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Spectrum of Bibliographic Resources

Finite Resources:
Monographs and multi-parts (e.g., an encyclopedia). Finite resources are issued once, or, if issued over time, they still have a predetermined conclusion (such as The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture).

Continuing Resources:
Continuing resources are issued over time with no predetermined conclusion. Serials (e.g., periodicals and continuations) are issued in a succession of discrete parts. Integrating resources (e.g., loose-leaf publications, databases, and websites) are defined by updates that are incorporated into the whole of the resource, instead of being issued as discrete parts. (Integrating resources can also be finite or continuing, but don't worry about that because it doesn't affect how they are cataloged.) Each instance of an integrating resource, whether the first publication or a subsequent update, is referred to as an "iteration". Fun fact: Integrating resources that are no longer being updated should still be cataloged as integrating resources.

Notes on Loose-leaf Publications:
We haven't gotten any new ones in a while and it's unlikely that it will be a frequent occurrence, but we do still receive some updates to existing loose-leaf pubs. They do not require cataloging. Just receive them and send them to the designated department on the serial control or order record.

Notes on Electronic Resources Mode of Issuance:
Keep in mind that, from a cataloging perspective, electronic resources can be monographs, multi-parts, serials, or integrating resources. You have to figure out how they are issued in order to make the distinction. If the electronic resource will be updated and the updates are discrete (like the online version of the Journal of Veterinary Behavior), it is cataloged as a serial. If the updates are not discrete (i.e. changes are integrated into the resource and earlier iterations are not readily available, like the NCSU website or The Artstor Digital Library), it is cataloged as an integrating resource.

Fixed Fields for Databases and Websites
Though the entire fixed field set for continuing resources is still used, these are the ones to pay particular attention to when cataloging databases and websites. (Remember, some fixed fields have different labels in Sirsi and Connexion. Labels below noted as Connexion / Sirsi.)

  • BLvl / Bib_Lvl (i for integrating resource)
  • DtSt / Dat_Tp (Usually c,d, or u)
  • Dates / Date1, Date2 (Often lots of guessing here and lots of "u"s. The closing date, though technically unknown, is given as "9999". As in "20uu, 9999")
  • Freq / Frequn (Coded as "u", unless you find a frequency statement on the resource, which is rare. Use code u in Regl when code u is used in Freq.)
  • Form / Repr (Websites should always be coded as "o". Databases are usually "o", unless they are on a tangible recording medium, like a flashdrive or disc; then they are "q". The use of "s" is older practice, so you might see it on old copy and it can be updated.)
  • Regl / Regulr (Usually "u". Use code u in Freq when code u is used in Regl.)
  • S/L / SLI_Ent (This field is coded "2" for integrated entry.)
  • SrTp / Ser_Type (For databases and websites, either "d" or w". As an aside, this would be "l" for loose-leafs.)

Notes on the 006:
You may see an 006 field in cataloging copy for databases and websites. According to MARC21 this field, " ... is used in cases when an item has multiple characteristics (e.g., a monograph with an accompanying cassette, or a sound recording that is issued as a serial) and to record the coded serial aspects of nontextual continuing resources." In practice, you'll probably see a variety of applications. Just accept the field as is in copy, or add it if it is necessary to bring out material characteristics that you cannot code for in the fixed fields.

For example, if you were cataloging a map that is issued as a serial, the record format would be Maps and you would add an 006 to code for the serial characteristics of the map. Or, if you had a book issued with a CD, the record format would be Books and you would use an 006 to code for the CD characteristics.

Notes on the 007:
The subfields in the 007 are defined differently depending upon the coding of the |a (category of material). 007|a will be coded as "c" for all electronic resources. Local practice regarding subfield coding varies by institution. Typically, we code up to the |e or |f. So, 007s in copy for databases and websites should look a lot like this.

007    c |b r |d c |e n |f u

Don't feel obliged to edit this field in good copy, unless there is some glaring error. For original database or website cataloging, the field should always be present.

Variable Fields for Databases and Websites
Variable fields to make particular note of when cataloging databases and websites.




