Report from the Bibliographic Enrichment Advisory Team (BEAT) for ALA Midwinter January 2001, Washington D.C.

The Bibliographic Enrichment Advisory Team (BEAT) was formed in December 1992 as a Cataloging Directorate program and was charged with the development and implementation of initiatives to improve the tools, content, and access to bibliographic information. The membership represents the core cataloging divisions, CDS, acquisitions, and also has members from CIP and Constituent Services, reflecting the Directorate's desire to provide benefits from its projects to as wide an audience as possible and to incorporate within its program objectives the needs and interests of various constituencies beyond those of technical services. Accordingly, the Team aims to develop tools to aid catalogers, reference specialists, and searchers in creating and locating information, seeks to enrich the content of Library of Congress bibliographic records as well as improve access to the data the records contain, and conducts research and development in areas that can contribute to furthering these efforts.

Additional questions about BEAT or its projects may also be directed to the BEAT Chair, John D. Byrum, Jr., Chief Regional and Cooperative Cataloging Division, Library of Congress, [email protected] and to any of the project chairs named in the summary reports below.

Status of Current Projects


Begun in 1999, the BECites+ initiative pursues the goal of enhancing traditional printed library bibliographies not only by placing them on the Web in electronic form but also by including annotated citations, tables of contents, indexes, and back-of-book bibliographies cited therein. Furthermore, reciprocal links are made between all of these data elements and the online catalog record for each title in the bibliography selected for a BECites+ project as well as to the electronic "webliography" in which it is cited. This cross-linkage results in enhanced information retrieval, as each of the links connects a searcher to other related resources and to an electronic bibliography on the same or similar theme. Finally, links to pertinent online journal indexes, other related web resources, and to applicable subject headings in the Library's OPAC are also included.

The prototype selected for BECITES+ was Dick Sharp's "Guide to Business History Resources" (1999), a revision of Chapter 13 of his Finding Business Reference Sources at the Library of Congress. It has been followed in 2000 with work on two additional guides: Thomas Jefferson: An American Man for All Seasons: A Selected List of References prepared by Dr. Marilyn K. Parr, of the Humanities and Social Sciences Division, and two chapters ("The Ships" and "The Immigrant Experience,") from Immigrant Arrivals: A Guide to Published Sources, originally compiled in 1997 by Virginia Steele Wood and revised for the BECites+ project by Barbara Walsh, reference specialists in the Local History and Genealogy Section of the Humanities and Social Sciences Division. Both guides have been enhanced by the addition of sections on related Internet resources making use of OCLC's CORC software. The Internet resources section of the Thomas Jefferson guide is available online at while that for the Immigrant Arrivals guide may be viewed at The revised Immigrant Arrivals guide also contains an extensive listing of subject headings on the topic , which link directly into the Z39.50 interface to the Library of Congress online catalog.

For further information, visit the BECites+ web page: or contact Carolyn Larson at [email protected]


The BEOnline project has moved from R&D into production and in FY 2001 will be expanded and incorporated into the regular workflow of processing. The expansion of BEOnline+ is now under the direction of Susan Vita, chief, Special Materials Cataloging Division. It was decided that BEAT's BEOnline+ Team would remain during the transition, as up scaling from a two to four person operation to a Directorate-wide enterprise will be a major undertaking; the transition will progress in phases.

The first and easiest phase will entail changing the workflow of Computer Files referrals from paper to online. The current practice is for a descriptive cataloger to make a printout of the record with the descriptive cataloging completed, place the printout in a plastic colored sleeve, and forward it with a referral slip to a subject cataloger for the subject headings, classification, and additional subject analysis to be completed for the resource. Normally the subject cataloging is completed on the printout and returned to the Computer Files team for the descriptive cataloger to input the subject information to the record into the Library's ILS. Under the new workflow the subject cataloger will review record the appropriate data on the record in the ILS.

The second expansion phase will involve detailing monographic book catalogers to the Computer Files Team for one-on-one descriptive cataloging training of electronic resources, both tangible and intangible. Phases one and two focus on short term goals.

