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Compiled by the Library of Congress Serial Record Division
November 1996


General Report

This annual report of the CONSER (Cooperative Online Serials) Program covers the fiscal year, July 1995 through June 1996. The report contains two sections that follow the introduction: "General Report" of the collective activities of the Program, and "Member Reports" that highlight activities of individual CONSER participants relating to serial cataloging. The "General Report" is further divided into "Achievements"--significant accomplishments for the year--and "Activities"--ongoing efforts.

Sue Phillips (University of Texas at Austin) served her final year as chair of the Policy and Executive Committees. The Policy Committee meeting was held at LC in November 1995; the Executive Committee met in November, February and May. The CONSER Operations Committee met in May and celebrated the twentieth anniversary since the first record was input in 1976. CONSER At-Large meetings were held at the ALA conventions and continued to serve as a popular forum for the discussion of issues. Jean Hirons served as Acting CONSER Coordinator and Bill Anderson continued in his role as CONSER Specialist.

CONSER experienced another year of growth, welcoming four new members. The University of Maryland at College Park joined at the full level, and Saint Louis University Law Library joined at the associate level, strengthening CONSER's coverage of legal serials. The Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) became CONSER's first project-based associate member with a focus on electronic serials. And the University of Cincinnati Medical Center Libraries became an affiliate member in order to enhance records for medical titles by adding Medical Subject Headings subject headings. At the end of FY96, membership stood at four national members, 16 full members, four associate members, and three affiliate members--a record number for CONSER.

Early in 1996, Anderson completed work on a CONSER home page on the LC World Wide Web site. Additional CONSER Web pages include the CONSERline newsletter, CCM Module 31 (electronic serials), CONSER record requirements (from CEG B6), this annual report, and other program information in HTML format. Also included on the home page are links to online catalogs, Internet resources, and a list of CONSER contacts with email addresses. Separate Listserv discussion lists were set up for the CONSER Executive and Policy committees, and the original CONSER discussion list, CONSERlist, was expanded to include all CONSER and USNP catalogers with a new focus on CONSER cataloging issues.

CONSER was honored this year as Jean Hirons received the ALA ALCTS Bowker Award for her work on the CONSER Cataloging Manual and other CONSER-related contributions to serials cataloging. Ms. Hirons also gave a presentation on electronic versions of print journals at the ALA 1996 convention. Steve Shadle (Washington), Tom Champaign (Michigan), and Bill Anderson participated in a panel discussion on electronic serials cataloging at the North American Serials Interest Group annual conference. Hirons authored two articles: "Revisions to Library of Congress Rule Interpretations for Serials and Series" in Serials Librarian (coauthored with Judith Kuhagen, LC), and "One Record or Two? The Online Discussion and the CONSER Interim Approach" in the Journal of Internet Cataloging (inaugural issue). Anderson coauthored with Les Hawkins (LC) "Development of CONSER Cataloging Policies for Remote Access Computer File Serials" in The Public-Access Computer Systems Review.

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Membership and Governance

The November 1995 Policy Committee meeting focused on the Program's membership and governance structure, addressing recommendations from two ad hoc groups. Martha Hruska (Florida) chaired the Ad Hoc Task Group on Membership. A number of agreements resulted from the discussion, including the acceptance of CONSER Enhance and a project-based membership.

The new membership level--CONSER Enhance--was established to allow more institutions to participate in maintaining and enriching the CONSER database. Enhance members will add information to CONSER and non-CONSER records, including data for record maintenance. New CONSER Enhance members will work initially with a full-level CONSER institution in a mentoring environment. The University of Cincinnati Medical Center (previously an affiliate member) and participants in CONSER's maintenance experiment became the first CONSER Enhance members.

The Policy Committee defined project-based membership at the associate level, and the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) became an associate CONSER member through their project to catalog the CICNet Electronic Journals Collection (managed). Records for CICNet titles will be created by the University of Michigan, Indiana University, University of Wisconsin, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Minnesota, and Ohio State University. Leighann Ayers (Michigan) is coordinating the project and their participation in CONSER.

Duane Arenales (NLM) chaired the governance task group and led the discussion, during which Policy members agreed that the current structure should be retained with the following changes.

  • The term of the Policy Committee chair will be three years with the first as chair-elect;
  • An Operations Committee representative will be added to the Policy Committee to serve a two-year term;
  • The status of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging representative will now be that of an ex-officio member of the Policy Committee;
  • The CONSER Councilors will continue to function in their current role, but their name will be changed to "CONSER Liaisons."

Format Integration

The Format Integration Task Force, chaired by Ruth Haas (Harvard), completed many years of service with the full implementation of format integration. The task force assisted with numerous meeting presentations and with the development of documentation relating to format integration. The final phase was implemented by OCLC on March 3, 1996 and was the most difficult phase to complete since fixed field data is crucial for the retrieval, display, distribution, and identification of records. The major change for serials catalogers is in the coding of non-print serials. Prior to format integration, non-print serials were input in the serials format or the relevant non-print workform, although CONSER catalogers only used the serials format. OCLC merged duplicate records in different formats soon after the implementation of format integration, and all catalogers now follow the same guidelines for choosing the appropriate format for inputting records.

