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Cataloging Online Books
Reproductions--DRAFT revision

To: Cataloging Staff
From: Matthew Beacom/Youn Noh
Date: (12/2006 issue date/ 03/06/2008 1:29 PM revision date)


This document has been revised to be consistent with Yale Core guidelines and General Website Cataloging Policies & Procedures instituted Feb. 2008.

Separate cataloging guidelines are provided for electronic resources depending upon (1) mode of access, (2) mode of issuance, and (3) edition. The primary focus of this document is on electronic reproductions of books that are accessed online. This document applies if all of the following conditions are met:

  1. The resource is a remote access electronic resource.
  2. Accessability of the resource meets the conditions described in General Website Cataloging Policies & Procedures (items c. & f.) Regarding item f.: conditions are not met if the site requires the user to log on.
  3. The resource is issued as a monograph. It is not updated.
  4. The resource is a reproduction of another format in which the title page and pagination of the original are preserved.

These guidelines may be used for original cataloging and for updating copy. (Updating copy: if a paragraph is labelled Copy Cataloging Policy, the implied scenario is that the cataloger is working with member cataloging copy for the reproduction.)

Before proceeding with cataloging, enter the 856 field into the bibliographic record and test the URL provided by the selector. Verify that the URL meets condition 2. If it does not, contact the selector, acquisitions, or your supervisor as appropriate. Do not proceed with cataloging until condition 2 is met. Note that some sites will allow direct access only after you log on; this does not meet condition 2.

Remote Access vs. Direct Access

Remote access electronic resources are accessed over a computer network such as the Internet. Direct access electronic resources have a physical carrier (AACR2 Appendix D, Glossary). See, for example, This I Believe, Selections, Volume 1, available online (a remote access electronic resource) and on CD (a direct access electronic resource). A bibliographic record should be created for each format. Guidelines for cataloging CD-ROMs and other direct access electronic resources are available here.

Monographs vs. Integrating Resources

Some monographs in print format become integrating resources when issued online because they are continually or frequently updated and updates are integrated into the whole. Compare, for example, Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy (a monograph) and Britannica Online (an integrating resource). Guidelines for cataloging online integrating resources are available here here.

Electronic Edition vs. Reproduction Style Cataloging

In this document, electronic edition means an online book that is "born digital" or an online book that is a new edition of a print publication. An online book may always be cataloged as an electronic edition.

If an online book is a reproduction of another format in which the title page and the pagination of the original are preserved and copy for the source is available, the cataloger has the option to catalog the book as a reproduction.

If copy for the original cannot be found or if the resource has been reformatted or has additional content, it should be cataloged as an electronic edition. Guidelines for cataloging online books as electronic editions are available here.

The Adventures of Don Juan would be cataloged as an electronic edition, while Advanced Signal Processing Handbook may be cataloged as a reproduction or an electronic edition.

Electronic reproductions are cataloged using the "separate record" approach: copy for the original is modified to create a separate bibliographic record for the online resource. The body of the record describes the original, and the reproduction is described in a 533 note. (The contrasting "single record" approach has the cataloger add the URL for the online resource to the bibliographic record for the original.)

When creating a record for a reproduction derived from a record that is already in Orbis, remember to make a copy of the record. Do not modify the record for the original.


Fixed Fields


Leader Image

Supply a value for Type of Record that reflects the predominant content of the resource. Online books should be coded a (Language material) even when they include search software and hyperlinks.

Since online resources are considered published (AACR2 9.4B2), do not use codes for manuscript material. For example, an online dissertation is coded a (Language material) rather than t (Manuscript language material).

Use Encoding Level 4, the default from Feb. 2008.

Copy Cataloging Policy: Accept the leader coding as given on cataloging copy. The Type of Record and Bibliographic Level codes should not be updated. When searching, prefer a record with the codes used in current cataloging, all things being equal.

008 - General Description

008 image

The value supplied for Type of Record in the leader triggers the type of 008. For online books, that type is Book.

Click the 008 button. Provide values for publication information, Form of Item, Language, Modified Record Code, and Cataloging Source. Retain publication information for the source, and verify that it describes the source of the reproduction being cataloged. Form of Item should always be coded s (Electronic). Modified Record Code should be coded _ (Not modified). Cataloging Source should be coded d (Other).

007 - Physical Description

007 image

Create an 007 to describe the physical medium of the resource.

Click the 007 button, select the Computer file tab, and click New. Specific Material Designation is always coded r (Remote). Dimension is always coded n (Not applicable). Code other bytes appropriately. Image Bit Depth, File Format, Quality Assurance Target(s), Antecedent/Source, Level of Compression, and Reformatting Quality may be coded u (Unknown) with no further investigation unless information is readily available.

Copy Cataloging Policy: Always create an 007 for c (Computer file) if not found on cataloging copy.

