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Compiled by the Library of Congress
Serial Record Division, October 2002

Members of CONSER Committees and Representatives
CONSER Task Forces and Working Groups
CONSER Statistical Summary
Publication Patterns Statistics


During 2001/2002, CONSER and its affiliate programs continued to flourish. Three of the newest CONSER members completed training and became fully independent. Many institutions and individuals continued to participate in the Publication Patterns Initiative and the Serials Cooperative Cataloging Training Program. The CONSER Operations Committee held its annual meeting May 1-3, 2002 at the Library of Congress. The meeting was held in a three day format to accommodate AACR2 training for both serials and integrating resources, as well as a very full agenda of additional topics. CONSER At Large meetings were held at both mid-winter and annual ALA. Jean Hirons continued as CONSER Coordinator, Les Hawkins continued as CONSER Specialist.

CONSER membership remained stable at 41 members. Northwestern University, University of Chicago, and New York University became independent CONSER members during the year. The CONSER database grew to 978,126 records with the addition of over 30,000 authenticated records. Overall transactions declined 16% from FY 2001 (FY 2001 included the conversion of Wade-Giles Chinese records to pinyin, and the loading of publication patterns from Harvard).

Other highlights of the year include the revision of the CONSER Cataloging Manual (CCM) to document practices based on the 2002 amendments of AACR2 and associated Library of Congress Rule Interpretations (LCRIs). CONSER was involved in creating training sessions that incorporate the amendments and presenting them at ALA and NASIG. Two new courses, the Electronic Serials Workshop and the Advanced Serials Workshop were added to the Serials Cataloging Cooperative Training Program (SCCTP). The Publication Pattern Initiative completed its two-year pilot phase in FY 2002. A survey of participating institutions and non-participating CONSER libraries was conducted in early 2002 to help shape the strategic plan for the project as it moves to permanent status. The CONSER At-Large meeting in January featured a panel discussion with the theme "How well are we serving our users?" Panelists represented viewpoints of reference and acquisition librarians and responded to questions about the usefulness of serials catalog records in the OPAC and serials cataloging practices in general. As a result of this meeting and discussions a the CONSER Operations meeting, the PCC Standing Committee on Automation is setting up a task force to look at links and OPAC displays. Several CONSER members began using a PURL server to maintain URLs in OCLC records. Jean Hirons received the 2002 Margaret Mann citation during the annual conference of the American Library Association (ALA) in Atlanta.

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General Report


CONSER involvement with changing AACR2 began in 1995. In that year, Crystal Graham, at the request of CONSER, wrote a paper which outlined many of the shortcomings of the code as to its treatment of serials; discussions were held at the CONSER Operations and CONSER At Large meetings. The 2002 amendments to AACR2 will be published in September. This revision will contain the completely revised Chapter 12, "Continuing Resources," and other amendments. Many of the changes to the code for serials reflect long-standing CONSER practice formerly contained in LCRIs. CONSER, LC, and other PCC catalogers participated in the revision of LCRIs that were published to accompany the 2002 amendments.

A revision of the CONSER Cataloging Manual (CCM) began in the summer of 2001 and continued through FY 2002. LC Catalogers and Judy Kuhagen of CPSO participated in identifying revisions and initial review of drafts; CONSER and SCCTP catalogers provided the final review. The revision was completed in Aug. 2002 and sent to CDS for publication as a new edition later this fall.

Training for the new rules began in May. Presentations were given at the annual CONSER/BIBCO meeting, the annual meetings of the American Library Association and the North American Serials Interest Group (NASIG). Powerpoint presentations were made available on the CONSER web site and the ALCTS web site external link. One of the presentations, Description of Integrating Resources: Electronic Resources, was developed by Steven Miller (University of Wisconsin) and this work will become the basis for a new SCCTP training course in 2003.

