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There exist a number of different formats for various types of material – books, serials, scores, audiovisual materials, computer files, etc. – which share many of the basic fields such as title, publisher and so on, but also have additional fields related to the specific format. Serials, for example, need information such as frequency of publication which is not relevant to monographs. The Serials Dept. handles both Books and Serials formats, because we analyze some of the serials which are monographic, i.e. we describe each title within the series separately.
OCLC records consist of two main sections:
- a paragraph of fixed fields at the top, which list the OCLC record number and various coded information about the type and source of cataloging, the language, country of origin, frequency, beginning and ending date of publication, etc.
- a series of variable fields containing various identification numbers, OCLC symbols of the libraries which created or modified the record, and the actual cataloging data.
Each variable field has a three-digit tag which describes the data contained in it, and two indicators which further define its contents or how it files. Examples 1 and 2 are copies of a full-level serial and periodical record, respectively. Some of the key fields for serials are:
OCLC record number
Bib lvl (Bibliographic level) – indicates the type of material being described: s=serial, m=book
Enc lvl (Encoding level) – indicates the level of cataloging. The most common values are: blank = full-level LC cataloging
I = full-level cataloging input by a participating library
K = less than full level, input by a participating library
5 = partial level; no call no. and subject headings (LC)
7 = minimal level (LC)
Freq (Frequency) – even if the frequency code appears here, it is LC practice to put a frequency note in the 310 field (see below)
Reg (Regularity) – indicates whether the publication adheres to its stated frequency
S/L ent (Successive/Latest entry) – refers to the cataloging code under which the title was cataloged. If the code is 0, it means cataloged according to AACR2. If it is 1, check with cataloger.
Dates – begin and end date; for ongoing titles, DATE2 = 9999
010 – LC control number
022 – ISSN (International Standard Serial Number). This is very important, not only because it is a unique identifier for the title, but also because it is the link that enables some of the indexes in ALADIN to identify which titles we own.
050 – LC call number, assigned by LC
090 – LC call number assigned by a participating library (this is where we put the call number when we do original cataloging)
110 – Main entry, corporate name; e.g. United States; American Management Association; Labour Party (Great Britain)
111 – Main entry, conference or meeting; e.g. World Peace Conference.
130 – Main entry, Uniform title. This is the 1XX field most commonly encountered in serials, because it is used to differentiate between works published under the same title. It consists of the title plus a qualifier enclosed in parentheses, e.g. International business (Rye, N.Y.) in Example 2. The qualifier most commonly used is the place of publication, sometimes accompanied by the beginning date of publication; the name of the issuing body is also used on occasion.
245 – Title. Most serials are cataloged under title.
246 – Varying forms of title.
260 – Imprint.
300 – Physical description.
310 – Frequency note (must agree with code in Frequency).
362 – Enumeration/chronology; beginning and ending vol. and date information. Date information here must match that in Dates fixed field.
500 – General note. There are also several specific notes that may be input in 5XX fields.
650 – Subject heading, topical.
651 – Subject heading, geographic.
780 – Continues note.
785 – Continued by note.
The data elements in many of the variable fields are subdivided by delimiters, usually letters of the alphabet; for example, in the 260 Imprint field, |a (which is understood and does not display on the OCLC screen) contains the place of publication, |b the name of the publisher, and |c the date of publication.