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DATE: June 1, 2006

NAME: Addition of subfield $r in field 865 to accommodate date of issuance for indexes in the MARC 21 Holdings Format

SOURCE: Library of Congress

SUMMARY: This paper proposes a change to the MARC 21 Holdings Format to allow for compatibility with ONIX for Serials. It proposes the addition of subfield $r in field 865 for date of issuance for indexes when date of coverage is recorded in the 865 chronology subfields.

KEYWORDS: Field 865 (HD); Enumeration and Chronology-- Indexes; ONIX Serial Release Notice; Subfield $r, in field 865 (HD)

RELATED: 2006-DP05


6/1/2006 - Made available to the MARC 21 community for discussion.

06/24/06 - Results of the MARC Advisory Committee discussion - Approved as amended. Subfield $v (instead of subfield $r) will be defined as Issuing date. Likewise, the phrase "when the date of coverage is recorded in subfields $i-$m" will be deleted from the definition of subfield $v.

10/12/06 - Results of LC/LAC/BL review - Approved

Proposal No. 2006-08: Addition of subfield $r in field 865 to accommodate date of issuance for indexes


The ONIX (Online Information Exchange) family of standards were intended for communicating rich product information about books and other related material. Initially it was developed through the efforts of book publishers and other stakeholders in the book industry, especially for communicating information between publishers and online booksellers. Recently ONIX for Serials was developed as a similar standard for serials by a joint committee under the sponsorship of EDItEUR (the developer of ONIX) and NISO (National Information Standards Organization). The NISO/EDItEUR Joint Working Party for the Exchange of Serials Subscription Information (JWP) has developed a specification and is experimenting in pilot projects to demonstrate the feasibility of using ONIX for Serials as an exchange format for serials subscription information.

ONIX for Serials is a series of draft standards in XML format for communicating metadata about serial publications and subscription information. There are three different formats for use in various situations. Of particular interest here is the Serials Release Notice (SRN), which supports information exchanges about the publication or electronic availability of one or more serial releases (i.e. issue level), primarily used by publishers, content hosting services, A&I services, subscription agents, etc., and the Serials Online Holdings (SOH), which conveys summary holdings information about online serial resources from suppliers to subscribing libraries.

ONIX for Serials was strongly influenced by the MARC 21 Format for Holdings Data. The committee attempted to specify structures that can be mapped to MFHD so that holdings and coverage information supplied in ONIX messages can be loaded into MARC-based library systems. It is expected that ONIX SRN and SOH messages will be used to update serial holdings in ILS and ERMS systems. This could save libraries considerable resources in that setting up patterns for predictive check-in is highly labor intensive. Getting the information from publishers would be more efficient.

Possible changes were discussed in January 2006 to accommodate ONIX for Serials in MARC 21 holdings. In 2006-DP05, subfield $r was suggested for date of coverage or date of issuance in field 865 (Enumeration and Chronology--Indexes), since there was a need to record both of these types of dates for indexes and only one may currently be recorded in the 865 chronology subfields $i-$m. The consensus of discussion was that most institutions currently record coverage date in the chronology subfields and that if both date of issuance and date of coverage are available, it would be useful for indexes if both were included in field 865.


The MARC 21 Holdings Format has extensive information on enumeration and chronology as they appear on bibliographic items. The captions and pattern information is included in parsed form in fields 853 (basic unit), 854 (supplements), and 855 (indexes) and the data detailing enumeration and chronology in fields 863(basic unit), 864 (supplements), and 865 (indexes). Thus there are special fields (855/865) for recording such information about indexes, in particular, since there are often peculiarities in their publishing patterns so that keeps them from corresponding to the enumeration and chronology of the basic bibliographic unit.

Like the other Enumeration and chronology fields, field 865 allows for detailed parsing of this information in subfields which are paired with caption subfields. Chronology information is included in subfields $i through $m, indicating the date(s) used by the publisher to help identify the index and/or indicate when it was issued. The MARC 21 holdings format states that “Subfields $i-$m contain the hierarchical levels of chronology that either appear on an item or that are used by the reporting organization to record the receipt of an item.” Note that the dates on bibliographic items have generally been considered issuing dates for basic units and supplements, but for indexes, coverage dates are more commonly on the piece and more relevant.

In MARC 21 holdings, there are not separate data elements for coverage and issuing dates. Certainly dates that indicate the basic bibliographic units covered by the index are the most useful for the patron. However, issuing dates are needed for prediction in library systems and are specifically useful in determining when a separately issued index is overdue.

Note that in section of the NISO Holdings standard, Z39.71 considers which date to include in a holdings statement as follows:

"When more than one type of date is present on the bibliographic item, select the date from the following preferred dates, in this order:
Date of coverage
Date of publication (i.e.,issue)
Date of copyright
Date of printing"

Since MARC 21 only has one set of data elements for chronology, a choice must be made as to which type of date on an index to include when there are both coverage and issuance dates known. MARC 21 practice seems to be to record the date on the piece associated with the type of chronology specified in field 853-855. Discussion of Discussion Paper No. 2006-DP05 indicated that generally for indexes coverage date is recorded.

The Serial Release Notice (SRN) of ONIX for Serials includes tags for enumeration and chronology.

These include <indexEnumeration> with subelements <SeriesTitle>, <IndexedSequence>, and <indexedPeriod>.

SeriesTitle corresponds with MARC 21 field 865 subfield $o (Title of unit), IndexedSequence corresponds with 865$a-$h, and IndexedPeriod is the range of dates covered. Date of issue in the SRN are subelements of the tag <NominalDate>. Thus, in ONIX there are distinct elements provided for coverage date (IndexedPeriod) and issuing date (NominalDate). If an SRN for an index were communicated to a MARC system there would be no place to put both of these dates.

Subfields $r, $u, and $v are available in field 865. In most cases, the subfields in the 86X block are correlated with those in the 85X block, and subfield $r is chosen in this proposal because it is the only subfield available in both 853-855 and 863-865 field blocks. However, subfield $r in 853-855 could be used for another element in the future if necessary, since there is no need for correlation between issuing date in 865 and any data in the 85X Captions and Pattern field block. (There is already a precedent for defining a subfield differently in 853-855 in relation to 863-865 in that subfield $x in 85X is used for Calendar change and $x in 86X is used for Nonpublic note.) Note that because of the lack of subfields it is not possible to parse this date into levels as in subfields $i through $l, so the proposal is for the data to be recorded as a text string.

Field 865 is defined as follows:

Two examples of serials with differing issuing dates and coverage (with links to copies of title pages) are:

Oceanic abstracts (ISSN 0093-6901)

In this example the indexed period (coverage) is 1982 and the issuing date is Jan. 1983. The field would be coded as follows (where $i is used for coverage date and $r for issuing date). Note that it is not possible to parse the issuing date into its levels of chronology because of the use of a single subfield. To encode the issuing date like chronology in the rest of the field would require at least three subfield both in 855 and 865 (for three levels of chronology). Since subfields are not available it is proposed that the issuing date be given as text.

855 $a v. $i (year)
865 $a 19 $i 1982 $r Jan. 1983

Meteorological and geoastrophysical abstracts (ISSN 1066-2707)

In this example the indexed period is Jan.-Dec. 1989 and the issuing date is June 1990.

855 $a v. $i (year) $j (month)
865 $a 40 $i 1989 $j 01-12 $r June 1990


In the MARC 21 Holdings Format:

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