CONSER Standard Copy Cataloging Checklist

To: Technical Services Staff
From: Steven Arakawa for the Catalog Policy and Documentation Committee
Date: (8/03/07 issue date/ 09/10/2009 4:15 PM revision date)

CONSER Standard records will begin to appear in OCLC (and LCDB) beginning in summer 2007. Although the encoding level will be blank (full), have a Cataloging Source c and include a 042 field, the new standard records will have substantially less information than the old "full" CONSER records. Cataloging supplied by non-CONSER libraries, like Yale, may also be following the new standard. These records will have Cataloging Source d and no 042 field, but the Encoding Level will be blank (i.e. full).

As a general rule, the records following the old CONSER standard should not be edited to follow the new standard, and records that follow the new standard should not be edited to match the old standard.

Locally, if the item is in hand, some exceptions will be made to the general "hands off" policy for records that follow the new standard. The exceptions will be noted in this checklist. If a change is made, add $d [your unit's CtY code]. New serial records created in Orbis will follow the same standard used by CONSER, with the same local exceptions.

  1. Arrange issues in numeric/chronological order. Are issues missing?
  2. Is the title consistent across all of the issues?
    • Is the inconsistency on the chief source or substitute? [see 245 under Verification/Editing]
    • If there is a title inconsistency on the chief source/substitute, is it a title change per the rules?
    • If it is a "major change," go to Successive or Latest Entry? section
    • If it is a "minor change" make a 246 if necessary
Successive or Latest Entry?
  1. Successive entry: S/L 0 Latest entry: S/L 1
  2. If the record uses latest entry, re-search in OCLC for successive entry. If no record is found, re-route to original cataloging.
    • If a CONSER library has closed the earlier title, created a record for the later title, and linked the two titles, handle as copy cataloging.
  3. When successive entry is applied to title changes, records downloaded to Orbis should match the issues in hand (i.e., don't download records for earlier or later titles we don't have)
  4. Searching tips:
    • try a journal search in LCDB
    • for older titles without ISSN, in the Search WorldCat window, limit by Format serials; if the title is generic, limit further by issuing body
    • Note that the new records may not have uniform titles and the descriptive data will be reduced. Especially in situations where an ISSN has not been assigned, you will need to verify the description carefully to make sure that your record actually matches the item in hand. As you do so, keep in mind that you may have to make some upgrades to the record based on the checklist, so pay close attention particularly to these areas.

CONSER vs. non-CONSER. CONSER records will have a 042 field for the authentication code (lc, lcd, nlc). CONSER records with 042 msc are minimal level and should be routed to your unit's original cataloging serial specialist. CONSER records with 042 lccopycat have had all headings checked against the national authority file and may be used, but the description may not follow CONSER standard. Recataloging the description to follow current CONSER standards (except for specific local guidelines) should not be done.

Leader. If the record has an Encoding Level 8 or below, skip the checklist and route to your unit's serial specialist for upgrading.

008. Key fields.

  1. Publication status: c [currently published] or d [dead]
  2. Dates. u is substituted for digits if not known for sure; 9999 for the second date if serial is currently published: c 198u 9999
  3. Beginning/ending dates: should align with 362 or DBO, not 260. (for overlap dates, the later date is used: 1984/1985 = 1985)
  4. Successive/Latest entry. (see above)
  5. Frequency, Regularity, Conference: not required under the current standards; these are entered as "No attempt to code": on Orbis | on OCLC a rectangle
  6. Type of Serial (SrTp): series, newspaper, periodical, annual
  7. Country of Publication (Ctry): based on current publisher

Variable Fields.

