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Access Point

Access Point


Access Point refers to a name, term, code, heading, word, phrase, etc., a unit of information representing a specific entity that can serve as a search key in information retrieval, under which a library catalog or bibliographic database may be searched and library materials may be identified and retrieved.

Access points are the indexed elements of an authority or bibliographic records that helps make the record searchable and identifiable. In a catalog, index, or other organized systems some examples of access points are, author, title, name (person, family, corporate body, etc.), subjects (topical, geographical, etc.), classification or call number, and codes such as ISBN, etc. which are chosen by the cataloger or indexer, when creating a bibliographic, authority, or metadata record (a surrogate), to enable the retrieval of the record.

In modern cataloging using advanced Integrated Library Systems (ILS), the machine-readable cataloging, almost any portion of the catalog record can serve as an access point. The advanced search of the Online Public Access Catalogs provides many options as access points.



Contents
  • Types of Access Points
  • Examples of Access Point
  • Access Point in Statement of International Cataloguing Principles (ICP)




Types of Access Points

Access Points can be categorized under the following two types:

1. Authorized Access Point: A standardized access point representing an entity. In a bibliographic record, the entities appearing in MARC 21 fields such as 100, 110, 111, 130, 240, 600, 610, 611, 650, 700, 710, 711, and 730 represent the authorized access points.

2. Variant Access Point: An alternative to the authorized access point representing an entity. Variant access points. Variant access points appear usually under the authority records. In an authority record, the entities appearing in MARC 21 fields such as 400, 410, 411, and 430 represent the authorized access points.


Examples of Access Point

Examples of the access points in a bibliographic record of a monograph/book/volume/text which is cataloged using RDA, MARC 21, LCC, LCSH, DDC are given below in bold

Book Description: Survey of Emerging Cataloging Practices : Use of RDA by Academic Libraries / by Salman Haider & Primary Research Group Staff. - New York : Primary Research Group, 2016. (111 pages ; 28 cm.). ISBN: 9781574403831.


Survey of Emerging Cataloging Practices : Use of RDA by Academic Libraries


Note: below example can be viewed best on a desktop or laptop (not on a mobile device)

Access points in the below example are there in the fields 010 (Library of Congress Control Number), 020 (ISBN), 050 (LCC number), 082 (DDC number), 100 (Personal name), 245 (title), 630 (Subject added entry -- Uniform title), 650 (Subject added entry), and 710 (Added entry - Corporate name). These access points can be used to search in an OPAC to identify and retrieve the desired bibliographic record. Names of persons, families, places, and corporated bodies serve as access points in an authority record.

MARC FIELD TAGMARC 21 FIELDINDICATORSDATA RECORDED
000Leader01499cam a22003975i 4500
001Control Number21035302
005Date and Time of Latest Transaction20190626080219.0
008Fixed-Length Data Elements190626t20162016nyua 000 0 eng d
010Library of Congress Control Number__|a 2019295036
016National Bibliographic Agency Control Number7_|a 017845848 |2 Uk
020International Standard Book Number__|a 1574403834
020International Standard Book Number__|a 9781574403831
035System Control Number__|a (OCoLC)ocn949911758
040Cataloging Source__|a YDXCP |b eng |c YDXCP |e rda |d IQU |d BTCTA |d OCLCF |d HLS |d OCLCQ |d HUL |d UKMGB |d DLC
042Authentication Code|a lccopycat
050Library of Congress Call Number00|a Z694.15.R47 |b H35 2016
082Dewey Decimal Classification Number|a 025.32 |2 23
100Main Entry--Personal Name1_|a Haider, Salman, |e author.
245Title Statement10|a Survey of emerging cataloging practices : |b use of RDA by academic libraries / |c by Salman Haider and Primary Research Group Staff.
264Production, Publication, Distribution, Manufacture, and Copyright Notice_1|a New York : |b Primary Research Group, |c [2016]
264Production, Publication, Distribution, Manufacture, and Copyright Notice_4|c ©2016
300Physical Description__|a 111 pages : |b illustrations ; |c 28 cm
336Content Type__|a text |b txt |2 rdacontent
337Media Type__|a unmediated |b n |2 rdamedia
338Carrier Type__|a volume |b nc |2 rdacarrier
630Subject Added Entry-Uniform Title00|a Resource description & access.
650Subject Added Entry - Topical Term_0|a Academic libraries.
650Subject Added Entry - Topical Term_0|a Descriptive cataloging |v Rules.
630Subject Added Entry-Uniform Title07|a Resource description & access. |2 fast |0 (OCoLC)fst01791077
650Subject Added Entry - Topical Term_7|a Academic libraries. |2 fast |0 (OCoLC)fst00794997
650Subject Added Entry - Topical Term_7|a Descriptive cataloging. |2 fast |0 (OCoLC)fst00891123
655Index Term-Genre/Form_7|a Rules. |2 fast |0 (OCoLC)fst01423857
710Added Entry-Corporate Name2_|a Primary Research Group, |e author, |e issuing body.



