Library of Congress

Program for Cooperative Cataloging

The Library of Congress > Cataloging, Acquisitions > PCC > CONSER > Publication Patterns Initiative > Maintenance of Other Data in the Bibliographic Record

As stated in Section 3.4, major changes in the captions or the pattern will often necessitate changes in fields of the bibliographic record. Though several places in the record are subject to change as pattern changes occur, this CONSER Project concentrates on the fields most important to automated serials control, which are the frequency and regularity codes and corresponding textual fields (008/18-19, 310, and 321). Input of other corrective data, such as an updated designation (362) or a numbering peculiarities note (515) is less often called for, since many pattern changes require no change at all to those fields. Therefore, updates and changes to 362 and 515 are beyond the scope of the project, but of course may be input by CONSER catalogers familiar with the treatment of these fields according to the concepts and practices detailed in the CONSER Cataloging Manual and CONSER Editing Guide.

7.1. Inputting data for frequency/regularity (008/18-19, 310/321) (Optional)

7.1.1. Freq

A change in the frequency of issue of a publication, coded in 891 $9 853 $w, may occasion a change to the 008/18 (OCLC Freq, a fixed field code.) . If an applicable frequency among the regular codes listed in section 5.2.7 was given in $w, the same value should be entered in 008/18. However, if a number was given in $w because there was no applicable frequency code, the following frequency table must be substituted:

Frequency Frequency code Closest meaning
Five no. a year q quarterly
Seven no. a year b bimonthly
Eight no. a year b bimonthly
Nine no. a year m monthly
Ten no. a year m monthly
Eleven no. a year m monthly
Thirteen no. a year m monthly
Other numeric frequency (not listed) z other

Note: If a former frequency, or an unknown frequency (u) was coded in 008/18, the code is changed to the new value. If no pattern is input because no frequency can be determined, this field may be coded u.

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7.1.2. Regl

Many changes in frequency are made clear with a simple change of 008/18. Some changes, however, also require update of the Regularity code (008/19, OCLC Regl.)

Generally, Project participants will use one of the three codes below if a pattern has been coded in the 891 field. (The fourth value, u, may be found on records in the database, but should be changed to one of the three values. If no pattern has been coded, the u may be retained.)

r regular - Default code; regularity is assumed until proved otherwise.

x irregular - Combined with Freq blank, Regl x means completely irregular. Combined with one of the other codes, Regl x indicates that there is a stated or perceived frequency but that this frequency does not accurately reflect the pattern. One of two situations may prevail:

  1. The publication may be issued on an irregular schedule within a general frequency; e.g., a "monthly" publication that comes out in twelve irregularly spaced issues. However, this criterion is rarely used; participants should ordinarily use Regl=r for publications with a codable frequency, and use Regl=x mostly for case b. On the other hand, many regularly appearing variations may require Regl to be coded n (see further below)
  2. the publication is issued on a regular schedule but there is no applicable code, e.g., five, seven, or nine issues a year, so the closest code is chosen. (see above under Freq.) In this case Regl will be x

An x in Regl should in theory indicate a publication too irregular to enable predictive control. However, if Regl is coded x only because there was no code for the applicable frequency, prediction may work well by virtue of the content of $u and $y.

n normalized irregular - . Indicates that there is a regular variation, such as a regular extra or omitted issue, or a combined issue which appears predictably--coded in the $y subfield of the 891 $9 853. Issue of a cumulation or supplement which is not a regular number would also suggest value n in this code. (For coding examples, see Section 5.2.10.)

310 -- Monthly (except July and Aug.) Freq: m Regl: n 
310 -- Monthly (Nov.-Dec. issue combined) Freq: m Regl: n
310 -- Bimonthly, with an annual cumulation (i.e., seven issues a year) Freq: b Regl: n

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7.1.3. 310/321. Current/former frequency.

The 008/18 is correlated with field 310, Current frequency. The latest frequency, coded in 008/18, also appears textually in 310 in the body of the record . The former frequency is not coded but does appear textually in 321.

If the frequency had previously been coded as u, unknown , it may be necessary to create a textual frequency field for the first time at when the new value is added to 008/18. If the frequency is regular and has not changed, only one field, tagged 310, is necessary, with a simple statement of frequency: Cumulations are not counted as variations if they are within the regular numbering:

310 Annual
310 Quarterly 310 Bimonthly, the last issue being cumulative for the year If the
frequency is irregular (Regl=x), the irregularity is explained: 310 Annual (irregular)
(the publication is stated to be annual but is actually received on an irregular
schedule) 310 Five issues yearly (Note: code in 853$w is 5, but Freq is q, Regl
is x) 310 Irregular (used where Freq=blank) If the frequency is normalized (Regl=n),
the regular variation is specified: 310 Monthly, with an extra issue in July 310
Monthly, with combined issues in Apr./May, Sept./Oct. 310 Monthly, with annual
cumulation (thirteen issues yearly) 

If a frequency has been recorded previously in the record, but now has changed, the general procedure is to relegate the former frequency to field 321, updating 310 to the new frequency.

If a 321 field (but not more than two) exist already in the record and are judged to be correct, the frequency tagged 310 is retagged 321 and moved into place as the last 321 field. A subfield $b is added to contain the dates within which the serial appeared in the former frequency. The new frequency is stated in 310 with dates and is given first (in tag order):

In record: 310 Annual, $b 1990-
321 Biennial, $b 1981-1989 New wording: 310 Semiannual , $b May 1996- 321 Biennial,
$b 1981-1989 321 Annual, $b 1990-1995 

If there are more than three former frequencies, CONSER practice is to combine these into a general statement, Frequency varies, which is input as 321, while the 310 carries the current frequency.

		Quarterly (irregular), $b Sept. 1999- 321 Frequency varies, $b 1935-Aug. 1999

Created: Frieda Rosenberg, 2/00

Correction history: 5/04, corrected references to numbering in other sections

Questions? Contact the Project at:

Markup/editing: Diane Hillmann, 5/4/01

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