Library of Congress

Program for Cooperative Cataloging

The Library of Congress > Cataloging, Acquisitions > PCC > CONSER > CONSERline > No. 5, June 1995

No. 5, June 1995


Sue Phillips Elected CONSER Policy Chair

Sue Phillips, Associate Director for Technical Services, General Libraries, University of Texas at Austin, was elected chair of the CONSER Policy Committee in April. She will fill the unexpired term of Linda West, who is leaving Harvard University to serve as the Director of Member Support and Services for the Research Libraries Group. Ms. Phillips will also serve as Chair of the CONSER Executive Committee.

Ms. Phillips has served on the CONSER Policy Committee since 1980, chairing task forces on strategic planning and non-roman cataloging. In addition to her involvement with CONSER, she has been an active member of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) and its predecessor, the Cooperative Cataloging Council. She will continue that involvement by serving as the CONSER representative to the PCC Executive Council. She also serves as treasurer of the AMIGOS Board of Trustees and was appointed by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to serve on the TexShare Advisory Committee.

Ms. Phillips notes her vision for the coming year as follows:

*With a long history of successful cooperative activities, CONSER will maintain its leadership role as both our information environment and the very nature of serials themselves are changing. I look forward to the challenges that face the program, and am confident that those strengths which have served CONSER so well in the past will continue to do so as we move into our information future.*

Remote Access Serial

With more and more serials appearing in remote access form on the Internet, CONSER is giving much attention to their control. A number of activities are described below, including the development of policies documented in a new module of the _CONSER Cataloging Manual_, a training session held at the CONSER Operations Meeting, and activities of the Electronic Resources Task Force. In addition, at the November 1995 annual meeting, CONSER Policy Committee members will discuss long range goals and strategies.

CONSER Policies for Remote Access Serials

Librarians within and outside of CONSER, bibliographic utilities, and contributors on a variety of discussion lists have been discussing a host of issues relating to the description and access of networked information. CONSER policies have been developed for remote access serials that are documented in *Remote Access Computer File Serials,* Module 31 of the _CONSER Cataloging Manual_. Module 31 is available electronically and will be included in the summer update to the _CCM_. (Email [email protected] for ftp and Web access instructions.) Update 1 of the 1994 _CONSER Editing Guide_, also available in summer 1995, includes revisions of computer file fields to reflect current CONSER policies. These policies will continue to evolve as the publications do themselves.

The presentation of bibliographic information is not always clear in remote access serials. Often this information is dispersed over separate files giving catalogers multiple sources for description. In addition, the availability of multiple document formats has caused questions about the number of records needed. Module 31 addresses these issues and provides guidance in applying _AACR2_ and using new USMARC coding.

Melissa Beck of UCLA began drafting the module in 1994. In discussing her work at the November 1994 CONSER Operations Meeting, she raised numerous questions, including:

  • Is the current serials definition adequate for Internet resources?
  • How many records should be created for serials in multiple document formats?
  • How should the new 856 field be used for serials?
  • What is the best way to maintain serial catalog records for frequently changing publications distributed electronically?

To address these concerns, CONSER members used a number of forums to gain insight from diverse library and Internet communities. Many of the issues raised at the CONSER Operations Meeting were further discussed at ALA meetings in Mid-winter 1995. In early 1995, the CONSER Electronic Resources Task Force issued an interim report covering many of the issues raised by Beck as well as broader issues indirectly related to cataloging. A group at the Library of Congress, consisting of Jean Hirons, Regina Reynolds, Bill Anderson, and Les Hawkins, identified issues that needed to be resolved in conjunction with producing the module. Meetings were held at LC to discuss the issues, and the library community was canvassed via listservs.

The most significant issue involved the rapidly growing number of online serials that are available in multiple document formats, such as PostScript and Acrobat. Neither _AACR2_ nor the _LC Rule Interpretations_ address this situation. Input from meetings and online discussions provided significant support for using one record for e-serials in multiple formats and this is reflected in the module.

With the implementation of the first phase of format integration, CONSER catalogers can now use MARC fields formerly available only in the computer files format. In preparing the documentation, four fields received the most attention: 256, Computer file characteristics; 516, Type of computer file or data note, 538, System details note, and; the newly defined 856, Location and access information. The computer file fixed fields 006, 007, and 008 will be used by CONSER catalogers after the completion of format integration, scheduled for 1996. CONSER records are currently input using the serials format.

CONSER catalogers will not be using field 256 in its present form. The field would generally include only the words *Computer data,* which is not considered useful. CONSER will closely follow future developments of the 256 field in hopes of it offering more useful information for serials.

