CIP Process


For each eligible title, participating publishers transmit a completed CIP Data Application form and the full text or, at minimum, core required materials to the Library of Congress. CIP Division staff review the application and text for completeness and eligibility, assign a Library of Congress Control Number and forward the application to the cataloging division with the appropriate subject expertise.

Catalogers complete the descriptive cataloging (establishing new name authority records in the Library's name authority files as appropriate), assign subject headings (establishing new headings in the Library's subject authority file as appropriate), and assign full Library of Congress and Dewey decimal classification numbers.

The completed CIP data is then transmitted to the publisher, who prints it on the verso of the title page. At the same time, a machine-readable version of the record is distributed to large libraries, bibliographic utilities, and book vendors around the world.

The CIP process is not complete, however, until the publisher sends a copy of the published book to the CIP Division. Upon receipt of the book, Library staff add other data elements to the catalog record (such as pagination and size) and ensure that the data elements in the record accurately describe the published work. Changes in title, subtitle, series, author, or subject may be made at this time. After verification the machine-readable version of the record is again distributed.

This final verification stage is particularly important to book vendors and libraries with automated systems. The latter expect the Library of Congress to verify the CIP record immediately after the book is published. Otherwise, each library will be required to individually update and verify these records. Book vendors also require the verified record because many libraries that purchase their books from a vendor expect them to be shipped with catalog card sets that reflect the final verified CIP record.

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CIP Help Desk ( February 14, 2006 )