PROPOSAL NO.: 2001-05

DATE: May 7, 2001

NAME: Changes in MARC 21 to Accommodate Seriality

SOURCE: CONSER Program, Library of Congress; ISSN Center

SUMMARY: This paper consists of four separate proposals for changes to MARC 21 based on revisions to the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd ed. Rev. concerning seriality. These include: 2001-05/1: Leader/07 Bibliographic level code for integrating resource; 2001-05/2: 008/18 and 006/01 Frequency code for continuously updated resources; 3) 2001-05/3: New codes for updating loose-leaf, database, and updating Web site in 008/21 and 006/04 Type of serial; 4) 2001-05/4: New code in 008/34 and 006/17 Successive/Latest entry indicator for latest entry (integrating resource).

KEYWORDS: Serials (BD), Seriality (BD), Leader/07, Field 008/34 (BD), Field 008/21 (BD), Field 008/18 (BD); Bibliographic level (BD); Frequency (BD, HD); Type of serial (BD); Successive/latest entry indicator (BD); Subfield $w, in field 853-855 (HD)

RELATED: DP114 (June 1999), DP119 (May 2000)


05/07/01 - Made available to the MARC 21 community for discussion.

06/16/01 - Results of the MARC Advisory Committee discussion

08/07/01 - Results of LC/NLC review - Agreed with the MARBI decisions.

PROPOSAL NO. 2001-05: Changes in MARC 21 to Accommodate Seriality


In April 2001, the Joint Steering Committee for the Revision of AACR (JSC) approved a package of rule revision proposals based on recommendations in the report "Revising AACR2 to Accommodate Seriality." The revised rules include several new concepts:

Continuing resource: a bibliographic resource that is issued over time with no predetermined conclusion. Continuing resources include serials and ongoing integrating resources.

Integrating resource: a bibliographic resource that is added to or changed by means of updates that do not remain discrete and are integrated into the whole. Integrating resources may be finite or continuing. Examples include updating loose-leafs and updating Web sites.

The definition of ‘serial' has been modified to:

Serial: a continuing resource issued in a succession of discrete parts, usually bearing numbering, that has no predetermined conclusion. Examples of serials include journals, magazines, electronic journals, continuing directories, annual reports, newspapers, and monographic series.

These concepts have also been accepted by the international community and will be incorporated into a revision to the International Standard Bibliographic Description–Serials, to be renamed the International Standard Bibliographic Descriptions–Serials and Other Continuing Resources (ISBD(CR)), and the guidelines for assignment of the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN).

With the introduction into the cataloging code of a new category of materials, certain changes may be needed to MARC 21. This proposal is divided into four parts to be considered individually. The specific areas that are impacted are: Leader/07 (Bibliographic level), field 008/18 (Frequency), field 008/21 (Type of serial), and field 008/34 (Successive/latest entry indicator). Discussion papers 114 and 119 addressed these elements and offered various proposals related to them. The following proposals are based on the options that received the most support. While the changes to the 008 fields would be relatively minor, any change to the leader would be major and would have a significant impact on all catalogs.


2.1. Proposal.Define code ‘i' (integrating resource) in Leader/07 for "integrating resource" in the bibliographic format

2.1.1. Background. Three options were presented in DP114 and DP119, with the definition of code "i" as the favored approach in DP119. The other approaches were to include all continuing resources within code ‘s' (serials) or to divide integrating resources between codes ‘s' and ‘m' (monograph). Participants at the July 2000 MARBI meeting were generally in favor of defining a new code as it more clearly follows the cataloging code. Some questions remained as to what would be considered "integrating." The cartographic community has decided that map series will not be treated as integrating resources. Other questions will need to be addressed by the cataloging community.

2.1.2. Advantages of the new code. Following are reasons for and expected benefits of defining a new bibliographic level code:

2.1.3. Disadvantages of the new code. Following are some of the drawbacks or issues involved in defining a new bibliographic level code:

2.2. 008 usage with code "i"

A decision needs to be made on which 008 would be used when Leader/06 (Type of record) is coded as "a" (Language material) and Leader/07 (Bibliographic level) is coded as "i".

2.2.1. Proposal. Rename the serial 008 as the seriality 008. Treat code ‘i' similarly to code ‘s' and use the seriality 008 when type (leader/06) is ‘a' (textual material). While most integrating resources are textual, it is possible that there can be other appropriate formats. In these cases, the item would be coded for the appropriate content; for example, if the type code is ‘m' (computer file), the computer file 008 would be used with a seriality 006.

One element lacking from the current serial 008 is the target audience code, which is frequently used for Web sites. Since it is available in coded form in 008/22 for books and computer files, a field 006 for computer files could be added if 008 is coded as seriality. Alternatively, users that need to specify target audience could use field 521, rather than a coded form.

