Authoritative level description:

  • Denotes the highest level of metadata assigned to a resource
  • Offers the most flexible support for resource discovery
  • Includes (specified) access points that are controlled by authority records
  • Conforms to explicit content standards
  • Is the most expensive category to assign but NBAs can have confidence that the record can be reused with minimum intervention

Authority control:

  • Over name, title and subject access points supports accurate identification of resources
  • Of names and titles supports clustering for economy of display
  • Reference structure supports navigation to related resources, identities or topics

It is recognised that creating authoritative metadata for all potential resources is likely to be beyond the capacity of most NBAs. Thus such agencies must develop criteria to determine which parts of the national output should receive this level of description. The guiding principle should be the value of the content of the resource rather than its format or carrier.