Task Force Members:
- Cindy Hepfer (SUNY-Buffalo), chair
- Cecelia Botero (Florida)
- Mike Esman (NAL)
- Jennifer O'Connell (EBSCO)
- Ed Jones (Faxon)
- Kevin McShane (NLM)
- Glenn Patton (OCLC)
- Regina Reynolds (LC)
- Jean Hirons, ex officio
Two separate but related issues involving abstracting and indexing (A&I) services and also the ISSN have been the focus of discussions at the CONSER At Large meeting (June 1996) and the CONSER Operations Committee meeting (May 1997). The problems involve: 1) the storing of abstracting and indexing data in CONSER records in field 510; and 2) the problem of maintaining current ISSN in A&I services to facilitate automatic retrieval of holdings information.
During the 1980's the CONSER Abstracting and Indexing Coverage Project, under the direction of Julia Blixrud, added abstracting and indexing coverage notes (field 510) to CONSER records. For the more popular serials, numerous 510 fields were added when a journal was indexed by many services. In many records the presence of the 510 fields means that additional data cannot be added because the record would excede the maximum number of fields. Furthermore, the data in the 510s is outdated in some cases. While CONSER has affiliate members, such as Chemical Abstracts, which routinely add and update data, the bulk of the maintenance was to be done by the National Serials Data Program at LC and the National Library of Canada. Staffing reductions in both libraries have prevented such maintenance.
A related issue is the presence of ISSN information in A&I services and the role it plays in the "hooks-to-holdings" feature. "Hooks-to-holdings" links a patron from a journal citation in an A&I service to the library's holdings record for that journal. If the correct ISSN is not given in the A&I service, however, the link will not work.
The CONSER Task Force on A&I/ISSN Issues is charged with recommending appropriate action plans to resolve each of these problems. Specifically, the task force should address the following questions:
- Is 510 data still useful in CONSER records? Are there alternatives? If this information is useful, how can it be maintained? Are there alternatives for display or storage of such data in CONSER records? If this information is not useful, or cannot be maintained, should it be removed from CONSER records?
- How can we keep A&I services apprised of current ISSN? Are there ways to program the "hooks-to-holdings" feature to make use of the ISSN in links to earlier/later titles?
An interim report is due at ALA Midwinter, January 1998.
The final report is due in time for the CONSER Operations Committee meeting, May 1998.