Basic Copy Cataloging Workflow Checklist

For: YUL Technical Services
From: Steven Arakawa, Catalog Librarian for Training & Documentation, for CCC
Date: (11/18/02 creation date/ 05/29/2003 11:57 AM revision date)


Conditions: Cataloging copy source for the record is LCDB, RLIN or OCLC; record is not CIP (E/L blank, I (OCLC only) or 4).

 ____    Is there any evidence that the book is damaged? If the book is damaged and there is no OK to add note from the selector; route to your supervisor. If there is an OK from the selector, consult with your supervisor about an appropriate local note.

 ____  What location are you cataloging for? Some locations may require special processing. If you are not authorized to catalog for the location, route the book to your supervisor. Once you are familiar with basic copy cataloging processing, you may be assigned and learn how to process cataloging copy for more specialized locations.

_____ Roman alphabet or not? If any of the following conditions apply, consult with your supervisor.

  • If the title page is non-roman, the book is generally processed by the appropriate SML area team: East Asia (Chinese/Japanese/Korean), Hebraica, Near East (Arabic/Persian), Slavic/East European.
  • Roman alphabet Eastern European/former Soviet bloc languages may be processed by the SML Slavic team, e.g. Finnish, Hungarian, Romanian.
  • Keep in mind that East Asian, Hebrew, and Near East languages will often have the title page at what would be the END of a roman alphabet book. If there is both a roman and a non-roman title page, area team policy may differ as to whether the book will be processed by them.

 ____    Is the Leader within guidelines?  Bibliographic level: m <monograph>  Encoding level  blank/I or 4. Note that there are separate guidelines for CIP (encoding level 8). Once you are familiar with basic full-level processing, you should learn the more advanced descriptive rules needed to process and update CIP.

_____ Is the Leader coded correctly/Is the cataloging copy really standard-level? Leader coded as standard (blank) is sometimes miscoded on non-LC copy exported from the utilities. If you notice that the 5xx notes are not in English or that the terms used in the 300 field are not in English, or if the book is not a novel/poetry/drama but lacks subjects, consult with your supervisor. (See also descriptive verification section below)

_____ If the exportQ window is red, do not perform any updates to the bibliographic record; just update the MFHD for your location.


 _____    Is the cataloging copy for the SAME EDITION? Verify the following:

___   020   Verify that the same ISBN number on the book is recorded in the 020 field. A 020 for the paperback edition may also be on the record

___   245    Every word in the 245 must be on the title page unless the word is in [brackets]. The converse is not true; not every word on the  title page will appear in the 245 field. Edition information should appear in the 250 field; series information should appear in the  440 or 490 fields; other non-title related information may appear in the notes [5xx]. Not all punctuation in the 245 field will necessarily appear on the title page. Note that the 240 field [uniform title] is not part of the verification procedure.

____  250    Check for information about the edition on the title page and on the verso of the title page.

  • For non-Anglo-American publications, the edition statement is sometimes on the colophon, which is usually on the last page.
  • Check for edition information even if there is no 250 field on your record.
  • If the edition information on the book differs from the edition information on the printout, the cataloging copy is not the same edition.
  • A later printing is generally considered the same edition, but only if there is no evidence of revision, e.g. "Second printing with corrections."

____  260    Make sure your record has the same place of publication and publisher. The date of publication must be the same.

  • A later printing is acceptable if there is no evidence of revision. 
  • A revised printing--e.g. "Second printing, with corrections"--is cataloged as a separate edition; variant edition cataloging is only performed by authorized staff.
  • If the decision is to process the book as a later printing, leave the original publication date "as is" in 260 if there is a later printing date on the book.

_____300 Check pagination, illustrations, and size.

  • ‡a : the last page of each paging sequence should be recorded in subfield ‡a.
  • ‡b: illustrations will be recorded in the second (‡b) subfield.Verify that there are illustrations if there is a ‡b subfield, but do not re-count the illustrations if numbered.
  • ‡c: glance at the third (‡c) subfield to see whether the book is oversize (if your library has an oversize designation)
  • Only re-measure if you suspect the size is incorrect. Accept variations of about a centimeter or more either way; remember that size is always rounded up to the next centimeter.

____  4xx    Verify that the series statement on the printout appears somewhere on the book. In some cases, the form of access used for the series may differ from the form of the series as it appears in the 4xx field; the access form will appear in the 8xx field and is not part of the descriptive verification. (But access form is important for authority checking.)

____ 5xx If there are notes about accompanying material (e.g. Errata slips for insertion, plates in pockets) verify to make sure the accompanying material is present.

  • If the accompanying material is not recorded on the bib record, consult with a catalog librarian.

