2007 MARCH–APRIL; 355
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March 01, 2007 [posted]

Cataloging Changes for Serials

o n March 1, 2007 NLM will implement the new Cooperative Online Serials (CONSER) standard guidelines in creating serial records. The goal of the new CONSER standard is to create a serial bibliographic record that meets users' needs while reducing the complexity of the records and the time it takes to create and maintain them. NLM participated in the pilot project and found that the new standard will provide a more streamlined and understandable record for our users, as well as save cataloging time.

NLM is implementing the CONSER standard record in advance of final Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) approval, which was postponed from the original implementation date of February 1, 2007. Therefore, new NLM serial records will not be included in the CONSER database after March 1 until such time as the CONSER standard is fully implemented. NLM regrets that its records will not be part of the CONSER database during this period, but can no longer postpone implementation of a change that it believes benefits our users and our catalogers. NLM serial records will still be available in the OCLC database and through the NLM Catalog and LocatorPlus®.

Users should not notice significant changes in NLM serial records. All access points continue to be supplied, but with less redundancy. For example, acronyms, initialisms, and/or parallel titles on an item will be recorded and displayed as variant titles (MARC 246 field), rather than as variant titles and as Other title information (MARC 245 $b). Corporate bodies associated with a title will continue to be recorded as Authors and/or Related Names (MARC 1XX and 7XX fields), but the records will not routinely contain statements of responsibility or Issuing body notes (MARC 245 $c and 550 fields). Information about variations of a particular corporate body and its history will be recorded in the authority record for that body.

The description of a particular title will be independent of the issue the cataloger has in hand, making for more consistency among records. The Publication Date(s) (MARC 362 field) area will always contain the phrase: "Began with" and/or "Ceased with" and dates will not be included in the Publisher field (MARC 260 $c).

Issue designations, whether numeric or chronologic, may be transcribed as they appear on the piece. Catalogers are not required to use standard abbreviations or capitalization when creating notes.

Online titles will not contain a Mode of access note (MARC 538 field) unless the access is something other than Internet or World Wide Web. Print and online titles will not contain a Description (MARC 300 field).

There will be fewer uniform titles created to distinguish between serials with the same title, because it was determined that the qualifiers used to distinguish these titles often became inaccurate or misleading over time. Titles indexed for MEDLINE® will continue to have a title abbreviation that provides a unique citation form.

All linking fields to related titles will continue to be included in the record, as will all local NLM fields. Existing records will not be changed. As they are maintained over time, information will not be deleted from the records, even if would not have been included under the new guidelines, unless it is incorrect or currently inaccurate. Records in LocatorPlus and the NLM Catalog will continue to have a mix of older and newer formats.

More detailed information about the CONSER standard record is available at http://www.loc.gov/acq/conser/issues.html#standard-rec

By Diane Boehr
Cataloging Section

Boehr D. Cataloging Changes for Serials. NLM Tech Bull. 2007 Mar-Apr;(355):e2.

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