E-journal title changes (Regina Romano Reynolds) Marcia Tuttle 28 Feb 2002 21:12 UTC

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2002 16:07:54 -0500
From: Regina Romano Reynolds <rrey@LOC.GOV>
Subject: E-journal title changes (reply to Autocat cross-post)


Congratulations!  You have hit one of the current hot conundrums in serials cataloging and have illustrated it with a maddeningly complex example.  I will try to explain some of what is going on but cannot offer a complete solution, since the situations are very variable and at least some aspects of this topic are under discussion by CONSER and, I'm sure, others.

As head of the U.S. ISSN center, let me first explain the ISSN policy for online editions of serials.  Online *reproductions* by secondary publishers (of which JSTOR is an example) retain the ISSN of the print edition, just as microform reproductions by, for example, University Microfilms, have long retained the ISSN of the print versions.  On the other hand, simultaneous online editions made available by the primary publisher are given separate ISSN.  In this case, Blackwell's is the primary publisher and has been given separate ISSN for the print and online editions.   In the ISSN database there would not be a separate record for the JSTOR reproduction but there are separate records for the print and online editions by Blackwell's.  I can see that in cases where there is both a secondary reproduction and a primary online edition confusion can arise.

To make matters much worse, there is a title change complication.  Most often print and online title changes parallel each other, and most often record changes and ISSN changes parallel each other.  Unfortunately, neither is true in this case.   Regarding the titles, a new ISSN is assigned when the "key title," a standardized form of the title, changes.   ISSN are assigned by ISSN centres in the country of publication.  The UK ISSN center did not consider the title "The Statistician" to have changed when the words "Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series D" were added above the title in 1993. (I have not looked at the issues but am surmising from the catalog records this is what happened.)  Therefore the same ISSN was retained for the entire run under the title of "The Statistician." The Library of Congress and other U.S. libraries treated this as a title change, with the result !
that there are two linked catalog records but only one ISSN.  I can add the same ISSN to!
 the second record on OCLC.   However, when the online version began to be published in 1993, the title presentation was such that the UK ISSN center recorded the title for the online edition as "Journal of the Royal Statistical Society.  Series D.  The Statistician," thus accounting for the lack of parallel treatment between the print and online editions. JSTOR*to their great credit*has been in contact with ISSN centers and is trying to keep its treatment of titles synchronized with ISSN assignments as a help to libraries.  Unfortunately in this case U.S. library treatment and ISSN treatment differ, leaving JSTOR out of synch with someone no matter what they do.   There is currently a greater awareness of the problems which result from cases where ISSN and cataloging records for title changes are not aligned and ongoing efforts to reduce the number of cases where this happens.

To answer your question about current policy, current rules for title changes and the creation of new records for title changes are in effect for e-journals.  However, determining when a title change has occurred in a title in an aggregation is often difficult. And, not all aggregators present their titles in the same way; not all aggregators retain the previous titles in their online versions; not all aggregators parallel the print publications.   What is a poor librarian to do?

Good question.  At the spring CONSER operations meeting, there will be preparation for the September implementation of revised Chapter 12.  How to handle title changes for electronic serials under various circumstances will be discussed, particularly the question of what to do when the former titles are not retained and how to make that detemination.  Additionally, it would appear that some education of aggregators and other secondary services would be helpful.  I am hoping to involve the National Serials Data Program in this effort.   Stay tuned!

Regina Reynolds
Head, National Serials Data Program
Library of Congress

(202) 707-6379 (voice)
(202) 707-6333 (fax)