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MARC Proposal No. 2008-07

Proposal 2008-07: Making field 440 (Series Statement/Added Entry--Title) obsolete in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format


Discussion Paper 2008-DP02 described making field 440 (Series Statement/Added Entry) obsolete. The intention of the proposal is to resolve the long-standing problem of field 440 being both a descriptive field and a controlled access point. Separating the two functions will result in a more reliable description and easier maintenance through authority control over time.

The MARC Advisory Committee discussed the paper at the Midwinter meetings in January 2008, and many participants felt that dealing with legacy data and the repetition of data in fields 440 and 490 were issues that needed discussion. One option suggested was that making field 440 obsolete could be treated as an implementation policy issue, rather than a change to the bibliographic format. The paper also discussed adding a subfield $x for the ISSN (and perhaps additional subfields for other standard identifiers) in the 8XX fields, since it is available only in fields 440 and 490. The Committee requested that two proposals be considered separating the issue of making field 440 obsolete and adding subfields to the 8XX fields; the proposal to add subfields in the 8XX fields is MARC Proposal No. 2008-06.


2.1 Making 440 obsolete

Some comments on 2008-DP02 expressed concern about repetition of data in the 490 and 8XX fields. The benefits of a simplified decision process without an adverse impact on local systems or OCLC may outweigh the minimal consequences of repetition of fields. Simplified decision-making would also assist in training new staff and enhance series work-flows in libraries.

There were also concerns that some local systems would not be able to convert field 440 into field 490. On the other hand, it was pointed out that based on MARC principles, obsolete data fields are allowed to remain in records.

The discussion paper made the assumption that OCLC will investigate changing existing records in WorldCat to move data from the 440 field to the 490 and 8XX fields if the proposal is approved. This will support the ability to control all series headings in WorldCat bibliographic records. Parameters for selecting which records to change automatically, handling differences in the use of non-filing indicators in 440 and 830 fields, and any conflicts with existing PCC guidelines still need to be discussed with OCLC.

2.2 Redefining 490 first indicator value "1" versus making the first indicator value obsolete.

Comments on 2008-DP02 indicated a discernable preference for redefining first indicator value "1" to "series traced in 8XX field" in field 490 over making the indicator obsolete. Redefining the first indicator value "1" is more compatible with the indexing decisions many libraries make based on the coding of indicator value "0" and "1."

The first indicator in field 490 is currently defined as follows:

1st indicator--Series tracing policy
The series has no corresponding added entry (not traced) or has a corresponding 800-830 series added entry field (traced differently).
0 - Series not traced
No series added entry is desired for the series.
1 - Series traced differently
Controlled form of entry for the series in the series added entry differs from that in the series statement. When value "1" is used, the appropriate field 800-830 is included in the bibliographic record to provide the series added entry.

The proposal is to redefine first indicator value "1" as follows:

1 - Series traced in 8XX field
When value "1" is used, the appropriate field 800-830 is included in the bibliographic record to provide the series added entry.

The field definition and scope information will be revised to reflect this change, and it will be noted that field 8XX may appear with or without field 490.


In the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format:

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