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The Library of Congress > Cataloging, Acquisitions > PCC > CONSER > CONSERline > No. 4, January 1995

No. 4, January 1995


Editor's Note

This issue of _CONSERline_ focuses on the topics discussed at the meeting of the CONSER Operations Committee, held at the Library of Congress in November 1994. The major item on the agenda was the CONSER core record, which has subsequently been finalized and is described below by Brian Scottlaender. Other topics included the cataloging of remote access serials and conference publications, and a proposed model for regional participation in CONSER that would include maintenance of CONSER records. These and related issues will remain very much alive in 1995 as CONSER members confront the rapidly changing world of serials, explore and create new standards, and consider new solutions for CONSER that will carry it into the twenty-first century.

—Jean Hiron

Linda West Begins Term as New Policy Chair

Linda West, Associate Librarian of Harvard College for Collections and Cataloging, became the chair of the CONSER Policy Committee in January 1995. As such, she will also serve as chair of the CONSER Executive Committee. She was elected to the position at the May 1994 meeting of the Policy Committee.

Ms. West has served on the CONSER Policy Committee since 1985, first as a representative from Cornell University and later from Harvard, where she has held positions in cataloging and technical services. During 1991-92 she served as the program officer in support of the technical services and systems areas of the Research Libraries Group in Mountain View, California.

Ms. West is an enthusiastic supporter of cooperative cataloging. In addition to her involvement with CONSER, she has been an active member of the Cooperative Cataloging Council, which is preparing the way for the newly formed Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC). She will continue her involvement by serving as the CONSER representative to the PCC Executive Council.

Ms. West summarized her vision for the coming year as follows:

*1995 is an exhilarating time to become chair of the CONSER Policy Committee. The late twentieth century world is changing rapidly around us, with new information sources and information technologies emerging almost more quickly than it is possible to follow. The CONSER Program will evolve while maintaining its leadership position. Much of its energy this year will be focused on program evaluation and rolling out the agenda that will take us to the twenty-first century.*

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Core Record for Serials

by Brian Schottlaender (University of California, Los Angeles) and Jean Hirons (Library of Congress)

The core record for printed serials was recently ratified by CONSER members and announced to the library community. In the process of defining the core record, CONSER members reexamined the CONSER record to identify those elements that they considered to be truly essential. Underlying the debate was a desire to retain the high quality of the CONSER database while defining a new level of cataloging that would facilitate the efficient, economic creation of CONSER records.

The CONSER Core Elements Task Force, charged in 1992 with evaluating the nature of the CONSER record, was given the task of proposing a core record for serials in early 1994, following the definition of a core record for monographs by the Cooperative Cataloging Council. The Task Force was chaired by Brian Schottlaender (UCLA); other members were Bill Anderson (LC), Cecilia Botero (University of Florida), Robert Bremer (OCLC), Carol Fleishauer (MIT), Marianne Kasica (University of Pittsburgh), and Jean Hirons (LC), ex officio.

In response to the proposal drafted by the Task Force, the CONSER Policy Committee, at its May 1994 meeting, discussed the number of record levels to be defined for CONSER, how to ensure clear distinctions between the levels, how to label core records, and whether classification should be required at any of the levels. Final review of the list of data elements was left to the Operations Committee which met in November 1994. The serials community was also queried with postings to listservs in October. Deciding how many and which levels to define was perhaps the most difficult. While initially there was a desire to retain only two levels, some didn't want to lose the flexibility of minimal records, while others didn't want to give up the ability to create full level records. So while the Policy Committee initially endorsed two levels—core and minimal—they later agreed to add full level.

A major concern from the beginning was how catalogers would distinguish between the levels. Serial records are continually updated and added to during the life of the serial; indeed, at creation they can look very much like *core* records that evolve over time into a *full* records. In order to clearly distinguish the three levels of CONSER records, participants agreed to the following: while minimal and core level records would share the same set of descriptive data elements, name authorities and subject headings would only be required for core level. Full level records would also contain the same basic core elements but would include a fuller complement of name and subject headings, notes and links, plus several additional coded and descriptive fields. In order to determine when a record had been raised from one level to another, Operations Committee representatives agreed to distinguish between *maintenance* and *upgrading* by defining the former as updating information that is already in the record and the latter as adding to the record information that is missing.

Policy members endorsed the CCC proposal for a new encoding level *3* (or possibly *4*) that would label records as *core.* They also agreed to retain the codes currently defined for field 042 (Authentication Center Code).

