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USMARC Field 003 in CEG and related issues (Ian Fairclough) ERCELAA@ctrvax.Vanderbilt.Edu 16 Apr 1998 16:44 UTC

Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 09:40:18 -0600
From: Ian Fairclough <IFairclo@UWYO.EDU>
Subject: USMARC Field 003 in CEG and related issues

Dear SERIALST readers,

The following is an answer to Xiang Qian's question on field 003.   I
also attempt to illuminate some questions about this field which arise
from various implementations of the USMARC format and different

Xiang Qian asked: "Is there anyone who knows the meaning of the field
003 in LCMARC bibliographic format? I found this field not exists in
each MARC record. And I did not find it in the CEG (1994 ed.) Why?"

Field 003 is a Control Number Identifier consisting of a USMARC code as
listed in the publication "Symbols of American Libraries."  The CEG
(CONSER Editing Guide) sheet describing field 003 is not inserted in
numerical sequence.   It is not in the first binder, where you would
expect to see it between the fixed fields and field 007.  The sheet for
field 003 is in the second binder.

This field is labelled "(NR)," which means that it is not required in
all records.  Records obtained from OCLC will not contain it; others
might.  CEG states that field 003 does not appear in online records in
OCLC.   If it did, then in all cases the data would be the code for OCLC
itself, because OCLC is the institution whose code would be present in
field 001 -- if indeed field 001 were represented as such in OCLC.
Perhaps Xiang Qian's institution is not an OCLC member.   Certainly, any
records received from OCLC will not contain field 003.  So a field 003
in a record must originate from some other source, or have been added

In the OCLC MARC format, data that would appear in field 001 appears
instead in the "Fixed field" OCLC.  The OCLC system creates this data,
and users cannot change it in the OCLC system.   However, your local
system may allow you to change the data.  During  LC tape processing and
distribution, a system number from a source other than LC is moved from
field 001 to field 035, along with the control number identifier in
field 003.  LC then puts its own system control number in field 001.

One should note the distinction between the USMARC format proper and
specific implementations of the USMARC format.   In order to actually
use the USMARC format, a bibliographic utility or local system
implements it within an electronic medium.   Thus, LC has implemented
the format within its own system.   OCLC has a slightly different
implementation; RLIN another, and so forth.  These differences are
reflected in the published documentation.  In most (but not all) cases
the actual bibliographic data is unaffected by implementation.
Exceptions tend to occur in "metadata" fields.  OCLC's  representation
of field 00l as Fixed field "OCLC" is a specific instance of how OCLC
has implemented the USMARC format.

Information on field 003 as described in the USMARC *Concise*
Bibliographic Format for Bibliographic Data (but not the full version)
is to be found at the following Web site:

Finally, a disclaimer.  I am, of course, not authorized to speak on
behalf of either LC or OCLC (nor even on behalf of my employing
institution).  Rather, I have taken information from published sources,
and  have attempted to interpret them as clearly as possible.  If I'm in
error I would greatly appreciate receiving a correction.

Sincerely - Ian

Ian Fairclough, Serials Cataloger, University of Wyoming Libraries
Internet:; Tel. 307-766-5512
US Mail (work): P.O. Box 3334, Laramie, WY 82071-3334