_____ Reproduction vs Original. If you are processing the first copy for a location, do not consider a photocopy to be the equivalent of the original. If the bib record is for the original, consult with a catalog librarian. Conversely, if you have a copy of the original, and the cataloging is for a reproduction (microfilm, photocopy, electronic resource), do not consider your book as matching the bibliographic record. (Serial and multipart added volumes that are photocopies do not warrant a separate edition, but processing of added volumes is generally done by specialists)

Detailed policies and procedures for member copy at:

Member copy checklist


____ Have superfluous fields been deleted from the record? Check the OCLC batchmatching memo for a list of fields to delete from batchmatched overlays and records imported from the utilities and LCDB:


_____ Is the bib record LC or member? If the bib record is LC, you are concerned only with the series authority.

_____ Is there an authority record for the series in Orbis? If there is a series authority record in Orbis, retrieve it to determine if the series is classed together. Check also to see if other titles in the series have been cataloged to determine whether the series is classed together. (Searching Web Voyage is usually the easiest way to determine series classification practice.) Notify your supervisor or the designated catalog librarian if the series is classed together for your location but the treatment has not been recorded on the series authority record.

_____If there is no series authority record in Orbis, use the 050 call number if the bib record is LC and search no further. If the bib record is not LC, search LCDB. If a series authority record is found in LCDB, follow the classification decision but do not copy the series authority from LCDB to Orbis. If no series authority record is found, route to the designated catalog librarian to establish the series.

_____ Are there non-series headings requiring authority records? If the bib record is not LC and a personal name with a prefix or a compound surname does not have a corresponding authority record, route to the designated catalog librarian to establish the heading.

Detailed policies and procedures at:

Authority control workflow for C&T staff


(ASSUMPTION: BASIC COPY CATALOGING USES LC CLASSIFICATION. Consult local documentation for non-LC policies and procedures)

_____    Usable call number in 050 or 090 field?  If 090 call number is usable,  change it to 050 _4. In the MFHD window, use the Voyager CTRL-N key sequence to copy the 050 number into the 852 field. This will generally be the number to use, along with the location as entered in the in-process ‡b subfield, but you will need to keep in mind the following considerations.

_____    Is the book analyzed by LC or your location? If so, make sure the call number used is the Yale number rather than the number used in 050/090, and that the call number has a volume number at the end.

_____    Is your book a later edition? If so, check Orbis (tip: search in Web Voyage) to see if earlier editions have been cataloged for your location. Use the same call number as the earlier edition if the earlier edition used LC classification. The call number date must match your edition.

_____    Is your book a translation? (Check 240 field) If so, check Orbis to see if  the original has been cataloged for your location. If the translation in the call number is expressed as x12-x18, you need to adjust the call number to match the base number of the original. If the translation is not expressed as x12-x18, check with librarian. See also the LC instructions for assigning translation numbers, which we should be following:

_____    Is your book oversize?  If so, add + at the end of the call number and ‡m Oversize (EXCEPTION: Divinity Library uses ‡k Oversize)

_______ Does location need to be changed? If the selector changed the location assignment after the book was ordered or received, the location may not have been updated on Orbis. CAUTION: changing the location code requires an update of the location in the item record. See ITEM RECORDS below.

_____    IF YOUR COLLECTION USES "TRAILING X": Does call number need to be shelflisted or does it use "trailing X"?  If record is from LCDB (or has 050 00) use trailing X. Do not use trailing X if the book is belletristic or if it has a geographic cutter. For these exceptions, and for all call numbers from RLIN or OCLC, shelflist on Web Voyage.

_____    Make sure any cutter adjustments have been made where necessary.

_____    If the call number needs to be written in your book, have you checked call number on the verso t.p. against the call number in record holdings?

Detailed policies and procedures at:

Shelflisting overview

LC Classification Overview

Member Copy Checklist


_____ Recycle acquisitions/processing paper travelling with the book or retain it depending on local materials processing policies and procedures.

______ Note in particular that rubber bands, paper clips, yellow/colored post-its, and carbon paper temporary slips provided by vendors, if left in or fastened to the book, will eventually damage it. Be zealous about removing such things.


____ Does the record need to be exported? Always export if yours is the only MFHD location. If there are multiple MFHDs, but yours is the first with a call number, export it. If there are multiple MFHDs but another location has already added a call number, assume that the record has already been exported and do not export again.

_____ Export targets. Always enable the RLIN and MARS options. Enable the OCLC option unless there is a 928 field with an OCLC batch processing date. The presence of an RLIN or OCLC prefix in a 035 field is not considered evidence that the bib record has been exported. (EXCEPTION: Non-Roman cataloging export targets should be OCLC and MARS)

Detailed policies and procedures at

Policy on exporting bibliographic records from Orbis
Using the ExportQ Program


_____ If you changed the location, did you update the location code on the item record?

_____ Is the item type correct? Format and location changes may affect the validity of the item type.

_____    Have you charged/discharged the item record according to local policies and procedures?

Detailed policies and procedures at:

Item types table (Excel format)


______ Keep track of items cataloged. On the departmental forms, you are expected to record:

  • Number of pieces cataloged or added
  • Number of titles cataloged (subarranged by format and source copy)




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Last updated: 29-May-2003 11:57 AM