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A Few Words on Documentation

The Lisa Madden Formula for Serials Cataloging Decisions:
AACR2 + RDA + NCSU Policy + Cataloger’s Judgement = (smile)

NCSU is not a CONSER library, but we do often consult the CONSER Cataloging Manual (CCM) and the CONSER Editing Guide (CEG) for serials cataloging policy decisions, in addition to factoring in Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR2), Resource Description and Access (RDA), and local policy.

What Is This Thing? Serial v. Monograph

Finite Resources: Monographs & Multi-Parts (e.g., an encyclopedia)

Continuing Resources: Serials (e.g., periodicals and continuations) and Integrating Resources (e.g., looseleaf publications and updating databases)

Some titles may be treated as analyzed serials. Each issue of a publication, called an analytic, is cataloged as a monograph, AND the series title is cataloged on a serial record, which unifies the entire resource for public display.

Example: Methods in Enzymology
Serial record for the series (Note that there is no series statement in the serial record for this title.)
Analytic from the series

Example record in Sirsi:
Advances in chemistry series / American Chemical Society.
CATKEY: 258380

For more detailed information regarding record selection for new titles, see Monograph or Serial?.

Serials & MARC

Example record:
Journal of agricultural and applied economics / Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
CATKEY: 816799

With serials records, there are a number of MARC fields that are either coded differently from monographs or are not present at all in monographic cataloging. For more detailed information on serials MARC coding, see the Serials Copy Cataloging Criteria.

Note: In serials cataloging, fixed fields are coded differently depending upon whether the title is a serial or a monograph, as well as whether the serial is a continuing resource or an integrating resource. There are also several fixed fields that are only used in serials record. Connexion labels are used below. For corresponding labels in Sirsi see diagram below.

Serials Copy Cataloging & RDA

For right now, don't sweat it. Through the departmental training, you have already become familiar with RDA concepts that affect monographic copy cataloging. These aren't really very different for serials. Also, if you have good copy, the RDA/AACR2 considerations should have already been made and should be correct. A couple of things to remember, as always, with RDA.

  • No abbreviations
  • Relator terms are now being used.
  • With serials cataloged under RDA, the source of the title must always be recorded. You can do this in the new 588 field.
  • With publications that contain some sort of enumeration at the beginning of the title, an ellipsis replaces the numbering in RDA. The numbering was just omitted in AACR2 (Example: "Third annual digital printing papers conference" would be "... Annual digital printing papers conference" in RDA and "Annual digital printing papers conference" in AACR2.)
  • For numbering occurring within the title, an ellipsis is used for both AACR2 & RDA records. (Example: "Proceedings of the third conference on the Muppet space program" would be "Proceedings of the ... conference on the Muppet space program".)

RDA has a larger effect on complex copy and original cataloging than it does on basic copy. If you are interested, here are some more detailed resources for further information.

CONSER RDA Core Elements for Serials (ALCTS webinar aired on February 13, 2013)

RDA and Serials Catalogers: Will Our Work Really Change? (ALCTS webinar aired on March 2, 2011)

RDA Records for Serials and Websites (Word document containing record examples from the Library of Congress)

You Can Omit MARC Holdings

Prior to late 2018 / early 2019, NC State University Libraries maintained MARC holdings for all print serials, or attempted to at least. After it became clear that we no longer have the staff time needed to accurately maintain holdings for such a large collection, the decision was made to eliminate MARC holdings in favor of creating an automated summary statement using information from the item records. Staff should no longer create or edit MARC holdings. As of 6/26/2019, MARC holdings are still present in the catalog, but they are not being maintained or used in the public display. A project is planned to migrate retention notes from the MARC holdings to the serial controls, after which MARC holdings will be removed from the catalog.