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Serials Aleph FAQs

Problem: No. 10 is out of item issue date

Conditions: Title dead and we won't receive more so no 853

Answer: The message might go away because on a dead title you will change the closing subscription date on tab3 of Subscription List - it should quit looking for the subscription.

Problem: Holdings converted in two forms by Aleph

Conditions: change in practice in CFL results in some with v. and some with t.

Answer: The bib record 362 which is what we follow and I assume the issues have t. or tome. That means t.##(yyyy) is the correct format. This title reflects a change in policy around 1990 to use the numbering used on the issue rather than making something up, e.g. v.2 no. 1 when the item actually says t.2 nr.1.  Aleph was not asked to change what we had except to put in the colons in the right levels of hierarchy and they should not have put in a space between enumeration and chronology (they failed there). 
That means all the descriptions with v. are wrong and the ones with t. are correct except they need the space removed. I will put it on a list of "to-be-fixed" titles.

Problem: BND description for parts of volumes or combined vols. spanning years

Conditions: v.1:no.1-6(2004:Jan.-June) or v.6-7(2003:Aug.-2004:May)

Answer: 1. If I understood you correctly during our previous training session, I am  supposed to include month notations in the Description of a bound volume if: the bound volume covers only part of a year's subscription (e.g. v.10(2003:Jan.-June), or if one volume number is divided into more than one volume (e.g. v.10:no.1-6(2003:Jan.-June and v.10:no.7-12(2003:July-Dec.).
Yes, this is correct.
But what if a bound volume contains issues from two volume numbers, each of which covers only part of a year's subscription? One example is Biological Bulletin, vols.205-206. V.205 consists of three issues from August, October, and December of 2003, while v.206 consists of three issues from February, April, and June 2004. Should the Description line read v.205-206(2003-2004: Aug.-June), or simply v.205-206(2003-2004)?
v.205-206(2003-2004:Aug.-June) is more helpful to the user 
2. For some science titles, I print page numbers or citation numbers on the spines of bound volumes. When I BND'd in PALS I did not include those numbers in the Holdings line when the volumes were BND'd. Are they to supposed be included in the ALEPH binding process? And if so,
Page numbers are not normally part of holdings. I suppose a case could be made for doing it, but I would rather the Reference librarians request it. Your spine information should be adequate.
3. When I BND'd in PALS a volume that included a cumulative Index, the Holdings line appeared like this: V10Y2000V1-10IY1990-Y2000. When I encounter the same situation in ALEPH, how should I include the cumulative Index in the Description?
The cumulative index situation would be handled as indicated in the attached. I will try to be downstairs in a day or two to see who has questions I can answer. If this doesn't help, let me know. Example:

Description: v.19-20(1999-2000) + index v.11-20(1991-2000)

$o tab3 (caption) Index

$o tab4 (enum/chron) v.11-20(1991-2000)
I have drafted an explanation on how to work with supplemental materials for Bibs, HOL predictions, and item Description and serial level. Cataloging Tip: Serials Holdings & Description which been emailed previously. See also Serials and Supplements
4. In PALS if I BND'd a bound volume containing anything in a pocket inside the back cover (a CD-ROM, a map, a poster, and so forth), I used the CIV function to create a note in the Item Record, so that people at the Circulation Desk would know how many and what type of items were supposed to be in that pocket. What, if anything, should I do in ALEPH to create the same notation?
Use tab3 of the item record and enter the same type of information in "Circ note:"


Problem: Frequency change - when to fix HOL?

Conditions: Know that the freq will change in the future but have issues to check in now

Answer: Set it up for the number of issues expected for 2005 (where ever we are starting) If the publisher states a frequency change, when that happens, fix the HOL record. When you next open items it should predict according to the new pattern.


Problem: When to set the start date in $3

Condition: 20050101 is beginning of year for subscription, but issue is really March

Answer: You should start with the date that corresponds to the issue. If you know the real date is much delayed, change the First Claim on tab3 of Subscription List


Problem: There are 6 issues of regular journal, and 1 issue Buyers guide- 1 or 2 records in Aleph?

Conditions: In PALS we had 2 checkin records for different frequency

Answer: This title needs an 854 for the supplement whose frequency is annual 
with $o Buyers guide
The 853/853X should have the 6 issues predicted to be bimonthly

Follow instructions on document: Cataloging Tip: Holdings/Description  (ODINGROUP-CatalogingTip-SerialsHoldings-Description-Dec04.doc ) and web: Serials and Supplements

Problem: Beginning of chronology is Aug (mid-year) wait til 2005 Aug. or go back to Aug. 2004

Conditions: We might have already entered some issues

Answer: We do not want to wait til next fall. Predict beginning with 2004. If Connie has loaded some items, just delete the corresponding predicted items from the list. At least I think that should work


Problem: Seasons don't work - either start with 21 OR 24

Conditions: There was a message from Ex Libris to set a table to allow for "eng" to start 21 and "dum" to start 24. It seems to have disappeared.