Whether or not to include classification was given careful consideration by the Policy Committee. While most members agreed that it was desirable, all admitted that it was not practical to require at any level. A Spring 1994 examination of subject elements in CONSER records showed that 40% of the records lacked classification and in addition, at least five different classification schemes were in use by CONSER members. Many institutions choose not to classify their periodicals, newspapers, microforms, or other types of serials and the categories of serials that receive or do not receive classification vary from institution to institution. If classification were required at the core level, records that might otherwise be core or full would have to be coded as minimal because they lacked classification. Thus, members agreed that classification should be strongly encouraged but not required for CONSER records.

At the November 1994 meeting of the CONSER Operations Committee, participants agreed to the set of data elements outlined below. They also agreed that until a new encoding level is defined, CONSER should follow whatever method is to be used by participants in the Program for Cooperative Cataloging for labeling these records. (Subfield code *e* in field 040 has been suggested as a potential location for the word *core*.) Members also agreed not to implement the core level until it is defined in an update to the _CONSER Editing Guide (CEG)_, to be issued Summer 1995.

Core record elements for non-print serials, particularly those for microforms and computer files, are in the process of being defined and will also be included in the _CEG_ once agreed to. The core record, as defined below, has been unanimously approved by CONSER institutions. However, all in CONSER believe that the definition of a core record is only one of several ways to simplify the cataloging process. In the coming year, CONSER catalogers will review the rules and rule interpretations that govern the serial record, implement the first phase of format integration, and consider technological changes that can also result in more efficiently-created CONSER records.

Core Record Data Elements

The Core Record for Print Serials is defined as including the following data elements.(1) M=mandatory, MA=mandatory if applicable, R=required if available, and O=optional.

Leader Code all elements M, MA, R, O
008 00-05/Date entered on file M
  06/Type of date/publication status M
  07-10/Date 1/beginning date of publication M
  11-14/Date 2/ending date of publication M
  15-17/Place of publication, distribution, etc. M
  18/Frequency M
  19/Regularity M
  21/Type of serial M
  22/Form of original item M
  23/Form of item M
  34/Successive/latest entry M
  35-37/Language M
  38/Modified record M
  39/Cataloging source M
010 LC control number M
012(2) $i NST publication date code M
022 ISSN R
042 Authentication code M
074 GPO item number R
086 Government document class. number R
1XX Main entry MA
240 Uniform title MA
245 Title M
246 Variant title MA
250 Edition MA
260 Imprint M
362 Designation MA
4XX Series statement MA
500 Note (source of title or DBO) MA
5XX(3) Other notes O
6XX Subject added entries MA
700-730(4) Name/title added entries MA
780/785 Earlier/later title MA
76X Other linking fields, if considered significant O
8XX Series added entry MA
850(2) Holding institution M
936 CONSER variable field MA
  1. System-generated fields (e.g., 040) are also part of the Core Elements set, though excluded from this list.
  2. Needed only for first-time authentication.
  3. Information that is essential to adequately identify the serial and/or its relationships, or to clarify access points.
  4. Bodies, etc. that are essential to adequately identify the serial and/or its relationships, or are essential for record access.

Note: the final definition of the CONSER core record was posted to the following listservs: SERIALST, AUTOCAT, and COOPCAT. It will be included in Update 1 to the 1994 edition of the _CONSER Editing Guide_ as part of a new section defining all record level requirements.

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Remote Access Computer Files

by Melissa Beck (University of California, Los Angeles) and Bill Anderson (Library of Congress)

CONSER is in the process of developing policies and practices for the bibliographic control of remote access computer file serials (or, e-serials). Specific groups and projects that are currently addressing the archiving, cataloging and maintenance of records for e-serials are:

  1. CICNet Project
  2. OCLC Project — Building a Catalog of Internet Resources
  3. CONSER Electronic Resources Task Force
  4. _CONSER Cataloging Manual_, Module 31: Remote Access Computer File Serials
  5. NSDP project to review and enhance existing CONSER records, in light of format integration.

Two projects discussed at the CONSER Operations meeting that will likely have a significant impact on the OCLC database are the CICNet Project and the OCLC Project—Building a Catalog of Internet Resources. CONSER has contacted liaisons with both these projects to coordinate policy and practice as closely as possible with these efforts. Archived on the CICNet gopher server are approximately 800 titles. These publications will be cataloged by five *Big-Ten* universities: University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, Ohio State University, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Indiana University. The OCLC grant-funded project to catalog Internet resources will continue through Spring 1996 and is expected to involve 130 libraries. OCLC is still soliciting for participants who may email Erik Jul, Project Manager, for more information ([email protected]). Several CONSER members will be involved, and the _CONSER Cataloging Manual_ module will be as consistent as possible with the OCLC Project guidelines.

