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(Previous discussion continued)
Re: online databases and/or serials Matt Hartman (10 Jan 1997 15:29 UTC)

Re: online databases and/or serials Matt Hartman 10 Jan 1997 15:29 UTC

To my mind, Kevin, it is a database design situation - the
serial/monograph dichotomy, going back to the development of the various
MARC formats - there is nothing inherently philosophical about it. I have
been cataloguing databases following the new CONSER directives of using
the 008 for computer files, with an 006 for seriality. Seems to work for
our system.

Matt Hartman
Serials/Media Cataloguer
Library Processing Centre
UBC Library

On Thu, 9 Jan 1997, Kevin M. Randall wrote:

> At 04:36 PM 1/9/97 EST, Elizabeth Brown wrote:
> >b) the bottom line is that you should catalog the title based on what works
> >for your institution and your local system, etc. By all means, do ASFA as a
> >serial, if doing it as a computer file absolutely would not fit local
> >circumstances, such as local system display.
> >
> >[I'm always puzzled when I see these kinds of databases cataloged as
> >serials, though, especially when the records lack "362/500 Description based
> >on" fields (unlike your cited example, which is very interesting). After
> >all, these particular databases are usually ONE THING (i.e., one file)
> >containing data rather than distinguishable pieces or parts all lined up in
> >a row.]
> I'm wondering if our use of terminology can get us confused.  I am troubled
> by a distinction between "computer file" and "serial", as if the two are
> mutually exclusive.  Of course Elizabeth Brown is most likely thinking in
> terms of FORMATS, but one could take her suggestion to mean that if you
> catalog something as a computer file you can't also consider it a serial.
> Actually, I am rather disappointed that the USMARC Format Integration didn't
> actually do away with the "serial format"; it seems that a "book" record
> with bib level "s" and an 006 field for the serial-specific elements would
> be just as meaningful (and more logical, in my mind).  But I guess that
> would have caused problems for those institutions that keep records for
> different formats in different files... (BTW, I have never understood this
> division of serials and non-serials in online catalogs; is it merely a
> database design matter, or does it have some philosophical basis?)
> Kevin M. Randall
> Head, Serials Cataloging Section
> Northwestern University Library
> Evanston, IL   60208-2300
> email:
> phone: (847) 491-2939  **New Area Code!**
> fax:   (847) 491-7637