Answer: I am still working with ODIN - they seem to have realized they had a table wrong to fix your problem below, but now they have lost the fix for seasons that start with winter. This SHOULD be a temporary problem until ODIN gets the tables fixed.


Problem: This title's pattern (we used in PALS) is: Vol. no. Year qtr. Aleph downloaded these with values in the V, N, and Year, but Only in the Description - does the "qtr #" appear.

Answer: Since the quarter is a number (enumeration) not chronology, there is a mechanism in the MARC standard that Aleph doesn't seem to be using to indicate enumeration in place of chronology that I will be reporting. At any rate, it doesn't work now, so leave it off. Subfield "m" which should also be able to be used for alternate number, it says you can't use for prediction, meaning you would always have to edit it. Keep it in a list somewhere to come back to later.


Problem: We had this title's pattern as NYM. The N= is chronological and ever increasing .... We have been 'ignoring' the volume info on the issues .... [see ds on PALS] HARVARD set-up this title has Jahrg.59:Heft 1= 669(2005:Jan.) which is more accurate ... Prediction WORKS... and I like it! The only problem I see is that the Jahrg. (Volume) issues will be listed before the Whole No. issues... on the 'list'

Answer: Go ahead and use it as it is correct. The drop-down in the OPAC allows users to limit so they may well pick out the year and subconsciously ingore the change in enumeration. Plus the dropdown summarizes the holdings to make it easier to scan quickly through our holdings.


Problem: When entering the 'past' 2004 issues into Aleph.... the 'arrival date' that is entered into Aleph was there a decision to just use the date that the person was entering the information???

Answer: I have told people to use the current day for the arrival date. The expected issues work from the HOL/prediction pattern $3 start dates and your number of first claim dates. The dates printed on issues can be either way before or way after normal receiving dates. Exception: printout dates during Oct are acceptable.


Problem: Holdings with series-volume-number - how to do

Answer: Colons go in between each level of enumeration, e.g. ser.3:v.69:no.1(2004:Jan.)


Problem: Fixing holdings in the middle of the list makes it display out of order.

Answer: All issues must be fixed to the correct format, or at least within a volume.


Problem: Typo problems should be notes rather than part of description


Record problem in internal note

Shows up if menu bar is checked for notes and the bottom pane Arrival form is selected in the Checkin node.


Problem: 855 with $x advanced year a year ahead

Answer: (Linda) I had a line x for 'when' the year would change on the 855. After reviewing our notes/examples from the Fargo workshop, I see they didn't use the x in the 855. So I deleted the x from the 855, and adjusted the 855X. The issues are correctly predicting.


Problem: How to punctuation chronology

Conditions: Some months are abbreviations and some note

There is no colon between a month and a day - just between year and month
There is a space if no "."
There is no space if "."
(2002:Jan.3) (2002:May 6)


Problem: Pocket parts and a single subscription

Answer: For codes we (Harvard)use a single holdings and single subscription per copy. We use multiple 856/864 fields with a subfield o to identify the various parts. Pocket parts would be one 854/864 pair, the advance code service might be another, a newletter might be another. Usually the pociket parts are the only element of a code that is really predictable. If we get two copies, we use a second holdings record and second subscritpon on the same bibliographic record. If we keep superseded volumes, we use a second holdings record to separate current from historical volumes.


Problem: Occasional supplements, posters how to do holdings

Answer: $o would just be poster on "serials levels"
Description is supposed to have a space on either side of the +
v.206:no.5(2004:Nov.) + poster


Problem: Aleph is putting Index in front of volumes, i.e. Index v.46 (2004) when it should be v.46:index(2004)

Answer: Further research is needed, but I can't see if we have any control over it (perhaps something like Z30-Description or the like). In the meantime, just fix to the correct format.


Problem: This title has 4 issues per Volume.  There are 3 volumes per Year.

Answer: Give correct frequency (e.g. monthly which expects 12 issues) and then say $b 4 meaning you will get 4 issues then change up to the next volume


Problem: Display order of Description in GUI and Web and summary holdings.

Conditions: Not all Descriptions were migrated as prescribed by Ex Libris even though they believe they followed this: This rule corresponds to MARC21 standard. 
Here is the citation of the rule from MARC21 site: When only chronology captions are used on an item (that is, the item carries no enumeration), the chronology captions are contained in the relevant enumeration caption subfields ($a-$h). If a chronology caption is not to be used in a display of the enumeration and chronology field (863-865), it is enclosed in parentheses, for example, (year)."

