RDA Tip of the Week: Optional abridgement

Though the statement of responsibility (RDA 2.4) is a transcribed element (that is, it should be in the record as it appears on the piece), there is an optional instruction to abridge this element if this can be done without loss of essential information. This is typically done to omit details such as degrees or ranks, salutations like “Dr.” or “Mrs.”, or institutional affiliations. For example, a book with statement of responsibility:

    by Bob Jones, Ph.D, and Mrs. Frida Smith, University of Kentucky.

might appear in the record:

    by Bob Jones and Frida Smith.

The LCC-PC PS and NLA PS for this statement both say to generally not abridge a statement of responsibility, but many catalogers still do, keeping consistent with AACR2. At my library we tend to abridge in our original cataloging.

We recently had an example where the statement of responsibility listing five authors included the word “and” between each of the author’s names. Using this instruction, we were able to omit the extraneous “and"s and just use commas:

    by Jerry G. Pigman, Kenneth R. Agent, Patricia L. Hardyman, 
            Knowlton W. Johnson and Richard McCleary