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Summary of Activities, 1989

Barry S. Brook, President de la Commission Mixte du RILM

Report No. 24: 1989

Forty-seven people, from 23 countries were present. The meeting opened with the President of RILM, Barry S. Brook, summarizing the past year’s international activities.and outlining the projected work for the year 1989-90. Special mention was given to Dorothy Curzon, the Managing Editor for 11 years, who retired in October, 1988.

Terence Ford, the new Editor-in-Chief, presented (1) a description of specific activities at the RILM New York office, and (2) a paper outlining RILM’s guidelines regarding inclusion and exclusion and on the writing style of abstracts. An expanded version of the paper will be published (in two parts); the following summary outlines the most important changes to RILM’s policies.

1. Guidelines on Inclusion: Revised Points

Include abstracts for all items unless the title is self-explanatory. A given item and a review of that item appear as two separate RILM numbers when appearing for the first time in RILM.

Include abstracts for all inaugural issues of periodicals and for all special issues (even in those cases where every issue is a special issue).

Include editions of music and of recordings when they are accompanied by substantial written material.

Include reviews only when they are of substance (even those from core journals ¬journals that have been designated by the committee of a given country as the most important). Exclude reviews that merely mention a publication’s existence. Divide single reviews that cover more than one book into separate entries.

2. Guide to Writing an Abstract

The purpose of an abstract is to provide access to and preliminary evaluation of material, not to substitute for the original work; an abstract should contain only sufficient information for researchers to decide if the item will be useful. An abstract should be brief, clear, and to the point.

Abstracts may be descriptive or declarative. A descriptive abstract (” Describes Mozart’s compositional method.”) is most useful for works that are intended not to draw a conclusion. A declarative abstract (the author speaks) is preferred in almost all others cases, however, for its directness and tendency toward brevity.

Numerous examples explain the differences between RILM’s former style and this declarative style. RILM has also prepared a 35-page style sheet to deal with the smaller issues of style.

National Reports

Reports were not given orally; rather, they are summarized here from reports submitted to the RILM office.

Australia (Gordon Abbott): The Australia Council has announced its financial support for abstracting Australian journals.
Austria (Gunter Brosche): Thomas Leibnitz is now working fulltime for RILM-Austria; The office surveys some 24 music periodicals.
Belgium (Bernard Huys): Bernard Huys, Yves Lenoir, Alain Claes continue to examine nine music periodicals as well as annuals and non-music publications. Alain Claes has edited a supplement to the Bibliographie de Belgique entitled Periodiques musicaux belges, 1833-1985.
Brazil (Mercedes Reis Pequeno): Continuation of ongoing work.
Bulgaria (Dimiter Christoff): Hopes of forming a new committee to improve coverage of three major Bulgarian music periodicals.
Czechoslovakia (Marta Ottlova): Marta Ottlova and Eva Ferkova covered nine periodicals for 1985.
Denmark (Niels Krabbe): Continuation of ongoing work, under the auspices of the Københavns Universitet.
France (Catherine Massip): Pierre Vidal and his staff continue their coverage.
East Germany (Konrad Niemann): Continuation of ongoing work.
Great Britain (Hugh Cobbe): Continuation of ongoing work.
Ireland (Aloys Fleischmann): Continuation of ongoing work, with additional contributions by Nick Sandon and Geoffrey Spratt.
Italy (Mariangela Dona): Continuation of ongoing work.
New Zealand (Dorothy Freed): Continuation of ongoing work.
Poland (Barbara Zakrzewska-Nikiporczyk): Despite the difficulties of funding the committee remains very active, with numerous librarians writing abstracts.
Soviet Union (T.I. Lapteva): The selection of items for abstracting is done by committee. While continuing their thorough coverage of material in Russian, the Committee is increasing its scope to include more material in the national languages of Byelorussia, Georgia, Lithuania, and the Ukraine.
United States (Lenore Coral): Continuation of ongoing work, with Jean Hardin and Melva Peterson and countless volunteers.
Yugoslavia (Dragotin Cvetko): Continuation of ongoing work, supplemented with abstracts by Zdravko Blažeković.

A number of committees that are active, submitting abstracts regularly, sent no report: Canada, West Germany, Hungary, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

RILM Commission Mixte

Discussion focused on approval of the revised RILM guidelines for inclusion: a final draft will be sent to all members of the Commission for their approval. Barry S. Brook outlined the Commission’s policy on membership; some suggestions were made for expanding it. A financial report revealed that RILM’s self-supporting status is now strong and will support a speeding up of the publication schedule.