006 - Additional Material Characteristics

006 image

Create an 006 to describe the format of the resource. <under review; continue to create 006 for now>

Click the 006 button, select the Computer File tab, and click New. For ebooks, Type of File should be coded d (Document). Code other bytes appropriately.

Copy Cataloging Policy: Always create an 006 for m (Computer file) if not found on cataloging copy.

Variable Fields

Retain bibliographic data appropriate to the work being reproduced in the following areas:

  • 245 - Title Area
  • 250 - Edition Area
  • 260 - Publication Area
  • 300 - Physical description
  • 6XX - Subjects
  • 7XX - Added Entries
  • 4XX/830 - Series

Do not retain bibliographic data for the original in the following fields:

  • 010 - LCCN
  • 035 - System Number
  • 020 - ISBN
  • 040 - Cataloging Source

Provide additional bibliographic data for the reproduction, as instructed below.

Examples are taken from existing records. Some fields have been modified. Only those fields relevant to the point being explained are included. Follow the link provided in the 856 field to examine the resource being described. The text <URL> is used in place of the URL that would appear in the record.

020 - ISBN

Record the ISBN for the online format in subfield a. Do not transcribe hyphens. If the item bears more than one ISBN, give the one for the online format only (AACR2 1.8B2, option not applied). If the same ISBN is used for the online format and another format, supply the ISBN in subfield a if important for access, e.g., if it appears in the URL for the resource.

020     ‡a 0585052956 (online)
245 1 0 ‡a Bhagavad-Gita, or, Song celestial ‡h [electronic resource] / ‡c by Hindu sources ; translated by Sir Edwin Arnold.
856 4 0 ‡3 Online book ‡u <URL>

040 - Cataloging Source

The cataloger should replace the data in the 040 with his or her organization code in subfields a and c, as shown.

As far as the utilities and our statistics are concerned, variant edition cataloging is original cataloging.

040     ‡a CtY ‡c CtY
245 1 0 ‡a Inside the Japanese company ‡h [electronic resource] / ‡c Fiona Graham.
856 4 0 ‡3 Online book ‡u <URL>

050 - Library of Congress Call Number

Retain from existing copy. The first indicator should be blank. The second indicator should be coded 4.

050   4 ‡a DG253.S4
100 1   ‡a Astin, A. E.
245 1 0 ‡a Scipio Aemilianus ‡h [electronic resource] / ‡c by A.E. Astin.
856 4 0 ‡3 Online book ‡u <URL>

If a call number is not given, do not supply one.

245/246 - Title Area

Give the general material designation (GMD) electronic resource in subfield h, immediately after the title proper, i.e., following any alternative title or part number (subfield n) or name (subfield p) but preceding any parallel title(s) or other title information (subfield b) (AACR2 9.1C).

Copy Cataloging Policy: The GMD computer file may appear in records created before 2001. Leave the GMD as found on cataloging copy. The GMD will be updated, if necessary, when the record is processed by MARS.

If the title on the Web page for a reproduction differs from the title on the title page, supply the title on the Web page in the 245 field. Create a 246 field for the title of the original. Code the first indicator 3 for an added entry. See 530 - Other Formats Note.

245 1 0 ‡a A+ certification training guide ‡h [electronic resource] / ‡c Charles J. Brooks.
246 3   ‡a A+ training guide.
856 4 0 ‡3 Online book ‡u <URL>

256 - Computer File Characteristics

This field is obsolete. File characteristics are described in a note.

Copy Cataloging Policy: Leave if found on cataloging copy.

300 - Physical Description

Retain the physical description of the original.

5XX - Notes

Notes that apply only to the original can be left as is. Below notes used on the original record, add the following notes.

530 - Other Formats Note

Not required per Core guidelines.

If Yale owns a copy in another format, and the title of the other format is different, create a linking entry with explanatory text in a 776 field instead of a note. See Title Added Entries and Linking Entries for instructions.

Copy Cataloging Guidelines. Retain on member copy only if Yale owns the item in the format described in the note. If the note is retained, follow the instructions for 776 if applicable.

533/590 - Reproduction and Local Access Notes

Give in a single 533 note all details relating to the reproduction, including format (subfield a); place of reproduction (subfield b); reproducing agency (subfield c); date (subfield d) of reproduction; series statement (subfield f), if any, for the reproduction, not the original; and notes (subfield n) on access (LCRI 1.11A3).

In subfield a, qualify the phrase Electronic reproduction with the format(s) of the reproduction in parentheses as shown.

In subfield d, if an explicit statement of publication is not provided, enter the copyright date, preceded by a c. If the resource has multiple copyright dates, transcribe only the latest copyright date, preceded by a c (AACR2 9.4F4).

If a series statement appears on the reproduction but not on the original, give the series statement for the reproduction in parentheses in subfield f, as shown. For instructions on tracing, see 830 - Series Added Entries.

In a subfield n, provide the following note: Mode of access: World Wide Web (AACR2 9.7B1c).

