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The Library of Congress > Cataloging, Acquisitions > PCC > CONSER > CONSERline > No. 26, Spring 2005

No. 26, Spring 2005


From the Editor

Welcome to the Spring 2005 issue of CONSERline.

In this issue, Regina Reynolds discusses the revision of the ISSN standard and the exciting possibilities for a work level ISSN and new services offered by the ISSN Network. This issue also contains an overview of Publication Patterns Task Force meetings at ALA Midwinter 2005. It includes updates on a plan to pilot the Serials Release Notification format of ONIX for serials and ideas for implementing the idea of a "super record" for serials. Hien Nguyen provides a summary of a meeting held with SCCTP sponsors and trainers at ALA Midwinter. I will give an overview of activities related to LC's new copy cataloging procedures for serials and some information on PCC review of the draft of AACR3 Part 1. And we have lots of membership and CONSER people news to share with you!

-- Les Hawkins, CONSER Coordinator, Library of Congress

Revision of the ISSN Standard Moves Forward

The ISO Working Group revising the ISSN standard (ISO 3297) marked a significant milestone at its 4th meeting, held February 3-4 in Amsterdam. At that meeting, the Working Group reached consensus on the basic content of the new standard, especially on how to solve the puzzle of achieving identification at multiple levels of granularity via the ISSN. Major decisions were reached on the scope of the standard, title-level and product-level identification, establishment of an ISSN users' group, and the development of new services at the ISSN International Centre.

The stated scope of the standard will be "continuing resources," that is, all serials and ongoing integrating resources. The terms "continuing resources" and "ongoing integrating resources" will be used and will be explained in the glossary for the benefit of non-librarians and others not familiar with these relatively new terms. The scope will be defined broadly and flexibly so as to enable ISSN to attain optimum coverage in the information environment.

Title-level identification will be achieved by a new mechanism called the "t-issn" (capitalization and hyphenation are still under discussion). The t-issn is an additional element that will enable the collocation of the various medium versions of a given title while retaining their separate ISSN. The first ISSN assigned will also be designated the t-issn, regardless of whether the serial is published in one or multiple media. The t-issn will be considered a different name space from the ISSN and will be tagged as such in, for example, MARC records and in XML. Use of the MARC 21 024 field is being proposed, with the expectation of requesting a specific indicator value for the t-issn. Serial records would thus carry both 022 (ISSN) and 024 (t-issn) fields. T-issn will also be assigned retrospectively. A project has been proposed whereby the ISSN International Centre would automatically assign t-issn retrospectively to all records in the ISSN register by using the numerically lower ISSN where more than one ISSN exists for various medium editions.

The product-level identification ad hoc group reported that the broad coverage and flexibility that will be described in the new standard's scope statement would allow the current use of ISSN in EAN bar codes to continue for product-level identification, thus resolving previous concerns about granularity. The group also recommended that a minimum set of metadata be defined in the standard in order to facilitate broader ISSN coverage and more publisher cooperation in the assignment process.

The first meeting of the new ISSN users group will be held on April 27 at the ISSN International Centre in Paris. Representatives of the users group will be invited to join the first part of the ISSN Governing Board meeting that will begin on April 28. Invitations to join the users' group are being sent to all members of the ISO working group who do not work in libraries, and to all professional organizations representing ISSN users outside of the library world.

New services, such as a subscription service and ISSN look-up service, are being developed at the ISSN International Centre to meet the needs of various ISSN users for information about relationships among ISSN. The subscription service would, perhaps on a monthly basis, "push" data to such subscribers as link resolution knowledge bases, PAMS (Publications Access Management Companies), subscription agencies, libraries, etc. so these ISSN users can populate and update their databases with current and correct ISSN information. Examples of the kinds of data that might be included are t-issn and the cluster of medium-specific ISSN that relate to them, earlier and later ISSN, and ISSN of geographic or language edition clusters. The new services will be described in a background document to be added to the Committee Draft of the standard in order to communicate with users and national standardization organizations before and after the voting period. A market study regarding the service or services and associated pricing will have to be worked out for presentation at the April Governing Board meeting.

The next meeting of the ISO working group will take place in Paris on April 25-26 with the goal of finalizing the text of the new standard so that the resulting "Committee Draft" can be sent out to members of ISO TC 46 SC 9 member bodies for a 3-month review and voting period beginning perhaps in June 2005. The web site of ISO TC 46/SC 9 Working Group 5 for Project 3297 can be found at (external link).

-- Regina Romano Reynolds (U.S. ISSN Center, National Serials Data Program, Library of Congress)

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Publication Patterns Meetings at ALA

Carlen Ruschoff (chair) and Les Hawkins convened the CONSER Task Force on Publication Patterns and Holdings meeting at ALA Midwinter in Boston where the group was updated on a variety of activities.

Cathy Kellum (OCLC) reported on the implementation of the MARC 21 Holdings Format (MFHD) by OCLC scheduled for fall 2005. It is estimated that 80% of the local data records (LDRs) can be converted to the MFHD by machine. Because of compatibility problems, the remaining LDRs will need to be converted with human intervention.

