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DATE: December 19, 2008

NAME: Definition of field 588 for Metadata control note


SUMMARY: This paper proposes a new field 588 for information useful for administrative or record management metadata.

KEYWORDS: Field 588 (BD), Metadata control note (BD)



12/19/2008 - Made available to the MARC 21 community for discussion.

01/24/2009 - Results of the MARC Advisory Committee discussion - In general there was support for adding the field, but more work is needed on the scope and structure. Suggestions included defining an indicator value which would say whether the note should be suppressed, adding more subfields, perhaps including $i for introductory text or indicators for types of notes, adding $5, and changing the name of the field. Ideas will be discussed with the aim of coming back with a proposal at ALA Annual, 2009.

Discussion Paper 2009-DP02: Definition of field 588 for metadata control note


During the development of the CONSER standard record (CSR), it was recognized that the "Description based on" (DBO) and the "Latest issue consulted" (LIC) notes for serials are important notes for tracking and controlling the metadata contained in bibliographic records (and therefore required elements of the CSR). These notes are particularly important to catalogers at different institutions sharing record creation and maintenance tasks on a shared database. Yet the notes are often confusing to individual OPAC users and are not needed by them. Developers of the CSR made the recommendation to define a particular MARC field for data related to the creation or updating of the metadata to clearly distinguish it from the other notes in a bibliographic record that are critical to OPAC users.  Tag 588 is being proposed as a clearly identifiable field that will allow local OPAC administrators flexibility in making decisions about indexing, positioning the field within records, or providing appropriate labels. The field would be available for notes containing any type of administrative or record management metadata needed in a shared record environment.  Examples include "Description based on," "Latest issue consulted," and "Source of title" notes for all resources, and data needed for tracking changes (e.g., knowledge of forthcoming changes that will be updated at a later time, unverifiable data at the time of cataloging that needs to be verified later, etc.).


Notes needed by libraries to control metadata in a shared record environment serve the purpose of providing other catalogers information about why certain cataloging decisions were made, the sources of particular types of data in the record and other information not needed by end users of the record. They play an administrative or record management type of role and have a limited audience. A separate, easily identifiable tag for this type of note would facilitate a mechanism for the same type of field manipulation achieved by having separate tags for dissertation notes, bibliography notes, contents notes, etc. In the case of a metadata control note, the tag would enable institutions to clearly separate the data needed by catalogers from the notes needed by OPAC users yet enable catalogers in different institutions to share the information. The tag provides a means of making a decision on indexing, data positioning, or labels without having to inspect the contents of the note for an appropriate decision.

Defining a specific field for this specialized data has an advantage over another possible approach to controlling notes in OPAC records. The idea of defining indicators for the 500 field or all 5XX fields to control display is a possible approach, but requires local systems to look for, digest, and distinguish the metadata control data from all the other data in 500 notes that are useful to OPAC users and to make decisions about display individually for each note.  A clearly identifiable tag for this type of data provides a quick and flexible tool for making decisions about how to best structure bibliographic data for OPAC users.


3.1 Used in records for serial publications:
588 ##  Description based on: Vol. 1, no. 1 (Jan. 2003); title from title page.
588 ##  Latest issue consulted: Vol. 6, no. 3 (Mar. 2008).

3.2 Used to record useful cataloging information:
588 ##  Cannot determine the relationship to Bowling illustrated, also published in New York, 1952-58 (DLC)
588 ##  Publication to be resumed by F&W Publications, Inc. in Oct. 2009 (EZB)

3.3 Used in records for non-serial publications:
588 ##  Title from accompanying typewritten notes (4 p.).
588 ##  Title from Web page (viewed on May 29, 1999).


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