Update 3 of the CONSER Editing Guide (CEG) was issued in spring 1996 to incorporate the changes to the fixed fields. The "Fixed Length Fields" section was greatly expanded to include information on the new fixed fields available to CONSER catalogers, while the listing of the elements was rearranged to better accommodate the full range of serial formats. Many new non-print 006/008 fixed field elements were added along with six new 007 fields. In addition, Appendix N, "Special Physical Formats," was expanded including sample records for all serially issued non-print formats.

Electronic Serials

The cataloging of Internet resources was the focus of discussion at the Operations Committee 1996 meeting. The committee examined issues relating to the cataloging of online versions of print journals, and how to handle online supplemental information. During the summer, additional comments and reactions from the serials cataloging community were solicited at meetings and over Internet discussion lists. CONSER established interim guidelines for treating online versions of serials in print, allowing either separate records or a single record to represent both versions. CCM Module 31 and the CEG are both being updated to include these guidelines with plans to review them in 1997.

CONSER also relayed comments to the International Standard Bibliographic Description for Computer Files (ISBD(CF)) Review Group on the draft revision of the standard. Comments focused on several key aspects of the document including expanding the scope of the standard to include serial publications, defining computer file editions, and assuring consistency between standards (e.g., ISBD(CF) and ISBD(S)). CONSER also recommended that area 3 (field 256) be made obsolete and that area 5 (field 300) be defined to align the cataloging of these materials with other media.

CONSER Documentation

The timing of format integration required an additional CEG update resulting in three updates for FY96. (See also the above discussion of format integration.) A summer 1996 update focused on management and governance changes resulting from the 1995 Policy meeting, including revised application forms. (A fall 1996 update is currently in preparation.)

Update 4 of the CONSER Cataloging Manual (CCM) was published in FY96, reflecting changes to LC Rule Interpretations for AACR2 Chapter 12, "Serials." Also included in Update 4 was a major revision of Module 30, "Direct Access Computer File Serials," prepared by Kristin Lindlan (Washington). CCM Update 5-6 was in preparation at the end of the fiscal year and included the new Module 33, "Newspapers." Module 33 includes contributions from four CONSER members and updates the Newspaper Cataloging and Union Listing Manual, documenting CONSER and USNP policies and practices.

National Register of Microform Masters (NRMM)

From January 1994 to February 1996, the Association of Research Libraries managed a cooperative project to create serial records in the CONSER database for the NRMM. Staff from OCLC's Retrospective Conversion Services were trained by CONSER and created more than 22,000 records for three major research libraries: Harvard University, the Library of Congress, and the New York Public Library. This continued a multi-year effort to provide online access to more than half a million bibliographic records for preservation microform masters.


CONSER and the Program for Cooperative Cataloging--Restructuring and Realignment

In May 1996, members of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging and CONSER Executive Committees met at LC to discuss ways in which the programs might merge certain functions. Proposals to merge the policy and executive committees and create a new BIBCO operations group were endorsed, with the plan to hold a joint CONSER/PCC meeting in November to further the discussion. A joint meeting of the PCC Executive Committee and the CONSER Policy Committee is scheduled to be held in November 1996.

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Task Force on Cataloging Conference Publications

The CONSER Task Force on the Cataloging of Conference Publications, chaired by Mechael Gago (Indiana), focused on the issue of "monograph versus serial treatment," considering both the needs of the user and the library. After conducting research in the library literature, a sub-group categorized and defined ongoing conference publications, and analyzed options for cataloging. The task force rejected current cataloging practice as the best solution and focused on a revision of LCRI 12.0A, Section 4b, "Conference and exhibition publications." The goal's of the revision are to improve access for users, reduce recataloging, and provide clearer guidelines to the cataloger. The draft was distributed over several Internet discussion lists in spring 1996 and further discussed at the 1996 Operations Committee meeting. Comments from the library community were fully considered, along with those from CONSER members, and the final draft will be distributed for comment by LC's Cataloging Policy and Support Office in late 1996.

The task force is continuing its work with plans to examine cataloging policies relating to conference titles and headings.

Task Force on Electronic Resources

Regina Reynolds (LC) presented a task force report at the November 1995 Policy Committee meeting. The committee discussed several issues relating to electronic resources and recognized CONSER's achievements, primarily the publication of Module 31, "Remote Access Computer File Serials." The committee agreed that CONSER's goal should be to supply cataloging or other types of "meta data" for Internet resources but not to coordinate the access to, or archiving of serials distributed online. Several questions were left unresolved:

  • What constitutes a serial in the electronic environment?
  • How should online versions of print publications should be represented in library catalogs?
  • Should policies for recording electronic location and access information (field 856) be revised?

Some of these issues were discussed further with the library community, and several were addressed by the Operations Committee in May 1996. (See Achievements section on "Electronic Serials.") Another report will be submitted to the Policy Committee in November 1996 for their consideration of the status of the task force.

Task Force on AACR Review

The AACR Review Task Force, first chaired by Jo Lynne Byrd (MIT) and later by Sara Shatford Layne (UCLA), is charged with identifying aspects of the cataloging code that do not work well for serials, in anticipation of an international conference in 1997. The task force discussed their activities at the Operations Committee meeting in 1996 by first addressing the issue of what constitutes a "serial work." Members examined when a successive entry should be created due to a change in title, heading, or numbering.

