Choice of Heading
In cataloguing, a heading is a name (in an author catalogue) or a term (in a subject catalogue) appearing at the head of an entry and may consist of one or more words or phrases. For a catalogue user, a heading acts as an access point to a source of information or bibliographical item.
Flippo, Edwin B
Here Flippo, Edwin B. is the heading that provides access to Flippo's book (bibliographical item) called Personnel Management.
For a cataloguer a heading is an entry point, meaning the point in a sequence at which the record will find its place in the catalogue. Heading serves as the point of reference for both filing and search. As already said a heading very often consists of several words and the first of these matters more than the others. This first among a string of words forming a heading is known, and referred to, as 'entry element'.
Personal names as headings can be of two kinds; those which provide direct access to bibliographical items, as in the above case, and others that refer the catalogue user to another entry in the catalogue. For example,
This second kind is known as reference entry.
In an author catalogue, therefore, all headings will be in the form of names of personal authors, names of corporate bodies will also be there, but that is not the point of discussion at the moment. A cataloguer preparing an author catalogue chooses the author's name as it appears on the title page of a book. Thus, the author's name is the natural choice of a heading in an -author catalogue.