At present, CONSER considers field 516 (Type of computer file or data note) as the most appropriate place for computer file characteristics information for serials. The module prescribes use of field 516 for notes that relate to the general nature of the computer file, such as *electronic journal,* and to indicate file document information. We realize that monograph catalogers are more often using field 538 for such information and that CONSER practice may have to be reevaluated. We do feel, however, that this information should be provided in a separate note from *system requirements* and *mode of access* information, regardless of the tag.

Online access information is given in a *mode of access* note in field 538 (System details note) and in the 856 field. While field 538 is most often kept to a general note, such as *Mode of access: Internet email,* the module shows examples with more detailed information, including email subscription instructions. How field 856 can best be used for serials is an issue that will be further considered. While the module provides detailed examples of the field for the standard access methods, questions remain as to how many need to be given, whether catalogers should look beyond the information given in the publication, and how the field can best be maintained.

The serial uniform title also provides a few added wrinkles with remote access computer files. Module 31 identifies several situations that require uniform titles for e-serials. For electronic journals with print counterparts, use of *Online* as a qualifier is generally sufficient. If the print serial has a uniform title, *Online* is simply added to the 130 qualifier for the print to obtain the 130 for the e-serial. Other situations conform with standard CONSER practice for uniform titles.

CONSER expects a continuing effort to define its cataloging practices for e-serials. A major update of all documentation will be issued to reflect the full implementation of format integration in 1996. The addition of the computer file fixed fields is sure to impact on other areas of the record. The development of field 256 may lead to the addition of that field to the CONSER record as well. Two task forces in CONSER-- Electronic Resources and Format Integration--will continue to consider unresolved issues. The rapidly developing nature of the resources will compel CONSER to maintain its focus in this area for some time to come.

Back to Top

Special Workshop Held at CONSER Operations Meeting

The opening day of this year's CONSER operations meeting was held in the new LC Digital Library Visitors' Center and consisted of a workshop for CONSER catalogers on remote access computer files. Bill Anderson and Les Hawkins offered an online demonstration of Internet access to serial publications. The demonstration led participants to numerous remote sites through five methods of access, viewing several publications in different document formats.

Regina Reynolds presented a workshop discussion on cataloging electronic serials that centered on the new _CCM_ Module 31 on electronic serials. The discussion covered recently developed CONSER policies on cataloging e-serials. The day concluded with a small group cataloging session that focused on special problems presented by e-serials.

Activities of the Electronic Resources Task Force

The CONSER Electronic Resources Task Force has a new chair, some new members, and an updated agenda. The task force began working in 1994 under the chairmanship of Michael Fitzgerald, Harvard. This spring Mr. Fitzgerald became ill and had to resign from the task force. Regina Reynolds, LC, was appointed chair and at the same time Lee Morey replaced Tad Downing for GPO, and Melissa Beck, UCLA, and Steve Shadle, University of Washington, were added to the group.

The major accomplishment of the task force to date has been identification of issues needing CONSER consideration or decisions. This agenda was documented in the task force's interim report which was discussed at CONSER policy and at-large meetings at ALA Mid-winter. Since Mid-winter, the critical issues relating to cataloging have been decided, at least for the time being. These decisions are documented in Module 31 of the CONSER Cataloging Manual published July 1995. Task force members have also contributed to LC's comments (still in preparation) on the OCLC Guidelines for Cataloging Internet Resources and recommended that the CONSER membership task force consider how CONSER can collaborate with or build liaisons with other groups working on issues related to electronic serials.

One area of the original task force agenda was consideration of whether CONSER should play a role in the cooperative archiving of electronic serials. Bill Gosling, University of Michigan, and Ross Atkinson, Cornell, have volunteered to prepare a background paper on this topic for the November CONSER Policy Committee meeting.

Subgroups of the task force have been formed to pursue various remaining tasks recommended to them by the CONSER Policy Committee. One group will consider whether the traditional definition of serial needs to be broadened to accommodate evolving electronic serials and serial-like publications, especially those on the World Wide Web. Another group will pursue adding the policy of using one record for serials issued in multiple document formats to appropriate rules and standards. This group will also make recommendations on the cataloging of digitized reproductions of print serials. Other task force subgroups will recommend CONSER policies and procedures for using field 856; make proposals to appropriate groups regarding standardizing the terminology for describing electronic serials and make proposals concerning the appropriate content and tagging for fields giving technical information about electronic serials. A final group will revise an earlier CONSER proposal to the National Standards Information Organization (NISO) that a NISO standards committee be formed to draft a standard that will give guidance to publishers of electronic serials.