Diane Hillmann (Cornell) and Frieda Rosenberg (UNC) described their visit to OCLC to discuss the implementation of the holdings format and ideas for building a virtual display of the super record concept. There was a great deal of interest in the MFHD and its possible use with a super record to display serial relationships and manifestations. It will be important for CONSER to continue to pursue the idea of a super record with the utilities and vendors.

Linda Miller (Library of Congress) reported on activities of the Long Term Storage Task Force. The group is planning a pilot of the Serial Release Notice (SRN) standard. A new draft of the standard is available for comment through April 30, 2005 from the NISO/EDItEUR Joint Working Party for the Exchange of Serials Subscription Information Website (external link). The pilot will engage publishers, vendors, publication access management companies, and librarians in a test of the SRN to transmit holdings data for serials from the source of the information to the various parties that make use of it.

Paul Moeller (University of Colorado Boulder) and Wen-Ying Lu (Michigan State University) presented the results of a survey they conducted among librarians about the use of the MFHD. The survey pointed out opportunities for the Publication Patterns Initiative to market use of the format and to further encourage compliance among vendors. Some of the reasons librarians gave for supporting the format are future looking (even if not all were able to take advantage of it now) and include easing the migration to a new ILS, developing predictive and automated check-in features. Improving consistency in user interface displays was regarded as a critical advantage.

John Hostage (Harvard) led a discussion of several specific coding problems encountered using the format. which pointed to the need for uniformity in documentation presented on the CONSER Web site, the SCCTP workshop on holdings, and the MARC21 Holdings Format. An update to the Format was completed in fall 2004. The documentation review group will continue to report corrections and suggestions for the Holdings format to the Network Development Office.

A more in depth report is found at

-- Hien Nguyen (LC)

Serials Cataloging Cooperative Training Program (SCCTP)

CONSER hosted a meeting of SCCTP sponsors and trainers at ALA Midwinter in Boston. We had an engaging and productive meeting with 26 participants. It was the first opportunity for some in the group to meet in person. Les updated the group of plans to revise existing workshops in 2005. Four of the five SCCTP workshops will require updates because of the 2004 rule amendments. Peter Seligman, a representative of the Cataloging Distribution Service (CDS), announced LC's newly launched Cataloger's Learning Workshop (CLW), a web clearinghouse for cataloging and other metadata training materials hosted by CDS

CLW provides access to training material produced by PCC (including SCCTP material) and ALCTS. The SCCTP Web site will be migrated to this site in the near future. Peter answered questions the group had on working with CDS from a workshop sponsor's point of view. Hien reported on the updating of SCCTP Web pages to include new workshops schedules, and revised lists of trainers.

Trainers and sponsors offered feedback on ways to improve the manuals and promote the workshops. More experienced trainers offered ideas to newer trainers on how to get started. Sponsors identified regions where more trainers might be needed. The SCCTP Program has long talked about providing online training in conjunction with the workshops. The meeting provided an opportunity to gather additional input on possibilities for developing distance learning. Some exiting ideas for how distance learning might be applied to SCCTP material were discussed as well as possibilities of having more SCCTP train-the-trainer sessions in the future. Overall, SCCTP business is steady and there was a consensus feeling of appreciation of being able to teach the materials developed by CONSER.

-- Hien Nguyen (LC)

LC Copy Cataloging of Serials

A task group has been charged to look at the records and procedures that the Library of Congress Serial Record Division (SRD) put in place for its new serials copy cataloging workflow. The Task Group to Study LC Copy Cataloging for Serials, composed of CONSER members and other stake holders, will determine how well the records identify and provide access to the resources they describe. The task group will also make recommendations about copy cataloging standards that might be used more widely by other CONSER and PCC members. The charge, membership, and all other documents related to the topic are available from

The new workflow for serials copy cataloging at LC began in September 2004 and was described in an announcement to the CONSER email list. Previously, LC technicians only used records that were authenticated by another CONSER library for copy cataloging. Under the new workflow, both technicians and catalogers work with unauthenticated OCLC records. Last fall, CONSER members and others within the PCC expressed concern about the implementation of the policy and its impact on the shared CONSER database. Members were unsure whether these records meet existing standards and how problems found in existing copy are being handled.

The Task Group has plans to examine a sample of records created so far under the procedures. Changes made by LC catalogers and technicians using the procedures will be examined by comparing the finished record with the original record. The group will also compare a sample of the records with issues or surrogates of issues to determine if the records meet existing standards for identification and access to the resource.

Recommendations by the group will be considered by CONSER, LC, and other PCC members with the aim of clarifying the standard by which the records were authenticated and perhaps establishing a standard for copy cataloging that can be used by other PCC libraries. The group will make a preliminary report at the CONSER Operations Meeting in May 2005 and its final report will be completed in Sept. 2005.

-- Les Hawkins (LC)

PCC Response to the Draft of AACR3 Part 1

The draft of AACR3 Part 1 was made available to CC:DA in mid-December 2004 and the deadline for PCC comments was February 11, 2005. Kristin Lindlan (University of Washington), a CONSER representative and member of CC:DA documented the comments from a quickly formed group of CONSER members. The PCC liaison to CC:DA, Paul Weiss (University of California, San Diego), gathered comments from members of the PCC Standing Committee on Standards (SCS). Carolyn Sturtevant, BIBCO Coordinator, compiled comments from BIBCO members.

