Wednesday, December 12, 2007

CONSER Individual Memberships

Among the recommendations made in the Draft Report on the Future of Bibliographic Control was 1.2.3. "Expand number of PCC participants." I've recently seen a few references to CONSER's pilot "individual member," a cataloger from a CONSER institution who moved to a non-CONSER library. Could individual memberships be a way to expand CONSER participation to skilled catalogers in institutions unable to qualify for CONSER membership? In early November, the PCC Policy Committee met and information on the pilot project can be found in the agenda published on the PCC home page (see Document 5 on pages 10-11). Unfortunately, I was unable to locate any publicly available minutes for this meeting.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

MARC Record Services Survey

Rebecca Kemp, Serials Coordinator at University of North Carolina Wilmington, is conducting a survey on MARC Record Services.

You are invited to participate in a study that is designed to gather information about MARC record services from library personnel who use these services to increase coverage of electronic serials in their online catalog.

The results will provide information about how libraries are using different MARC record services, the benefits of using the services, and areas in which the services could be improved. Your participation in the study will provide valuable information about a major aspect of serials cataloging- outsourcing MARC records to vendors. The study will allow you to express your ideas about MARC record services in a formally published article.
It is unclear how long the survey will be available.

Via Catalogablog

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Help with Major and Minor Title Changes

A recent discussion on the OCLC-CAT list reminded me of some helpful hints for determining major versus minor title changes in the new CONSER Standard Record Documentation. Pages 13-14 in Appendix A have these bits of advice:

Major vs. Minor Changes

I. Rules of thumb for problematic situations

Resource-type words: If the word can be used with an indefinite article, consider it a resource-type word (using this guideline, newspaper is a resource-type word; news is not a resource-type word). Frequency words are not considered resource-type words (though commonly used that way in English). In case of doubt, consider a word to be a resource-type word.

Minor Word Variations: In case of doubt, consider a different representation to be the same word but use caution and perhaps a dictionary in the case of different grammatical forms because words like man and male are different words with different meanings.

Geographic term or government body?: When the serial is issued by or associated with a government body, consider a geographic term to be a representation of the corporate body’s name (e.g., California facts and figures issued by an agency of the California state government).

Change of meaning or subject matter: Limit the application of this rule to changes that would be reflected in subject headings, and cases where the publisher indicates that the title change reflects a change in scope.

Remember also to consult AACR2 21.2C and related LCRIs when determining if a title change is major or minor.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

New issue of CONSERline now available

No. 29 (fall 2007) of CONSERline is now available on the CONSER web site. Contents include:

From the Editor
CONSER Standard Record News
DLF Registry of Digital Masters
Integrating Resources Cataloging
PCC Ad Hoc Series Review Task Force
CONSER Documentation
Membership News

The complete online archive of the newsletter can be found here.

Monday, October 1, 2007

"Single, Separate, or Something in Between: Results of a Survey on Representing Electronic Serials in the Catalog" by Abigail C. Bordeaux

Volume 7, Issue 3/4 (2007) of the Journal of Internet Cataloging includes Bordeaux's article on the single vs. separate record debate concerning the cataloging of electronic serials. I first discovered this article as a pre-print a couple months ago while doing research on the topic. While a number of articles already address the debate, Bordeaux's article provides a fresh perspective by using a survey to find out what libraries are doing in the real world. While her survey showed no clear preference in practice, those using separate records were more likely to have the majority (76-100%) of their electronic serials represented in the online library catalog. Also notable is the similar perception of patron satisfaction between libraries using the single record approach versus the separate record approach.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

“Unique Identifiers in Libraries: ISSN Revision” by Regina Romano Reynolds

Reynolds, Head of the National Serials Data Program, looks at ISSN (International Standard Serials Number) and its changing role due to the proliferation of various formats for a given title. In 2003, an international working group was formed to revise the standard. In a world of electronic resources, the ISSN is a vital data element for periodical access management systems (PAMS), electronic resource management systems (ERMS), abstracting & indexing services, and OpenURL link resolvers, to name a few. After providing background information on new and old uses for ISSN, Reynolds provides an overview of the revision process and explains the changes resulting from it. As I’ve reported earlier, the result of this work is the ISSN-L or linking ISSN. The ISSN-L is a title level identifier, but each manifestation of that title will also continue to carry a unique ISSN. The first ISSN assigned (regardless of format) will also function as the ISSN-L. Planning for ISSN-L implementation, including data distribution, was underway at the time the article was written. This article will be of interest to folks following the ISSN revision process over the past few years, but will also get others up to speed who are just now finding out about the changes.

