The Big Ugly Question: Monograph or Serial?
Of course, you always want to check the catalog for an existing record before bringing in a new one, when cataloging in any format. However, this is especially important when working with conference proceedings because you need to make a determination about whether to catalog them as a monograph or a serial. Looking through catalog records can give you your first clues. If we've already cataloged it, stick with the existing format and just add an item record for the issue in hand.
- Chronology Statements:
If there is a chronology in the title of the proceeding (e.g. 2014 Conference of the North American Packagement Society), it is not a one-off issue and you should check for the publication frequency.
The title itself may contain some wording that alludes to publication frequency, (e.g., The 14th Annual Conference of the North American Packagement Society) or it may be noted elsewhere on the piece. If you determine that the proceedings are published more frequently than triennially, the title should be cataloged as a serial. Anything published less frequently than triennially will most likely be cataloged as a monograph, particularly something that looks like a one-off issue. Exceptions may be made to this policy if there is some compelling reason, such as a request from a collection manager to catalog the title one way or another.
- Theme Issues and Special Issues:
If the proceeding has some subject-specific theme, (e.g., The 5th Annual Conference of the North American Packagement Society : Title Transfers, Friend or Foe?) we will be more likely to catalog it as a monograph. The monograph record would allow us delve more deeply into the subject of the title using more specific subject headings and the call number.
Sometimes a conference proceeding will be published as a special issue of an existing journal and a collection manager may want that special issue to be discoverable by title. We would treat this issue like any other of the journal, checking it in on the control and not cataloging it separately, but we would add a 711 to the journal record to bring out the unique title. (We get these requests a little less often than we used to.)
Specific Coding Considerations
- 245 (Title Statement)
Because the content emanates from a corporate body, conference proceedings cataloged as serials may have a statement of responsibility, unlike most serials.
Marks of omission (ellipses) are used in the 245 to indicate a date, name, number, etc., that varies from issue to issue. In AACR2 records, the marks of omission were not used if they occurred at the beginning of the title, but they are used in RDA records. (AACR2 12.1B7 & RDA 184.108.40.206)
Title appears as: 5th Annual Conference of the North American Packagement Society
Under AACR2, 245 would be given as:
245 10 Annual conference of the North American Packagement Society
Under RDA, 245 would be given as:
245 10 ... Annual conference of the North American Packagement Society
(Marks of omission, diacritical marks, or special characters are included in the character count for the second indicator, if the precede or succeed an initial article. Since they don't here, we code the 2nd indicator as zero.)
- 110 / 111 (Main Entry - Corporate Name / Main Entry - Meeting Name)
Because the content emanates from a corporate body, conference proceedings are often author main entry. AACR2 21.1B2 explains what categories of works can be given a corporate main entry and these principles are unchanged in RDA.
Conference proceedings get a 110 if they're "of an administrative nature dealing with the corporate body itself" (e.g., the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting) and they get a 111 if they're proceedings for a subject-specific conference that is just sponsored by a corporate body (e.g., the IEEE Aerospace Conference).
On journal records, you are more likely to see 710s for a corporate body.
Remember, you only have a single 1xx field on a record, so you may have a 110 OR a 111, but not both.
Keep in mind that AACR2 and RDA headings are styled differently. For example, under AACR2, terms of frequency (e.g., "Annual") were omitted in the names of conferences, congresses, meetings, etc. Under RDA, they are not. These are all authorized fields anyway, so just let authority control catch headings issues.
You may also see relator terms in 110|e or the 111|j. These will be much more common in RDA records. Do not add or edit.
- 5xx (Note Fields)
You may see a variety of notes explaining the source and/or nature of the title. Some of them may look a little goofy (e.g., "Proceedings of the conference."). Don't worry about the content or format of these being standardized in any way. Just accept them as is.
*WorldCat Examples of NCSU-Created Records for Conference ?Proceedings:*
- o# 857306959 (... PLACE)
- o# 857083822 (Biodegradable Plastics in Packaging Applications European Conference)
- o# 712217427 (... Recycling Technology Conference)
- o# 716032062 (... PTS-Symposium)
- o# 835703314 (Proceedings of the ... ACM Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces)
Sometimes information about supplements and special issues are just added to the main parent record in a 525 note, especially if they are unnamed. If they are named, but not cataloged separately, we can use a 525 note, and then add a 711 that gives this supplement or special issue as an access point. When a supplement title IS to be cataloged separately, perhaps because it bears a distinctive title and separate numbering from the parent title, a 770 is added to the parent title record. Conversely, a 772 is added as an access point for the parent title in the supplement record.