The Operations coordinators of BIBCO and CONSER will be working with Paul Weiss and others in the PCC and CC:DA to prepare for reviewing drafts of AACR2 parts 2 and 3.

-- Les Hawkins (LC)

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Membership News

The CONSER Program is pleased to welcome Michigan State University (MSU) Libraries as an associate level CONSER participant. MSU, an independent NACO participant, has a strong serials cataloging program with collection focuses in Africana (English and French), international documents, agricultural works, and electronic serials. MSU's contribution in cataloging electronic serials is expected to be an important aspect of their CONSER membership especially since MSU is a participant in the LOCKSS program and will be archiving its cataloged collection of electronic serials.

MSU's CONSER Operations Committee representative, Wen-ying Lu, has been working with mentor James Castrataro from the University of Indiana. Lu has played a leadership role in the CONSER Publication Patterns Initiative and has served on several task forces. Some of her task force work includes working with a group to explore holdings data for electronic serials, documenting publication patterns workflow, and helping make improvements in documentation created by the Initiative.

CONSER looks forward to the contributions Lu and her colleagues at MSU will make to the many cooperative working groups and other efforts that are a part of the CONSER program.

New York University Law Library applied for membership last year at the enhance level, just before enhance to associate level changes were implemented and training was delayed. George Prager is NYU Law's CONSER Operations Representative and will begin training in April 2005 at the associate level. Foster Reding (LC, Serial Record Division) is providing training. We are looking forward to the contributions that NYU Law Library will make to the CONSER Program and database.

-- Hien Nguyen (LC)


Regina Romano Reynolds discusses her distinguished career in serials librarianship in an interview conducted by Frieda Rosenberg for Cataloging & Classification Quarterly (CCQ, v. 38(1) 2004). "An Interview with Regina Romano Reynolds" offers Regina's view of the serials scene from the mid 1970's to her recommendations for the catalog of the future. A well-respected authority on all things serials, Regina has traveled to many capitals of the world to present, discuss, and collaborate with other directors of ISSN centers on ISSN-related policy issues. Regina possesses a unique view into the world of serials publishing, subscription agencies, and abstracting and indexing services. From her vantage point, she offers a preview of emerging trends and standards in the serials industry and leadership ideas for the serials community.

The interview recaps many of Regina's achievements from winning the Bowker Award in 1999 to her extensive involvement with the harmonization of AACR2, ISBD(S), and the ISSN Manual in 2002. As a bonus, this eighteen-page article reveals Regina's secrets for her success in writing, speaking, and communicating passion for one's profession. The article also reveals how Regina fell into librarianship, the people who influenced her most, what she does for fun, and the artistic interests she plans to pursue once the taming of serials is no longer her passion.

David Van Hoy retired from MIT at the end of Jan. 2005. CONSER colleagues were able to wish David a happy retirement during ALA Midwinter in Boston. Many contributed comments and signed a memory book for David that was presented to him at the CONSER dinner. Among the many thoughtful comments, Gretchen Yealy (Brown) wrote, "I always referred to David ... as 'Mr. CONSER.' I know that there are probably many others who qualify for this moniker, but his devotion to the program and to the philosophy as well as the mechanics of serials cataloging are legendary." Former NLM CONSER OpCo representative, Kevin McShane, expressed a sentiment shared by many others, "You have always been a voice of reason in cataloging, consistently asking the pertinent questions and giving the most lucid answers and recommendations."

David was also awarded a PCC Certificate of Appreciation at the PCC Participants meeting. The award was given in recognition of his service and dedication to the CONSER Program and of the many significant contributions he made to the Program for Cooperative Cataloging during his career. David has been the MIT CONSER operations representative for many years and contributed to many task and advisory groups including his work as chair of the Task Group on Conference Publications and chair of the Task Group on the Function of the Authority File. David also participated on the SCCTP advisory board and the Task Group on NACO Continuing Education.

As CONSER operations representative, David contributed to the development of guidelines for cataloging electronic serials through his leadership of many CONSER discussions on new developments in the field of e-serials cataloging.

Jennifer Edwards, Acting Head, Serials Cataloging Section, has taken on the Operations Committee Representatives' responsibilities for MIT.

Congratulations to Tina Shrader on her new position as Head, Serials Section and CONSER Coordinator at the National Agricultural Library. Tina was Serials Coordinator at Johns Hopkins University prior to coming to NAL. She is an active member of NASIG and ALA. Tina currently serves as a member of the ALCTS Serials Section Continuing Resources Cataloging Committee and the ALCTS Cataloging and Classification Section Policy and Planning Committee, as well as the NASIG Evaluation and Assessment Committee. She is also an instructor for the SCCTP Basic Serials Cataloging workshop.

Michael Levinson emailed news of his retirement from GPO effective March 2005. Our new contact at GPO is Jennifer K. Davis We wish Mike a happy retirement and look forward to working with Jennifer.

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