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Program for Cooperative Cataloging

The Library of Congress > Cataloging, Acquisitions > PCC > CONSER > Publication Patterns Initiative > Definitions of terms used in the project

Alternative numbering scheme. A secondary sequential designation(s) assigned to some serials and multipart items to provide a continuously numbered sequence in addition to a primary set of hierarchical designations. (MFHD)

Basic bibliographic unit [abbrev. basic unit]. The main bibliographic entity for which holdings are being reported (MFHD). Any of the parts in which a serial or multipart item is published which bears as its designation any part of the basic enumeration and/or chronology of the item and thus is included within its principal numbering sequence. Cf. supplemental unit and index unit.

Basic volume. A basic unit (see above) at the highest, or primary, level of holdings hierarchy; (Cf. Primary bibliographic unit.)

Bibliographic unit. A discrete bibliographic entity that constitutes either the whole or a part of the bibliographic item). (MFHD) A level of holdings hierarchy bearing enumeration and/or chronology which identifies it. A bibliographic unit may or may not be identical to any single physical part or piece. A bibliographic unit also may itself have been issued in parts which constitute one or more lower levels of bibliographic units.

Caption. Word, phrase, or abbreviation indicating the bibliographic unit into which a serial or multipart item has been divided by the publisher. Examples: volume, number, Band, Heft, part, side (of a disk), year, etc., and their abbreviations. (MFHD)

Chronology. The date(s) used by the publisher on a serially-issued bibliographic unit to help identify it or indicate when it was issued. The chronology may reflect the dates of coverage, publication, or printing. (MFHD)

Closed holdings statement. A range of enumeration and/or chronology that ends with the enumeration and/or chronology of the last issue held, not with a hyphen. Opposite:open-ended holdings. (Z39.71)

Compressed enumeration and chronology. A statement of enumeration and chronology which condenses one or more data elements by recording a range of holdings in terms of the enumeration of only the first and last parts held in order to express the same information with fewer characters; or a statement which indicates the holdings of a complete level of hierarchy by recording the enumeration of the next higher level of the hierarchy. (MFHD) Opposite: uncompressed, itemized.

Detailed holdings statement. Set of data elements required for Level 4 holdings to identify and record, at the most specific level of information, the parts of a bibliographic unit (Z39.71). A detailed holdings statement may be compressed or uncompressed. Opposite: summary holdings statement.

Embedded holdings information. Holdings information contained in the record for the bibliographic description for the bibliographic item. An embedded holdings report does not have its own item identifier [data element identifying the bibliographic item, such as a control number] (MFHD)

Enumeration. The designation reflecting the alphabetic or numeric scheme used by the publisher on an item, or assigned when the holdings statement is created, to identify the individual bibliographic or physical parts and to show the relationship of each unit to the item as a whole. (MFHD)

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Index unit. A physically separate, or separable, alphabetically arranged list of names, places, and subjects treated in a printed work, with page number(s) to direct the reader to the appropriate locations in the text. Only cumulative, physically separate indexes are noted individually on bibliographic records for serials. Cf. basic bibliographic unit.

Itemized. See uncompressed.

Open-ended holdings statement. A range of enumeration and/or chronology that ends with a hyphen [Z39.71]. An open-ended statement indicates ongoing issuance or receipt.

Pattern (or Publication pattern). The array of data elements used to describe the pattern of issuance, or publication, of a serial or multipart item, including:

  • its frequency
  • for each bibliographic unit, the number of secondary or lower bibliographic units, if any, that compose it and the relationship of the lower numbering system to the higher (whether it restarts or is continuous)
  • the calendar change point where the higher number increments
  • variations in the intervals of issuance

Piece. A single physical part. (MFHD)

Primary bibliographic unit. A unit, whether basic, supplemental, or index, designated by the highest, or most inclusive, level of holdings hierarchy; ordinarily it will be stated first within a holdings statement. Also called first-level unit; other units are called second-, third- , etc., level units. Example: in the holdings statement "v.1:no.2", the primary bibliographic unit is a volume.

Summary holdings statement. Holdings statement at the first (highest) level of enumeration and/or chronology (Z39.71). Cf. detailed holdings statement.

Supplemental unit. A part of a work, physically separate from the basic bibliographic unit and designated with a term such as "supplement" or its equivalent. Cf. basic bibliographic unit.

Uncompressed enumeration and chronology. A statement of enumeration and chronology which itemizes, explicitly and without compression, the holdings of each part of a bibliographic unit held. (MFHD)

Questions? Contact the Project at: CONSERHOLD-L@cornell.edu

rev. dih 8/22/01

Correction history:
8/22/01, Added second paragraph in 1.2.

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