. Following the IFLA/UBCIM Regional Seminar on Bibliographic Control in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, "The Function of Bibliographic Control in the Global Information Infrastructure" in Vilnius, Lithuania, and "Bibliographic Control in Latin America and the Caribbean on the Eve of the Third Millennium" in Mexico in 1998, an international Transcaucasian Workshop was held in Tbilisi, Georgia in October 1999 4. This was the first major event of this kind held in the region. A similar meeting is planned in Armenia in 2001.

In addition to these seminars, the Director of the Programme represented IFLA at various meetings, some held with organizations with which UBCIM liaises, e.g. ISBN, ISMN, ISSN and Indecs. She also made a presentation at a Seminar on Machine-Readable Cataloguing, held at the National Library of Russia in St. Petersburg in December 1999, and at the 9th International Bibliological Conference, organized by the Russian Book Chamber in Moscow in April 2000.

The second MTP goal concerns the promotion of the development of authority control at the international level. For this purpose, a Working Group was established in summer 1999, as a follow up to the group which produced the report on Minimal Level Authority Records (MLAR) and the ISADN5. This WG, Functional Requirements And Numbering of Authority Records (FRANAR), comprises ten members and is chaired by Françoise Bourdon (BnF). FRANAR is currently focussing its attention on the entity-relationship model for authorities. It liaises with other interested groups, such as Indecs (Interoperability of Data in E-Commerce Systems), ICA/CDS (International Council on Archives / Committee on Descriptive Standards), ISO TC 46, and CERL (Consortium of European Research Libraries). Members of the WG have closely examined the International Standard Work Code (ISWC) and the International Standard Audiovisual Number (ISAN). The WG is meeting this week.

The third goal reads "Maintain and promote the UNIMARC format through a group of experts, the Permanent UNIMARC Committee (PUC)". The PUC held its 10th annual meeting in Lisbon in February 2000. This was the occasion to say good bye and a big thank you to the Brian Holt, Vice Chair and editor of UNIMARC Manual: Bibliographic Format who served as a standing member since 1991. Brian retired from BL.

The work within the PUC progressed along several tiers. The continual work on the new updates of the UNIMARC bibliographic format expresses the response to users' proposals or requests for solutions, as well as the requirements for correspondence with other UNIMARC formats. To solve a set of proposals related to music material, a separate Working Group was established to prepare an integrated proposal for coding printed and manuscript music. The WG is chaired by Cristina Magliano (ICCU, Italy) and through its members liaises with IAML.

Another Working Group, chaired by Rosa Galvao (NL, Portugal) was established to prepare a long time needed UNIMARC Format for Holdings Data. The work is based on ISO 10324 Holdings Information - Summary level, OPAC/Holdings Schema and BnF Holdings Format Version 1.0 itself based on USMARC/Holdings Format. Drafting the format the WG also looks at the developments in the complementary MARC21 Format as well as the developments in Bath Profile (ISO 23950 = Z39.50 Interoperability retrieval) and EU project ONE: OPAC Network in Europe II. It is expected that the format will be ready for final review by the PUC annual meeting in March 2001.

The Working Group on UNIMARC/Classification Format, chaired by Joan Mitchell (OCLC, Ohio, USA) has successfully drawn to the conclusion its work on this format. It was decided that the format would not be published in printed form by K. G. Saur, but would be posted on IFLANET for testing and comments by this autumn. PUC and WG will, after a period of one year, review the comments and decide on its further development and possible printed publication.

Another work that has been finalized is a second "edition" of UNIMARC Guideline 6: Electronic Resources. The guideline includes comments and proposals received from its users and PUC members. It is expected that it will be posted on IFLANET by this autumn.

Most of its time and energy, however, PUC has engaged in the work on the new edition of UNIMARC/Authorities. The documents on which the work is being based are Recommendations of the Working Group on MLAR and the ISADN, as well as the proposals from the EU project AUTHOR and requirements by the French community users all integrated and presented by Elisabeth Freyre (BnF). The UNIMARC/Authorities draft also includes proposals made by PUC during its work either on the bibliographic format with the aim to assure the correspondence between formats, or through the members' use of the format. The first draft of the format that was edited by Alan Danskin (BL, UK) passed the first revision process by the PUC standing members, while the second draft is now under review by both standing and corresponding members. PUC will meet during this week and will further discuss it. The publication of the format is planned for the end of 2000.

The fourth goal is related to the publications programme which represents a very significant part of UBCIM activities. IFLA reports in the fields, proceedings of relevant conferences and seminars, as well as all UNIMARC documentation, are either published by K.G. Saur 6 or distributed by the Office as publications on demand 7. In the Saur new publications, volume 18, An Annotated Guide to Current National Bibliographies, was selected for Choice 36 Annual Outstanding Academic Titles list. Update 3 to the UNIMARC Manual appeared in February 2000. Future publications scheduled include the revisions of Guidelines for Authority and Reference Entries and of UNIMARC/Authorities.

Translations of UBCIM standards have appeared in 28 languages. Coordination Centres were appointed in various countries and liaise with the Office. We would like to remind you that for each translation planned a permission form should be submitted to UBCIM. Details and guidelines are available from the Office.

International Cataloguing and Bibliographic Control (ICBC), the quarterly journal of UBCIM, continues to publish IFLA reports and conference papers, commissioned and unsolicited articles. The Office welcomes all relevant contributions and news items. Tables of contents are posted on the IFLANET 8.

Lastly, the office daily fulfills Goal 5 of the MTP, which states that UBCIM acts as clearing house for information on all activities in the field of bibliographic control.

A more substantial report was published in IFLA Journal and posted on the UBCIM homepage. 9


  1. http://archive.ifla.org/VI/3/annual/98-2001.htm
  2. ISBD(ER): International Standard Bibliographic Description for Electronic Resources. Revised from the ISBD(CF) International Standard Bibliographic Description for Computer Files. Recommended by the ISBD(CF) Review Group. IFLA Publications - New Series 17. München: K.G. Saur, 1997.
  3. http://archive.ifla.org/VI/3/nd1/isbdlist.htm
  4. http://archive.ifla.org/VI/3/conf/workshop.htm
  5. http://archive.ifla.org/VI/3/p1996-2/mlar.htm
  6. http://archive.ifla.org/V/saur.htm
  7. http://archive.ifla.org/VI/3/nd1/publist.htm
  8. http://archive.ifla.org/VI/3/admin/content.htm
  9. IFLA Journal ,2000,26(4) (in press)


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