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United States National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

Single record approach in cataloging serials

Question: How does NLM use the single record approach in cataloging serials?

NLM uses the single record approach in cataloging all its material including serials. While use of a single record approach is allowed for print and online material according to the CONSER serial cataloging guidelines, NLM has a few exceptional policies. The single record approach is used for all formats, including microfilm. Both the print and electronic ISSN are included in the bibliographic record, qualified as either (Print) or (Electronic) in the catalog display. For serials indexed for MEDLINE® that are issued simultaneously in print and online formats, or that are available in microfilm, NLM assigns a single Title Abbreviation for all formats.

The MEDLINE citations carry only the ISSN of the format used for indexing. The qualifier (Print) or (Electronic) is included with the ISSN in the citation. Searching PubMed using either the print or online ISSN will retrieve all citations for both formats of the serial, as both ISSNs map to the single Title Abbreviation.

NLM does not use the single record approach if the print and online formats of a serial do not overlap. For example, in LocatorPlus, Early Pregnancy has two separate records because the print format has ceased and there is a new online format, which never overlapped with the print format. For indexed serials in this category, NLM assigns the same Title Abbreviation to both records. A single record continues to be used if a print title is issued simultaneously with an online version, but the print eventually ceases. A note to this effect is added to the one bibliographic record.

Related Questions:
How does NLM handle titles issued in multiple formats?
Cataloging and Bibliographic Questions

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Last reviewed: 10 August 2007
Last updated: 13 August 2007
First published: 10 August 2007
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