Access Point in Statement of International Cataloguing Principles (ICP)¹

The Statement of International Cataloguing Principles, 2016 provides the following guidelines for access points, under the heading no. 5 of this document:

5 Access Points 


5.1 General 


Access points for retrieving bibliographic and authority data should be formulated following the general principles (see 2. General Principles). The access points may be controlled or uncontrolled. 


5.1.1 Controlled access points should be provided for the authorized and variant forms of names for such entities as person, family, corporate body, work, expression, manifestation, item, and thema. Controlled access points provide the consistency needed for collocating the bibliographic data for sets of resources.

Authority data should be constructed to control the authorized forms of name, variant forms of name, and identifiers used as access points. 


5.1.2 Uncontrolled access points may be provided as bibliographic data for names, titles (e.g., the title proper as found on a manifestation), codes, keywords, etc., not controlled in authority data.


5.2 Choice of Access Points


5.2.1 Authorized access points for works and expressions (controlled) embodied in the resource, the title of the manifestation (usually uncontrolled), and the authorized access points for the creators of works, should be included as access points to bibliographic data.

A corporate body should be considered as the creator of those works that express the collective thought or activity of the corporate body, or when the wording of the title, taken in conjunction with the nature of the work, clearly implies that the corporate body is collectively responsible for the content of the work. This applies even if a person signs the work in the capacity of an officer or servant of the corporate body. 


5.2.2 Additional authorized access points for persons, families, corporate bodies, and subjects should be provided to bibliographic data, when deemed important for finding and identifying the bibliographic resource being described. 


5.2.3 The authorized form of name for the entity, as well as the variant forms of name, should be included as access points to authority data.


5.2.4 Additional access may be provided through names of related entities.


5.3 Authorized Access Points


The authorized access point for the name of an entity should be recorded as authority data along with identifiers for the entity and variant forms of name. An authorized access point may be used as a default form for displays in the catalogue.


5.3.1 Authorized access points must be constructed following a standard.


5.3.2 Language and Script of Authorized Access Points. 


5.3.2.1 When names have been expressed in several languages and/or scripts, preference for an authorized access point for the name should be given based on information found on manifestations of the work expressed in the original language and script; 


5.3.2.1.1 However, if the original language and/or script is not normally used in the catalogue, the authorized access point may be based on forms found on manifestations or in reference sources in one of the languages and/or scripts best suited to the users of the catalogue. 


5.3.2.1.2 Access should be provided in the original language and script whenever possible, through a controlled access point, either the authorized form of name or a variant form of name. 


5.3.2.2 If transliterations are desirable, an international standard for script conversion should be followed.


5.3.3 Choice of Preferred Name

The name preferred as the authorized access point for an entity should be based on the name that identifies the entity in a consistent manner, either as most frequently found on manifestations or a well-accepted name suited to the users of the catalogue (e.g., ‘conventional name’) as found in reference sources.


5.3.3.1 Choice of Preferred Name for Persons, Families, and Corporate Bodies

If a person, family, or a corporate body uses variant names or variant forms of names, one name or one form of name should be chosen as the basis for the authorized access point. 


5.3.3.1.1 When variant forms of the name are found in manifestations and/or reference sources, and this variation is not based on different presentations of the same name (e.g., full and brief forms), preference should be given to:

a) a commonly known (or ‘conventional’) name rather than the official name, where this is indicated; or

b) the official name, where there is no indication of a commonly known or conventional name. 


