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Program for Cooperative Cataloging

The Library of Congress > Cataloging, Acquisitions > PCC > CONSER > Cataloging Issues > Aggregator-Neutral Records Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What is an Aggregator-Neutral Record?
  2. What types of electronic serials will it be used for?
  3. Why do we need it?
  4. To what will it be applied?
  5. How will records be identified?
  6. How will records differ from other serial records?
  7. What will happen to the multiple records in OCLC?
  8. When will they be implemented?
  9. Where can I learn more?
  10. Can I See an Example of an Aggregator-Neutral Record?

1. What is an Aggregator-Neutral Record?

An aggregator-neutral record is one that is separate from the print that covers all versions of the same online serial on one record. (There may be cases however, where a cataloger determines that because of substantial differences (e.g. in content or subject), another online "version" really represents a separate work, therefore a separate record is needed.)

2. What types of electronic serials will it be used for?

The aggregator-neutral record has been defined for serials available by one or more providers. However, these records should not be that different from records for other online serials such as born-digital serials and free resources (e.g. government documents, free scholarly serials, etc.).

3. Why do we need it?

The same serial titles are made available by multiple aggregators. CONSER's earlier policy of creating a separate record for each aggregation became confusing and hard to maintain. While the appearance and coverage might differ among these aggregators, there is still one basic e-serial that is being distributed. Recent trends have been for one aggregator to buy up another, or for publishers to pull their titles from an aggregation. Thus, maintaining separate records became very difficult and undesirable. By creating one record that can be used for all aggregations, records will not need to be updated or deleted to reflect such changes and far less maintenance will be required. For more detail, see the discussions on "Option B+" on the CONSER Web site: Option B+ Background Documents

4. To what will it be applied?

The aggregator-neutral record will apply to all online serials distributed by one or more provider. CONSER catalogers will focus their energies on titles in packages that contain the full serial (e.g., Synergy, Ingenta). CONSER catalogers will only selectively catalog titles in article databases, based on the policies and needs of their local institutions. In the future, machine-derived aggregator-neutral records will be added to the CONSER database for titles contained only in article-based databases. Records for free serials that are not distributed in packages or databases may contain more specific data but will not differ appreciably.

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5. How will records be identified?

There is nothing in the record specifically stating that the record is aggregator-neutral. However, the following should be clues:

  • The uniform title, when present, will have the same qualifier as the print, plus the word "online" but will not specify the aggregator
  • There will not be notes or added entries for specific packages or aggregations
  • Multiple URLs may be included in the record for packages that contain the complete serial (URLs for article-based databases will not be given)

6. How will records differ from other serial records?

  • The primary difference is that multiple manifestations will be covered by a single record with only the presence of a URL and possibly a variant title in field 246 indicating manifestations other than that that the description was based on.
  • The publisher and dates will be that of the original serial, as found on the copy being described, as opposed to the digitizer and dates of digitization. This information is considered much more useful and is more readily available.
  • There will be fewer notes. The version (and format, if there are multiple formats) upon which the description is based will be cited in a description based on or title from note. The 538 will be used for mode of access but rarely for system requirements.

7. What will happen to the multiple records in OCLC?

A preferred record will be identified, URLs and holdings from other records will be added to it, and the excess records will be deleted. Fields and data will be changed in the record according to the guidelines for the aggregator-neutral record. Clean up is expected to take some time and will include a mix of automatic and manual changes.

OCLC will handle the clean up; records and delete transactions will be redistributed in the CONSER database.

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8. When will they be implemented?

July 1, 2003.

9. Where can I learn more?

See further instructions in the document -- Record Creation and Modification (PDF, 80KB) — an excerpt from the CONSER Cataloging Manual Module 31 - Fall 2004 update.

10. Can I See an Example of an Aggregator-Neutral Record?

(Partial record only)

Fixed Field dates:
1963, 9999

022      $y 0385-2342
130 0   Asian folklore studies (Online)
245 00 Asian folklore studies $h [electronic resource].
260      Tokyo : $b Society for Asian Folklore
310      Semiannual, $b 1964-
321      Annual, $b 1963
362 1   Print began with vol. 22, no. 1 (1963).
500      Published: Tokyo : Society for Asian Folklore, 1963-1972; Nagoya : Asian Folklore Institute, 1973- 1975;  Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture, 1976-1978; Nanzan University Institute of Anthropology, 1979-
500      Description based on: Vol. 50-1 (1991); title from t.p. (ATLASerials, viewed on May 6, 2003).
500      Latest issue consulted: Vol. 61-1 (2002); (ATLASerials, viewed on May 6, 2003).
538      Mode of access: World Wide Web.
530      Online version of print and microfiche eds.
546      English, French, or German.
650 0   Folklore $z Asia $v Periodicals.
651  0  Asia $x Social life and customs $v Periodicals.
710s (4 fields)
776 1   $t Asian folklore studies $x 0385-2342 $w (DLC) 74647066 $w (OcoLC)1514433
776 1   $c Microfiche $d University Microfilms International $w (OcoLC)32283418
780 00 $t Folklore studies
856 40 $z Subscription required $u http://purl.org/atlanonline/pls/eli/eli%5Fbd.volsuper?TXT=n0385-2342

Last Update: May 29, 2003

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