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The Library of Congress > Cataloging, Acquisitions > PCC > NACO > Guidelines for CJK NACO Review Process and Independence

The purpose of this document is to provide general guidance for the CJK NACO review process. It can be used to help reviewers determine when a cataloger may be granted independence for NACO work. The guidelines are intended to ensure that each cataloger is reviewed in a consistent and fair manner. These guidelines may also serve as a guideline for institutional internal review and help CJK NACO catalogers self-guard the quality when creating and producing authority records even after they obtain independence.

Review Process

It is recommended that each cataloger begin to create authority records soon after obtaining the original training and thus go through the review process. The review phase of NACO usually lasts from 3 to 6 months, sometimes a year depending on the individual libraries. Some of the East Asian libraries with relatively smaller collections may take a little longer to achieve independence due to the many hats the East Asian librarian wears. Reviewees should send no more than 5 records at a time with surrogates and must wait until their reviewer has responded before sending another batch.

Reviewers must respond and provide comments on the records to the reviewee within 2 weeks of receipt. It is okay to allow one or two problematic records to remain in the save file when a new batch is submitted.

When a NACO cataloger produces a certain amount of acceptable quality records, he or she will be granted independence. Independent status may come in stages; a library or an individual under review may achieve partial independence in which one particular type record (e.g. personal names) may be submitted without review, but other types, such as corporate names still require review. These stages do not have to be completed in any particular order.

Reviewers make recommendation to the Project coordinator when a cataloger is eligible for independence. The Project coordinator sends a letter of notice to the cataloger to grant the independence status via email.

Considered Elements for Review

To grant independence to an individual NACO cataloger or an institution, reviewers take into overall consideration the following elements.

  • The mixed level of headings

    The cataloger is expected to contribute a mix of new and updated authority records. The cataloger must also contribute a mix of "simple" records and records that include variants. Ideally, the cataloger will contribute a broad range of authority records that demonstrate the application of a variety of rules. If the reviewee regularly reports duplicate authority records encountered in the LC/NAF, or discovers errors in existing authority records, the reviewer should interpret this as additional evidence that the cataloger is developing the qualitative expertise needed to function as an independent NACO contributor.

  • The type of records

    When submitting records for review, each batch may include a mix of record types. The types of records include: personal names, corporative/conference names, geographical names, family names, and works/expressions. Currently, the Project members are not required to contribute series records.

  • Absence of major errors

    Errors in content designation (MARC tagging, coding, etc.) that affect access will be counted as major errors. For review purposes, the number of unacceptable records within the sequence of accumulation should constitute no more than 5% error rate. Although other errors, such as typos in non-access point and non-element fields, may not affect access, an inordinate amount of errors in non-crucial areas also affects the overall quality of a record and if prevalent enough, may result in refresher training or a repeated review process. A NACO cataloger is expected to follow a steady process of improvement, resulting in error-free work towards the end of review period.

The Errors that Affect Access:

The following details the errors that may be considered unacceptable in quality records. It may also serve as a self-review checklist. It is good practice to self-review all of your authority records before sending them out for review or before producing them after becoming independent. The series fields are not included in this list and will be added once the majority of the Project members have received training and begin to contribute series records.

008 fixed fields

All codes should be correct, pay special attention to the 2nd column.


In general, any incorrect tag, indicator, or subfield, and any incorrect spacing, capitalization, or punctuation and any typos in these fields are considered major errors. In addition, for each field, there are some specifics.


  • Incorrect choice of the form of access point
  • Conflicts with another 1xx authorized access point or 4xx variant access point
  • Duplicate record
  • Parent body or qualifier in access point not established


  • Incorrect choice or form of variant access point
  • Parent body or qualifier in variant access point not established
  • Variant access point conflicts with an established 1xx authorized access point


  • Incorrect choice or form of related access point
  • Related access point needed but not added
  • Related access point added but prohibited by rules
  • Related access point does not match an established 1xx authorized access point in another record

Optional 3xx fields

NACO catalogers are encouraged to provide 3XX fields when appropriate. Reviewers will take into consideration of the following areas for independence.

  • Apply instructions correctly (e.g., DCM Z1, PCC documentation, etc.)
  • Exercise sound judgment when supplying the information
  • Correct use of MARC Content Designators


  • 667 note is added if non-Roman variant is present and 008/29 Reference evaluation is coded b
    • i.e.: 667 ## Non-Latin script reference(s) not evaluated


  • Information missing when need to justify access points (authorized, variant, related)
  • Incorrect subfields


  • Incorrect choice or form of subdivision
  • Incorrect indicator or subfield
  • When doing a record update, forgot to revise 781 if changing 151 heading

It is recommended to use the authority record creation macro to avoid unnecessary errors such as missing fields or mismatched information.

Independent Phase

Independent East Asian catalogers may write to [email protected] to report BFM and cancellation of duplicate records. We strongly encourage catalogers to continue to communicate with their former reviewers or the Project coordinator for on-going consultations even after the review stage. The email list of the Project member group can also be used for questions and discussion.

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Last update: Sept. 29, 2016