CONSER established the Electronic Resources Task Force in July 1994 to identify priority issues involving e-serials and draft recommended relevant actions for CONSER to help set programmatic direction. The Task Force will issue its final report this Fall and has issued an interim report for discussion at ALA-Midwinter meetings. Several of the recommendations in the interim report that focus on cataloging issues will be addressed by the _CCM_ module.

Melissa Beck (UCLA) has drafted Module 31 to the _CCM_, to be issued in June 1995. A practical, and somewhat *experimental,* approach to cataloging remote access computer file serials is presented. It is a first attempt to define and codify a CONSER standard for cataloging e-serials. As the new technologies continue to develop and as more examples of serial electronic resources emerge, this module will be updated frequently, particularly as CONSER catalogers adapt their serials cataloging to the integrated MARC format.

Examples and discussions in the module were based in part upon existing cataloging found in the CONSER and OCLC database. Included also will be a discussion of the expertise required to access and catalog remote access materials, and a glossary of *Internet* terms. Among the main issues explored (and still to be explored further) in the development of this module are:

  1. The need for an expanded definition of *chief source* for electronic resources, and the corresponding need for detailed notes regarding sources of bibliographic information.
  2. The question of what constitutes a *version,* or separate edition, of an electronic resource that may require separate catalog records (e.g., ASCII, PostScript, Hypertext).
  3. Instructions for fields new to serials catalogers including those used for recording access/location information for electronic resources (538 and 856 fields). Other *new* fields for computer file serials will also be fully explained.
  4. Definition for *electronic serial* and consideration of the possible inclusion of new types of *publications.*

Other topics covered in the module include linking fields and the possibility of form subdivisions for electronic serials in subject cataloging. The developing terminology and possible *labeling* of records for e-serials will also be considered. The foremost issue remains the fact that this is still a very unfamiliar area of cataloging for most of us, and Module 31 will be one first step in making it more familiar.

Regina Reynolds (NSDP) is coordinating an effort to enhance and update CONSER records for remote access files (over 90% of which are NSDP records). As part of this effort, some of the cataloging issues identified above will be explored and input from the library community will be solicited via relevant listservs. Practical approaches developed from this effort will be closely coordinated with the development of the _CCM_ module and follow recommendations from the Electronic Resources Task Force.

Working Group on Conference Publications

by David Van Hoy (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

An Operations Committee working group presented a panel discussion on the cataloging of conference publications at the annual meeting in November. The session was the beginning of an effort to better understand what types of description and access best serve these complex publications. Proceeding from a general agreement that current cataloging rules and policies do not yield the ideal records for publications of ongoing conferences, the panel led the group in identifying specific problems and in envisioning potential improvements.

Much of the discussion covered basic problematic areas, with monographic versus serial treatment being one of the most basic. Other topics included: how to handle monograph and serial records for the same series of publications, unintentional changes of title and various options for dealing with them, how to indicate variations of name—as opposed to deliberate changes—for named conferences, and possible changes to the rules for forms of name for meetings of corporate bodies. Possible solutions included: the potential for a series authority-like approach to control of ongoing publications, revising the serial-versus-monograph guidelines contained in LCRI 12.0A, and changing the policy for inclusion of the date of convocation in authority records for conference names.

In all of the discussions, participants tried to consider the views of others involved with conference publications, such as publishers, acquisitions personnel, and library users. For example, it was noted that more than a few publishers and library users think of conference names not as authors, but as titles.

The Conferences Working Group was comprised of Mechael Gago (Indiana University), Judith Herrick (Library of Congress), David Van Hoy (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, coordinator), and Beacher Wiggins (Library of Congress). The next step will be the establishment of a CONSER Task Force on the Cataloging of Conference Publications that will include those with a monograph—as well as serial—perspective, and will consult others in the library/publishing/user community in order to recommend changes to policies and practices for the cataloging of conference publications.

Five Institutions Assist in Maintaining CONSER Records

by Jean Hirons (Library of Congress)

The process of authentication ensures the quality of CONSER records and allows for their distribution, but it also locks the records so that they can only be updated by CONSER members or OCLC. CONSER catalogers are conscientious about keeping the database up-to-date, but they cannot do it all alone. In 1993 a project began that made it possible for catalogers at non-CONSER institutions to update records to reflect title changes and cessations. The project was coordinated by the Task Force on the Maintenance of CONSER Records by Non-CONSER Institutions, chaired by Ruth Carter (University of Pittsburgh). Other task force members include Karen Calhoun (OCLC), John Riemer (University of Georgia), Mechael Gago (Indiana University), Janet Szarmach (LC), and Jean Hirons, ex-officio.

