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Guidelines for Coding Electronic Resources in Leader/06

Change in Practice

DRAFT version 01 - Sept. 21, 2000

Beginning [date to be supplied], newly created/first completed records for monographic electronic resources should contain a code in the Leader/06 (Type of Record) position that reflects the significant aspect of the CONTENT of the resource, not the CARRIER, or physical form.

The definition of Leader/06 (Type of Record) code "m" was revised in June 1997 as a result of MARBI Proposal No. 97-3R Prior to this redefinition, all monographic electronic resources were coded "m" (Computer file) if the resource was on a computer file carrier (including remote access resources). The Library of Congress was not able to implement this redefinition under its former system (MUMS) due to constraints inherent in the system, except for cartographic electronic resources (electronic resources were moved from the MUMS CF application to the MUMS MAPS application in 1998) and serials. With the migration to the Voyager ILS system, the correct coding of Leader/06 is now possible for electronic resources.

Because many electronic resources will now contain a Leader/06 value other than "m" (computer file), other steps must be taken to assure that the "electronic" aspects of the resource are properly coded in the control fields (007 and 008). All records for electronic resources should contain an 007 field (Physical Description Fixed Field) for computer files, and the electronic nature of the resource should also be coded in the appropriate 008 position. Explicit guidelines for coding 007 and 008 are included below.


New ibc records

New IBC records created in acquisitions or by cataloging technicians should be coded as "m" in Leader/06; the cataloger will revise this value if necessary at the time of cataloging.

As of [date to be supplied], DO NOT assign an LCCN in field 010 for IBC records. The 010 field will be assigned at the time of cataloging, thus avoiding the need to follow cumbersome additional steps should it be necessary to change the Leader/06 at the time of cataloging.

Existing IBC records--LCCN not present

Change the Leader/06 (Type of record) code to the appropriate value at the time of cataloging (before assigning a new LCCN).

Existing IBC records--LCCN present

If the Leader/06 (Type of record) code in an existing IBC record that has an LCCN must be changed at the time of cataloging, follow these procedures:

  1. 005 field set to all zeros, e.g., 00000000000000.0:
    Proceed to change the Leader/06 code to the appropriate value, no additional steps are necessary.

  2. 005 field has date other than all zeros:
    In order to change the type of record value, a "delete" record must be sent to CDS for the existing LCCN-Leader/06 combination and a "new" record with a newly assigned LCCN and corrected Leader/06 code must be sent to CDS.
    1. "Make a Copy" of the existing bibliographic record; to the "copied" record:
      1. scan in a new LCCN barcode to assign a new LCCN in 010$a
      2. retain the "old" LCCN in 010$z (be sure to retain structure of LCCN trailing blanks, etc., in both 010$a and $z -- running Validator will assure that the correct LCCN structure was acheived)
      3. change the Leader/06 (Type of record) code to the appropriate value (this will require additional changes to the 008 field)
      4. "boat" the new copied record to the database, noting the new bibliographic ID number assigned to the "new" record (be sure that you have the correct duplicate detection profile set-- if you get an alert that a duplicate exists it will most likely be because you forgot to assign a new LCCN in step a).
    2. Relink existing holdings record, if any, to the new bibliographic record. From the "old" record, retrieve the holdings record(s) and:
      1. select Record> Relink holding to bibliographic ... and enter the bibliographic ID number noted in 1.d. above (the "new" record ID number)
      2. repeat the process until all holdings records have been moved to the new bibliographic record.
    3. Delete the old bibliographic record if you have the appropriate security. If you do not have delete security:
      1. suppress the bibliographic record from the OPAC (on System tab)
      2. add to 955 field: To be deleted, covered by [LCCN of new record] [code] [date]
      3. print the record and give to person on team with the appropriate security to delete bibliographic records.

Coding Leader/06 for Significant Aspect

The Network Development and MARC Standards Office has created the document "Guidelines for Coding Electronic Resources in Leader/06" to assist MARC users in deciding how to code records for electronic resources in Leader/06 (Type of record) and Computer Files 008/26 (Type of computer file). Consult that document for examples and more discussion of the issues. For cartographic electronic resources, another document, "Guidelines for Distinguishing Cartographic Materials on Computer File Carriers from other Materials on Computer File Carriers" can be found at

OCLC has also produced guidelines, "Cataloging Electronic Resources: OCLC-MARC Coding Guidelines" that include examples and categories of suggested codings. This document is available at

General Principles:

  • Code Leader/06 for the most significant aspect of the content
  • In case of doubt or if the most significant aspect cannot be determined (e.g., a tangle resource that is not mounted and contains little descriptive information), consider the item a computer file.
  • Continue to use code "m" (Computer file) for
    • Computer software (including programs, games, fonts)
    • -Numeric data (unless the numeric data itself has a significant aspect that causes it to fall into another Leader/06 category (e.g., vector data that is cartographic is not coded as numeric but as cartographic)
    • -Computer-oriented multimedia (e.g., multimedia with no significant aspect; for example, an electronic encyclopedia may have multimedia content but its significant aspect is most likely to be language material)
    • -Online systems or services (do not use code "m" merely to indicate that the resource is remotely accessed -- code for the significant aspect if it can be determined)
Rule of thumb:

There is a general relationship between what code should be selected under this policy as the Leader/06 value and what code you would have selected in the past for the Computer File 008/26 (Type of Computer file).

