LC Cataloging Newsline

Online Newsletter of the Cataloging Directorate, Library of Congress

Volume 5, No. 09, ISSN 1066-8829, July 1997

CONSER Keeps Pace with the Internet
ISSN Directors Meet in Budapest
LC Catalogs JSTOR Titles
Recent Additions to CONSER World Wide Web Pages
Special Materials Cataloging Division Summer Sabbaticals
Acquisitions Directorate Reorganization

CONSER Keeps Pace with the Internet

The CONSER Program has been facilitating access to online serials through its catalog records since the late 1980s. The CONSER database included sixty-five records for online serials at the end of 1994. These records were created by the National Serials Data Program (NSDP) and the University of Michigan. One hundred sixty-four records were created just one year later, with another 423 input in 1996, resulting in 652 records by the end of 1996. (An additional 221 records for online serials were authenticated by CONSER in the first half of 1997.) Seventeen CONSER members had contributed records for online serials by January 1997. A comparison with the number of serials listed in the Association of Research Libraries' Directory of Electronic Journals and Newsletters shows a corresponding increase in the publication of Internet serials over the same time period. The 1994 edition of the ARL directory included 443 entries for serials and the 1996 edition listed 1,689 such titles. The ratio of the number of CONSER records compared to serial titles in the ARL directory increased significantly from 15% in 1994 to 39% in 1996.

The CONSER database is very dynamic as one institution creates a record while another inputs additional elements for its users. Most of CONSER's records for online serials are initially created by NSDP as minimal-level records without subject headings. Almost three-quarters of CONSER's separate records for online serials now include subject headings although over half were initially input without such fields.

In 1996, CONSER developed an alternative practice that allows members to add a bibliographic note (field 530) and an Internet address (field 856) to a print record for access to the online version. A separate record for the online version is not required. (Studies indicate that over half of Internet serials are online versions with print counterparts.) By February 1, 1997, 460 print records in CONSER were enhanced with Internet addresses using fields 530 and 856. Over 1,200 additional records have been similarly enhanced from February through June.

A study of a select group of electronic journals listed in the 1995 ARL directory was conducted in December 1995 by Taemin Kim Park at Indiana University, Bloomington, and published in the 1996 Proceedings of the ASIS Annual Meeting. Park selected 254 titles from the directory that had an ISSN or were peer-reviewed, assuming that such serials would probably continue publication, or were more likely to be selected by libraries. Forty-six percent of the selected titles were represented by an OCLC record in December 1995. Sixty-one percent of the OCLC records were full-level records and seventy-three percent were authenticated by a CONSER member. Therefore, one-third of the titles selected by Park were cataloged by CONSER as of December 1995.

ISSN Directors Meet in Budapest

The National Szechenyi Library in Budapest was the site of the twenty-second Meeting of Directors of ISSN Centres, May 27-30. Regina Reynolds, head, National Serials Data Program, represented the U.S. ISSN center. Directors of other ISSN centers worldwide were also present, including representatives from newly-established centers in Republic of Georgia and Cyprus.

One of the major decisions from the meeting was a reaffirmation of the existing policy of assigning separate ISSN to serials issued in multiple physical formats. Each format, including online versions, will continue to be issued a separate ISSN. However, just as an exception to this policy has been made for reproduction microforms issued by a secondary publisher, so too, serials that form part of retrospective digital reproduction projects, such as JSTOR, will retain the ISSN of the original serial. Although the directors recognized that for certain tasks, such as document delivery and abstracting and indexing, it is desirable to have the ISSN identify the content of a serial, in far more cases, identification of separate entities or objects for ordering, claiming, and bibliographic control is an overriding consideration.

The directors also agreed on the need to ensure that the ISSN stays viable in the electronic world by keeping abreast of work on digital identifiers such as the URN (universal resource name) and DOI (digital object identifier) and possible changes in the definition of serial that might result from the upcoming conference on AACR. Another area for future work is exploring greater compatibility between ISSN rules and those used for cataloging in various countries.

On a more concrete level, directors agreed to experiment with adding publishers address data to ISSN records and heard about the ISSN International Centre's progress in adding abstracting and indexing data to the ISSN publication of ISSN Compact, the CD-ROM of the ISSN database. The ISSN Register, a microfiche version of the database, has ceased publication. Options for providing World Wide Web access to the ISSN database, or portions of it, through subscription and other means, were also discussed.

Directors also heard presentations about the Nordic Union Catalogue of Serials (NOSP) and about CASA (Cooperative Archive of Serials and Articles), a European Communities project to build a Web-based virtual European catalog of serials. The ISSN will be the key to linking the separate union catalogs contributing to the project and the ISSN International Centre is a full partner in the project's consortium.

The next directors meeting is provisionally scheduled for fall 1998.

LC Catalogs JSTOR Titles

The Library of Congress subscribed to JSTOR this April as a charter member of the Internet service. The journal storage service currently includes twenty-five titles, with complete archival sets of back issues, and a lag time of three to five years before converting current issues for online access. JSTOR plans to offer one hundred journals in fifteen subject areas during its first three years. Scanned images of the journal pages are presented to readers as digital reproductions of the original publications.