022 __ $a <4 digits>-<4 digits> Make an ISSN field if it has not been recorded in the cataloging record

  • CAUTION. Do not confuse the ISSN for the serial with the ISSN assigned to the series (many serials are parts of series)
  • If the ISSN does not match, verify from other fields that you have the same title. If verification of other fields indicates you have the same title, search LCDB and OCLC using the ISSN to see if it is a publisher error (entered in $y)
  • Do not enter 020s (ISBN numbers) in serial records, even if there is an ISBN number on the issue in hand

1xx/7xx Serial records with 042 lc, lccopycat, lcd, or nlc should have had all headings authenticated against the national file; it is not necessary to check these headings in the NAF* if there is no match when performing verification unless you notice an obvious typo.

*The National Authority File can be: LCDB, WorldCat Authority File, or LC NAF depending on your workflow.

REMINDER: a record with 042 msc means the headings have not all been authenticated against the national file, and there is a good chance one or more headings have not been established. In the serial workflow, these records should be referred to a NACO cataloger because in our new policy, we want all new serials to have headings backed up by authority records. As a by-product, the record can then be upgraded to full level. Note that another characteristic of 042 msc records is that they may lack subjects; the cataloger doing the upgrading should keep this in mind.

NON-CONSER records. If a serial title is cataloged for the first time and there is no 042 or the 042 has codes other than those listed in the previous paragraph, verify that all 1xx and 7xx headings have been established. If there is no match generated by Orbis verification, check the NAF. If a heading has not been established, route to your unit's NACO cataloger or to your supervisor. The heading must be established in the national authority file.

NAME VARIATIONS. If a name is traced on the record, but the form of the name used on the serial differs from the traced form, check the authority record. If the authority record does not account for the variant form in 410, route to a cataloger in your unit with NACO authorization. If the variant form is permitted as a reference, it must be added to the national authority record.

Note that most 1xx/7xx fields in serial records will be for corporate names.

245 $a, $p, $n. Verify the title proper against the chief source on your issue.

  • Title verification is based on $a, and (if there) $p & $n. Do not take $b into account when verifying. In current cataloging $b is not required; if there is one, leave it as is.
  • Reminder: many serial issues lack a title page. In the absence of a title page, the cover has priority over the TOC page.
  • Title page substitutes in order of preference: cover, caption, masthead, editorial pages, colophon, other pages
  • Pre-AACR2 titles are sometimes truncated. Leave the 245 $a as is; make a 246 for the full form (note that this is not CONSER practice, which is more complex)

245 $c Title Statement of Responsibility

The current CONSER standard does not require a $c. Neither add nor delete 245 $c.

If a corporate name is transcribed in the statement of responsibility (245 $c), and the record is not CONSER full level (see above), verify that the name traced in 710 has an authority record. If there is no record in Orbis, check the NAF. If no authority record is found, route to a cataloger in your unit with NACO authorization.

  • CONSER records cataloged at minimal level will record the corporate name in 245 $c or 550 if the heading has not been established
  • CONSER records cataloged at full level will not record the corporate name in 245 $c or 550; as noted above, all headings on a CONSER record cataloged at full level are expected to have authority records
  • How non-CONSER records will record the corporate name is unpredictable

246 13 $a <Variant title> CONSER uses 246 11 for parallel titles and 246 13 or 246 1_ $i for all other variants. Some reasons to make a 246 13

  • Pre-AACR2 245 has Report; your issue has Annual report
  • Title proper on your issue is the same as the 245 $a, but there are variant forms on the issue

No period at the end of 246 fields.

260 __. If the publisher has changed,

  • edit the original 260 to 260 __ $3 <initial date>-<closing date> : $a <place> : $b <publisher> [delete $c]
  • make a second 260 for the current publisher: 260 3_ $3 <initial date>: $a <Place> :$b <Publisher>
  • If the 260 3_ is superseded by a third publisher, change the indicator of the second publisher to 2 and close the date in $3. Follow 260 2_ with the new current publisher: 260 3_ $3 etc.
  • 008 should be updated to match the current 260
  • In pre-AACR2 cataloging (latest entry cataloging), the current publisher was entered in 260 and the former publisher was recorded in a note. Although locally we can use multiple 260s, be very careful if you update a record for a publisher change if the record was cataloged according to pre-AACR2 rules, especially in situations when multiple publisher changes are involved.
  • When a record ceases, under current rules it is no longer necessary to enter the closing date in 260.