The task force met at the ALA convention in New York and identified several issues to be addressed in papers submitted for presentation at the 1997 JSC conference on the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules. Members agreed that the papers should focus on a theoretical framework for cataloging serials rather than specific revisions of the rules. The definition and treatment of seriality in the rules, what constitutes a serial work, and the impact on successive entry cataloging are key issues to be addressed. Further discussion will take place at a day-long meeting prior to the ALA 1997 midwinter convention.


The long-standing task force on batch-loading, led by Duane Arenales (NLM), was disbanded in November 1995 in favor of a working group led by Ruth Haas (Harvard). OCLC has begun to examine the process to identify the programming that would be needed to support the batch-loading of new CONSER records.

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Center for Research Libraries

The Center for Research Libraries continues to participate actively in both the CONSER and NACO projects as part of its routine cataloging activities. The Department responded to the CONSER draft proposal for cataloging conference proceedings, and was instrumental in its contributions to the CONSER Cataloging Manual's module on cataloging foreign newspapers. Staff also contributed to CONSER policy discussions and the resulting draft on CONSER membership categories.

In discussions similar to those of many of its member libraries, the Cataloging Department held a number of sessions on the cataloging of electronic serials, especially in conjunction with the Mellon/Brazilian Presidential Papers Project.

The Foreign Newspaper grant, funded by the U.S. Department of Education Title II-C, concluded in March 1996. The focus of the project was to catalog the nearly 6,100 foreign newspapers from 156 different countries in 93 different languages housed at the Center. During the 18-month project period, 3,734 titles were brought under bibliographic control. Of these, 1,924 were originally cataloged, and 1,422 were submitted to CONSER. Staff are now in the process of converting titles in PCFile to HTML, grouping them by country and then by title within that country. Titles are also grouped together by Area Studies Microform Project (i.e., CAMP, LAMP, MEMP, SAMP, and SEAM).

Cornell University

As an RLIN library, at Cornell we catalog on our local NOTIS system and upload to RLIN by tape. We have been getting our records into CONSER by sending printouts of our original cataloging and printouts of updates to the Serial Record Division for authentication and input into OCLC.

Efforts are being made to find a way to streamline this process and eliminate the need for LC's keying Cornell records into OCLC. CONSER is able to telnet to Cornell's catalog and import new serial records, but these records must be heavily edited to change the NOTIS fixed fields etc. to add these records to OCLC. In the long run, a procedure should be developed by which Cornell and other RLIN libraries should be able to contribute easily to CONSER. One solution might be for CONSER to write a program to convert RLIN records to OCLC-compatible records. Although Cornell does export records in RLIN-MARC format, at this time we export by tape only. When we finally implement FTP capability we should be able to send our original serial records to CONSER where a conversion program could convert them to OCLC-MARC and load them into the CONSER database. This might be a way for other RLIN libraries to participate in CONSER as well.

On another front, Cornell has become a tape-loading member of OCLC and is in the process of loading its retrospective records in all formats. At some future point we will be FTPing all of our current cataloging to OCLC. When this point is reached, we could develop procedures for adding CONSER fields and authenticating the serial records.

During 1995/1996, we submitted 391 printouts of original cataloging records, and 202 updates for records already on OCLC. With experimentation going on for alternatives to input, we have stopped submitting updates since our greatest contribution is with original records.

With respect to NACO, we no longer keep separate statistics for CONSER and non-CONSER NACO records. Authority records are contributed to NACO for all headings on Cornell serials not already represented in the national authority file.

In our local procedures, Cornell is eliminating any distinction between serials and monographs in cataloging assignments. All original catalogers and some copy catalogers will be trained in serials cataloging during 1996-1997.

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Harvard University

During the past fiscal year Harvard created, upgraded, or modified approximately 5,301 CONSER records. 1199 associated name authority records were also created or modified.

Harvard's Retrospective Conversion Project, directed by Karen Carlson-Young, is winding down and scheduled for completion by the end of 1996. The bulk of the serial retrospective conversion was completed by the end of June. The Project searched approximately 141,271 serial titles in HOLLIS and converted those which matched an existing record. Those not converted in-house, were sent to OCLC where 72,799 records were claimed and the remaining 41,784 were keyed as a part of OCLC's Harvard Resource File.

This past fall, a Task Force was put in place to review the organization and operations of Harvard's CONSER participation. Its charge included analyzing the present workflow, eliminating duplicate processing, maximizing the use of technological advances, assessing our long-standing "mandatory" participation policy, and, recommending possible further decentralization.

The Task Force reaffirmed the University's commitment to CONSER participation for all currently received serials and laid out a three-tier approach. Level 1 libraries will participate independently. Level 2 libraries will be independent for copy cataloging but record authentication and maintenance will be done through the central CONSER Office. Level 3 libraries will continue to have all serial cataloging provided by the central Office.

The Task Force members reviewed levels of staffing and documentation available at individual libraries and consulted with each about a preference. With the exception of Widener and Law who will participate at a Level 1, the professional school libraries chose to participate at a Level 2. Most centralized libraries will continue to contribute at a Level 3.