Electronic Resources

Issues related to electronic serials were a large part of the agendas of the CONSER operations meeting and CONSER at large meetings at ALA mid-winter and ALA annual in 2002. Several new task groups and proposals resulted from discussions held at these meetings:

Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR)

CONSER has set up a task force to explore the FRBR model and its relationship to serials and continuing resources in general. Everett Allgood (New York University) became chair of the CONSER Task Force on FRBR and Continuing Resources. The task force will take up the immediate issue of providing serial examples for a paper prepared by the Network Development and MARC Standards Office. In the longer term, the group will monitor and participate in discussions related to all types of continuing resources and FRBR.

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Proposal to use a single record for all online manifestations of a serial.

A proposal, originally prepared by Becky Culbertson (University of California, San Diego), Naomi Young (University of Florida), and Regina Reynolds (LC), would provide for the creation of a single record representing all aggregations in the shared database for the multiple online versions of a print title. The proposal was discussed at the CONSER operations meeting in May and at the CONSER At-Large meeting in June. Representatives of three serials management companies, Serials Solutions, TDNet, and JournalWebCite participated in the discussion at the CONSER At-Large meeting. During the summer the proposal was revised and in late August a survey was distributed to the serials community to gather opinions about several options that would standardize the creation of records. Results of the survey will be used to make general recommendations for the PCC Policy Committee.

CONSER PURL Pilot Project

Seven CONSER members began testing a PURL server in January 2002 to cooperatively maintain URLs for freely available Web resources. The project was proposed by Becky Culbertson (UCSD) and Valerie Bross (UCLA). A PURL (persistent uniform resource locator) server, hosted by OCLC, is used to enter and maintain URLs. Participants in the 10-week pilot reported that they felt it had been successful and CONSER has decided to continue the project and open it up to all PCC members. Participants developed a home page with an explanation of the project, instructions for participants, and other resources.

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Serials Cataloging Cooperative Training Program (SCCTP)

Two new SCCTP workshops were inaugurated in 2002, with train-the-trainer sessions given for fifty-seven trainers from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The Electronic Serials workshop focuses on the issues related to cataloging Web-based electronic serials. There are twenty-nine workshops scheduled for this course from April 2002 through January 2003, with sessions scheduled in Mexico, Taiwan, and China. The Advanced Serials workshop is an in-depth review of the rules and principles applied to serials. The first session of the Advanced course is scheduled for mid-September 2002. Both courses are based on the 2002 AACR2 rule amendments.

The Serial Holdings Workshop was revised in June 2002, with information added about integrated library systems, revised exercises, and a more comprehensive session on trends in holdings. Revision of the Basic Serials Cataloging workshop began in 2002 and the work completed includes a change in the course format to match other SCCTP workshops and incorporation of changes from the 2002 AACR2 amendments and LCRIs. Ground work for the development of a new SCCTP course on the cataloging of integrating resources was also begun in 2002. The course will be developed by Steve Miller (University of Wisconsin) and is expected to be released Mach 2003.

Publication Pattern Initiative

The two year pilot phase of the Initiative ended in 2002 and participants began to develop strategies for continuing efforts to cooperatively distribute pattern data via the CONSER database and to promote full use of the MARC 21 Format for Holdings Data by library systems. During the two year pilot period over 45,000 patterns were added to OCLC records. In the summer of 2002 the Workflow Task Group, led by Wen-ying Lu (Michigan State University Libraries), developed templates, workflow diagrams, and an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) to help libraries incorporate patterns work into an institution's local workflow. Maintaining a close working relationship with library system vendors continues to be a key aspect of achieving the Initiatives's goals. Representatives from VTLS, Innovative Interfaces, SIRSI, ExLibris, and Endeavor attended meetings of the Task Force on Publication Patterns and Holdings Task Force held at ALA, most recently in June 2002. The concept of a universal holdings record and the question of how pattern information relates to electronic journals were discussed at several CONSER meetings during 2002; these related issues will continue to be explored in the coming year. Jean Hirons and past chair Sally Sinn, National Agricultural Library addressed the June 2002 meeting of the Directors of Technical Services of Large Research Libraries to help increase awareness of the project and its goals among technical services directors. Carlen Ruschoff, University of Maryland became the new chair in 2002.

CONSER Member Reports


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