300 Physical Description

If there is no 300 field, create one. If the field is incomplete, complete the field. EXAMPLE:

300 $a v. ; $c 29 cm.

It is not necessary to record the number of volumes in $a if the serial closes, even if the cataloging is pre-AACR2.

362 1 Dates of Publication/Designation (unformatted)

362 is made only if beginning date & number are known. If the record lacks a 362, and you have the first issue in hand, make a 362 1_ $a Began with note.

  • Make sure the 362 date is consistent with the first date in the fixed field
  • If a 362 1 field is added, revise the description based on note (see below) to match the issue cited in 362 1.
  • If the numbering re-starts, indicate in 362 1 or 515

Some new records may use non-standard abbreviations or no abbreviations. This is acceptable. Leave as is.

However, note that standard abbreviations continue to be used in MFHD volume holdings.

If you need to check for numbering changes, note that changes are now acceptable in either 362 or 515.

310/321 Current/Former Frequency

YUL: For new copy cataloging, if the frequency is known and there is no 310, enter a 310. If the former frequency (321) has not been specified (i.e., there is a Frequency varies note), do not research the back issues in order to determine it.

Maintenance: continue the practice of recording the current frequency in 310 and the former frequency in 321 if the frequency changes.

For ongoing serials, if the frequency changes, continue the practice of recording the current frequency in 310 and the former frequency in 321.

[At SML, acquisitions staff normally update the record when there is a frequency change.]

  • If the frequency has changed, move the current 310 data to 321 and enter the current frequency in 310
  • 310 __ $a <current frequency>, $b <beginning date>-
    321 __ $a <former frequency>, $b <date range>
  • In current cataloging, there is no limit to the number of former frequencies that may be recorded. The former practice was to use the note Frequency varies if more than 3 frequency changes took place. If this note has been used in cataloging copy, leave it as is--make no attempt to reconstruct the former frequencies.
  • No period at the end of 310 or 321
  • Frequency terms: click on the Frequency menu in the Orbis 008 (or use the CONSER Editing Guide)
  • Date ranges: use AACR2 abbreviations & capitalization for months
  • If the frequency changes, update the Frequency and Regularity 008s to | <No attempt to code>; if there is no frequency change, leave the 008s as is
4xx Series

Formerly, transcription of series at 4xx level was not required and may not appear on CONSER records and other records that followed the initial standard. However, the series in established form should have been traced in 8xx. The CONSER standard rules were revised in 2008 in anticipation of RDA, and 490 is required if applicable.

  • If the series is traced and the record has an 830 but no 490, add a 490 if the description is based on the issue you have in hand; otherwise, leave it as is
  • If the series is traced (440 or 830) and the record is not CONSER, verify that a series authority record exists
  • If the series has not been traced (490 0), search for a series authority record (this might be the case with CONSER records created by LC, although another CONSER library would normally update and trace the series)
    • if a series authority record is found, trace as 8xx (use 490 1/8xx)
    • if a series authority is not found, route to a cataloger in your unit with NACO authorization. Although a national level authority record may not be required, the cataloger should verify or supply the appropriate heading in all cases.
  • If you have later issues, they may become part of a series or the old series may be replaced by a new series. If a new series is added, provide dates of coverage in 490 $a before the title
    • 490 1_ $a <open date or date range> <Old series title>
      490 1_ $a <open date><New series title>

500 Description based on note (DBO): if the first issue is not available, the earliest available issue is recorded here; it is combined with the source for the title. This note must be revised if you have an earlier issue than the one described in the record.

