Library of Congress

Program for Cooperative Cataloging

The Library of Congress > Cataloging, Acquisitions > PCC > CONSER > Publication Patterns Initiative > Electronic Serials


With the success of the CONSER Publication Pattern initiative and the acknowledged need for shared patterns for printed serials, the question has been raised whether there is also a need for electronic serials. While most libraries find a basic holdings statement desirable to alert patrons to the extent of the electronic coverage, there seems to be an unstated assumption that detailed holdings and pattern data is not needed. Pattern data is used for check-in and claims, which may or may not be done in a library for these resources. At the same time, some integrated library systems (e.g., III) have developed mechanisms whereby electronic serials can check themselves in. And serials management companies, such as TD-NET and Serials Solutions, are providing services for libraries that include the management of electronic serials.

Discussion was held at ALA where participants noted the cost of eserials, the disadvantages for patrons if journal receipt is not tracked, and the potential need to check-in e-serials.


  1. Through surveys or other mechanisms, determine what libraries are currently doing and what they would like to be doing in the future in regard to electronic serials and check in.
  2. Explore the uses for publication pattern data and determine whether there is a need for this level of detail or whether summary holdings are sufficient.
  3. Explore the role of ILSs and serials management companies in fulfilling library needs for holdings data.
  4. Consider the impact of the CONSER decision to use a single record for eserials in aggregations on the need for pattern or holdings data.
  5. Based on the results, recommend potential directions for the CONSER Publication Pattern initiative.

Time frame: Interim report due June 2003.

Task force members

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