For longer-term planning, the BEOnline+ team has will collaborate with staff from the Library's Technical Processing Automation Instruction Office (TPAIO) in preparing for possible classroom and Web-based training for processing Internet resources. For further information contact Allene Hayes at [email protected]

Digital Tables of Contents (D-TOC) and Reviews

The Digital Tables of Contents project creates machine readable TOC data from surrogates of the actual TOC, and using scanning and optical character recognition (OCR) as well as original programming written by project staff, materials are subsequently HTML-encoded and placed on a server at the Library. In the process the underlying MARC records are also modified to include links to the TOC data, thus cross-linking catalog records with TOC data as well.

This project originally concentrated on printed monographic publications in the fields of business and economics (particularly, the areas of small business and entrepreneurship) with the expectation that techniques developed by the project could be extended to other materials, resources permitting. In its production mode just prior to the installation of the ILS, the scope of materials was expanded to include wider areas of Economics, Computer Science, Technology, and Bibliography among others. The scope of coverage is expected to continue to broaden.

Both the MARC records and the linked TOC data may be viewed through a Web browser by accessing the Library's online catalog access options. The pervasive availability of Web indexing and search software also makes catalog and TOC records available from almost anywhere through the World Wide Web. In the calendar year ending December 31, 2000, the total number of Digital TOCs was 2200.

As the number of records created has grown the project has also implemented more automated and regularized quality control procedures to insure that links work properly and that data is available.

A sub-set of this project has enhanced the records for the best reference books of 1999 and 2000 as published in the May 1999 and May 2000 issues of American Libraries. The Reference Resources Committee of the ALA's Reference and User Services Association compiles this list annually. In the record's enhancement, the quoted review is added to the record in a note field. These data are used with the permission of the American Library Association, and LC must seek permission to incorporate similar material in the future.

Those who have comments or questions about this project should contact Bruce Knarr, project manager at [email protected]

Support for Electronic CIP

One area of BEAT support and convergence in bibliographic enrichment is with the Library's Electronic CIP (E-CIP) program. More than 3,500 records have been created and it is expected that the number of TOC records associated with these CIP records will increase due to the steady expansion of the E-CIP program during the next few years. During Fiscal Year 2000, TOC data were included in the MARC records for approximately 21% of the titles processed as E-CIPs, and the hope is that ultimately TOC data will be reflected in as many as 50% of E-CIP titles.

The Library has issued guidelines to staff to assist them in deciding when to include TOC data in the body of the catalog record, and guidelines call upon the cataloger to include this data under various conditions. This should help insure both uniform practice and greater retention of this data in records distributed by the Library. In turn, these enriched records support the goals and mission of the BEAT Team, by adding value to a significant number of bibliographic records LC creates and distributes.

Additional information about the CIP program is available at

New Projects for 2001: ONIX and E-Books

BEAT has become interested in ONIX, an XML based communication standard for meta data about published works. ONIX contains a set of data elements describing various aspects of a publication and appears as a highly granular markup that defines and represents significant detail about book (and publishing) product information in electronic form. As a result, ONIX is a subject of particular interest to the BEAT Team, as it has potential for projects which converge around the team's mandate for enrichment of bibliographic information or that can contribute to expedited and enhanced data creation, distribution, and possible direct transmission to organizations external to LC. The BEAT team has recently expanded to include appropriate experts from the Automation Planning and Liaison Office as well as MARC Standards and Network Development Office to help it fashion possible ONIX-related projects. Two candidates have already been identified: to investigate ONIX files as a source of enhancements (TOC, summaries, blurbs, etc.) for existing records and to study ONIX for "outgoing" records possibly used with the Cataloging in Publications "New Books" experiment.

As the Library pursues recommendations of the report "LC21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress", BEAT's unique experience will facilitate progress in several areas. In particular, the team expects during the coming year to assist with planning and implementation of workflows related to acquisition and storage of as well as bibliographic access to electronic publications such as electronic books (E-books).

In addition to these ONIX candidates, the Team is also presently considering several additional suggestions for projects to be included in its 2001-2002 agenda.

This page updated on January 11, 2001

Cataloging Directorate Home Page
Library of Congress Home Page

Library of Congress
Library of Congress Help Desk (01/11/2001)