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The Library of Congress > Cataloging, Acquisitions > PCC > CONSER > Publication Patterns Initiative > Summary of Meeting at ALA Midwinter, Boston

January 22, 2006 - CONSER Task Force on Publication Patterns and Holdings

Time: 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.


Update on the ONIX for serials SRN format

Linda Miller (LC) gave the group an overview of pilots designed to test the ONIX for serials formats. The current releases of the formats are available from the NISO/Editeur website (external link)

SPS (Serials Products and Subscriptions) is being piloted in release 0.9 and is a format for communicating serials product catalogue information and/or details of subscriptions held by a specified institution.

SOH (Serials Online Holdings) is in version 1.0. The work of the ONIX sub-group on coverage statements has not been completed, so the current version of SOH is not as completely MARC 21 compliant as it will be in future versions when the coverage statement standards are incorporated. SOH is a format for communicating electronic serials holdings details from publication access management systems to user libraries.

SRN (Serials Release Notification) in pilot release 0.9, is a format for communicating article or issue level details. SRN is one of the most MARC21 compliant formats. There is a good deal of publisher interest in using the SRN for transmitting article level release information. In a project funded by the JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) Emerald and Talis will be experimenting with transmission of article and issue level information. [See the JISC project website: (external link) "TOCRoSS" will use RSS 2.0, ONIX SRN 0.9, and PRISM 1.2 standards to "place journal tables of content (TOC) data into a library catalogue without human intervention, thus improving the accuracy of records, saving time for library administrators and adding value for library patrons."]

Several pilots of the ONIX for Serials formats have either been completed or are in progress.

  • Serials Solutions had already sent SOH messages to III.
  • SIRSI is planning to receive SOH, SPS and SRN, scheduled for summer.
  • Ex Libris is ready to receive SOH messages, receipt of SRN message is in development.
  • Swets is piloting sending SRN and SOH messages to Endeavor.
  • Harrassowitz is piloting sending SPS messages to VTLS.
  • Polaris is interested in piloting the SRN message.

Update from OCLC

Glenn Patton (OCLC) gave an update on the implementation of the MARC 21 Holdings Format in WorldCat. The conversion of local data records (LDR) to the MARC 21 holdings format has been going smoothly. Out of millions of records created, only a few did not convert well. Using the MARC 21 holdings format will facilitate display of holdings in FirstSearch and will reflect ILL requests. The shut down of the union list will happen in mid February 2006. New functions will be available in the Connexion browser to create and maintain holding records, including a workform. The next version of the Connexion client will have links to the browser version to be able to use functions only available in the browser. Recording holdings will not be limited to serials, but also has the potential to be used with multi-vol monographs. Problems associated with converting United States Newspaper Project (USNP) LDR to MFHD have been resolved.

Several online tutorials and other holdings related documentation are being developed and will include topics such as searching holdings, updating existing holdings records, etc.

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Brainstorming on future directions of the Publication Patterns Initiative:

The OCLC conversion to MFHD means there is increased interest in the format, we should capitalize on it. We should continue to insist on compatibility with the format among vendors, push for ways to make the data easy to load, and address the educational needs of users.

Encouraging compliance to the MFHD among vendors is still an important part of the initiative.

From a vendor perspective, an important question is: How many customers are asking for the capability to manipulate patterns and/or understand the need for complete publication history? This has an impact in the decisions vendors make in creating and making enhancements to products.

In moving toward a "universal" holdings history, how do we add the retrospective data that will be necessary? We need to point out incentives and opportunities for people to add retrospective data, such as data that can be gathered during a digitization project. So far we've taken a passive approach, having catalogers add the data to 891 fields and we haven't reached the point of being able to hit a button and have the data download into our system. Need to explore alternate sources of retrospective data and textual data, explore more flexibility to take and use data.

Having publishers involved is an important next step, publishers have great influence, they will help spread the use of ONIX for serials, publishers are already the ONIX books format. We need to get some publishers to demonstrate the process of transmitting holdings related data for their peers. We need to make clear case for a business model that shows benefit for publishers from providing the initial data, the value of passing it through the ONIX format to customers and other partners. Certainly there is value to vendor partners and libraries in getting data in an actionable format.

What is the impact of the simplified bibliographic approach to serials outlined in the access level record for serials experiment? Data from holdings related fields (e.g. 362, 321) traditionally included in the serial bib record is displayable from the holdings record anyway, so its appropriate that the access level bib record does not include these. The access level record relies on identifying FRBR user tasks and providing the level of access that meet these needs.

FRBR remains an important part of the agenda of the Publication Patterns Initiative. There is a need for the CONSER FRBR group and the Initiative to work more closely together, to help formulate a next step in envisioning FRBR for serials.

Action: Now is the time to convene a publishers advisory group for the Publication Patterns Initiative. This would provide an opportunity to get publishers involved at a critical stage, where we want buy-in with as suppliers and transmitters of data.

Action: Arrange for CONSER FRBR group to meet with the publication patterns group to develop strategies for implementation.

Decision: CONSER will continue to add patterns data to OCLC records, but we also need to develop a strategy for finding retrospective data.


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