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DATE: May 29, 2020

NAME: Changes to Fields 008/21 and 006/04 for Type of Continuing Resource in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format

SOURCE: ISSN Review Group, ISSN International Centre, Paris

SUMMARY: The current options for type of continuing resource in 008/21 and 006/04 do not provide enough granularity for useful faceting or statistical reporting in the ISSN Portal and likely in library OPACs. Additionally, more granularity is needed for research and scholarship concerning global production of continuing resources. The ISSN Network would like to add additional codes to 008/21 and 006/04 to provide facets for searching in the ISSN Portal and for gathering statistics on types of continuing resources to which ISSN are assigned rather than depending on the non-standard solution it now uses.

KEYWORDS: Continuing Resources (BD); Field 008/21 (BD);  Field 006/04 (BD); Type of Continuing Resource (BD); Blog (BD); Journal (BD); Magazine (BD); Institutional Repository (BD); Newsletter (BD)

RELATED: 2001-05

05/29/20 – Made available to the MARC community for discussion.

07/01/20 – Results of MARC Advisory Committee discussion: There was general support for the paper, though there was one strong dissent from Germany, favoring a solution through positions /24 and /25 - /27 of field 008 for continuing resources. General consensus was that the new values should be optional enhancements, not replacements, for value p, which should be retained in legacy records for backward compatibility. It was noted that if the principle of specificity is applied to to 008/21 value "p" for some of the more granular values which are proposed in the paper, then consideration should be given to providing similar hierarchical granular values below 008/21 value "w" (Updating Web site). This is because, for example, a website could consist of a blog, a journal, a magazine, etc. There was discussion about the scoping and sourcing of the definitions for the proposed values. ISSN Centre mentioned that it would appreciate input and feedback regarding problems some MAC members had mentioned about the current definitions used within ISO standards. The paper will return as a proposal.

Discussion Paper No. 2020-DP10: Changes to 008/21 and 006/04 for Type of Continuing Resource


Current coding of field 008/21 (and 006/04) in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format is as follows:

     008 - Continuing Resources (NR)

        21 - Type of continuing resource (006/04)
# - None of the following
d - Updating database
l - Updating loose-leaf
m - Monographic series
n - Newspaper
p - Periodical
w - Updating Web site
| - No attempt to code

The ISSN Network currently uses ISSN Network-devised codes in field 856 (Electronic Location and Access) to allow for faceted access to types of open access resources that contain scholarly information including blogs and academic repositories because codes for type of continuing resource are not sufficiently granular.  Additionally, there is a need both in the ISSN Network and the information community for more granular statistics concerning global continuing resources than current codes can provide. As presently defined, 008/21 code "blank," (None of the following) has to be used for directories and reports and perhaps blogs and repositories. Code "p" (Periodical) has to be used for journals, magazines, and newsletters. Given the existence of 008/21 and 006/04, and the intended re-structuring of field 856, the ISSN Review Group believes a standardized solution that provides more granularity in the existing mechanism for indicating type of continuing resource is a better way to meet its needs than continuing to use its own coding in field 856.


Faceting is increasingly common among discovery systems, including the ISSN Portal.  Since not all systems—including the Portal—use genre headings or subject headings that bring out genres, the 008 codes are needed for facets. Statistics gathering is also needed by the ISSN International Centre to track the types of resources in its database of over 2 million metadata records for ISSN assignments. Furthermore, the addition of codes that are more granular than current codes will alleviate the hardship experienced by researchers, scholars, and librarians who experience significant difficulty in obtaining statistical information about global publishing of continuing resources. Without adding these new codes to the continuing resources 008/21, many of the resources for which new codes are desired would be coded "blank" or "p", categories that do not have enough specificity (blank) or granularity (p) for ISSN Network needs. Additionally, adding a specific code for blogs (currently coded "p", "w" or "blank") would provide needed consistency.

Many of the proposed codes are for types of periodicals, so if the new codes are approved, the question of how to deal with the existing code "p" (periodical) arises.  One possibility is to deprecate the code so it cannot be used in future records.  It could also be possible to leave it in the list and indicate that "p" can be used if less granularity is desired.

Although MARC 21 Field 008 includes other positions that can be regarded as addressing types of content, the ISSN Network has used consistently only 008/21 (formerly type of serial) since it began using MARC.  Because the scope of ISSN is all continuing resources, utilizing position 21 to denote the type of continuing resource seems most appropriate. Position 24 relates to the identification of an entire work and while some of the types of work listed may be serial in nature, many are unlikely to relate to a continuing resource. Positions 25-27 are only used if a significant part of the item can be represented by the code. Due to the nature and volatility of serial works, catalogers cannot say with certainty what the nature of the contents are until the work is complete.