For licensed resources, in another subfield n, provide the following note: Access restricted to subscribers. Make a separate note in a 590 field indicating the availability of local access (AACR2 9.7B20).

245 0 3 ‡a An account from Lymrick, of the taking a castle above the English-town, making the garrison prisoners of war ‡h [electronic resource] : ‡b with the numbers of men killed in the late great action, &c. : as also the series of actions from the 16th to the 24th ult.
533     ‡a Electronic reproduction (PDF, TIFF). ‡b Ann Arbor, Mich. : ‡c UMI, ‡d 1999- ‡f (Early English books online). ‡n Mode of access: World Wide Web. ‡n Access restricted to subscribers.
590     ‡a Access is available to the Yale community.
856 4 0 ‡3 Online book ‡u <URL>

Do not make notes on access restrictions or local availability for resources that are open access.

245 0 0 ‡a Convergence of stochastic processes ‡h [electronic resource] / ‡c David Pollard.
533     ‡a Electronic reproduction (PDF). ‡b New Haven, Conn. : ‡c Yale University Library, ‡d 2003. ‡n Mode of access: World Wide Web.
856 4 0 ‡3 Online book ‡u <URL>

856 - Electronic Location and Access

Create an 856 field to provide access to the resource. Generally create and test the 856 field before proceeding with cataloging.

Code the first indicator 4 to specify that the access method is HTTP. Code the second indicator 0 (zero) to specify that the URL provides direct access to the resource described in the body of the record. Enter Online book in subfield 3 for the link text. In subfield u, copy and paste the URL as it appears on the screen. If the URL changes from session to session, copy the link location by moving the cursor above the link text, right-clicking on the mouse, and selecting copy link location. If the publisher provides a URL for bookmarking or linking, use that.

After saving the record, switch to the OPAC and test the link, primarily to verify that the URL was transcribed accurately, since you should have checked the link before beginning to catalog. However, if the link does not work, or if it does not take you directly to the resource to be described in the bibliographic record (for example, the link sends you to a website portal or requires a log in by the user), or if the resource requires payment before the user can access it, do not proceed with cataloging until the issues are resolved. Until the problem is resolved, suppress the record from the OPAC.

245 0 0 ‡a Between grammar and lexicon ‡h [electronic resource] / ‡c edited by Ellen Contini-Morava, Yishai Tobin.
856 4 0 ‡3 Online book ‡u <URL>

Access Points

Check subject (6XX), name (1XX/7XX), title (7XX), and series (4XX/830) headings against the authority file for currency and accuracy.

7XX - Title Added Entries and Linking Entries

Create an additional physical form entry for an item available in another format if important for access, e.g., if the title is a common word or if the print and online formats have different titles. Code the first indicator 0 to display a note. Do not create an additional 530 note. Code the second indicator 8 to suppress generation of a display constant. Instead provide explanatory text in subfield i as shown. Provide control numbers from the records for the other format(s) in separate occurrences of subfield w.

245 1 0 ‡a A+ certification training guide ‡h [electronic resource] / ‡c Charles J. Brooks.
776 0 8 ‡i Also available in print as: ‡t A+ training guide ‡w (OCoLC)52595031
856 4 0 ‡3 Online book ‡u <URL>

830 - Series Added Entries

Make a series added entry for a reproduction-specific series in an 830 field (AACR2 21.30L, LCRI 21.30L, MARC 830). Do not use a 440 or a 490 to describe a series that pertains only to the reproduction. For instructions on making the series statement for the reproduction, see 533/590 - Reproduction and Local Access Notes.

245 0 3 ‡a An account from Lymrick, of the taking a castle above the English-town, making the garrison prisoners of war ‡h [electronic resource] : ‡b with the numbers of men killed in the late great action, &c. : as also the series of actions from the 16th to the 24th ult.
533     ‡a Electronic reproduction (PDF, TIFF). ‡b Ann Arbor, Mich. : ‡c UMI, ‡d 1999- ‡f (Early English books online). ‡n Mode of access: World Wide Web. ‡n Access restricted to subscribers.
830   0 ‡a Early English books online.
856 4 0 ‡3 Online book ‡u <URL>


In the MFHD, create an 852 field with first indicator 8 and second indicator 0 (zero). Enter the location code yulint for Yale Internet Resource in subfield b. Do not provide a call number in subfield h; simply enter None. Add Online resource as a public note in subfield z.

852 8 0 ‡b yulint ‡h None ‡z Online resource

This template should be used for all online resources.

Item Record

Do not create an item record for the resource.


Upon completion of cataloging, close the holdings record. Export the bibliographic record to OCLC, RLIN, and MARS by clicking Send in the ExportQ window with the bibliographic record open.


Source of Title Note for Internet Resources

Cataloging Online Books (Electronic Editions)

Cataloging Online Integrating Resources

General Website Cataloging Policies & Procedures


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