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Re: serial vs. monographic treatment (fwd) Marcia Tuttle 19 Mar 1993 14:57 UTC

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Date: Fri, 19 Mar 1993 08:18:57 EST
From: "Kate Herzog, Univ. at Buffalo" <>
Subject: Re: serial vs. monographic treatment (fwd)

In reply to Mary Page's question about treatment of serials ordered as
monographs, I would like to offer the following from the perspective of
a "former" serials librarian turned collection manager.

Often a selector will order a specific item because the "source" from
which the selection is made does not clearly indicate the serial nature
of the item.  In these tight budgetary times, it is much less likely
that a selector would consciously order a duplicate copy of something
they know to already be held by the university, although in another
library, especially with the enhanced access offered by an OPAC.
Therefore, it is wise for the cataloger to consult with the selector if
there is no indication of "intentional duplication" on the order.

If, on the other hand, a selector has decided to intentionally order a
duplicate, it is because the content of the piece is important from a
subject perspective.  If your system allows multiple call numbers, the
selector would, therefore, prefer that the item be given a subject-
specific call number rather than the more general one for the series.
Obviously, title entries and subject added-entries would be what the
library's users would be looking for.

Many sci/tech journals publish proceedings of conferences as issues or
whole volumes (a practice which this librarian has always objected to in
either of her incarnations).  It is a pity that practice at many
institutions dictates that, in order to provide access to the conference
in your OPAC, a library must order a duplicate copy of the issue(s) so
that the conference can be cataloged monographically and shelved with
the book collection.  Many conferences are always published in the same
journal.  Others move from journal to journal and occasionally appear as
a book.  In such cases, we do our patrons a dis-service by only
cataloging the books, leaving them to think we don't own the conference.
As a result, we force reference desks to utilize INTERDOK, rather than
giving the patron the more direct access which a journal "analytic"
would provide.

Obviously, from a public services point of view, it would make the
greatest sense for our cataloging to be as responsive as possible to the
legitimate information needs of our users.  As we rethink cataloging and
consider providing chapter-level and article-level access through our
OPACS, it would be a pity if we lost sight of the issue-level problem
which "analytics" can address.

Kate Herzog
Director, Science and Engineering Library
University at Buffalo