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serial vs. monographic treatment (fwd) Marcia Tuttle 17 Mar 1993 16:07 UTC

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 1993 18:00:00 EST
From: Mary Page <>
Subject: serial vs. monographic treatment

At Rutgers, we are reviewing how we handle individual issues of serial
publications, and we would be grateful for any advice or insights from
SERIALST members.  (This request for information has also been posted to

Our dilemma is basically this:  Under what circumstances do you treat
something as a monograph instead of a serial?  Who decides?

We recognize that certain issues of periodicals or certain volumes of
serials warrant special treatment.  Obvious examples are the membership
directories or buyers' guides that come with a subscription, which are
routinely cataloged to the reference collection.  Less obvious (to us at
least) is how to handle individual items in a series that are acquired
separately because the subject matter is important to a specific
collection.  This is especially problematic for us when we already have
a standing order or subscription to a serial, but a deliberate collection
development decision is made to acquire another copy of a single item.

As an example, one of the research libraries at Rutgers may subscribe to
a journal, but the bibliographer at one of our specialized libraries -
Chemistry, Alcohol Studies, etc.  - decides to purchase an individual
issue because of its special relevance.  Do you catalog this issue as a
monograph for the specialized collection?  Is this decision made by the
bibliographer alone or in consultation with the cataloger?

If you do catalog the item as a monograph, do you provide links between
the individual item and the full run of the journal?   We are especially
concerned about providing links that our patrons will understand; an
added title entry for the journal seems insufficient.

Another situation that arises from time to time is this: a bibliographer
selectively purchases individual items in a series and does not intend
to enter a standing order.  The series is treated by LC as an open
entry.  Does the lack of LC copy for individual items in the series
affect your cataloging treatment?  Does cataloging treatment influence
collection development decisions?  Who makes treatment decisions, the
bibliographer, the cataloger, or both?

Any advice that SERIALST members can provide will be appreciated.
Thanks in advance for your help.

Mary Page
Library of Science and Medicine
Rutgers University
Piscataway, NJ