Library of Congress

Cataloging in Publication Program

The Library of Congress > Cataloging in Publication Program > Frequently Asked Questions

How does the Cataloging in Publication (CIP) program relate to Copyright?

There is no relationship between the CIP Program and Copyright registration. The main purpose of copyright records is to document the intellectual or creative ownership of a work. The main purpose of a CIP record is to record the bibliographic data elements of a work and facilitate access to it in library catalogs.

For more information concerning the Copyright Office, go tohttp://www.copyright.gov/.
To search copyright records, go to
http://www.copyright.gov/records/.

The mailing address is:

Library of Congress
Copyright Office
101 Independence Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20559-6000
Phone: (202) 707-3000
Email: copyinfo@loc.gov

How much does it cost to obtain CIP data?

There is no charge for CIP processing. However, participating publishers are obligated to send a complimentary copy of all books for which CIP data was provided immediately upon publication. Publishers failing to meet this obligation may be suspended from the program. Please note that all books submitted to the Library of Congress in compliance with the CIP Program are property of the Library of Congress.

Where do I send a copy of the book for which CIP data was provided?

Library of Congress
US Programs, Law, and Literature Division
Cataloging in Publication Program
101 Independence Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20540-4283

How can I get cataloging for a book which is already published?

CIP data is available only for works that are not yet published. Published works are not eligible for CIP data. All works, however, submitted to the Copyright Office to meet copyright obligations are also reviewed by Library of Congress selection officers. Works selected for addition to the Library's collections are assigned a cataloging priority and cataloged according to that priority. The Library does not provide current status reports for individual works processed in this manner. The Library of Congress catalog, however, is available via the Internet (http://catalog.loc.gov/) and can be searched for works that the Library has cataloged. Publishers should also consider working with a professional librarian at a local library to obtain cataloging.

Who is eligible to participate in the CIP Program?

Only U.S. publishers who publish titles that are most likely to be widely acquired by U.S. libraries are eligible to participate in the CIP Program. For more information, see the membership eligibility page.

Are graphic novels in scope for the CIP Program?

Graphic novels are within scope for the Cataloging in Publication Program.  Publishers of graphic novels need to submit the text only as for other novels. If the cataloger needs a sample of the illustrated material to create an accurate and complete catalog record, publishers of graphic novels are asked to comply with such requests.

Why are self-published works out of scope for the Cataloging in Publication (CIP) program?

Resources available to support the CIP Program are limited. Recognizing this constraint the CIP Program is limited to publishers with an established history of producing works that are widely acquired by the nation's libraries. Such works often include publications produced by small publishers (over 40% of CIP publishers publish less than 5 titles a year), but do not include works of self-publishers. Works not included in the CIP Program can be cataloged locally by those libraries that obtain them. These works may also be eligible for the Preassigned Control Number Program.

This policy and others that govern the CIP Program are developed in consultation with the library community. Library of Congress staff meet with librarians twice a year at the annual and midwinter American Library Association conferences to discuss such issues as this. Results from the 2006 CIP Survey showed that the following types of material (now excluded from the CIP Program) should be added to the program before adding self-published works: video discs (or tapes), audio discs (or tapes), multimedia packages, mass market paperbacks, electronic books, and books published by prominent non-U.S. publishers. Recent meetings confirm that this ranking, for the most part, continues to reflect the library community's preferences.

Why are on-demand works out of scope for the Cataloging in Publication (CIP) program?

Resources available to support the CIP Program are limited. Recognizing this constraint the CIP Program is limited to works most likely to be widely acquired by the nation's libraries. On-demand books are published in small numbers and are seldom widely acquired by the nation's libraries at the time of the initial print run.  When an on-demand title is widely acquired by libraries, a catalog record is generally available from other libraries or networks such as the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC).

What is the difference between Cataloging in Publication (CIP) Program and the Preassigned Control Number (PCN) program?

The Cataloging in Publication Program creates bibliographic records for forthcoming books most likely to be widely acquired by U.S. libraries. The bibliographic record (also known as CIP data) is sent to the publisher and printed on the verso of the title page. A machine-readable version of the record is also distributed to libraries, book dealers, and bibliographic networks worldwide via the Library's Cataloging Distribution Service (CDS).

The Preassigned Control Number (PCN) Program assigns a Library of Congress Control Number to titles most likely to be acquired by the Library of Congress as well as some other categories of books. For more information about the PCN Progam, see http://www.loc.gov/publish/pcn/

How long does it take to obtain an account number and password?

Most applications to participate in the Cataloging in Publication program are processed in one to two weeks depending on current workloads.

How long does it take to obtain Cataloging in Publication (CIP) data?

The Library of Congress strives to complete ECIP applications in three weeks. Publishers should submit applications well in advance of publication to provide ample processing time should the application encounter heavy workloads or require developmental work to establish subject or name authority records.

Applications for juvenile titles require additional processing to add subject headings and/or summaries for young readers. Publishers of juvenile titles are encouraged to submit their applications at least two months prior to the date they will need the CIP data.