The remaining area that the task force was charged to explore is the question of how CONSER can monitor and respond to developments relating to the use of Uniform Resource Locators (URLs), Uniform Resource Names (URNs), Uniform Resource Characteristics URCs), SGML Document Type definitions (DTDs, The Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) header, and similar efforts at control and access to electronic resources. This topic will be discussed at the CONSER at Large Meeting at ALA.

The final report of the task force will be submitted October so that it can be discussed by the CONSER Policy Committee during its annual meeting November 2-3, 1995.

-- Regina Reynolds, Jean Hirons, Bill Anderson, Les Hawkins, Library of Congress

CONSER Operations Committee Meets at LC

CONSER Operations Committee representatives gathered at the Library of Congress in early May and focused on electronic serials, newspapers, format integration, and LC rule interpretations. Jean Hirons, acting CONSER Coordinator, welcomed the group and chaired the meeting, assisted by Bill Anderson, LC CONSER Specialist. The first day consisted of a workshop on remote access computer file serials and was held in LC's new Digital Library Visitors' Center. Discussions on the cataloging of electronic serials centered on the new _CONSER Cataloging Manual_, Module 31, *Remote Access Computer File Serials,* prepared by Melissa Beck (UCLA).

An institution-by-institution report on local activities relating to the cataloging of Internet resources presented a varied outlook with members representing different stages of development. Some described a fairly involved effort with ongoing activities to further develop their users' access of Internet materials, while others identified activities in the very early stages of development. A number of local *pilot projects* are in the start-up phase that typically involve a few dozen titles mounted locally. Many are involved, or have plans to participate, in the OCLC Internet Resources Project, and two institutions--Michigan and Indiana--are developing plans with others in CICNet to catalog serials on the CICNet gopher server.


New CONSER documentation for newspaper cataloging is underway that will include a _CCM_ module devoted to newspapers, and a new chapter in Section C of the _CONSER Editing Guide_. The new documentation, which is planned for 1996, will replace substantial portions of the _Newspaper Cataloging and Union Listing Manual_, and will also discuss the cataloging of foreign newspapers. Modification of U.S. Newspaper Program records by other CONSER participants will also be covered in the new documentation, along with other information on non-USNP newspaper cataloging in CONSER. Cathy Sagendorf and David Moore of the New York State Newspaper Project will draft the newspaper module.

Adriana Pilecky-Dakajlo (Center for Research Libraries) described the grant-funded CRL Foreign Newspaper Project and gave a presentation on the practices established for that project as they relate to USNP cataloging and CONSER cataloging in general. Issues discussed included:

  • the treatment of fluctuating titles,
  • interpretation of the definition for newspapers,
  • change in format from newspapers to periodicals, and;
  • use of microform records for newspapers.

Operations Committee members will relay comments on issues relating to newspapers to Pilecky-Dekajlo.

Format Integration

Discussions on format integration opened with positive remarks on the impact of phase one on serials cataloging. Updating of existing records to conform with format integration is optional in CONSER. OCLC will be performing *scans* to modify records in certain areas: 7XX second indicator values, movement of field 265, etc. CONSER members recommended that OCLC delete 350 fields and move 212 fields to field 246. Discussion of field 740 covered the dual use of the field: *non-authoritative* titles, and analytical titles for sections/parts of works that are not authoritative.

Robert Bremer (OCLC) discussed progress at OCLC in planning for phase II of format integration which is scheduled to take place in 1996. Proposed changes to the fixed field display were also noted, after which Bremer took suggestions from CONSER participants.

Once format integration is completed, non-print serials will be coded with an 008 field for the physical medium and an 006 field for serial elements. CONSER's earlier recommendation to combine 008 and 006 fields into one set of mnemonics for input and display was considered too difficult to implement. OCLC decided to maintain the 006 fixed field as a distinct group of elements and develop a *command display* to view 006 mnemonic tags. The 006 mnemonic display will be also used for record input. The 006 field will otherwise display as a string when a record is retrieved, and *blank* will be used as a place holder for elements not used. Records requiring three fixed field groups (e.g., serial computer file maps) would include two separate 006 fields with mnemonics displayed separately.

Bremer outlined other related plans at OCLC: locating records for non-print serials in other formats and upgrading codes and fields, and; consolidation of duplicates in different formats. If a CONSER record is involved in duplicate records, it would be retained with corrected coding. *In-process* records--those created before format integration but loaded after format integration--do not pose difficulties for OCLC.