Record quality will be maintained by an enhanced training program and record review process coordinated by the CONSER Office and the University Library's Standing Subcommittee on Serials, Series, and Continuations.

Workflow will be streamlined by using, when available, multiple sessions in a windows environment, macro capabilities, cut and paste, direct batch loading of bibliographic and name authority records, and allowing non-CONSER records to be brought directly into HOLLIS from OCLC.

To access the full text of the Task Force's report choose the Subcommittee's entry on the Harvard University Library home page at:

Indiana University

During July 1995-June 1996, the Serials Cataloging Unit of the Serials Department, Indiana University Libraries once again participated in numerous activities within the CONSER Program. Indiana University Libraries was responsible for creating 350 new original serial bibliographic records in the CONSER database and performed maintenance and/or further authenticated 3,857 existing serial bibliographic records. In the course of normal cataloging activities, the Serials Cataloging (SerCat) Unit also added or updated a total of 703 name and series authorities records in the national authority file through our participation in NACO. These figures represent an overall increase in the Unit's CONSER cataloging activities from the previous year. The SerCat Unit remained at its full level of staffing during the fiscal year with two librarians and 7.5 FTE paraprofessional staff.

Of particular note during 1995/1996 was the inauguration of the Libraries' Electronic Journals Collection Home Page for the Bloomington campus. The Serials Department met the challenge posed by the latest electronic journal format (remote access computer files) available via the Internet from both the serials control and cataloging perspective. Each title listed on the Electronic Journals Collection Home Page has a fully cataloged serial bibliographic record in the CONSER database and in Indiana University's local online catalog, IUCAT. OPAC users are provided with the Bloomington campus "location" and access information in addition to complete descriptive and subject access -- including the specific URL for each title on subscription.

The Serials Cataloging Unit also continued its participation as one of two CONSER participants in the CICNet Electronic Journal Cataloging Project. In addition, Mechael Gago, Indiana University's CONSER Operations Committee representative, chaired the CONSER Task Force on the Cataloging of Conference Publications. Indiana University Libraries continues to participate in a partnership with Ameritech and the University of Chicago Libraries in the development of HORIZON, a client-server based library system for large research libraries. As work proceeds in this joint development effort, it is anticipated that involvement with local implementation of the new system may temporarily affect productivity within the Serials Department.

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Library of Congress

Cataloging Sections

The Cataloging sections dealt with technology on dual fronts during the past year, as the remaining Bibliographic Work Stations (BWS) designated for the Division were delivered, and as the number of serials published in electronic form presents challenges to long-held concepts of description and access.

Four new technician-level MARC verifiers were added to the staff in Oct. 1995 but no new catalogers were hired. In preparation for adapting "whole serials cataloging" to the division workflow, two senior catalogers continued with subject cataloging cross-training and a third began the process in November.

The three full-level cataloging sections continued to give assistance to CONSER members and two senior catalogers worked with new participants, providing training and ongoing review and assistance. Catalogers also serve as liaisons to serials catalogers in the Library's overseas offices in Cairo, Jakarta, Nairobi, and New Delhi. The training and continued review carried out in previous years is evidence by quality improvements during the past year.

A retired monograph cataloger was contracted to process the Hebraic serial arrearage, processing 739 pieces. The Division also contracted with OCLC, Inc. to create CONSER minimal-level records for 420 Japanese-language serials. Quality control and review were done by division staff. Work continued on other arrearages and collections: microfilm from the Soviet and Russian Emigre Periodicals, 1917-1948, comic books, Amharic and Vietnamese titles, and Pulp Fiction.

The National Register of Microfilm Masters - Serials (NRMM) conversion project was completed in early 1996, creating more than 22,000 records. Staff in the CONSER Minimal Level Cataloging Section worked with the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the contractor (OCLC) in resolving problems and providing quality control monitoring and review to the project. Division staff also completed a project associated with the Business and Economics Bibliographic Enrichment Advisory Team (BEAT) effort, updating approximately 2500 records to assure that the online display provides accurate information about LC holdings.

National Serials Data Program

NSDP's staff was reduced by attrition to seven during the year. At this staffing level, only the most critical sources of International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) requests can be attended to. During much of FY1996, NSDP answered requests only from publishers, the U.S. Postal Service, and LC's cataloging workflow. NSDP is building significant arrearages of unanswered ISSN requests from ISSN Network centers and abstracting and indexing services, as well as ISSN requests and modification requests from the ISSN International Centre.

ISSN assigned to online electronic serials totalled 217 during the first nine months of calendar year 1996; double the number assigned (111) during all of calendar year 1995. ISSN for 53 titles were requested using NSDP's interactive application form on the World Wide Web, which became available in May of 1996. With help from several LC staffers, a program was developed to convert data on the application form into a skeleton OCLC record for editing by a cataloger.

NSDP's World Wide Web page has generated an increased number of queries, and an increased number of ISSN requests for online serials. NSDP has used its Web page to provide fuller information to publishers about electronic serials and about presentation of their serials. This latter topic is covered in the brochure, "What's in a Name?" developed by ALA's ALCTS Serials Section. NSDP is mounting and maintaining this brochure in conjunction with ALA. NSDP also distributes this brochure with prepublication ISSN.