5.3.3.1.2 If a corporate body has used different names in successive periods that cannot be regarded as minor variations of one name, each entity identified by a significant name change should be considered a new entity. The corresponding authority data for each entity should be linked, usually by relating the earlier and later authorized forms of names for the corporate body. 


5.3.3.2 Choice of Preferred Title for Works, Expressions, Manifestations, and Items

When a work has multiple titles, one title should be preferred as the basis for the authorized access point for the work, expression, manifestation, and item.

When variant forms of the work title are found in manifestations, preference should be given to:

a) the title appearing in the first manifestation of the original expression of the work, usually in the original language; or

b) the title commonly used.


5.3.4 Form of Name for Authorized Access Points


5.3.4.1 Form of Name for Persons

When the name of a person consists of several words, the choice of first word for the authorized access point should follow conventions of the country and language most associated with that person, as found in manifestations or reference sources.


5.3.4.2 Form of Name for Families

When the name of a family consists of several words, the choice of first word for the authorized access point should follow conventions of the country and language most associated with that family, as found in manifestations or reference sources.


5.3.4.3 Form of Name for Corporate Bodies

For the authorized access point for a corporate body, the name should be given in direct order, as found in manifestations or reference sources, except: 


5.3.4.3.1 when the corporate body is part of a jurisdiction or territorial authority, the authorized access point should include the currently used form of the name of the territory concerned in the language and script best suited to the needs of the users of the catalogue; 


5.3.4.3.2 when the corporate body’s name implies subordination, or subordinate function, or is insufficient to identify the subordinate body, the authorized access point should begin with the name of the superior body.


5.3.4.4 Form of Name for Works, Expressions, Manifestations, and Items

An authorized access point for a work, expression, manifestation, or item may be created either from a title that can stand alone or from a title combined with the authorized access point for the creator(s) of the work.


5.3.4.5 Distinguishing among Names

If necessary, to distinguish an entity from others of the same name, further identifying characteristics should be included as part of the authorized access point for an entity. If desirable, the same identifying characteristics may be included as a part of the variant forms of name.


5.4 Variant Names and Variant Forms of Name 


Whatever name is chosen for the authorized access point, the variant names and variant forms of name should also be recorded as authority data for controlled access.










REFERENCES

1. The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). https://www.ifla.org/files/assets/cataloguing/icp/icp_2016-en.pdf (accessed December 1, 2017)


ARTICLE HISTORY
  • Last Updated: 2019-08-05
  • Written: 2016-05-26

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James Weinheimer (Information Specialist, Casalini Libri, Former Director, The American University of Rome, Italy).

While this is correct it describes the "information universe" only until the 1990s to early 2000s. As you state: "Access Point refers to a name, term, code, heading, word, phrase, etc., a unit of information representing a specific entity that can serve as a search key in information retrieval, under which a library catalog or bibliographic database may be searched and library materials may be identified and retrieved." 

The fact is, what an access point is has changed completely with keyword searching of library catalog records and full-text materials. This means that in earlier days, if you remembered only the name of single book published in a collection, you could not have found it unless the cataloger had analysed the individual items. With keyword searching, this is changed, so long as the cataloger typed in the individual titles into the record.

Here is an example from LC. https://lccn.loc.gov/91128577 Because the note is searchable through keyword, the search "works twain yankee" retrieves this record because the cataloger has added the title "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's court" into the contents note. Of course, in the card catalog, this did not happen.
Before keyword searching, you also had to know the exact title, e.g. you had to know that to find Defoe's "Moll Flanders" you had to look under "F" for "Fortunes and misfortunes of the famous Moll Flanders." Keyword has changed that completely too.

Now with full-text and collections such as the Google Books Project, people can search individual words from the text. For instance, you may remember words from a song but cannot remember the song's title, e.g. where did the phrase "my dirty red bandana" come from? You can plug that into a search engine and immediately discover that it was from "Me and Bobby McGee" by Janice Joplin. https://www.google.com/search... You can even do it by misspelling words! (The original had "badanna")

Another type of "access point" is with citations, where if you search an article, it will lead to ater articles, e.g. the article "How to Keep the Practice of Librarianship Relevant in the Age of the Internet" leads a searcher to 14 more articles (citations) that can be discovered with just a click. https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5...
Therefore, "access point" should mean something completely different today from what it meant before those modern innovations. But unfortunately, it seems that modern cataloging theory hasn't yet made the leap.





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