The BEAT Logo and LC Seal   

Who we are and what we do

Our Mission   The Bibliographic Enrichment Advisory Team (BEAT) is a program in the Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access Directorate that conducts research and undertakes initiatives to enrich bibliographic records. BEAT has initiated projects to investigate, prototype, develop, and place into production activities that both enhance the content of Library of Congress bibliographic records and improve access to the information which the records contain. BEAT has also created tools to aid catalogers, reference specialists, and researchers in creating and retrieving bibliographic data. Many of BEAT's undertakings are of collaborative nature and depend on the cooperation and contribution of publishers and other information providers. The products resulting from BEAT's work are made available to the global community of information seekers through the medium of the World Wide Web, through BEAT-enriched catalog records accessible in the LC Online Catalog, and through the Library's world-wide cataloging distribution service.

Our Membership   The Team's members are volunteers and reflect a broad range of the Library's functions: cataloging, the Cataloging Distribution Service, acquisitions, the Cataloging In Publication Division, Public Services Divisions (reference and Reading Room services and such things as Area Studies), and the Instructional Design and Training Division and reflect the Directorate's desire to provide benefits from its projects to as wide an audience as possible and to incorporate within its program objectives the needs and interests of constituencies well beyond those of technical services. Here is the current membership roster.

NEW!"   What's New!   NEW!"   

  • See BEAT's video presentation for the Web Cataloging Assistant, an automated approach to cataloging electronic materials on the web
  • Machine Generated Tables of Contents, enriching bibliographic records with table of contents information in data field 505
  • BEAT Reports and links to related documents   

  • The June 2005 BEAT Report for ALA Chicago, IL   
  • Other BEAT reports and news

      Learn About Our Projects

  • Extending a record: Linking Researchers, Catalog Records & LC Web data
    Link to information on Digital TOC (dTOC) The dTOC project creates web-based electronic versions of Table of Contents(TOC) for selected books cataloged at the Library, cross-links these TOC files with their underlying catalog records, thus providing global access to both catalog and TOC data. To date, the dTOC project has created about 30,000 records, and together with the ONIX TOC and E-CIP web-linked TOC projects noted below, there have been Counter hits on the web pages for all the BEAT TOC projects.
    ONIX TOC The Library receives some data directly from publishers in the ONIX format. The project creates electronic TOC from that data. Hyper-links are made from the TOC to the catalog record and the reverse, allowing researchers to move to or from the Library's online catalog where they can make additional searches. As in the Digital TOC project, Library of Congress Subject Headings are added to the TOC data, thus enhancing further search options. Approximately 50,000 ONIX TOCs have been created to date.
    ONIX Reading Group Guides Project This experiment links catalog records to their associated reading group guides on the Web. For more information, and a sample link, readers may see Volume 10, no. 12 of LCCN (LC CATALOGING NEWSLINE) the Online Newsletter of the Cataloging Directorate Library of Congress
    ONIX Descriptions An outgrowth of the ONIX TOC initiative is the creation of records that contain publisher’s descriptions of books. Based on ONIX encoded materials, file creation and linking is similar to that of the ONIX TOC initiative. To date, the project has created approximately 110,000 such records.
    Onix Sample Texts This project makes links from LC catalog records to copies of sample texts from publishers (such things as a first chapter, book jacket illustration, images, etc.) , that with the publisher's permission, have been stored at the Library to insure long-term availabilty. By linking the catalog record to these items, the project significantly enhances the information about a book that the Library makes available to a researcher. Approximately 17,000 sample texts are now available.
    Links to Book Jackets LC often receives a number of dust jacket images along with data utilized in the ONIX TOC and ONIX Descriptions projects. As the provision of the dust jacket image further enriches the information about an item for the researcher, BEAT intends to add links for such data through its dust jacket initiative. The project will begin by linking to some 2,300 images currently on-hand. As the channels through which the library receives ONIX data are already established It is anticipated that this number will grow.
    Contributor Biographical Information

    ONIX data often includes information about contributors, and BEAT has undertaken a biographical information initiative that makes this information available to researchers. The information is being linked from the catalog record to data stored on the Web. This will allow web users to encounter the information and in turn access the underlying catalog record as well as utilize the consequent acccess to the LC catalog and to identify related items therein.

    To date (June 2005) more than 12,600 files have been created and linked to the catalog record where the contributor was represented.

    H-Net Reviews Links LC catalog records to H-Net Reviews in the Humanities and Social Sciences, the online journal of H-NET: Humanities and Social Sciences Online.
    Enriching the content: Adding more information to catalog records
     Adding Abstracts & Annotations This project is adding descriptive annotations to the catalog records for all the items for which an LCCN is assigned in A Guide to the Microform Collections in the Humanities and Social Sciences Division, an extensive web-based bibliography describing many of the Library's microform collections.
     MARS Best Annotations & Reviews This project is adding the annotations to the LC Cataog records for electronic resources selected annually as the Best Free Reference Web Sites by the Machine-Assisted Reference Section (MARS) of ALA's Reference and User Services Association.
    Reviews of Reference Sources With the permission of the American Library Association, this project adds the annotations with reviews from the "Outstanding reference sources" sections of annual compilations that appear in American Libraries, to to their corresponding LC bibliographic records. The team has completed work for titles through 2004, and is now at work on items for 2005. This will mark the seventh year for the project, with reviews from 1999 through 2005 now being available for or being added to the corresponding LC catalog records.
    HLAS Reviews Extracts reviews for monographs from a separately maintained database for the Handbook of Latin American Studies(HLAS) at the Library, and inserts them into the corresponding records in the LC catalog.