United States Newspaper Program

During FY1996, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced new USNP implementation awards to the final two states to join the program, Oregon and Vermont, and to the District of Columbia. Awards were also made to continuing projects in Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and South Dakota. Work was completed during the fiscal year in Indiana, New Mexico, Ohio, and Rhode Island. Thirty states and two territories have now completed all work within the USNP guidelines. With recent funding reductions, and the resultant down-sizing of some projects, it is expected that work in the remaining states will now continue well beyond the planned project ending date of 2004.

USNP project staff once again met for a series of workshops and presentations during their three-day annual meeting at the Library of Congress in April. Eighty-five participants from throughout the country participated. The final draft of the USNP Preservation Microfilming Manual has been completed, and work continues on the draft of a thesaurus of genre terms for newspapers.

Newspaper catalogers in the Serial Record Division continue to make progress in cataloging the estimated 15000 foreign newspapers in the Library's collection, and have assisted the Serial and Government Publications Division (S&GP) in their efforts to process the bound volumes arrearage. The USNP Coordinator worked with the Collections Policy Office (CPO) and others to prepare a revised Collections Policy Statement for U.S. newspapers, which is currently under broader CPO-coordinated review. Work was also completed on a detailed inventory of the Library's collection of Eighteenth Century foreign newspapers.

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT Libraries is happy to report continued growth in its CONSER contribution. Our 95/96 statistics reflect a twenty-eight percent increase over those of 94/95 (which in turn reflected a forty-seven percent increase over 93/94).

This was a particularly noteworthy achievement given the fact that it was also the year the Libraries migrated to a new system, GEAC Advance, and implemented automated serials control. In a five-month intensive project the serials cataloging staff (and volunteers from other departments) updated "copyset records" which were generated by the input of order records for all of our active subscriptions and standing orders. Summary holdings statements were input and individual item records were linked, resulting in visible serials holdings in the Libraries' public catalog fro the first time.

It was also a year of significant staff changes in Serials Cataloging. In January, Jennifer Edwards, formerly of Kansas State University, joined the staff as a full time serials cataloger. At the end of May, Jo Lynne Byrd, Head of Serials Cataloging, left MIT. A search is currently underway for a replacement.

Jo Lynne completed her service as Chair of the Task Force on AACR Review at the CONSER Operations meeting in May. David Van Hoy continued to serve on the Task Force on the Cataloging of Conference Publications.

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National Agricultural Library

In December 1995, Michael Esman was selected as head of the Cataloging Branch.

NAL Technical Services Division focused on integrating the cataloging of electronic publications into the workflow. An Electronic Resources Selection Committee began routinely selecting electronic publications for cataloging. Collection development policies were revised to include electronic publications. The Technical Services Division held a series of staff meetings during the year to discuss the issues surrounding the processing of electronic materials. Preliminary examination was begun into issues that may affect our journal article indexing practices for electronic publications.

The Cataloging Branch continued its participation in the OCLC Intercat Project contributing 110 records for agricultural related electronic publications.

During the past year, the Serials Cataloging Section added 538 original and/or newly authenticated bibliographic records to the CONSER database and performed maintenance on 830 additional authenticated records. The authenticated records included 32 electronic serials.

National Library of Canada

Between July 1995 and June 1996, the National Library of Canada (NLC) authenticated online 48 records and modified 1,192 records. These records included Canadian government and non-government serials in all formats.

As stated in last year s report, NLC s new online system AMICUS began 12 June 1995. Because of difficulties in the transition to the new system, we have not been able to off-line load any new Canadiana serial records into CONSER since that time. There is a backlog of over 3,000 new records waiting to be loaded. We have now produced tapes from AMICUS and are working with OCLC to iron out a few remaining anomalies in the records.

NLC understands when these records are loaded, this will result in duplicate record situations because of the length of time that our new records have not been loaded. NLC will do our best to clean up these duplicate record situations.

On the positive side, NLC proposed the removal of most restrictions on what CONSER participants could do to NLC records in CONSER. This reduced the amount of work needed to be done by NLC s CONSER unit and allowed other CONSER participants to make required changes immediately. This change was beneficial to everyone and was very favorably received.

NLC changed the method of access to the OCLC database this past year from a dedicated line to the Internet. This change reduced costs and streamlined operations. NLC, as with many other libraries posting comments to the CONSER list and AUTOCAT, has found no difference in the reliability of service between the Internet and dedicated line method of connection.


During the period July 1995-June 1996, ISSN Canada registered 3,016 Canadiana serials, revised 1,409 ISSN records and assigned pre-publication ISSNs to 1,492 not-yet-published Canadian serials.

NLC continues to serve on CONSER Operations, Policy and Executive Committees.

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National Library of Medicine

The National Library of Medicine continues to function with a staff of 2.5 full time serials catalogers and continues to supplement in-house cataloging with contract cataloging. In the past year, NLM contracted for cataloging services for serials in Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and for the first time, English. Approximately 500 lower priority English language serials were cataloged through services purchased from a contractor.

NLM is opting to use one record for print serials which are also issued as remote access computer files. By the end of June 1996, only two such records with NLM data were in the CONSER database, but NLM will continue with this practice.