500 Latest issue consulted note. (LIC) If it is necessary to edit the record, make a 500 Latest issue consulted note in the form:

500 __ $a Latest issue consulted: <enum/chron designation>.

ANSI/NISO punctuation isn't used in the description, but the chronological designation should be recorded in parentheses. Use of standard abbreviations is optional; you can transcribe the captions and months as they appear on the item. (SML Acquisitions has chosen to use the standard abbreviations in the notes.)

500 __ $a Latest issue consulted: v. 2, no. 1 (Jan. 2008).

500 __ $a Latest issue consulted: neue Folge, Band 1, Lieferung 4, published 2007.

Note that in the second example, "published 2007" is used in the absence of an explicit chronological designation.

The latest issue consulted note is always the last note

510. Delete all 510s unless the first indicator is 4.

710/550. If the issuing body changes, make a 710 for the new body but retain the 710 for the previous body

  1. If the new body is new to Orbis, search in LCDB or OCLC for an authority record. If none is found, route to a NACO cataloger
  2. If there are variant forms of the corporate body that are not accounted for in the authority record, check with a NACO cataloger; it may be necessary to update the authority record, or, in some cases, to create a new bibliographic record
  3. If there is an authority record for the 710, a 550 issuing body note is not required (in most cases, the 260 3_ will fill the need of the 550)
  4. See also 1xx/7xx at the beginning of the variable fields section

8xx Series Tracing

See 4xx above. The current CONSER standard has been revised and now requires a 4xx field to justify the 8xx field.

Heading conflicts. If any heading conflicts with the form used on a national level authority record, it should be changed to match the heading used on the NAR.

Title Changes. For title changes, verify that there is a 780 for the previous record and/or a 785 for the later record, as appropriate. If there is not, route to an original cataloger; the original cataloger should do the maintenance on the superseded record. Since uniform titles are no longer required, the 78x fields may refer to more than one serial resource. See also Closing Records (Cessations) below.

  • Remember: a title change is determined by comparing the chief source for the issue in hand against 245 $a and (if applicable) $p and $n. Make sure you know whether you are working from the chief source (title page or title page substitute)

Subjects. If the record lacks subjects, refer to a cataloger authorized to assign subjects. (In most cases, a record without subjects should have an Encoding Level of 7 or below and the record should be upgraded by the unit's serial specialist. See Leader section above.)

856. In general, delete all 856 fields from cataloging copy records for printed resources (and other tangible resources).

Otherwise, make no other changes to the description or to the access points.

Closing Records (Cessations)

  1. Close only if there is definitive information from the publisher AND no title change is involved.
    • If there is cataloging copy with linkage to account for the title change, use it--the CONSER cataloger should have taken care of the cessation in the updated cataloging copy for the title that has ceased. If there is no usable cataloging copy, route to original cataloging, which should be responsible for closing the old title.
  2. Change 008 date type to d and change the second date to the closing date.
  3. Leave the 260 and 300 as is.
  4. If there is already a 362 1, revise it to account for the cessation. If there is no 362 1, make one to account for the cessation.
  5. Revise the latest issue consulted note or make an LIC note if there is none.
  6. NOTE: it is OK to use these guidelines even if the record is pre-AACR2 (CONSER uses pre-AACR2 rules for maintenance on pre-AACR2 records).

Call Numbers

Shelflist all call numbers for serials, including LC 050 00 : a shelflisted LC 050 00 does not need trailing X. Serials potentially can fill up a lot of shelf space, so the extra time invested makes it worth excepting serials from the general processing guidelines for shelflisting.


CONSER Standard: What's New

CONSER Standard Record: Maintenance Guidelines for Acquisitions/Serials Support

Editing Examples (Serials)


Cornell AACR/ISO abbreviations:

Memo on Records with 042 lccopycat

Standards for Recording Serial Volume Holdings

Standards for Recording Serial Volume Holdings (Supplement)

Task Force For Serial Access Level Records: Final Report

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