Science, technology, religion, and political science titles may also require more than three weeks for processing due to the heavy workload in those subject areas.

What is an International Standard Book Number (ISBN)?

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a number that uniquely identifies books and book like products published internationally. The hardcover version should have a different ISBN than the softcover. A corrected printing should have a different ISBN than the original. An audio version should likewise have a different number. ISBNs are in no way related to Library of Congress Control Numbers and are only related to Cataloging in Publication (CIP) data to the extent that the CIP data will include an ISBN(s) if the publisher has provided this information when requesting the CIP data.

How do I get an International Standard Book Number (ISBN)?

The U.S. ISBN Agency (not the Library of Congress) is responsible for the assignment of ISBNs to publishers resident in the U.S. and who publish titles in the U.S. The U.S. ISBN agency address is: 

R. R. Bowker (U.S. ISBN Agency)
630 Central Ave.
New Providence, NJ 07974-1154
Phone: (877) 310-7333
Email: info@bowker.com
http://www.isbn.org/standards/home/isbn/us/index.asp External Link

What is an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)?

The International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) is a standard 8-digit number that uniquely identifies any serial publication independently of place of publication, language, frequency, or medium. ISSNs are in no way related to Library of Congress Control Numbers and are only related to CIP data to the extent that a series statement in the CIP data will include the ISSN if the ISSN associated with the series appears in the published book and the publisher has provided this information when requesting the CIP data.

How do I get an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)?

The U.S. ISSN agency is the National Serials Data Program (NSDP) is responsible for assigning ISSNs to serials issued by publishers resident in the U.S. who publish serials in the U.S. NSDP is located at the Library of Congress and can be contacted at the following address: 

Library of Congress
ISSN Program
U.S. Publisher Liaison Division
101 Independence Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20540-4160
Phone: (202) 707-6452
http://www.loc.gov/issn/

What’s the difference between a multivolume set and a monographic series?

A multivolume set is a work published in more than one physical volume and not open-ended in nature. In other words, there is a finite amount of information and a planned end to the publication. By contrast, a monographic series is open-ended with no foreseeable end.

I am planning to publish all the volumes of a new multivolume set simultaneously. Can I request CIP data for each volume (or group of volumes) as they become "ready" for publication or should I apply for CIP data for all the volumes at the same time?

It depends on whether or not the Library of Congress decides to catalog all the volumes of the set on a single bibliographic record. If it does, then the CIP Program will provide a single set of CIP data which covers all the volumes of the set. Revised data will not be provided for volumes for which CIP data is requested after the first volume(s) for which CIP data has been requested. The CIP data supplied for the first volume(s) cataloged should be printed in each subsequent volume.

Therefore, if some or all the volumes of such a set will be published simultaneously, it is very important that your application includes information concerning all of these simultaneously-published volumes. Otherwise, when you apply for CIP data for successive volumes published simultaneously with the earliest volumes for which you requested data, you will be directed to print the existing CIP data (which will lack information concerning the volumes you did not include in your original application) in the successive volumes.

If, on the other hand, the Library decides to create separate records for each volume of your multivolume set, then you may apply separately for each volume as it becomes "ready" for publication and separate CIP data will be provided for each volume.

How can I know whether the Library will decide to catalog my multivolume set as a whole on a single bibliographic record or to catalog each volume of my multivolume set separately?

If the individual volumes of the set have no subtitles or special titles of their own or no independently meaningful or distinctive titles or subtitles of their own (e.g., "Acad-Beet" or "1900-1929"), the Library is likely to create a single bibliographic record for the set as a whole and the CIP Division will provide a single set of CIP data.

If each volume of the set is prepared by (a) different author(s) and each volume has a different, independently meaningful title, or if all the volumes of the set are by one author and have clearly distinctive titles, the Library is likely to create separate records for the volumes of the set. A common instance of the latter category is a retrospective collection of an author's works, each of which was originally published separately. If the Library does decide to create separate records for each volume of the set, separate CIP data will be provided for each volume.

The decision to create a single record for the set or to create separate records for the individual volumes of the set is not always as clear as in the above examples. Other factors, such as the method of volume or series numbering or cataloger’s judgment, may influence the decision. If you are in any doubt whatsoever, contact your CIP Publisher Liaison for assistance.

Why do some clinical medicine ECIP titles do not have Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH)?

After consulting with relevant stakeholders and having a trial in place for a year, the Library of Congress has ceased assignment of LCSH for titles cataloged by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the ECIP pre-publication stage. All clinical medicine titles will continue to receive Library of Congress Classification (LCC) and Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) at the pre-publication stage and Library of Congress staff will fully catalog clinical medicine titles and assign LCSH for those titles that are selected for the LC permanent collections post-publication. It was determined that for those clinical medicine titles that are not selected for the Library’s permanent collections, Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) assigned by the National Library of Medicine were sufficient for user access.