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This page outlines specific areas of consideration for the following types of changes. Consult the Copy Cataloging Criteria and Serials Copy Cataloging Overview for more detail about the MARC bibliographic record and the Serials MARC Holdings Records - Editing Guidelines for further detail about local MARC holdings procedures.

Publisher Changes

Though we did make publisher changes in the past, it is no longer NCSU practice to edit records to reflect a change in publisher (provided that that is the only change in the record). It is considered a minor change, and very often the record will be overlaid by the MARC record service anyway. If the piece in hand contains differences from the record other than just the publisher, there is probably something else going on that falls into one of the following categories.

Format Changes

Remember that the phrase "format change" means something different to cataloging and acquisitions. Here, we use the term in its cataloging sense, which means that the title itself is undergoing a format change unrelated to the way we subscribe to it (e.g., it was only published in print and it added an electronic version or it ceased publishing in print and went completely electronic).

There are a lot of variables that can affect format changes and you really have to assess them on a case-by-case basis. That being said, there are some points you will usually have to consider.

If the format change is quite recent, an original record might be required. If you do find acceptable records in WorldCat for formats we hold, the following are specific areas of consideration, but keep in mind that serials are all special little snowflakes and it's often a case-by-case judgment.

  1. Current print publication begins publishing in some electronic format (online, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM)
    1. Check WorldCat to see if the record for the print format has been updated to reflect the electronic format. If it has, import the updated record and overlay our existing record.
    2. If the WorldCat record for the print format has not been updated, add a 776 to the record in Sirsi. (The 776 is only required when the publication of multiple formats overlaps. If one format ceases and a new one begins, with no overlap, there will be no 776 and you use a 780/785 to express the relationship.)
      776 0 8 |i Online version: |t Modernism/modernity (Online) |x 1080-6601 |w (DLC)sn 95007073 |w (OCoLC)31871610
    3. Import the record for the electronic format. Check for the presence of a 776 linking back to the print record and add if necessary.
    4. Remember to qualify your ISSNs so they play nice with E-Matrix.
      022 __ 0040-781X (print)
      022 __ 2169-1665 (electronic)
    5. Make any necessary MARC holdings edits.
  2. Title ceases publishing in print and goes e-only (Very case-by-case. This is just a general outline of considerations to make.)
    1. Close the record for the print title in Sirsi. See Ceased Titles instructions below for further information. (Don't forget your 785 linking to the electronic record.)
    2. Import the record for the electronic format. Check for the presence of a 780 in the electronic record and add if necessary.
    3. Make any necessary MARC holdings edits.
  3. Notes on the 530 & 538
    NCSU no longer uses these fields in original records, but you may see them in older copy. Accept as-is. Do not add them to existing copy that lacks them.
Ceased Titles with a note on Cancellations

Cancellations (i.e., we are no longer subscribing to the title, but it is still being published) require no edits to the bibliographic record except the removal of the 599 field. Keep in mind that this field will return and need to be deleted again if another issue is received.

Titles that have ceased publication, for whatever reason, do require a few more edits to the bibliographic record, as detailed below. These apply to both AACR2 and RDA records. (The following table was adapted from CCM 21.3.) 

Element (Connexion / Sirsi)

Last issue in hand

Last issue known

Last issue not known


DtSt / Dat_Tp




Record is coded as dead in all cases

Dates / Date 1, Date 2



19uu-19uu, etc.

Ending date = other than 9999 or uuuu

260|c or 264|c
Ending date of publication

|c 1963-1983

Do not give

Do not give

Give 260 dates only when piece in hand

Extent of item

Give if total vols. known

Give if total vols. known

Do not give

Give the number of bibliographic vols. when known

Ending designation

Use first ind. "0"
362 0  1963-1983.

Use first ind. "1"
362 1  Ceased with 1983.

Do not give

Give formatted 362 when piece in hand; unformatted note is given when date is known

Ending date in notes (when beginning date present)

Complete, as appropriate
246 14 Research report $f 1989-1991

Do not complete

Do not complete

This is not as critical and is optional

Succeeding entry




If the title has just ceased altogether, it won't need this field. If it has ceased publishing under that title and is continuing publication under a new title, link to the current title using its catalog entry and control numbers.