Only used in integrated entry cataloging (when the S/L is coded as "2"). Used to express the former title in records for databases and websites. Will often have a |f for the date range of the former title. In copy, accept as is, since there is very little way to verify it. Always add it for integrating resources title changes.


CONSER and RDA consider the 300 to be optional until a resource has ceased, so you may see database and website records that have only the 300|a coded as ""1 online resource", or no 300 at all. For originals, you may code or omit. Common practice at NCSU is to code only the 300|a. In copy, accept this field as-is unless there is some glaring error. If the resource has ceased, the 300 field should be present and complete.

336 / 337 / 338

For all databases and websites, these fields should be coded as follows.

336  text |b txt |2 rdacontent
337  computer |b c |2 rdamedia
338  online resource |b cr |2 rdacarrier

In the case of a website with a lot of mixed media, additional 33x fields could be used to code for these characteristics, but the ones above should still be present. Use for all originals. Don't edit or delete these fields in copy unless there is some glaring error. You may add them to RDA copy if they are not already present.

500 / 588

You should see the source of the title in one of these fields, the 500 being older procedure and 588 being used in current cataloging. The style of the source of title note will vary, and that's fine. We just want to know when and from where the cataloger obtained the title.

588    Description based on: 2013 iteration; title from home page (viewed Dec. 17, 2013).
588    Description based on main page (viewed 18 November 2011); title from title bar.


You might see some summary notes in copy for databases and websites. It is local policy to accept these as is for the most part. If you happen to notice something grossly out of date, like an article count, you can update it, but don't edit 520s as a general rule. Include in originals if you can find/create something objective. This note displays in the database list, so collection managers request edits to this field from time to time, which we will happily make.

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.


May be present if the item exists in another format. For continuing resources (original or copy), add a 776 if you just happen to be aware of an alternate format, but don't feel obligated to go digging for it. Do not add this field to e-books records that come through the Serials Unit, such as catseps. (The Monographs Unit policy is to accept this field in copy if it is present, but not to add it if it is absent.)


We use 856 fields for databases and websites because we don't manage those in Serials Solutions. You should delete any 856s you find on e-journal records that are tracked in Serials Solutions.

This field may require a little editing. Remember to test the link. If the resource is paid for, make sure our proxy URL is present and add it if it is not. It can be added in Connexion or Sirsi; just don’t enhance the record in WorldCat with the proxy in the 856.

Delete 856s that contain links using other institution’s proxies. Delete URLs pointing to table of contents notes, publisher promotional material, etc. As a rule, we should have a single 856 pointing to our licensed resource or to an open access resource.

856 40 |u

For open access resources, make sure there is an 856|y that reads "Open access e-resource".

856 40 |yOpen access e-resource|u

Call Numbers for Databases & Websites

Give databases and websites a full call number (cutter and all), but omit the year. For more established resources, adding the year can make them look as if they are less current than they really are.

So this:

Z1037.A1 C585

Not either of these:

Z1037.A1 C585 1999


Additional Coding Considerations in Sirsi

When cataloging databases:
Item library: ONLINE
Home location: NET
ItemCat1: DATABASE (This field generates an entry on the database list)

When cataloging websites:
Item library: ONLINE
Home location: NET

When cataloging open access resources, follow the conventions above and add:

Weird Sirsi Bug To Be Aware of When Importing Integrating Resource Records

When you are bringing an integrating resource record (for a database or website) into Sirsi, it will flip the record format from "SERIAL" to "MARC", which wreaks havoc with the fixed fields. After you have brought the record in, go to to the Control tab and change the Record format back to "SERIAL". Keep in mind that this will not happen for integrating resource records for streaming media (see CATKEY # 3599832). These records come in with the record format of VM, which will display the fixed fields correctly and should be left as is.


Integrating Resources: A Cataloging Manual (Program for Cooperative Cataloging)

Lisa's Awesome Power Point from Departmental Cataloging Training

WorldCat Examples of NCSU-Created Records for Databases and Websites:

  • o# 223740016 (Wildpro: The Electronic Encyclopaedia and Library for Wildlife - Database)
  • o# 761717595 (Understanding 9/11 - Website)