LC Rule Interpretations

Chapter 12 LCRI revisions are being coordinated by the PCC Task Group on Documentation. Comments were received from LC catalogers and CONSER members this winter and the Task Group met to discuss and propose numerous revisions this spring.

Examples of the revisions are LCRIs 12.0B1 and 12.3. The draft for LCRI 12.0B1 proposes a number of policy changes. The revision addresses a change in a serial involving the addition or deletion of title pages that would no longer require a new entry, when working retrospectively. LCRI 12.3 has also been revised to eliminate the preferred order of sources and to allow for a non-identifying portion of a designation to be recorded when the other portion is identifying (e.g., Vol. 1, no. 1 (1994)).

Also included in the set of revisions are recommendations for rule changes. A number of other chapter 12 LCRIs are being reworded, clarified, or moved to a different location. Revisions will be completed this summer for comment. The chapter 12 changes are the first to be distributed, and will go out in the November RI update. The fall 1995 update to the _CONSER Cataloging Manual_ is planned to reflect the RI changes.

-- Bill Anderson, Library of Congress

Back to Top

CONSER Core Record and Plans for Implementation

In the last issue of _CONSERline_ (No. 5, Jan. 1995), Brian Schottlaender described the newly approved CONSER core record. The definition and expanded instructions have been added to Update 1 to the 1994 edition of the _CONSER Editing Guide_, due for publication in early summer. Several institutions have indicated a desire to begin implementing the core record once the documentation is available. Until a new encoding level is made available on OCLC, these records will be identified by *core* in subfield $e of field 040.

One planned use is described by Cecilia Botero of the University of Florida, Gainesville. According to Ms. Botero, paraprofessional staff will create core descriptive records instead of the brief provisional records currently being created. Catalogers will then add subject headings and classification, perform needed authority work, and will authenticate the records. The decision to make the records full CONSER records or keep them at the core level will be left to the cataloger; however, the general policy will be that Florida, Latin American, and African titles will be contributed as full level. Other materials will generally be contributed as core, unless the cataloger feels that an individual title merits a full level record.

-- Jean Hirons, Library of Congress

New Conferences Task Force

A new CONSER task force has been set up to take a look at how we catalog conference publications. Specifically, the task force is charged with recommending whether monographic or serial treatment should be preferred, as well as additional alternatives; what should be transcribed as the title and methods for dealing with title changes, and; how headings for conferences should be established. The task force, which includes both monograph and serial experts, is chaired by Mechael Gago, Indiana University. Other members are Bob Ewald, Beacher Wiggins, and Judy Herrick, all of the Library of Congress, Sara Layne, UCLA, Wayne Jones, National Library of Canada, and David Van Hoy, MIT. An interim report is due at ALA Mid-winter 1996 and the final report is due in May 1996.

-- Jean Hirons, Library of Congress

Back to Top

CONSER Membership Review

[Editor's note: In preparation for the 1995 Policy Committee meeting to be held in November, the Committee Policy Committee met in February and set up ad hoc task groups on membership and governance. The governance group will begin work this summer.] The Membership Task Group is chaired by Martha Hruska (Florida) and includes Liz Bishoff (OCLC,) Marjorie Bloss (CRL), Bill Gosling (Michigan), Jean Hirons (ex officio), Sue Phillips (Texas), and Harriet Selkowitz (Washington). The group met in May at LC to review the criteria for membership at the currently defined levels, and the types of membership. By the end of July, the group will compile its recommendations in a report which will be forwarded for consideration to the Ad Hoc Task Group on Governance, and ultimately, to the Policy Committee.

The Membership Task Group is considering how to accommodate 'funnel' type projects and broadened participation in maintenance activities. The group is also developing strategies for new membership and for coping with restrained resources. Finally, the group is exploring what alternatives Web access or Z39.50 may offer to expand or enhance the CONSER database coverage.

-- Martha Hruska, University of Florida


Kevin McShane, operations representative from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), is retiring at the end of June. Hien Nguyen will be the new representative from NLM. Sally Sinn, formerly the Deputy Director of Technical Services at NLM, has become the Associate Director for Technical Services at the National Agricultural Library and will serve as NAL's policy representative. Dale Flecker, Associate Director for Planning and Systems at Harvard, will succeed Linda West as policy representative. Two new CONSER Councilors are Paul Bunn at the British Library, and Jasmine Cameron at the National Library of Australia. New affiliate representatives are: Robin Buser (Chemical Abstracts) and Jennifer Hechtman (EBSCO).

