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Summary: title changes/call numbers (fwd) Marcia Tuttle 16 Mar 1993 11:36 UTC

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Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1993 14:52:00 EST

Here is the summary of your very helpful responses to my request for
information about the effect of title changes on serial call numbers.  I
posted my message on March 4th, and received 26 responses.  I am new to
the world of serials cataloging, so please bear with me:  my apologies if
I have misunderstood or misstated the information you sent.  Thank you all
for your messages, both long and short.

Of the 26 responses I received, only two respondents said they change a
serial's call number when there is a simple title change (without changes
in the numbering scheme, merges, splits, or significant changes in scope.)
Of those two respondents, one is trying to get the policy changed so that
call numbers will remain the same.  Some respondents referred to changing
call numbers for simple title changes as "the older practice." Authorities
cited to justify current policy were:  LC practice (the latest LCRI's),
ALA practice, and AACR1.  One documentary source cited was LC's "Subject
Cataloging Manual:  Shelflisting." Also, one respondent noted that this
topic was discussed in 1992 on AUTOCAT under the theme of Arrangement of

In the case of more complex title changes, there was a fairly clear
consensus on practice, qualified by appeals to judgement. One respondent
noted that no solution will please all the users and public service people
all the time.  Some examples of special cases follow.

If there is a break in the numbering scheme, for example if the old title
ended with volume 8 and the new title started with volume 1, the call
number is modified.  This prevents there being two "volume 1's" within the
same title, which would cause shelving conflicts.  An exception to this
would be the publisher's use of "new ser." to distinguish the old and new
titles.  In this case, even if the numbering scheme is broken, "new ser."
will differentiate volumes with the same number, and the old call number
can be retained.

When call numbers are changed, the cutter is usually slid to keep the
titles together on the shelf, provided the scope of the new title is the
same as the old.  If the scope differs significantly, the new title will
receive a call number which relocates it accordingly.  The new title may
also be shelved apart if the series is being cuttered alphabetically, and
the new title differs alphabetically from the old.

In the case of merges, when the merge significantly changes the scope from
that of any of the merged titles, a new call number may be assigned.
Splits will engender new call numbers:  the new titles may be shelved
apart, or receive slid cutters, again depending on coverage.  One of the
new titles may retain the old call number if its coverage is close to that
of the old title.

One respondent mentioned that the practice of sliding the cutter number
for each simple change of entry can create heavy relabeling/reprocessing
loads if OCLC later collapses these entries to conform to the latest LCRI.
When OCLC splits latest entry records, similar issues arise.  Not sliding
the cutter thus sidesteps future processing work.

That's pretty much it.  I hope this is as helpful to the list as it has
been to me.

Best regards,

Matthew Simpson
Technical Services
Brandeis University Library
bitnet: simpson@brandeis.bitnet