New York Public Library

In its second year (1995/96) of participation in the CONSER program, NYPL produced 630 original and authenticated records, compared to last year's 394 and did maintenance on 223 records, compared to 79 of last year. These records were all for Roman-alphabet publications. The Library's cataloging of CJK (Chinese, Japanese, and Korean), Hebrew and Arabic vernacular titles continues to be on RLIN. Because OCLC does not yet have the Hebrew and Arabic modules, the cataloging of these materials will remain in RLIN. However, we plan to train the CJK cataloging staff in OCLC cataloging and move them over to CONSER sometime next year.

In May of 1996, NYPL opened to the public its fourth Research Center, the Science, Industry, and Business Library (SIBL), which is situated in a splendidly renovated building in Midtown Manhattan. SIBL was formed by the merger of two former divisions of the Library, the Science and Technology Division and the Economic and Public Affairs Division. Many of the old serials held by these two divisions were cataloged prior to 1972 when NYPL began its automation in cataloging, and, therefore, those records were in manual form. In order to make SIBL a truly online library, a decision was made to convert those manual serials records into machine readable form. The inactive and the dead titles (close to 16,000) were converted by OCLC, while active titles were processed by an in-house staff because ongoing holdings information needed special attention. In total, around 45,000 records were converted. Most of the converted records have a full level of cataloging, but are not of AACR2 standard of course; and some of the subject headings included came from NYPL's own subject headings list, which was used by the Library until 1971.

This past year, a re-engineering effort was launched by the Library to redesign its technical services. Budget constraints were the main culprit for this happening. New services and products offered by vendors have also prompted us to rethink our processing procedures and workflows. The planning phase of the re-engineering task continues and the implementation phase will soon begin. Changes will definitely be made in all areas of bibliographic control. Staffing will be reduced and priorities in processing will be affected. However, CONSER, NACO, and BIBCO remain on top of our operational list. In times like these, cooperation in cataloging has become even more important, and simplification of cataloging is now an imperative and a task that we must all take on seriously and aggressively.

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New York State Library

The New York State Library contributed full level CONSER records for the following categories of serial material: New York State documents, new subscriptions, title changes, and newspapers.

As administrator of the New York State Depository Program, the State Library places highest priority on the acquisition and cataloging of New York State documents. The majority of newspaper titles acquired and catalogued during the 95/96 FY came from the New York State Newspaper Project. Titles filmed for participants of this Project were duplicated for addition to the State Library's collections. Additionally, our Director initiated a project to process our older uncataloged collections. New serial records were added to OCLC for many of these older titles. In many instances, existing OCLC serial records were modified to reflect the existence of our earlier issues.

For the twelve-month interval, July 1995 - June 1996, 219 original records were contributed to the CONSER database, while 422 titles were matched and upgraded and 158 authenticated. 604 maintenance transactions were performed; 38 records were reported for deletion.

A NACO core group, led by a senior staff member, met weekly to discuss new headings, review proposed name authority records, and answer questions. Peer review has been very helpful in training. 465 name authority records were created in the 1995/96 CONSER FY.

Professional staff fluctuated between 1.8 and 2.8 FTE catalogers, while support staffing remained constant at 3.0 FTE Library Technical Assistants. In June, Helen Smirensky, our lead cataloger and liaison at the CONSER operations level, retired. Miriam Bogen agreed to accept the responsibilities of CONSER operations liaison. Miriam was shifted from monographic to serials cataloging and received six months of training under Helen's tutelage prior to her retirement. After months of apprehension, our three Library Technical Assistants were made permanent employees, scoring the highest in the state on the open competitive Civil Service exam. Because of staffing shortages in other technical service areas, one of the LTA's spent 40 hours this summer assisting in Acquisitions.

Considerable time was spent by Cathy Sagendorf in the preparation of a draft of Module 33 [i.e., Newspapers] for the CONSER Cataloging Manual.

Publications on discs are being received from various New York State agencies and loaded onto our ftp server. The majority, though not all, of the discs consisted of pre-publication working copies, which often lacked the graphics and appendices found in the final print publications. Our processing procedures were established after close monitoring of CONSER e-serials discussions on the Internet. The State Library will be providing access to our ftp version through the paper record, adding 530 and 856 fields as prescribed by Jean Hiron's August 26, 1996 memo. A few state agencies discontinued the print version of their publications, opting for electronic version only. In these instances, we deferred to CONSER module 31, creating records utilizing computer file format with seriality shown in the 006 field.

A major effort is underway to scan and digitize all print New York State documents, beginning with material from the January 1996 Checklist of NYS Documents. A Ricoh model IS520 duplex scanner and an AT&T Pentium PC were recently installed. Currently we are in the testing/development stage of this document imaging. Since this material will be an exact reproduction of the print, CONSER staff will be providing 530/856 access through the paper record.

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U.S. Government Printing Office

The Cataloging Branch of the Government Printing Office, Library Programs Service continues to identify, catalog, and authenticate serial publications issued by the U.S. government for the CONSER database. With three full-time catalogers devoted to serials, the GPO serial staff continued their efforts to reflect the current bibliographic status of Government serials in a timely manner.

