NACO: Definition of Conflict
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Princeton University Cataloging Documentation

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Definition of conflict

Conflict in the authority file is of two types: the existence of two different name headings for the same person or body, and the existence of two identical headings (or an identical heading and reference) for different people or bodies. This section pertains only to the latter type of conflict.

A conflict may occur in the NAF if two access fields (headings and references) consist of identical character strings after normalization.

If two references (4xx fields) normalize to the same form, no action is required (provided they are not in the same record). A frequent example is an acronym that can stand for more than one corporate body. (Also usually ignored are the less frequent cases of cross-tag conflicts, e.g. identical x00 and x10 fields.)

However, if two headings are identical, or if a heading on one record is identical to a 4xx reference on another record, a conflict exists that must be resolved.

A conflict also exists if a heading or 4xx reference in the authority file is identical to a heading on a full-level (generally pre-AACR2) LC bibliographic record in RLIN or OCLC (assuming they represent different entities).

For most headings, conflict is limited to names which already exist in the NAF as headings or references, and names which are being established in the NAF. Possible future conflicts are not predicted. However, for geographic names, a conflict must be resolved between the AACR2 form of a geographic name (with qualifier), and any other geographic name in the real world which would be identical if established in the NAF.