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Re: fluctuating title question Steve Shadle 19 Aug 2004 16:15 UTC

Pat -- This is one area where cataloger's judgment comes into play.
CONSER Cataloging Manual module 16.2.4 (category g) goes into some detail
about fluctuating titles, title flip-flops and titles of short duration.

Fluctuating titles are typically identified in retrospective cataloging.
Sometimes they are represented by multiple OCLC records; if you're lucky,
no one's gotten to it yet.  The NLC RI for 21.2A2g gives a general
guideline of two issues before a title is no longer considered a title of
short duration.  LCRI/CONSER doesn't give a specific guideline and the CCM
states "a title of short duration is a change that occurs only on one or
several issues before CHANGING BACK TO THE ORIGINAL TITLE." (Emphasis
mine).  So, it's a judgment call as to how long or how many issues is
short duration.  The fact that it should change back to the original title
is less of a judgment call.

Per LCRI 21.2A, if it appears to be an intentional change on the part of
the publisher (evidence by new ISSN or publisher statement) then it should
be considered a major change no matter how long the duration.

Sorry, I can't easily find an OCLC record for this situation that isn't
already represented in other documentation.  Personally, I would note the
short duration titles in one of two forms.  Either

246 1  |i Issues for 1939, 1945-1947 have title: |a Request for
legislative appropriations
246 1  |i Issue for 1949 has title: |a Legislative appropriation request


246 3  Request for legislative appropriations
246 3  Legislative appropriaion request
500    Title varies: Request for legislative appropriations, 1939,
1945-1947; Legislative appropriation request, 1949.

I might be wrong here, but I think (as long as there's not already
existing CONSER records or ISSN assignments) that if the years noted
indicate a lack of stability, that other catalogers are pretty accepting
of considering it short duration and treating it on one record.

Another consideration in retrospective cataloging is that if there's
another source that is more stable than preferred source that it can be
used as chief substitute, per LCRI 12.0B2.

I have also had the occasional case where I was just sure a title change
was going to be short-lived.  In the case of current cataloging, I have
been known to locally (not in the CONSER record) add a 246 and an
instruction for checkin staff to forward the next issue to cataloging to
confirm title stability.  There's always the possibility that you could
add a 246 locally and re-evaluate on receipt of more issues.

Let me know if this helps or I can provide more info.  This is an area
that is heavily influenced by judgment and experience so can't really
provide hard and fast rules.  --Steve

    Steve Shadle   *******
    Serials Access Librarian                         *****
    University of Washington Libraries, Box 352900    ***
    Seattle, WA 98195               (206) 685-3983     *

On Thu, 19 Aug 2004, Pat Fowler wrote:

> I need clarification on AACR2.2A2.g (fluctuating titles), specifically
> concerning a group of documents that we received from state agencies.
> For a few years, sometimes no more than one, the document will be called
> "Legislative Appropriations Request".  Then for no apparent reason, it's
> called "Request(s) for Legislative Appropriations", or "Appropriations
> Request".  We have created many new records because of these title
> changes.  Is this type of title change one that can be considered a
> fluctuating title?  Can someone point me to some examples of fluctuating
> titles in OCLC?
> Thanks so much.
> Patsy D. Fowler
> Head, Cataloging Department
> Texas State Library and Archives Commission
> Archives and Information Services Division
> 512-463-7102