During the 12 month reporting period of July 1995-June 1996, GPO serials staff produced original CONSER-level cataloging for 360 titles. We also authenticated 140 titles already present in OCLC for addition to the CONSER database. Thus, GPO added a total of 500 records to CONSER during the 1995-1996 reporting year.

Also during the reporting year, GPO performed maintenance on 2320 existing CONSER records. This work included the addition of 353 URLs to existing records.

The serials cataloging staff continues to create series authority records for the NACO Program. 160 records were contributed to the authority files and 222 maintenance transactions were made during the report year.

With continued migration to an increasingly electronic Federal Depository Library (FDLP), we anticipate a significant increase in the number of records representing electronic serials and physical forms with electronic versions.

Lee Morey, serials cataloger and GPO representative to the CONSER Operations Committee, has been reassigned to the LPS Electronic Transition Staff (ETS). The ETS is charged with making the FDLP conversion to electronic documents run smoothly. Tony Ford, a monograph cataloger who formerly cataloged serials is being retrained. Steve Uthoff will replace Lee on the Operations Committee.

University of California, Los Angeles

The focus of local CONSER activities was again on maintenance efforts, as it was last year. During the last half of the fiscal year, Melissa Beck again agreed to serve as Interim Head of the University Research Library Cataloging Department, as Sherry Kelley departed UCLA for the Smithsonian. [N.B. Melissa herself departed UCLA in August, with Jain Fletcher assuming her Interim Head responsibilities. Carol Hixson, currently of Indiana University, will start as the new Head of URL Cataloging in January 1997.

Rhonda Lawrence, Head of Cataloging at the Law Library, and Brian Schottlaender, AUL/Collections & Technical Services, joined Jean Hirons, Maureen Landry, and Regina Reynolds from the Library of Congress, Crystal Graham of UC San Diego, and Kristin Lindlan from the University of Washington on the faculty of "Serials Cataloging in the Age of Format Integration," an institute sponsored by the Association for Library Collection & Technical Services held in San Francisco October 6-7, 1995. Rhonda presented the concurrent session on "Cataloging Legal Serials," which included information on AACR2, LCRIs, and CONSER guidelines for cataloging these special materials. Brian made a presentation on "The Core Record Concept: Its History and Development, Its Application to Serials, and Its Implications for Access."

Sara Shatford Layne, Head of Cataloging for the Science and Engineering Libraries, served as a member of the CONSER Task Force on Conference Publications, and as a member (and currently, Chair) of the CONSER Task Force on AACR Review.

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University of Florida

The University of Florida's 1995/96 CONSER contributions were again augmented by our continued participation in the NEH-funded US Newspaper Grant. This year, of our total 2440 submissions, 1771 were contributed as part of the Florida USNP; 669 were contributions from our regular workflow. This latter figure is a decrease over last year, and we are concerned that it reflects our stagnating rate of acquisitions of printed serial publications.

Indeed, the University of Florida projects that our future contributions to the CONSER database will continue to be primarily project-based. As has been the case over the last two years, most of what we will be cataloging will be from various of our collections which have previously not been well cataloged. Following the newspaper project, we have targeted documents and special collections as priorities which have long been in need of better bibliographic coverage. In addition to materials from these collections, we anticipate that electronic serials (especially electronic versions of what we have owned in print) will figure in the types of contributions UF will be able to make. To date, however, our contributions of electronic serials have been constrained by limited selections. As in other libraries, the integration of electronic serials has challenged many of our local assumptions about the singular effectiveness of a catalog record to provide access to this type of material. Here, after all, the potential exists to send the user directly to the item itself. And significantly, the 'item itself' can easily be the journal article, not just the journal title.

In addition to cataloging previously uncataloged titles in our collections, we anticipate that many of our unique materials would benefit by article level analysis. In the process of digitizing two Caribbean newspapers, we have experimented with imbedding indexing terms and abstracts of selective articles. This experience, and that with the commercial index databases linked to our library catalog, have underscored the value of common indexing standards, issue and article level identifiers. The experience has also underscored the labor intensiveness of providing this type of analysis.

During this past year, the serials cataloging and serials acquisitions units were merged to form one Serials Unit within the Resource Services Department. This was done in order to reduce redundancy and increase efficiency. As a result of the merge, the Serials Unit has been able to take over the cataloging of all materials received through the Unit. Previously monographic series received through Serials Acquisitions were cataloged by the Monograph cataloging section. It is still too early to tell, but we wonder if access to title changes, frequency changes, etc. at the point of acquisitions will allow us to increase our CONSER maintenance contributions.

Finally, we have been focusing on reviewing and improving the consistency and quality of our contributions over the latter part of the year.

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University of Georgia Libraries

For the first time in several years, the number of titles received declined because canceled or ceased titles exceeded the number of new titles received. 590 new titles were established while 788 were canceled or ceased during the year.

The Libraries began the cataloging of electronic serials during the year as several dozen were newly authenticated or upgraded.

There were 1,278 overall contributions to CONSER for an 8% increase over last year and the eighth consecutive year that our contribution has increased.

The Libraries hired Beth Jedlicka as a Serials Cataloger. She will start in October and comes to us from the Nebraska Newspaper Project.