JSTOR titles are represented in LC's catalogs by records for both the print and online versions. (Serial records in LC's catalogs include LC-created records as well as all CONSER Program records.) In 1996, CONSER developed guidelines for providing bibliographic access to online versions of print serials. These guidelines describe an option either to create a separate record for the online version or to enhance the existing print record to identify and provide access to the online version. In both the separate- and single-record approaches, Internet addresses are recorded in 856 fields. Earlier this year, CONSER members authenticated separate records for the online versions of the JSTOR titles and enhanced the corresponding print records with Internet addresses. In view of the fact that these titles are reproductions of the original print versions, LC's Serial Record Division (SRD) decided to follow the single-record option for the JSTOR titles and enhance the print records.

Two of the four LC catalog search methods--"word search" and "experimental search system"--include hot links in catalog records that allow users to navigate directly from records to online publications (URL: LC's SCORPIO system (part of LOCIS) is used in browse and command searches, yet does not display field 856 addresses in retrieved records. The decision was made to add to print records 051 fields that contain the JSTOR World Wide Web address in subfield $a and a descriptor in subfield $c.


(The ellipsis represents the file name for a journal home page.) Field 051 is listed prominently in record displays--directly after the call number--including those retrieved through the browse and command searches. SRD plans similarly to enhance print records for other JSTOR titles as they become available through the service.

Recent Additions to CONSER World Wide Web Pages

The CONSER Program has recently made available two documents that can be accessed through the CONSER home page (URL: The Summary of the 1997 CONSER Operations Committee Meeting (URL: documents the committee's May meeting that was held at the University of Michigan in conjunction with the annual NASIG Conference. Meeting topics included electronic serials, CONSER Enhance membership, newspapers, PCC/CONSER program consolidation, a new CONSER task force on A&I information, and the CONSER paper for the JSC conference on AACR.

Issue no. 10 of CONSERline was published in June (URL: Its table of contents lists the following articles:

CONSER welcomes Columbia University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
PCC/CONSER Consolidation Update
CONSER Operations Committee Meets at the University of Michigan
CONSER Members Participate in NASIG Programs
ISSN Directors Meet in Budapest
NACO Celebrates 20th Anniversary at ALA

Special Materials Cataloging Division Summer Sabbaticals

The Special Materials Cataloging Division welcomed two music catalogers from academic libraries for a "summer sabbatical" on Music and Sound Recordings Teams (MSR) I and II. The catalogers arrived on June 2 and will return to their home institutions in late August.

Laurie Phillips Gibson is working on the MSR I Team. She came from Loyola University, New Orleans, where she has worked for seven years as a catalog librarian and associate professor. Barry Zaslow is working on the MSR II Team. He came from Miami University Libraries, Oxford, Ohio, where he has worked for the last fourteen years as a music librarian.

The sabbatical program was designed to provide librarians with the opportunity to gain direct LC experience and training in the cataloging of sound recordings half their time and the other half spent in an arrearage reduction project. The Secrist Collection is the project chosen for arrearage reduction.

The Secrist Collection is made up of approximately 1,500 classical 78 rpm recordings of vocal music. These recordings are being cataloged as the beginning of a larger project to catalog an arrearage of about a quarter million classical 78 rpm recordings. The "summer sabbatical" catalogers will be doing production level cataloging (PLC--music cataloging's version of MLC) on these records. The cataloging is being created from photographs of the recording labels provided with the collection. Use of the photographs, rather than the actual recordings, allows the catalogers to retrieve the relevant data without actually having to handle the fragile recordings.

Acquisitions Directorate Reorganization

The Acquisitions Directorate of Library Services, Library of Congress, is in the process of reorganizing to introduce efficiencies that will eliminate duplication of efforts, saving time and money in the current fiscal environment of "doing more with less." Planning for the reorganization began in the 1980s but was postponed so that the Library's automated acquisitions support system "ACQUIRE" could be implemented. Now that ACQUIRE is fully functional, a target date of October 1, 1997, has been set for the reorganization.

The current structure of the Acquisitions Directorate is based on method of acquisition, be it exchange, donation, copyright, or purchase. The Exchange and Gift Division, Copyright Office, Overseas Operations Division, Cataloging in Publication Division, and the Order Division all share responsibility for handling specific functions pertaining to the acquisition of library materials, including accessioning, selection, and bibliographic control. The new environment will employ a "whole acquisitions approach," in which each division procures materials from a specific geographic region of the world, utilizing all acquisitions methods. Three new divisions will be created, namely the European/Latin American Acquisitions Division, the Anglo/American Acquisitions Division, and the African/Asian Acquisitions & Overseas Operations Division. The Copyright Office and the Cataloging in Publication Division will continue their acquisitions functions as before; they are not part of the Acquisitions Directorate.

One of the most significant changes in the reorganization is that by having selection reside within the three new divisions, selection officers will now choose or deselect materials that come to the Library before payment is made or the preliminary acquisitions record is created. Other benefits of the new workflow are that with each division performing all acquisitions functions, the Library reduces the amount of time and number of staff required to obtain and process an item and minimizes unnecessary duplicates.

LC CATALOGING NEWSLINE (ISSN 1066-8829) is published irregularly by the Cataloging Directorate, Library Services, Library of Congress, and contains news of cataloging activities throughout the Library of Congress. Editorial Office: Cataloging Policy and Support Office, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540-4305. Editor, Robert M. Hiatt; Editorial Advisory Group: William Anderson, John Byrum, Roselyne Chang, Eugene Kinnaly, Angela Kinney, Albert Kohlmeier, John Mitchell, Susan Morris, Geraldine Ostrove, David Smith, Linda Stubbs, and David Williamson. Address editorial inquiries to the editor at the above address or [email protected] (eMail), (202) 707-5831 (voice), or (202) 707-6629 (fax).

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