In the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format, define the following codes in 008/21 and 006/04:

 - periodical
A broad category of publications that includes resources with separate articles, stories, other writings, etc. that are published or distributed generally more frequently than annual including journals, magazines, newsletters and blogs. If more granularity is desired, the codes for these specific types of periodicals can be used.

h -  blog
An online periodical appearing on a web page that may contain web links and/or comments on a particular topic or subject (broad or narrow in scope), often in the form of short articles arranged in reverse chronological order, the most recently added piece of information appearing first.
Note: The information can be written or collected by the site owner or be contributed by users.

[SOURCE: Based on ISO 2789:2013, definition]

t- directory 
An itemized listing of information for the identification or location of persons, objects, organizations or places, arranged alphabetically, chronologically, or in other systematic order, and updated over time.

j- journal
A periodical addressing readers interested in a specific subject or profession. Often includes original research and current developments.

[SOURCE: Based on ISO 5127:2017(en),]

g- magazine
A specialized periodical addressing non-scientific, non-professional general interest topics.

[SOURCE: Based on ISO 5127:2017(en),]

s - newsletter
A short periodical from an organization, generally to its members, to give current information in its sphere of activity.

[SOURCE: Based on ISO 5127:2017(en),]

r- institutional repository
An online repository for storing the publications of an institution, or a group of institutions, such as e-prints, technical reports, theses and dissertations, datasets, and teaching and learning materials.

[SOURCE: Based on ISO 2789:2013(en), 2.3.26]


Note: All examples also apply to 006/04.

4.1. Blog

008/21 h
245 00 $a Library juice
022 0_ $a 1544-9378
264 _1 $a San Jose, Calif. : $b R. Litwin, $c 1998-
856 40 $u

008/21 h
245 04 $a The Lost Valley
022 0_ $a 2292-2601
264 _1 $a [Vancouver] : $b Ronald J. Jack, $c [2007]-
856 40 $u

4.2. Journal

008/21 j
245 00 $a Zeitschrift für Gesundheitswissenschaften
022 0_ $a 0943-1853
264 _1 $a Heidelberg; Berlin : $b Springer

008/21 j
245 00 $a International journal of bibliometrics in business and management
022 0_ $a 2057-0546
264 _1 $a Olney : $b Inderscience Publishers, $c 2017-
856 40 $u ...

4.3. Magazine

008/21 g
245 00 $a Elle
022 0_ $a 0013-6298
264 31 $a $a Levallois-Perret : $b CMI Publishing, $c 2019-

008/21 g
245 00 $a National Geographic
022 0_ $a 0027-9358
264 _1 $a [Washington, D.C.] : $b National Geographic Society, $c ©1959-

4.4. Directory

008/21 t

245 00 $a Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
022 0_ $a 0191-0221
264 _1 $a New York : $b Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, Inc., $c 1931-

008/21 t
245 00 $a D & B Million Dollar Directory
022 0_$a 1093-4812
264 _1 $a Bethlehem, PA : $b Dun & Bradstreet, Inc., $c 1997-

4.5. Newsletter

008/21 s

245 00 $a Culture et Loisirs
222 0_ $a 1715-7994
264 _1 $a Gatineau, Québec : $b Ville de Gatineau, $c 2006-

008/21 s
110 2_ $a Colorado Association of Libraries
245 10 $a Newsletter / $c Colorado Association of Libraries
022 0_ $a 1939-3733
264 _1 $a Lakewood, CO : $b Colorado Association of Libraries
856 41 $u

4.6. Institutional Repository

008/21 r

245 00 $a Digital Repository / $c Iowa State University
022 0_ $a 2572-679X
264 _1 $a [Ames, IA] : $b Iowa State University
856 00 $u

008/21 r
245 00 $a Ocean Docs
022 0_ $a 2310-6409
264 _1 $a Rome; Paris : $b Ostend FAO UNESCO IOC IODE
856 00 $u


The new codes could be handled in the same manner as the existing codes. Currently the LC BIBFRAME Pilot 2.0 is mapping the 008/21 (type of continuing resource) to the LC Genre/Form Terms (LCGFT). If a term doesn’t exist in LCGFT the MARC Genre Terms thesaurus is used instead. As of March 19, 2020, the next MARC to BIBFRAME conversion will place this data in a new property.


6.1. Will the additional codes be useful for other communities besides the ISSN community?

6.2. Code "p" is being retained with an instruction to use it when less granularity is desired. Does this help avoid confusion about when to use “p” and when to use the more granular codes?

6.3. Will these codes align with RDA vocabulary?

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