Updates and reports:
AACR2 implementation. Jean Hirons (LC) noted recent discussion on CONSERLST regarding major/minor changes but chose to focus on documentation. The CONSER Cataloging Manual is out in a new edition and is available from the Cataloging Distribution Service. The new CCM will also be available via the Catalogers' Desktop in the first update of 2003. A large update to the CONSER Editing Guide is nearing completion and will be available in early spring.
Publication Patterns. Carlen Ruschoff (U. Maryland), the new chair of the CONSER Publication Pattern Task Force, reported on new members and new initiatives. These include a potential notification service for new patterns, a study of the need for publication patterns for ejournals, uses and technical issues related to a universal holdings record, and potential contributions from subscription service vendors. For full details, see the summary of the Pattern Task Force meeting (add URL).
CONSER FRBR Task Force. Everett Allgood (NYU), task force chair, briefed the group on discussions that took place on Friday where a number of topics were discussed. One was the potential for given citations for works and expressions in authority records. One task the group has agreed on is to identify attributes associated with continuing resources that could be used to distinguish and collocate them.
510s in CONSER records. Hirons discussed the fate of the 510 abstracting and indexing/coverage fields in CONSER records, noting that a survey taken a number of years ago came out exactly 50/50. The PCC Policy Committee discussed in November and decided it was time to remove the fields without trying to store the data. Hirons and Glenn Patton (OCLC) wanted to reaffirm the sense of the group as to the desirability of doing so. A poll of participants showed that a majority favored removal. 510 data for titles maintained by the National Library of Medicine and Chemical Abstracts will be retained in the records, however.
Discussion: CONSER policies regarding journals in aggregations
Bob Wolven (Columbia), chair of the PCC, noted discussions that took place at Big Heads that favored access via the catalog and the new CONSER approach. Many at that meeting also commented on the fact that the single record option isn't working very well and they are moving to separate records. Hirons reported on the series of events that led up to a list of assumptions given on the agenda, developed by Adolfo Tarango (UCSD), chair of the 3rd PCC Task Force on Journals in Aggregations. She noted that the only difference between the CONSER Option B+ proposal and the assumptions was that the latter included all types of aggregations (not just journal-based) and the possibility of machine-derived records.
Robert Bremer (OCLC) reported on the work of a database group that is investigating ways in which OCLC and CONSER members can collapse existing records. He noted a number of changes that would take place in the one retained record: qualifiers with just online and not the name of an aggregator, fewer and less-specific notes, additional 246 fields, no 710 or 730 with the name of the aggregator, and a description based on note that would specify the source of the description. The 856 fields would be retained as long as they are not local. It is possible that the name of the aggregator could be given in $z. The goal is to produce records that can be easily maintained. The 260 publisher statement may be the biggest problem for catalogers. Bremer and his group of CONSER catalogers will develop recommendations for approval by the CONSER Operations Committee. Once the guidelines are set, both OCLC staff and CONSER catalogers will be able to collapse the existing records. In the mean time, an interim policy is needed for both CONSER and non-CONSER libraries. [When asked on Sunday night at the PCC Participant's meeting, Hirons advised libraries not to create additional new records and to add or have OCLC add the URL for any new aggregations.] A more formal policy statement will be issued soon.
Hirons and Tarango then discussed the set of assumptions and entertained comments and questions after each one. The assumptions and comments are reproduced below.
1. Libraries want to provide access to journals in aggregations via the catalog. David Van Hoy (MIT) asked that journals be changed to serials and Wolven suggested that we say "many libraries." Frieda Rosenberg (UNC-Chapel Hill) noted that her library is looking at software that uses a MULVER solution that would provide for all formats. The final assumption reads as: Many libraries want to provide access to serials in aggregations via the catalog.
2. Libraries need and will continue to need record sets.
3. Creators of record sets need base records that can be customized
4. The base records should be CONSER records.
5. The base records should be 'separate' records that reflect the online versions. This raises the issue of the CONSER single record option and its future. Hirons said that, while CONSER has always preferred separate records, the current policy will be to more strongly recommend their creation while still retaining the option. Wolven noted that nothing precludes libraries doing as they wish internally. Duane Arenales said that NLM will not create separate records and will continue to use the single record approach. Regina Reynolds (LC) advised that libraries be careful about what they are putting on the print record to avoid confusion.
6. "Separate records may be created either by catalogers using Option B+ or machine-derived from existing records. Tarango explained that OCLC could derive the records from existing records. But there might be different standards, depending on whether the record is a CONSER record.
7. The Task Group on Journals in Aggregator Databases should define the fields for a machine-derived "separate" record.
8. For titles for which there is no record, records should be created by CONSER.
9. For changes involving the aggregation themselves, i.e., title added/deleted, maintenance will be handled by serial management companies and OCLC, where possible. Everett Allgood asked whether the management companies might become CONSER members. Hirons explained that there was no intention to ask the companies to actually update records. This would not be an appropriate role for them at this time.
10. For bibliographic changes to the serial, e.g., title changes, changes will be handled by CONSER.
There was also discussion on the use of the ISSN and whether publishers will continue to use the ISSN of the print as the hook to indexes. Would this need to change if our focus becomes the cataloging of the online and will CONSER find a way to educate the publishers and indexers? Arenales suggested that CONSER come up with a solution for indexing services to point to the article whether in print or electronic. Reynolds commented on the well-acknowledged need for a work-level identifier.
In summing up the discussion, Wolven noted that we are trying to craft a solution to a problem that will be changing over time. (But we who are in the serials business are certainly used to change!)
CONSER members will work on various aspects of the Option B+ proposal in the next few months and bring recommendations to the CONSER Operations meeting. It is hoped that decisions on most issues will be made at that meeting and issued to the library community soon afterward.