Reynolds’s article can be found in the Serials Librarian, vol. 53, no. 1/2 (2007), pages 125-137.

“Confessions of a Correspondent from the Choice-of-Entry War: Review of Responses to a Set of Informal Opinion Surveys” by Andrew D. Shroyer

Shroyer’s article is the fourth in a quartet on the latest entry versus successive entry debate. He surveyed both catalogers and public services librarians, using separate survey instruments for each group, in his exploration of the topic. Both raw data and evaluative summaries of his survey findings are provided in the article. Both groups leaned more towards latest entry cataloging leading him to conclude, “a fresh exploration of the rules governing choice of entry, in terms of both principles and practicalities, would be timely and could be productive.”

Shroyer’s article can be found in the Serials Librarian, vol. 53, no. 1/2 (2007), pages 99-123.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

“How Successive Entry Cataloging Stacks Up in Today’s World” by Mary Grenci

Grenci adds another assessment to the successive entry versus latest entry debate. She considers arguments about which method is most practical and efficient for catalogers, noting the difficulties in researching a serial’s history in latest entry cataloging and the time spent creating or editing new records under successive entry. She concludes that both methods require time and effort to determine “what’s going on” on the part of a cataloger. She then considers the user perspective. She provides a rebuttal to the argument that latest entry is best for users, pointing out that most users don’t care about a serial’s history--they simply want to find the title that matches their citation! On the other hand, long browse displays or receiving a large number of hits can be confusing. Latest entry records may result in false hits if portions of the serial run are not owned. Like Randall, she looks to improved catalog displays as the solution to serials confusion. She cites the issuance of the FRBR report as an important step forward and briefly mentions the concept of the “superwork.” While acknowledging arguments on either side, Grenci ultimately advocates for a combination of successive entry cataloging and improved library catalogs as the best option for the future.

Grenci's article can be found in the Serials Librarian, vol. 53, no. 1/2 (2007), pages 93-98.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

“Latest Entry Legacies: Confessions of a Guerrilla Cataloger” by Kevin M. Randall

Kevin Randall looks at the history of serials cataloging practices at Northwestern University, which used latest entry cataloging from the mid-1980s through the mid-1990s ignoring the standard of successive entry cataloging. He discusses some of the problems encountered in using latest entry in addition to its advantages. From the cataloging perspective, he mentions that quick copy-cataloging of successive entry records is often easier than local maintenance with latest entry cataloging. Randall's evaluation of latest entry versus successive entry is more balanced than in the Baia article. He also gives more credit to the potential of FRBR stating,
“If any ideal solution is to be found, it is in more sophisticated OPAC development to utilize data encoded in the MARC records." He goes on to say that it does not matter to the user if one record or several are used, what is important is the display of the data. Randall concludes that successive entry is “our only real hope” in the current environment.

You'll find Randall's article in the Serials Librarian, vol. 53, no. 1/2 (2007), pages 81-91.

“Excessive Successive: Time for a Radical Change” by Wendy Baia

Wendy Baia makes an impassioned plea for a return to latest entry cataloging in her article, “Excessive Successive: Time for a Radical Change.” She first provides a brief history documenting her own experiences over a 40-year career with both latest entry and successive entry cataloging. She then uses the example of Organic Gardening to illustrate the differences between what successive entry looks like compared to latest entry cataloging. (She makes a technical error in suggesting that the OG record covering the years 2001-2003 should be marked for deletion—that title change happened prior to the Dec. 2002 implementation of major and minor title changes and so was correct at the time it was cataloged.) [Note: She presents her evidence as 6 records in successive cataloging versus only 1 with latest entry. However successive record #6 was input incorrectly, leaving 5 successive records, and if all those changes had occured after the Dec. 2002 minor title change rules were implemented, there would be only 2 successive entry records.]