The first two institutions to participate were the University of Kentucky and the University of California, San Diego. Vanderbilt University, the University of California, Irvine, and the Health Sciences Library at the University of Buffalo joined the project in 1994. Working with Bill Anderson at the Library of Congress, catalogers in the participating institutions make changes to CONSER records, save them to their save files, and notify Bill via email. Using a special command provided by OCLC, Bill accesses the save files, reviews the changes, and updates the records.

Changes have been restricted to those that might result in the creation of a new record or that involve the cessation of the serial. Only CONSER records are in scope for the project. During 1995, the scope of the project will be expanded to include any changes to the serial that warrant an update to the record and upgrade of minimal level records. A further change will be that the participants will work with three CONSER institutions rather than with LC. The institutions are the University of Georgia, UCLA, and the University of Pittsburgh.

CONSER Policy Committee members will consider redefining membership levels to include this activity at their fall meeting and until then, no new institutions will be asked to participate. But given the enthusiasm of the participating institutions and the support of those within CONSER, this type of collaboration will very likely grow.

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A Participant's View of the CONSER Maintenance Project

by Steve Savage (University of Kentucky Libraries)

When the University of Kentucky Libraries began participating in the CONSER Maintenance Project, we were concerned that it might make significant demands on our staff and provide only minimal advantage to our own library. We quickly learned that the opposite was true.

Some of our internal procedures had to be adjusted to better fit the needs of the project. For our Central Serials Record (CSR) staff, the changes resulted in procedures that were slightly more time consuming. For serials cataloging, it meant more simplified and streamlined procedures.

Previously, in cases of cessations or title changes, a check-in staff member searched OCLC once a week for updated records. If records had been updated, he printed them and gave all relevant information to our cataloging staff. If records had not been updated, he re-searched them each week. If they were not updated within 4 weeks, he passed them on to the cataloging staff, who completed as much work as possible in OCLC and in our local system, NOTIS.

The OCLC work involved creation of records for new titles, and submitting reports to OCLC so the older record would be linked to the newer one. In NOTIS, we edited the records as we would like to have done in OCLC: closing out records and linking them to new records when the titles changed, or closing out records for cessations. The catalogers also kept a file of these locally edited records. Once or twice a year they searched OCLC for more complete records to download over them.

With the new procedures resulting from the Maintenance Project, searching OCLC is the first duty which our CSR person completes each morning. He then gives all OCLC printouts and CSR information to the serials cataloger. If the records have not been updated, the cataloger decides if a change has occurred that is within scope for the project. If this is the case, the cataloger goes to the public services location to examine additional issues and makes the necessary changes to the record for subsequent updating by Bill Anderson at LC. If this is not the case, the searcher passes the records to the serials cataloging technician. She handles them according to our older procedures. {Editor's note: non-CONSER records are not within scope for the project.}

The sudden departure of a serials cataloger three months into the project meant that a new person had to be trained. This was remarkably easy and required very little time, in large part due to the comprehensive, well-written CONSER documentation.

We found that on first searching, approximately 55% of the records for title changes and 38% percent of cessations had already been updated. Of the remaining titles, we were able to complete Maintenance Project work on 80% of the cessations and 50% of the title changes. Most of those that could not be processed were non-CONSER records.

83% of the work we completed resulted from changes which occurred with recent issues. The remaining 17% involved changes which had occurred as long as 7 years ago. Before beginning work on older records, staff now routinely use Gopher access to other library catalogs to verify that our original information from publishers and vendors is correct. This has added a new dimension to their work which they have found interesting and which fortunately takes very little time.

In a few cases we also were able to correct errors and update 362 fields for changes of enumeration. The latter situations enabled us to prevent confusions in our check-in and payment records. It also helped to avoid confusions at our department's public service desk by keeping information in our OPAC displays consistent with labeling on current issues.

The advantage for public service is clear: authenticated, updated records are downloaded into our database much faster than was previously possible. The advantages for processing are equally important: faster check-in of materials, reduction of the cataloging backlog, and eliminating most of the need for staff to re-search records in OCLC.