500, 588
Latest issue consulted note

Remove, if present

Add or update if latest issue held

Add or update if latest issue held

This field is not included if the last issue is recorded in field 362, ind. “0"

For more detailed explanation of the steps involved in ceased titles, see Serials Title Changes and Ceased Titles, In Detail.

Title Changes

Title changes are divided into major changes and minor changes. Major changes will require a new record. If a suitable record is not available in WorldCat, the title will require original cataloging. Records for related titles are typically linked together using the 780 and 785 fields. The second indicator notes the relationship of the titles (Continues, Absorbed, Merged with ___ to form ___, and so forth). Minor changes do not require a new record and often require no edits to the existing record at all.

NOTE: For major changes, it is local policy to retain the original call number from one title to the next, except in the case of a title split.

The following lists are summaries of these types of changes, but some title changes can get pretty freaky, so feel free to consult with other catalogers when in doubt. (If you'd like to read up on title changes in RDA, see for major changes and for minor changes.)

Major Changes

  1. Change in the title proper
    "Title proper" means the 245|a only. The rule of thumb is to only consider changes that occur in the first five words of the title, unless any changes after the first five words indicate a substantive change to the meaning or scope of the serial.
  2. Change in corporate body main entry or corporate body uniform title qualifier
    Only consider totally different corporate bodies. A name change to the same corporate body will be addressed by authority control.
  3. Change in physical medium
    We would also refer to this a format change, such as print to electronic.
  4. Change in edition statement (in some cases)
    This refers to a substantive change in editions, such as the Eastern Edition and Western Edition merging to become the World Edition. The publication of a new edition, such as the 4th Revised Edition, would not constitute a major change.
  5. Presence of a new ISSN (in many cases)
    The presence of a new ISSN alone doesn't always indicate the need for a new record, but, more often than not, a new ISSN will be accompanied by another change or changes that can push you over into the major change category.

Minor Changes

  1. Representation of a word
    This is an exception to the first five words rule mentioned in the context of major changes. Examples include "new" or "revised" being added to the title, upper or lower case changes, plural or singular words, acronyms being spelled out and vice versa, the presence of a hyphen where there was once a space, etc.
  2. Articles, prepositions, conjunctions
    Newsletter of Super Awesomeness versus Newsletter on Super Awesomeness.
  3. Name of corporate body
    In this scenario, the corporate body related to the publication has not changed. Its name was either added or deleted from the title of the publication, or the form of its name changed. So, if Reflections on Terminal Cuteness became Minchew's Reflections on Terminal Cuteness, this would constitute a minor change.
  4. Punctuation
    OMG versus O.M.G.
  5. Order of titles (parallel titles)
    If the title is given in more than one language and the order of those titles is reversed from one issue to the next, this is a minor change. However, if the title proper (245|a) is just no longer present on the serial, this would be a major change.
  6. Words linking to numbering
    Coolio Annual Report versus Coolio Annual Report for the Fiscal Year 2014.
  7. Fluctuating titles
    An endless source of amusement and frustration for serials catalogers, this category can usually only be determined in retrospect. It can include titles that flip flop regularly or irregularly. Examples include, Daily Gleaner, which is also Sunday Gleaner and Frommer’s Las Vegas, published from 1989-1990, which then changed to Frommer’s Comprehensive Travel Guide Las Vegas in 1991/92-1995, and then back to Frommer’s Las Vegas from 1996 on.
  8. Words in a list
    The addition or deletion of words to a list (three or more terms), as long as there is no significant change to the subject matter.  Generally, the longer the list, the lesser the effect of change will be on the subject matter.
  9. Words that denote type of resource
    Addition or deletion of words denoting type of resource.  Such as, Outlook versus Outlook Magazine, Active Projects versus Active Projects Report, BUT NOT Atlantic versus Atlantic Monthly (NCSU exception), SFRA Review versus SFRA Newsletter (as it indicates a change in the type of resource).

For more detailed explanation of the steps involved in title changes, see Serials Title Changes and Ceased Titles, In Detail.