Coding electronic serials Jean L. Hirons 17 Feb 1998 21:17 UTC

Dear CONSER and serial colleagues,

By now you will have seen the document "Cataloging Electronic Resources
OCLC-MARC Coding Guidelines" that was sent to various lists by Rich Green
and forwarded to CONSRLST.  These guidelines mean that CONSER libraries
can now begin to use the revised definition of leader code "m" which will
result in CONSER being able to resume using the serials format for most of
our electronic serials! Applying OCLC's guidelines will require the use of
the computer file field 006 when a record is created for an electronic
resource in the serials format.  This should not be a problem because this
is the same data that we have been ocding in the 008 on computer file

The guidelines also make it possible to optionally use field 007 in a
print record when the single record option is being used.  The lack of the
computer file 006 in the record makes it clear to OCLC that the record is
not primarily for an electronic resource.  The same would be true for
accompanying material.

Bill and I will be revising the CONSER Editing Guide and CONSER Cataloging
Manual for the spring updates.  We are not currently planning to issue any
advance documentation, but I'm open on that subject.  Basically, the
changes in our current policy are as follows:

1.  We will now have to determine a primary format when cataloging a
computer file.  The majority of serials are textual in nature and will be
cataloged using the serials format. However, those that are primarily
software will be cataloged as computer files using leader/06 m' and the
computer file format.  Other types of non-print serials (e.g.,
cartographic, sound recording, etc.)  are not affected by the redefinition
of code m'.

2.  When cataloging an electronic resource that is primarily textual: use
type code a' and bib level code s' (i.e, the serials format on OCLC).
Also input fields 006 and 007 for the computer file characteristics.

3.  When noting an electronic resource on the record for the print using
the single record option, you now have the option of also giving field 007
for the computer file.  But DO NOT give field 006.

These guidelines can be implemented immediately for new records.  I
understand that Robert Bremer will at some point reconvert existing
records.  Please let me know if you need further instructions.  For
convenience, I am restating the new definition of code m' that was also
contained in the OCLC guidelines and is in USMARC update 3.

"Code m' indicates that the content of the record is for the following
classes of electronic resources: computer software (including programs,
games, fonts), numeric data, computer-oriented multimedia, online systems
or services.  For these classes of materials, if there is a significant
aspect that causes it to fall into another Leader/06 category, code for
that significant aspect (e.g., vector data that is cartographic is not
coded as numeric but as cartographic).  Other classes of electronic
resources are coded for their most significant aspect (e.g., language
material, graphic, cartographic materials, sound, music, moving image).
In case of doubt or if the most significant aspect cannot be determined,
consider the item a computer file."

Jean Hirons
CONSER Coordinator
(202) 707-5947