The project has also provided personal motivation for cataloging staff who feel that the ability to input permanent changes to master records has increased the value of their work. They also enjoy the more frequent need to go to various public service locations to examine the materials they are cataloging. From the supervisor's viewpoint, the ability to handle higher level work has provided a context for improved problem-solving abilities among our cataloging staff.

We have encountered no difficulties with the project, and have experienced several improvements. Overall, everyone from the CSR staff to the catalogers, public service staff, supervisors and library administration have been pleased with our involvement in the project. How could anyone not be satisfied, when the Project requires almost no additional drain on our resources while providing so many obvious advantages?

ISSN Directors Meet in Paris

by Regina Reynolds (Library of Congress)

Directors of 28 ISSN centers gathered in Paris Oct. 18-21 for the 20th Meeting of Directors of ISSN Centers. Representatives from newly-established centers in Lithuania and Tunisia were in attendance, as well as directors who will be opening centers in Estonia and Switzerland in 1995. Regina Reynolds, Head of the National Serials Data Program (NSDP), represented the United States and reported on NSDP's experience in assigning ISSN to over 150 remote-access electronic serials as well as an even larger number of CD-ROM serials. Reports from the centers showed a trend towards publishing national bibliographies on CD-ROM and on the Internet. Among centers with current or planned CD-ROM products are Finland, Croatia, the Nordic countries, Greece, and the Czech Republic, while Italy and Belgium are among the countries whose catalogs are available on the Internet.

As a result of fiscal difficulties worldwide, charging for ISSN was a serious topic of discussion. The directors were strongly in favor of the ISSN remaining free, but they recognized the need for the April 1994 decision by the ISSN Network General Assembly to remove the prohibition on charging from the international ISSN standard. The ISSN International Centre will use the directors' input to prepare guidelines for use by those countries that need to charge for the ISSN.

Other agenda items concerned a proposal to add publishers' addresses to ISSN records, implementation of a physical medium code in ISSN records, continued discussion of how many ISSN to assign to electronic serials in different *versions,* and how to handle prepublication assignments when the publisher cannot be located after the expected date of publication. Confirmation of the adage *it's a small world* was seen in the fact that NSDP and the Nigerian ISSN center have very similar problems with elusive publishers! The directors also heard a presentation by Mme. Claire Vayssade, head of the French legal deposit office, about the newly-implemented policy of legal deposit of electronic publications in France and toured the site of the new Bibliotheque nationale de France.

_CONSER Editing Guide_ Update

by Jean Hirons (Library of Congress)

With January 30th set as the date to implement phase two of format integration, I know that many are anxious to receive the new 1994 edition of the _CONSER Editing Guide_ (CEG). As described in the last issue of _CONSERline_, the new edition will be issued in two volumes, each with a separate, high-quality binder. Unfortunately, the binders will not be available until late in February. The text, however, should be available at the beginning of the month and LC's Cataloging Distribution Service (CDS) has agreed to ship the text as soon as received to all subscribers and to ship the binders separately.

Orders may be placed with CDS at anytime. The price for the new edition is $63 in North America and $68 international. Update 2 to the _CONSER Cataloging Manual_ will also be available shortly and is priced at $38 in North America and $39. To contact CDS, you may use the following:

fax: (202) 707-1334
phone: 1-800-255-3666 (US calls only)
phone: (202) 707-6100 (Non-US calls)
internet: [email protected]

_CONSERline_ (ISSN 1072-611X) continues the newsletter, _CONSER_, and is published at least semiannually (January and June) by the Library of Congress, Serial Record Division and OCLC, Inc. _CONSERline_ is a cooperative effort with contributions from program members consisting of news of the CONSER Program and information of interest to the serials cataloging community. For comments or suggestions, contact the editors: Jean Hirons, Library of Congress, Serial Record Division, Washington, DC 20540-4160, [email protected] (e-mail), 202-707-5947 (voice), 202-707-6333 (fax); Liz Bishoff, OCLC, Inc., 4545 Frantz Rd., Dublin, OH 43017-3395, [email protected] (e-mail), 800-848- 5878 (voice), 614-764-0740 (fax).

_CONSERline_ is available in electronic form only and is free of charge. To subscribe, send a mail message to [email protected] with the text: subscribe CONSRLIN [firstname lastname]. Back issues of _CONSERline_ will be available through the listserver and on LC MARVEL. To find out what is available, send a mail message to [email protected] with the text: index CONSRLIN. To get a specific file, send a mail message to [email protected] with the text: get consrlin [filename].

All materials in the newsletter are in the public domain and may be reproduced, reprinted, and/or redistributed as desired. Citation to the source is requested.

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