The real meat of the article comes in the section, “What’s Wrong with Latest Entry Cataloging?” where Baia presents 13 criticisms of latest entry cataloging and her responses to them. She mentions FRBR, although in my opinion dismisses FRBRized displays as a solution too easily. She also argues that “using one record to represent one serial fulfills the FRBR goal to promote users’ ability to find, identify, select, and obtain resources.” However, I would argue that data elements within records are far more vital to achieving those user tasks than simply the number of records that exist. (See Table 6.3 on pages 93-95 of Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records.) Even though she hasn’t quite convinced me, overall the article is thought-provoking and well-worth reading as she presents both user-focused reasons for, as well as possible workflow advantages to latest entry cataloging.

You'll find Baia's article in the Serials Librarian, vol. 53, no. 1/2 (2007), pages 57-80.

New Issue of the Serials Librarian

A new issue of the Serials Librarian has just been published: vol. 53, no. 1/2 (2007). It contains several articles of interest to serials catalogers including a special section of 4 articles on successive vs. latest entry. It will take me awhile to get them read and reviewed, so be patient.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

CCM Draft Update Available

Conser has recently posted a Draft Update for Module 31 of the Conser Cataloging Manual. Module 31 covers cataloging remote access electronic serials.

Monday, August 27, 2007

2006 NASIG Proceedings Published in the Serials Librarian

Haworth Press has published the 2006 NASIG Conference Proceedings as vol. 52, no. 1/2 and 3/4 (2006) of the Serials Librarian. There are a few articles of particular interest to serials catalogers:

The Shape of Things to Come: Resource Description and Access (RDA) / Ed Jones (presenter) and Patrick L. Carr (recorder)

FRBR in the Real World /Paul J. Weiss and Steve Shadle(presenters)

Mountains, Valleys and Pathways: Serials Users' Needs and Steps to Meet Them. Part II: Steps to Meet Serials Users' Needs: The Access Level Record for Serials, and ISSN Revision / Regina Romano Reynolds (presenter)

Monday, August 13, 2007

ISSN-L Getting Closer to Fruition

If you've been following the ISSN revision process that began back in January of 2004, then you've probably heard about the linking ISSN or ISSN-L. It is defined as follows:
the ISSN designated by the ISSN Network to enable collocation or linking among the different media versions of a continuing resource. (Source)
An update on the revision process was given at the CONSER At-Large meeting held during ALA on June 24, 2007. Regina Reynolds reported that publication and implementation of the standard is planned for 2008. You can read her update on the process in the meeting summary. ISSN-L will be an important step forward for better collocation in library catalogs. Let's hope ILS vendors will take advantage of it!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Taking the Sting Out of Serials

About a month ago, the North American Serials Interest Group (NASIG) put out a call for proposals for their 2008 conference to be held in Phoenix, AZ, June 3-9. To submit a proposal, fill out this handy form.

What topics are you interested to see in the program? Start your session wishlist in the comments below.

Monday, August 6, 2007

A Solution to the Multiple Version Problem

July 2007's issue of Library Resources & Technical Services (vol.51, no.3) features an interesting article by Julian Everett Allgood called, "Serials and Multiple Versions, or the Inexorable Trend toward Work-Level Displays." Allgood looks at revisions to cataloging rules, implementation of FRBR principles, and the MARC 21 authority format in the context of solving the "MulVer" problem. He predicts that manifestation-level cataloging will continue to be the standard, and thus sees FRBRization and an expanded use of authority records (for work and expression identifiers) as the best option to achieve better displays for multiple formats of a title in online library catalogs.

An Open Invitation

Welcome! After months of searching for the perfect information source for information of interest specifically to serials catalogers, I've finally decided to create this blog. I hope you find it both interesting and useful and please feel free to discuss any posts in the comments section.