Under our previous system, distribution of "in-process" records (encoding level = 5) was limited to those records created by LC ( it did not apply when already existing records were being used, e.g., records used for copy cataloging). The LC-created in-process record was distributed in an initial "in-process" state and then was not reissued again until the cataloging had been completed.
Under the LC ILS, distribution of in-process records is still limited to those originally created by LC but is not limited to initial distribution, i.e., a record is distributed each time a transaction is made against it, whether the cataloging is completed or not. Since most LC workflows consist of several transactions against a record before it is finally complete, this has resulted in some ambiguity, particularly with respect to core records (encoding level = 4) that are still in an in-process state.
Because of the complexity of LC workflows, the encoding level will have been changed to 4 but the record will not yet have been completed and there is no way to indicate it is still in-process. This results in a record that is seemingly a completed core record but in fact may lack a call number or subject headings or both. Confusion and consternation result, especially on the part of PCC liaisons and BIBCO trainers.
To alleviate the confusion, we will revert to our previous practice of distributing only an initial version of an LC-created in-process record (all of which will have encoding level = 5). However, because suppressing redistribution will now depend upon a particular staff action, we must change workflow documentation, issue updated versions, and inform our staff. We will not be able to do this until January or early February.
In the interim, when the in-process core records described above are encountered, it is not necessary to report them to LC. These records will continue through the processing workstream and they will eventually be distributed as completed cataloging. If a record is particularly problematic, it may be reported to your institution's Cooperative Cataloging liaison for further help.
Statement prepared by Kay Guiles, LC Cataloging Policy and Support Office, posted to the PCClist December, 1999