Dewey Editorial Policy Committee Offers Annual Report for 2001

Andrea L. Stamm, Chair, Editorial Policy Committee

The Dewey Decimal Classification Editorial Policy Committee (EPC) is a ten-member international board whose main function is to advise the editors and OCLC Forest Press on matters relating to changes, innovations, and the general development of the classification. EPC represents the interests of Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) users; its members come from public, special, and academic libraries, and from library schools. EPC met twice in 2001, completing the 116th and 117th meetings in the history of the classification.

As surprising as it may be, the publication of edition 22 in June of 2003 looms just around the corner. The first meeting of 2002 will be the committee's last opportunity to give substantive input to the editors on the full schedules and tables. Work also continues on the fourteenth abridged edition, to be published in January 2004. The committee has accepted the first look at a major revision of the manual, produced by consultant and Dewey friend, Ross Trotter, now retired from the British Library.

In 2001, the EPC continued to focus its attention on specific areas of the classification in need of updating. The committee approved the moderate revision and updating of 020 Library and information sciences, 070 Journalism, 150 Psychology, 370 Education, 621 Applied physics, 624 Civil engineering, 610 Medicine, 650 Management, and 900 History as well as a de-emphasis of race in Table 5, which is now called Ethnic and National Groups.

The editors, on the advice of the EPC, have continued to look for outside guidance and feedback on problematic or controversial areas of the classification. In 2001, an ALA/ALCTS/Subject Analysis Subcommittee, as well as several individuals from Australia, Italy, and the United Kingdom, reviewed an extensive revision of 510 Mathematics. Another ALA/ALCTS/Subject Analysis Subcommittee reviewed 004-006 Data processing and computer science. In response to concerns discussed at the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) conference by British, French, German, Italian, and Norwegian librarians, the editors are still working on details of 340 Law. The committee accepted the editors' recommendations on consultations with authorities in Norway, Switzerland, Malta, and the African Studies Association concerning the relevant portions of 900 History and Table 2. The EPC favorably accepted several recommendations of the [British] Library Association Dewey Decimal Committee concerning the use of 647 and 910 Tourism.

On a recommendation of the EPC last year, practicing catalogers have begun to test selected areas of the DDC undergoing extensive updating and revision. The EPC has accepted the reports of testing 200 Religion from the Hong Kong Baptist University Library and the British Library as well as 305-306 Social groups and culture and institutions from the Berkeley Public Library. The committee also approved 004-006 Data processing and computer science and 510 Mathematics for testing in early 2002.

During the past year, the EPC gained two new members: Mary Carroll, National Library of Canada, replaced David Balatti; and Jessica MacPhail, Racine Public Library, replaced Pamela Brown. The committee also said good-bye to David Smith, retiring chief of the Library of Congress Decimal Classification Division.

The next meeting will take place May 15–17, 2002, at the Library of Congress.

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