Advantages of adapting the serials 008 for integrating resources are the availability of the following data elements: Frequency (008/18), Regularity (008/19), Beginning and ending dates (008/07-14), used for coverage dates for serials.

2.2.2. Alternative. Use the existing books 008 for integrating resources. Looseleafs, considered under the category of integrating resources, have always been coded as monographs, using the 008 for books. If a serials 008 is used for integrating resources, existing records would need to be changed as noted above. Elements in the books 008 that could be used for these materials include Target audience (008/22), Literary form (008/33), and Biography (008/34). Since all but target audience are of limited use for these types of materials, it seems preferable to use the serials 008, but include target audience information (if necessary) in a computer files 006 or a field 521 note.

2.3. Proposed Changes

In the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format:


3.1. Proposal. Define code ‘k' for resources that are continuously updated. Examples would include the Washington Post Web site, a stock database, or the OCLC database. Continuously updated would be defined as more frequent than daily.

3.2. Rationale. Field 008/18 currently contains codes that indicate the frequency of issues of serials. As this code is extended to integrating resources, it will be used for the frequency of updates to integrating resources. There is currently no code that indicates updating that is more frequent than daily. If updates are less frequent, one of the existing codes can be used, including ‘irregular.'

Code ‘k' would be used in conjunction with a 310 field stating "continuously updated." Some revision of the text of fields 310 (Current Publication Frequency) and 321 (Former Publication Frequency) in MARC 21 would be necessary to accommodate the concept of frequency of updates.

In addition, a new frequency code would need to be defined in field 853-855, subfield $w (Frequency) of the MARC 21 holdings format.

3.3. Proposed change

4. PROPOSAL 2001-05/3: CHANGES TO 008/21 AND 006/04 TYPE OF SERIAL

4.1. Proposal. Rename as "Type of serial or integrating resource" (currently Type of serial) and define codes ‘l' (updating loose-leaf), ‘d' (database), and ‘w' (updating Web site).

l Updating loose-leaf. A bibliographic resource that consists of a base volume(s) updated by separate pages which are inserted, removed, and/or substituted. (From AACR2 revision)
d Database. A collection of logically interrelated data stored together in one or more computerized files, usually created and managed by a database management system.
w Updating Web site. Use this code for Web sites that are updated but do not fit into one of the other codes, such as periodical, newspaper, or database.

There may be difficulty in determining whether a resource is a database or a Web site, since many databases may be presented on the Web, and it is not always clear into which category it falls.

4.2. Background. Current codes in 008/21 are:

blank (none of the following)
m (monographic series)
n (newspaper)
p (periodical)

DP114 and DP119 proposed to rename 008/21 as "Type of continuing resource." The question was raised whether a code for replacement volumes should be defined. However, replacement volumes do not generally receive their own cataloging record. When they do, they are considered a multi-volume monograph and no longer a loose-leaf or integrating resource.

4.3. Rationale. Libraries need to know how many active loose-leaf subscriptions are purchased and maintained, and this code would provide this information. One large institution now inputs genre subject headings as a means of attaining the information for its acquisitions department. A code to identify these is needed.

The codes for database and Web site have been proposed assuming the use of a seriality 008. These are the other major types of integrating resources in addition to loose-leafs. This is particularly important to the ISSN center which would like to use these codes to identify and retrieve records for databases and Web sites for which ISSN have been assigned. Without adding codes ‘d' and ‘w' to the seriality 008/21, all of these resources would be coded blank, a category that now primarily includes annual reports and directories.

4.4. Proposed changes

In the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format:


5.1. Background. AACR2 is reintroducing latest entry cataloging conventions for integrating resources. Latest entry as applied to integrating resources will be somewhat different than that applied to serials under pre-AACR cataloging rules. The different applications of latest entry are:

Latest entry (pre-AACR)

Latest entry (integrating resources)

DP114 recommended the use of ‘latest entry' qualified by "AACR" but the reference to the cataloging code was considered problematic. DP119 recommended that code ‘2' be called "integrating entry"; however, this terminology has not been adopted by the JSC.

5.2. Discussion. Catalogers and searchers would find a separate code useful because they regularly look to this code to determine whether a record is usable. It would be very confusing if newly-created latest entry records for integrating resources were coded the same as old latest entry records for serials and it would negate the value of this code. The primary purpose for libraries is for workflow; thus, a separate code is desirable.

A decision will need to be made on the use of field 247 (Former Title or Title Variations) with these materials and consideration given to revisions needed to the field description in the format.

5.3. Proposed change

In the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format:

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