John Riemer collaborated with Vanderbilt's serials cataloging unit on 141 records as part of the Maintenance Project.

John Riemer is also serving on the CONSER Task Force on AACR Review.

University of Maryland at College Park

The University of Maryland at College Park was accepted into the CONSER program in December, 1995. Training for two serial catalogers, Jeanne Baker and Bobbie Mallett, began in February, 1996. Records for review were submitted by all serial cataloging staff in the Serial Cataloging Unit. Original, newly authenticated, and most maintenance records were prepared by

UMCPs professional cataloging staff. Some maintenance records were prepared by the paraprofessional catalogers. The Chinese and Japanese language catalogers prepared non-CJK serial cataloging records under the review of the Head of the Serial Cataloging Unit. All CONSER serials work was submitted for review to Nancy Yu in Section 1 of the Serial Record Division of the Library of Congress. The review period ended for non-CJK cataloging in October, 1996. Production of Chinese and Japanese CONSER serial records is a goal for FY 97.

The UMCP libraries made considerable progress in collecting and making accessible various electronic resources this year. Some of the notable acquisitions include access to electronic journals in MathSciNet, Project Muse, and the Institute of Physics journals online. Access to many CD-ROM serials is provided in the Electronic Reading Room which opened in spring 1996. Some of these resources are also available on a UMCP libraries local area network. The Serial Cataloging Unit is facing the many challenges of providing cataloging records and proper location and access information in UMCPs online catalog, VICTOR, for these electronic resources. The UMCP libraries received large gifts of materials in Hebrew, Yiddish, and Greek in FY 96, but does not have staff with the language ability to contribute authenticated serial records.

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University of Michigan

The Serials Cataloging Unit continued to experience personnel changes this year. One of our most experienced catalogers retired in December and another cataloger left in February on maternity leave. Two paraprofessional cataloger positions were reclassed. This enabled additional staff to participate in CONSER cataloging and NACO authority work under supervision.

The effort to catalog the CICNet archive of electronic journals continued. On site training was provided to staff from Ohio State and Minnesota.

University of Texas at Austin

As usual, most CONSER activity at Texas involved Latin American serials. In addition to the regular flow of new titles and title changes, two grant-funded projects added to Latin American receipts. The first, funded by the DOE Foreign Periodicals Program, brought serials in the field of Mexican economics; this project completed its third and final year in December 1995. The second, funded by the Center for the Study of Western Hemispheric Trade, was used to purchase serials on commerce, trade, and international economic cooperation from countries participating in NAFTA and Mercosur; that project began June 1, 1995, and is ongoing.

A special event in early 1996 was an internship by Sever Bordeianu of the University of New Mexico Libraries. Sever spent two months in the Latin American Serials Unit at Texas, doing original CONSER-level cataloging, while on sabbatical leave from his regular job.

In March 1996 CONSER operations expanded to include creation of minimal-level authenticated records for selected items. To date, only about 50 such records have been created. CONSER cataloging of electronic serials has also continued in 95/96, though on a small scale, pending official acceptance of providing access to the online version through the paper record. Now that has occurred, it may be possible to edit those paper records nationally rather than locally as we have been doing.

University of Washington

The Serials Cataloging Section enjoyed stable staffing during the year and increased its level of CONSER and related NACO activity. The section authenticated or maintained 2,497 serial records, an increase of 10% from the previous year. NACO contributions increased by 23%, with 397 new headings or changed authority records contributed.

Although print materials were the focus of serials cataloging activities, staff from the monographic and serials cataloging units participated in the OCLC Internet Cataloging Project. Steve Shadle of the Serials Cataloging Section served as the project's in-house coordinator. Retrospective conversion continues on a limited basis as staff upgrade records for materials to be moved to an off-site storage facility and also convert and update serial bibliographic records for titles from locally loaded databases which lack ISSN's in our online catalog. In November 1995, all serials catalogers received a week of in-house NACO training.

Serials information in locally mounted abstracting and indexing databases was linked to summary holdings statements in the public catalog using the ISSN as the linking element. This service will soon be available for seven of the locally mounted A&I databases.

A multi-year project to convert manual checkin records was completed in January. Approximately 50,000 manual records from the central serials division and over 20 service units were converted. Within the central serials division, about 98% of current receipts are now checked in online using Innovative Interfaces software.

Kris Lindlan completed a major revision of Module 30: "Direct Access Computer File Serials," for inclusion in Update 4 (fall 1995) of the CONSER Cataloging Manual. She also gave two sessions, in October 1995, on the cataloging of CD-ROMs and floppy disks at the ALCTS-sponsored institute in San Francisco, "Serials Cataloging in the Age of Format Integration." Steve Shadle gave presentations on the cataloging of electronic serials at a Washington Library Association Workshop Cataloging on the Internet November 2, 1995, and a CAPCON workshop in Washington, D.C., May 17, 1996. He also organized and participated in a panel discussion on cataloging electronic serials at the NASIG Annual Conference in Albuquerque, June 1996. Harriet Selkowitz, the Policy representative, left for a two-year stay in Hong Kong where her husband will be working. Jim Stickman is the new Policy Committee representative.

1995/1996 CONSER Annual Report--Appendices

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