The terms published, unpublished and broadcast are used throughout The IASA Cataloguing Rules. They are broad categories which are defined and applied as follows:
Published items are produced for distribution to the public on a commercial scale; e.g., mass-produced and commercially issued or released sound recordings or electronic resources available for purchase through retail outlets or by mail order from commercial or trade catalogues; film productions distributed as prints for public screening in cinemas, or as mass-produced videos for purchase through retail outlets, or hire for limited periods.
Such items are usually attractively packaged and/or appealingly promoted. The packaging itself can lend a form of identity to an item to be catalogued (e.g. limited edition disc in sequined cover; cassette in breakfast cereal box).
Note that material available through some computer networks, e.g. the Internet, is also included in this definition.
Unpublished items are not mass-produced and are not available for commercial distribution (e.g. field recordings, oral history recordings, privately made recordings). They are usually unique, the only additional copies being in-house archival preservation copies, dubbing masters or reference copies. These items do not have the attractive packaging of published material and may lack adequate identification in the form of a label, or documentation on the item or its container.
Broadcast items are not mass-produced as a physical format. However, broadcasting is a form of publication as it is a means of publicly disseminating information. In audiovisual archives, these items normally comprise programme tapes (audio or video) or kinescope films (early sound/image TV recordings), do not have the attractive packaging of published material in many cases, and may lack adequate identification in the form of a label, or documentation on the item or its container. Information about the content of these items may sometimes be found only in scripts, national or regional programme listings, or in the announcements which form part of the recorded programme itself.
Bibliographic description. The term bibliographic description is applied here to mean a set of bibliographic data recording (i.e. documenting) and identifying an item regardless of the medium or format of the item. The more specific terms such as discographic and filmographic are implied as appropriate through the use of the term bibliographic in these rules.