General material designation and other record elements

In the case of non-print materials the title area should also include the GMD, or GENERAL MATERIAL DESIGNATION, which is used to indicate to the patron that the record he/she is looking at is not for a book. The GMD is one of the areas standardized in the cataloging rules, and a list of acceptable terms is found in the rulebooks. Terms that are used include ‘videorecording’ or ‘sound recording’ or ‘electronic resource’, as examples. Use of these terms is recommended as a way to let the patron know the format of the item being looked at.  The GMD in the following example is [videorecording].

#142             Humpback whales [videorecording] / a BBC  production in association
                         with Thirteen/WNET New York. -- [s.l.] : PBS Home Video
                         (distributor), c2000.
                         1 videocassette (60 min.) : sd., col. ; ˝ in.

                         Producers, Andy Byatt and Rick Rosenthal ; series producer, Keith
                         VHS format

                        This program follows the humpbacks closely and uncovers revealing
                     details that add to the growing knowledge of these creatures.
                         ISBN 1-5624-7592-4

                         1. Humpback whale. 2. Whales. I. Byatt, Andy. II.
                     Rosenthal, Rick. III. Scholey, Keith. IV. Thirteen/WNET


The title is separated from the STATEMENT OF RESPONSIBILITY by a diagonal slash, and then followed by a statement of the person or group that is intellectually responsible for the item . This is usually an author statement. It may consist of just the author’s name or may include explanatory information, which is taken just as it is listed on the item being cataloged. Whether the word ‘by’ is listed in this statement depends on whether it appears on the title page, for example.  The statement of responsibility in the above example is / a BBC  production in association with Thirteen/WNET New York.

One to three authors may be listed in the statement of responsibility. If there are more than three authors named, the first one is listed, followed by an ellipse and the term ‘et al.’ to indicate that some were omitted (for example: by Barbara Tuchman … et al.). 

After the statement of responsibility, a period, space, two hyphens and another space indicate the start of the EDITION AREA. Any information listed on the item about this particular edition, such as 1st ed., Rev. (for revised) ed., 7th ed., New American ed., etc. is listed here.  There is no edition area in this record, but if there was it would appear immediately after / a BBC  production in association with Thirteen/WNET New York.

After the edition area comes another period, space, two hyphens, space and the PUBLICATION AREA. This is where the city of publication, the name of the publisher, and the date of publication are listed. The city of publication is listed just as shown on the item being cataloged, either on the title page or on the item itself if it is not a book. The city can be followed by the abbreviation for the state if the city is not a well-known one. The name of the publisher is also listed just as on the item. Words such as publications, publisher, incorporated, associates, etc. can be abbreviated using standard abbreviations. The date used in the cataloging record should be the publication date shown on the title page or on the item. If no date is shown, the copyright date is used instead.  The publication area in the above record is [s.l.] : PBS Home Video (distributor), c2000.  The [s.l.] is an abbreviation for Sine loco (without place), which indicates that the cataloger could not find the place of publication.

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