CRS Cataloging Forum

The Continuing Resources Section (CRS) Cataloging Forum was held on Monday, January 27 from 1 to 2:30 p.m., and featured five speakers presenting a variety of topics.

George Prager, New York University Law School, and Bob Maxwell, Brigham Young University, presented an update from the PCC Series Policy Task Force on RDA series documentation. Recommendations include an instruction not to take series numbering from E-CIP information, and a recommendation that Roman numerals be transcribed as they appear, in the 490, but be replaced with Arabic numerals, in the authorized access point for the series (8xx fields). The report contains recommendations concerning multilingual series. They hope review by the Committee on Standards and the PCC Policy Committee can be completed in time for final documentation to be published by Fall 2014.

Les Hawkins, CONSER Coordinator for the Program for Cooperative Cataloging, gave updates on various matters in progress. December 31, 2014 will be the last day for CONSER-authentication of new records using AACR2. All new original authenticated records should be coded RDA after that date. (Guidelines for exceptions when dealing with existing bibliographic copy have been promulgated). Revision of the CONSER Cataloging Manual is under way; eight of the 27 modules will be included in the upcoming release of Cataloger’s Desktop.

Regina Reynolds, Coordinator of the ISSN Center at the Library of Congress, outlined a new initiative. ROAD ( is a freely available international subset of the ISSN Portal, listing over 10,000 open access scholarly resources that have been screened by the appropriate national center for evidence of actual publication and that are being indexed. Issuing ISSN Centers add a code in the 856 to newly assigned ISSNs that flag titles as candidates for consideration by the Paris directorate for inclusion in ROAD. The project is a response to changes in online publishing that result in burdensome workflows for the individual national Centers, which receive batch requests for dozens of ISSN assignments for projected journals that, in some cases, never do appear. Some publishers have not been candid about the genuine country of publication. While ISSN still does not relish any role in screening applicants for content, they do still feel an obligation to verify that publications are serial in nature. Applications from publishers known to have fraudulent practices are refused.

Adolfo Tarango, Continuing Resources Section liaison to CC:DA, reported the proposal from the German national libraries, to alter the title proper in cases where the record is successive entry but there has been a minor change in the title, was analyzed. CC:DA determined that the difference in preference between Anglo-American and German practice on this point is in fact a display issue that could be solved to everyone’s satisfaction with leading indicator values similar to those already in use for publisher information in the 264 field, and recommended pursuit of that solution. A request that CC:DA consider an exception to the ‘first five words of the title’ rule for languages with orthography that does not observe word boundaries was returned to the ISSN centers for development as a formal proposal. The MARC Advisory Committee asked CC:DA to consider development of leading indicators for the 588 field, to take advantage of display constants that may be helpful. The recommendations of the Microform Reproductions Task Force are under review.

Ed Jones, National University, spoke on the history and future of cataloging. “The work of your predecessors was always appalling,” he observed with characteristic humor, “even in 1874.” Each change in either the cataloging code or the technology of distribution has left an impress on cataloging practice. Jones noted that we continue to design headings or authorized access points as if browsing were still the way users normally search, despite evidence that keyword searching is now standard behavior. Headings such as “Surname, comma, Forename” reflect legacy search strategies that had to be in alphabetical order, as if we were still using Charles Cutter’s 1874 book-format catalog of the Boston Athenæum.

—Christopher Walker, Penn State University