Computer File 008/26 (Type of Computer File) Code Likely Leader/06 (Type of record) Code
a- numeric data m- Computer file
b- computer program m- Computer file
c- representational c- Printed music or

e- Cartographic material or

g- Projected medium or

k- Two-dimensional nonprojectable graphic

d- document a- Language material
e- bibliographic data a- Language material (could be m in some cases)
f- font m- Computer file
g- game m- Computer file
h- sound i- Nonmusical sound recording or

j- Musical sound recording

i- interactive multimedia m- Computer file (if no significant aspect)
j- online system or service m- Computer file (use judiciously)
m- combination m- Computer file (if no significant aspect)

Always provide an 007 field for electronic resource (first position=c) regardless of Type of record value selected.

Leader/06 (Type of Record) Definitions and Additional 008 Coding

Leader/06 Code Definition 008 Electronic Aspect in 008
Code "a"

Language Material

Content of the record is for non-manuscript language material. Code a is also used for microforms and electronic resources that are basically textual in nature, whether they are reproductions from print or originally produced. Manuscript language material uses code t. BOOKS 008/23 "Form of Item": use value "s" (electronic)
Code "c"

Printed music

Content of the record is for printed, microform, or electronic notated music. MUSIC 008/23 "Form of Item": use value "s" (electronic)
Code "e"

Cartographic material

content of the record is for non-manuscript cartographic material or a microform of non-manuscript cartographic material. This code is used for maps, atlases, globes, digital maps, and other cartographic items.

*REFER to G&M*

MAPS 008/29 "Form of item": use value "s" (electronic)
Code "g"

Projected medium

Content of the record is for a motion picture, videorecording, filmstrip, slide, or transparency. All of these media are intended for projection. Material specifically designed for overhead projection is also included in this type of record category. VM 008/29 "Form of item": use value "s" (electronic)
Code "i"

Nonmusical sound recording

Content of the record is for a recording of nonmusical sounds (e.g., speech). MUSIC 008/23 "Form of Item": use value "s" (electronic)
Code "j"

Musical sound recording

Content of the record is for a musical sound recording. MUSIC 008/23 "Form of Item": use value "s" (electronic)
Code "k" Two-

dimensional nonproject-able graphic

Content of the record is for a two-dimensional nonprojectable graphic such as, activity cards, charts, collages, computer graphics, drawings, duplication masters, flash cards, paintings, photonegatives, photoprints, pictures, postcards, posters, prints, spirit masters, study prints, technical drawings, transparency masters, and reproductions of any of these. VM 008/29 "Form of item": use value "s" (electronic)
Code "m"

Computer file

Content of the record is for the following classes of electronic resources: computer software (including programs, games, fonts), numeric data, computer-oriented multimedia, online systems or services. For these classes of materials, if there is a significant aspect that causes it to fall into another Leader/06 category, code for that significant aspect (e.g., vector data that is cartographic is not coded as numeric but as cartographic). Other classes of electronic resources are coded for their most significant aspect (e.g. language material, graphic, cartographic material, sound, music, moving image). In case of doubt or if the most significant aspect cannot be determined, consider the item a computer file. CF no additional coding
"d"-Manuscript music

"f"-Manuscript cartographic material


"p"-Mixed material


"t"-Manuscript language material

Do not use in records for electronic resources. Consult CPSO if you feel you have a resource that warrants such a code.

Coding 008's (Other than Computer File 008)

As noted in the table above, the 008 associated with the record will change as record type values change. When a record type is changed, Voyager will remind you that the change you are making will invalidate the current 008 data and will ask for confirmation to continue. Upon confirming, the new 008 window will open for the appropriate record type. Many of the positions in the 008 are the same from one format to the next (e.g., Publication status, Date1, Date2, Place of publication, Language, Modified record, Cataloging source), others will be different for each format. The "drop down" menus in Voyager will help you select the correct codes for each position- the MARC 21 bibliographic format is also available should you have questions regarding the appropriate coding for any position. The tables below are provided to help you "translate" between the names that Voyager uses for the 008 positions in the 008 window and the corresponding pages in MARC 21.


Voyager 008 Window Name--Books MARC 21 008 Position
Illustrations 008/18-21
Audience 008/22
Form of Item 008/23 (always use "s" electronic)
Contents 008/24-27
Govt. Publication 008/29
Festschrift 008/30
Index 008/31
Fiction 008/33 (use only 0 or 1, do not specify further)
Biography 008/34


Voyager 008 Window Name--Visual MARC 21 008 Position
Audience 008/22
Running Time 008/18-20 (use ||| unless explicitly stated)
Accompanying Matter OBSOLETE- leave blank
Govt. Publication 008/28
Type of Material 008/33
Technique 008/34


Voyager 008 Window Name--Music MARC 21 008 Position
Format of Music 008/20
Composition 008/18-19
Form of Item 008/23 (use "s" for electronic)
Audience 008/22
Accompanying Matter 008/24-29
Literary Text for Sound Recording 008/30-31

Comments on the project are welcome and should be emailed to

Allene Hayes, Project Leader, [email protected]

Last updated January 11, 2001

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