    The reviews are added for each new volume as issued, every two years. The current number of reviews is 5,995.

    TOC for E-CIP The addition of Tables of Contents data to E-CIP cataloging records has two components. In the first, catalogers and staff add TOC to the body of the catalog record during the course of the regular E-CIP cataloging process. To date (June 2005) 40,000 records have been enriched through that operation. In the second mode, computer programs created by members of the BEAT Team create TOC from the original source files and place them on the web, cross-linking the TOC with the underlying catalog record, so that links are made both from the catalog record to the web and the reverse. As of May 31, 2005 over 54,000 ecip TOC records have been created using the second method.
    NEW!"Machine Generated Tables of Contents The Library of Congress is enriching bibliographic records with table of contents information in data field 505, adding information that was previously available only via an 856 link from the catalog record. The data will be generated from the table of contents information and supplied by computer program, and will be preceded by the legend: “Machine-generated contents note:”

    Enhancing Access: Linking the catalog to electronic resources
    Web Access To Publications in Series This project has several facets: linking many "working paper/discussion paper" type serial publications to their web-based electronic versions; the creation of electronic serial records for a number of high research value monographic series (by Library's Serial Record Division) -- these have not been represented in LC's catalogs; and the creation of bibliographic records for the individual monographs of selected public domain series that are available in digital form (by members of the Business and Economics Cataloging Team)

    This joint cataloging and public service BEAT project provides timely - - sometimes as soon as published -- access to the abstracts and/or full electronic texts of these publications and results in opening up a rich, new source of information for researchers who may now access electronic versions of these items.

    Web Access To Works in the Public Domain This BEAT initiative links LC bibliographic records to full text electronic copies of these same cataloged materials residing in other institutions. The Library expects to provide users with more unified and centralized access to materials of this nature as well as provide rich and substantive information about these materials as well as access to their full texts.
    BeCites+ BeCites+(Bibliographies plus: Enhanced Citations with Indexes, Tables of contents, Electronic resources and Sources cited) not only enhances staff-produced bibliographies by creating and then adding links to their respective tables of contents, indexes, and sources cited, but also creates enhanced electronic "webliographies" of these earlier publications, replete with new additional references to electronic resurces on these topics that serve to supplement the material contained in the original publications.

    The project has recently made available the full text of eight publications originally issued by the Center for the Book at the Library. Long out of print, but still in high demand, these publications detail the history and activities of the Center. An expanded description of BeCites+ is also available at
    Tools and Cooperative Projects
     Web Cataloging Assistant An automated approach to cataloging electronic materials on the web, the project grew out of providing access at the individual monograph level for selected series in the Web Access to Publications in Series project. Emphasizing providing access to full electronic texts for social science monographic series of the "working paper/discussion paper" type, the project uses computer and programed functions to effect the creation of a MARC record that is automatically added to the LC database. The records are subsequently enhanced. Simultaneously links are made to the full text of the publication, available on the web in electronic form.

    NEW!" See BEAT's video presentation for this project

    INFOMINE iVia software project

    The Library is in discussion with the INFOMINE Project ( at the University of California, Riverside about establishing a cooperative agreement to test the iVia software ( developed for the INFOMINE project. iVia harvests, analyzes, and processes metadata from Web sites and other digital objects for use in the INFOMINE database. The parties believe that it would benefit the library community worldwide to incorporate the Library’s subject authority and classification data into the iVia automatic classifier capability. It is thought that the incorporation of this data will improve the ability of the iVia software to generate metadata useful to the Library and other libraries, with minimal intervention by cataloging staff. The goal of the cooperative agreement would be to test this hypothesis.

    Electronic CIP (E-CIP) support The team has been instrumental in helping to implement a Tables of Contents component for E-CIP, where E-CIP cataloging the BEAT mandate for bibliographic enrichment converge. The number of TOC records associated with these CIP records is expected to cotinue to rise as E-CIP expansion continues.
    BEOnline (Business and Economics Online) BEOnline began as a BEAT R&D pilot project in 1996 and later became BEOnline+, providing both bibliographic and direct access to selected online resources. The activities begun by BEOnline+ have become an important main stream processing activity at the Library under the aegis of the Library's Special Cataloging Materials Division
    DCC/LCC correlations Using the Library's own database of catalog records, the goal is to implement use of this MINARET capability for real-time search and retrieval of classification number correlations between DDC and LCC and the reverse for use in appropriate areas of LC catalog work.
    Support for Portals to the World BEAT supports the Area Studies Portals to the World initiative. Portals are created using OCLC Connexion(TM)Pathfinders, a facility BEAT has enthusiastically supported at the Library. This is an example of the benefit of exchange of information and ideas that has characterized the broad-based composition of the team. In conjunction with Area Studies (also represented in membership), BEAT has provided the structure and cataloging of Portals to the World. The Library is cataloging both the individual web sites as well the subject pathfinders in this project.
    Pre-1970 Congressional hearings This initiative is providing significantly improved access to pre-1970 Congressional hearings, resulting in
    • Improved service to the Congress
    • Centralized availability of information now widely dispersed throughout the Library's collections
    • Modernization and uniformity of catalog formats for the hearings
    • Addition or inclusion of other information, such as the existence and location of alternate data sources

    To date (June 2005) approximately 6,500 hearings have been identified.

    This page last updated May 15, 2008

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