Library of Congress

Program for Cooperative Cataloging

The Library of Congress > Cataloging, Acquisitions > PCC > CONSER > CONSER At Large ALA Midwinter January 11, 2004


Carlen Ruschoff (U. Maryland) introduced Les Hawkins, the new CONSER Coordinator. Hien Nguyen (LC) was introduced as the acting CONSER Specialist.

Updates and reports:

Hawkins gave an overview of activities of the CONSER Program within the past year. In June 2003, CONSER members agreed to guidelines for the creation and modification of aggregator-neutral records for serials in electronic aggregations. The goals of this approach are to provide simpler, more useful records for titles e-serial packages and to provide more complete coverage of them in the CONSER database. CONSER members and OCLC have begun consolidating multiple records for the online versions distributed by different providers.

CONSER is restructuring membership categories by revising its transaction requirements for the associate and enhance member levels. This will allow participants at the current enhance level to contribute authenticated records as associate members.

Two SCCTP train-the-trainer workshops were given during the year to provide more trainers for the Basic Serials Workshop. Jean Hirons, CONSER Consultant, compiled a report and set of recommendations for SCCTP involvement in distance learning. The report points to a need provide more supplementary material on the Web for existing courses. Distance learning efforts for SCCTP should be focused on small portions of existing workshops to provide a more basic serials processing overview.

The Publication Patterns Initiative has been considering the need for holdings and patterns information for electronic resources. During the past year, a task force conducted a survey to examine the use of holdings information for electronic journals. The Initiative will look at its possible involvement with developments in open URL, serials management systems, ILS functionality, archiving initiatives, and new standards.

Linking Entry Task Force Frieda Rosenberg (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) gave an update on the group's goal of making recommendations to ILS developers on user displays and indexing in ILS systems. The group has begun to look at the indexing of linking fields and note options from various vendors to get an idea of what is currently available. Current systems leave a great deal of decision making up to individual libraries, including what indexes are created and what is indexed in them. There are areas of overlap with FRBR issues for serials and the use of linking fields.

FRBR Task Force Everett Allgood (New York University) gave an update on the FRBR Task Force. The group will soon be sending comments and suggestions to the IFLA Working Group on FRBR chaired by Patrick LeBoeuf. The Task Force has also begun discussing the recently-released "Final draft statement of International Cataloging Principles,"that specifically mentions both FRBR and FRAR (Functional Requirements of Authority Records).

The CONSER FRBR Task Force has formed relationships with several Working Groups and Task Forces working in parallel and related directions. One of these is the Joint Steering Committee's Format Variation Working Group. This group has two primary efforts currently: 1) rule revisions for AACR Chapter 25; and, 2) deconstructing the GMD [General Material Designation] and the Mode of Expression. The FVWG has submitted a first group of rule revision proposals for Chapter 25. CC:DA will be considering these soon and forwarding the ALA recommendation to the Joint Steering Committee.

Two members of the CONSER FRBR TF (Regina Reynolds and Judy Kuhagen) are also members of a recently-formed IFLA Working Group on FRBR and Continuing Resources so we will be monitoring the work of that group closely. The IFLA Working Group has two charges: 1) to provide comments on the FRBR model; and, 2) to provide input to the ISSN Revision Working Group.

Because of areas of overlap within our charges and areas of interest, the CONSER FRBR TF also needs to develop stronger relationships with the CONSER Linking Entry Task Force chaired by Mecheal Charbonneau, and the work on Universal Holdings Data conducted by Frieda Rosenberg and Diane Hillmann.

In a FRBR-related note, Jennifer Bowen reported on the final report of the CC:DA Task Force on Rule 21.0D at the Monday morning meeting of CC:DA at ALA Midwinter. The recommendation of the Task Force was that catalogers provide a more rigorous and systematic use of relator codes within bibliographic records. Such a practice will dramatically enhance the display of relationships among FRBR entities within library catalogs.
CC:DA approved the recommendation and will be forwarding this decision to the Joint Steering Committee.

Jennifer Bowen's JSC Format Variation Working Group is ready to present a revision of AACR Chapter 25 (Uniform titles).

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OCLC Record clean up Robert Bremer (OCLC) reported on record clean up associated with implementing the aggregator-neutral record in OCLC. Objectives of the clean up include:

The merging of some 5,000 duplicate records

Clean-up of existing records based on the agreed upon guidelines for the aggregator-neutral record

In some cases dealing with records miscoded type "m"

CONSER members also have been discussing the details of formatting 5XX notes and captions in the 776 $i. Hawkins will provide CONSER members a proposal for notes in aggregator-neutral records after ALA. OCLC is holding off on changing 5XX fields in GPO and NLC government serial records. The question of whether government documents should be treated like titles held in commercial aggregator databases should be looked at more closely. Although, they are initially distributed by one government source, sometimes government documents in the US and Canada are replicated and redistributed by other non-government entities.

If CONSER or OCLC members encounter duplicate records for a title in multiple aggregator packages, the cataloger can go ahead and report the record for deletion along the normal means.

Task Force on Journals in Aggregations Adolfo Tarango (UCSD) reported that the group has worked with Robert Bremer to set up a macro allowing catalogers to quickly generate a separate e-serial record based on an existing print or other format record. The macro could be used for creating authenticated records for e-serials that appear in article-based databases like LexisNexis or with more hands-on cataloger verification, issue based packages like Ingenta. Testing will begin with Ingenta titles.

CONSER Summit Bob Wolven and Jean Hirons led a discussion on the upcoming CONSER Summit, March 18-19, 2004. The goals of the Summit include looking at the future direction of electronic delivery of serials and the levels of information needed to manage these resources. Summit attendees will examine the role of the CONSER database and bibliographic records as part of the information chain in developing delivery systems and standards. Some of the outcomes possible are a shared understanding of best practices, the evolvement of collaboration among many system providers and more useful CONSER records. Another possible outcome is a greater role for CONSER as a facilitator or clearinghouse on developments in electronic resource management and the establishment of permanent relationships with the organizations working on standards and systems.

Some of the questions that were raised during the discussion included:

How well are we preparing for machine-to-machine transactions and interoperability?

How are we reorganizing staff to meet the challenges of handling electronic resources?

Which staff members are involved in handling electronic resources (sometimes in consortial arrangements the task is delegated to systems staff rather than other library staff)?

What's the impact on staffing and services of canceling print subscriptions in favor of electronic only?

The discussion moved to the role of holdings information in controlling online resources. One person commented that we started out relying on the resources themselves to provide the user coverage information, but now knowledge bases for administrative management and resource discovery tools require this data and different systems require different levels of detail. Other comments:

Accurate holdings information is needed for serials management systems and could be useful for the concept of an e-packing slip or dispatch data. CONSER needs to be involved with standards and new system developments on a national and international basis.

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