Documentation Update

Update 1 to the _CONSER Editing Guide_ (CEG), 1994 edition will soon be available from the Cataloging Distribution Service (CDS). It includes the description of record levels for CONSER, including the definition of the core record and fields updated to reflect policies for cataloging remote access serials. Update 3 to the _CONSER Cataloging Manual_ (CCM) will also be available soon. The update features Module 31, *Remote Access Computer File Serials.*

Updates to both the CCM and CEG are now available through annual update services. CEG and CCM update services for 1995 are each priced at $35 (North American) and $36 (outside North America). The _CONSER Editing Guide_ will be available in issue 3 of the _Cataloger's Desktop_, a CD-ROM product available from CDS. The _CONSER Cataloging Manual_ will be included in issue 4 at the end of the year.


In April, representatives from CONSER institutions presented an ALCTS Institute, *Serials in the Age of Format Integration* in Atlanta, Georgia. A second institute will be given in San Francisco in October. Participating in the institute were Maureen Landry, Regina Reynolds, and Jean Hirons from the Library of Congress, Kristin Lindlan, University of Washington, and Crystal Graham, University of California, San Diego. In addition to basic and advanced cataloging sessions, special workshops were presented on direct and remote access computer files, and cataloging for your local system. At the next institute, Rhonda Lawrence of UCLA will also give a workshop on cataloging legal serials.

At the 10th anniversary meeting of the North American Serials Interest Group, held at Duke University June 1-4, Jean Hirons presented a workshop called *CONSER live: a conversation with the CONSER coordinator.* Over 50 people attended and participated in discussions about format integration, remote serials, and a number of CONSER initiatives.

News From Cooperative Cataloging

The Cooperative Cataloging Teams invite librarians from Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) member libraries to attend the LC-Cooperative Cataloging Discussion Group meeting at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago on Sunday, June 25, 7-9 P.M. at the Hilton, Continental, BR C. The agenda will include reports from the PCC Executive Council and a discussion with Margaret Shen (Cleveland Public Library) and Marty Joachim (Indiana University), the Operational Advisors to the PCC Executive Council. Librarians who want to learn more about the PCC and its programs are also welcome. Be there early to get a special surprise!

The Cooperative Cataloging Teams are pleased to announce the second Series Institute to be held at the Library of Congress, July 26-28. Judy Kuhagen, Senior Policy Specialist, LC Cataloging Policy and Support Office, will be the instructor for the institute. This training will enable current NACO participants to expand their contributions to series authority records. NACO librarians, including CONSER catalogers, interested in attending the institute should contact Ann Della Porta ([email protected]) for more information.

-- Ann Della Porta, Library of Congress

United States Newspaper Program Update

In May, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced new United States Newspaper Program (USNP) implementation awards to the Library of Michigan, the South Dakota State Historical Society, and the University of Tennessee. A planning grant was awarded to the District of Columbia Public Library, and awards were made to continuing projects in Delaware (the University of Delaware), Illinois (the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign and the Chicago Historical Society), and Rhode Island (the Rhode Island Historical Society). With current planning projects in the last two states, Oregon and Vermont, the program has funded projects in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. Projects have completed work in twenty-five states and two territories (Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands). If NEH is able to continue funding at near current levels, the program is expected to complete all its work by 2006.

The USNP Annual Meeting held at the Library of Congress April 24- 26, 1995, was in part a celebration of accomplishing the involvement of all fifty states in the program. In the face of threats to the continued existence of NEH, participants have taken renewed pride in their accomplishments as part of a program that is recognized as a model of federal-state partnership (and with joint LC/NEH management, as a model of federal interagency partnership).

Also at this year's meeting were eight members of the IFLA Newspapers Round Table, representing libraries in England, Wales, Canada, France, Finland, Germany, and Russia. Additional highlights included a newspaper catalogers' tour throughout North Carolina, workshops on cataloging and preservation microfilming, and the inevitable workshop on newspapers and newspaper projects on the Internet.

-- Bob Harriman, Library of Congress

_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).

_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}. Issues of _CONSERline_ are available through the listprocessor and on LC MARVEL (-->Libraries and publishers ... -->Cataloging at the Library of Congress ... -->Cooperative cataloging programs ... -->Cooperative Online Serials Program ...). To find out what is available from the listprocessor, 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}.

For questions regarding subscription or backfiles contact Bill Anderson, Library of Congress, Serial Record Division, Washington, DC, 20540-4160; [email protected] (email); 202-707-5185 (voice).

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.

Back to Top