Web Access To Publications in Series

Think tanks and research institutes affiliated with universities, central banks, government agencies, and similar institutions publish monographic series. Such agencies rely on series to report the latest research results and to debate critical issues. Published in nearly every country and bearing titles such as discussion papers, working papers, or research reports, these publications allow for somewhat more informal expressions of opinion and information than are found in formal scholarly literature.

However, acquiring, organizing, and serving the printed versions has often been a difficult process frought with problems with timeliness, sometimes unpredictable receipts, and with delays in processing.

The Internet promises truly dramatic improvements in bibliographic access to monographic series since the majority are now available as full text digital versions. This BEAT project provides links to digital versions. For example, with the assistance of the Joint IMF-World Bank Library, the Business and Economics Cataloging Team (B&E) first identified a large number of social science monographic series available in digital form. B&E now systematically adds links from the bibliographic records in the LC database to these digital manifestations. So far, these links have provided access to more than 10,000 individual titles. LC's users can now go directly to series as they appear on websites, and from there, read either a summary or the full text of the monographs.

B&E also creates electronic resource records for the individual monographs of some series as soon as they appear. By harvesting the bibliographic data directly from other sites, and using a template, B&E is able to create MARC records to provide full access as soon as the items are published.

Another advantage of harvesting the data directly from instituions such as the World Bank is that there are no gaps in holdings.

B&E is also pursuing is the creation of electronic serial records for monographic series which were totally absent from the LC database. A few examples of these are: Papers on Latin America of the Columbia University Institute of Latin American and Iberian Studies, Working paper series of the Oxford University Centre for the Study of African Economies, Working paper series of the European Central Bank, Working papers of the Center for Economic Research of the Charles University in Prague.

Additional information and some examples from the Web Access To Publications in Series project is available on the BEAT home page.

Library of Congress
Library of Congress Help Desk (12/09/02)