Authority Control

In library science, authority control is a technical process to organize library catalog and bibliographic information for greater efficiency. A single unique heading term for each subject is established by cataloguers, including subjects such as authors, books, series or corporations. That heading is then used consistently, uniquely, and unambiguously to describe all references to that same subject despite variations, such as different spellings, pen names, aliases, and so forth. The unique header can guide users to all relevant information including related or collocated subjects. Authority records can be combined into a database and called an authority file, and maintaining and updating these files as well as "logical linkages" to other files within them is the work of librarians and other information cataloguers. Accordingly, authority control is an example of controlled vocabulary and of bibliographic control. While in theory any piece of information is amenable to authority control such as personal and corporate names, uniform titles, series, and subjects, library cataloguers typically focus on author names and book titles. Subject headings from the Library of Congress fulfill a function similar to authority records, although they are usually considered separately. As time passes, information changes, prompting needs for reorganization. According to one view, authority control is not about creating a perfect seamless system but rather it is an ongoing effort to keep up with these changes and try to bring "structure and order" to the task of helping users find information. Authority control provides consistency of headings, linkages and cross references, scope and usage of a particular heading, and helps assist catalog maintenance by the library staff.

Read more about Authority ControlBenefits of Authority Control, Authority Records and Files, Access Control, Authority Control and Cooperative Cataloging, Standards

Other articles related to "authority control, authority":

Authority Control - Standards
... ISAAR (CPF) — International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families ... Published by the International Council on Archives MARC standards for authority records in machine-readable format ... Metadata Authority Description Schema (MADS), an XML schema for an authority element set that may be used to provide metadata about agents (people ...

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