Answer: Serials change numbering that has to be accepted and it will cause disparities in display. The primary concern should be the OPAC display. It works well when the Description is perfect, i.e. all the same construction following standards. One chunk will be different than the other chunk. If in PALS there were extra or missing characters in some holdings, then the list does not match. It cannot a) display properly in order, nor can it properly create the 866 summary display. In addition when Aleph tries to open holdings in the Web OPAC, the program tries to create 866 summary holdings on the fly. It fails to do so when there is an inconsistency between the item serial levels and the pattern serial levels. Hence all titles will switches in numbering need to have 866 fields created manually.


Problem: During the process of selecting issues to Bind  what is the procedure to deal with the one that was missed?

Answer: Delete the item


Problem: When in ACQ/SER module you cannot see all the volumes when you have the 
"check-in" highlighted and the tab "all" button is chosen

Answer: The reason that not all the items are displayed in the Check-in pane is that some of the items have material type "BOOK". Only issue items (with material type "ISSUE") are displayed in the Check in pane. In the cataloging module all the items (with all the material types) are displayed in the items list.


Problem: Some prediction patterns just don't seem to work.

Condition: cf. this email message: The inability to create patterns that work for a great many of our titles has created enormous headaches for us. It is not just the "winter" issue problem, but a great many other aspects of patterns that don't work, such as continuous numbering (all patterns); ordinal numbers, as well as ordinals in languages other than English; patterns with (year) and no. as enumeration - all patterns; and patterns with combined chronology (first issue does not combine months/season, rest do) ..
Answer: CFL will create HOL records with correct prediction. If it doesn't work and it falls into any of the above categories, the item will be created from new or duplicate. If/When these issues are resolved we are ready or can easily change the HOL records.


Email from Harvard regarding discussions at the 2004 NAAUG meeting.


Here are the patterns that are not working (or are not working in all 
cases) and where we believe they stand with Ex Libris: 
1. Continuous numbering: In Version 16.02, a service pack was released 
about a month ago that included rep_change 623.  This change was reported 
to have fixed the continuous numbering problem.  We loaded the service pack 
on our development server and attempted to predict as many variations of 
patterns as possible, because, as you know, almost any publication pattern 
can have continuous numbering.  We tested all of the 853 $$w frequency 
codes as well as $$w numeric codes from 2 times a year to 13 times a year, 
etc.  We tested months and seasons.  We tested year month and day.  We 
tested patterns that omitted certain months, seasons, and year, month and 
day.  Nearly all of the patterns we tested worked; there were three 
continuous numbering patterns that did not work: 3 times a year, continuous 
numbering, issues seasonal; biweekly with continuous numbering, issue date 
specified, and weekly, continuous numbering, issue date specified (this 
last one based the pattern on Science Magazine).    We have reported these 
three problems to Ex Libris. (see below)
2. Year and No.: We reported that this is still a problem in Version 16.02, 
and we have been told by Ex Libris that they are working on resolving the 
problem.  We provided some examples as well as some documentation from the 
CONSER Cataloging Manual about this particular kind of pattern. 
3. Weekly with multiple volumes: This is slightly related to the continuous 
numbering problem.  We have tested this in Version 16 and it works for most 
general weekly patterns but not if you specify the week to start with 
(again, this is a problem for Science Magazine and the Economist).  We 
reported this back to Ex Libris as an outstanding problem. 
4. Support for the 853 $$y value c with variable to indicate enumeration or 
chronology: We are hopeful to see this supported in Version 17, and we are 
very anxious to test it. 
5. There are some uncommon patterns that do not produce a correct set of 
issues in Aleph.  We are about to report in a PRB an example sent to us of 
a title that has 18 issues per year, with all of the issues published 
monthly, which means that there are two issues published in certain 
months.  If you set a $$y as pm01,02,03,03,04,05,05 etc., Aleph will 
produce the two March issues correctly, but the pattern fails with the May 
issues onward. 
6. Seasons - is winter 21 or 24? Jeremy has a quarterly 
that begins with the winter issue in the same calendar year.  Even though 
he didn't submit his pattern to the list, I'm pretty sure it's MARC 
compliant based on the set of issues that were produced, that is, winter in 
the year specified in $$i of the 853X field, and then the spring, summer 
and fall issues in the next year.  Some folks on the list have commented 
that is a bug.  In fact, I don't believe it's a bug, I believe it's the way 
the prediction program works for this type of pattern.  As we all know, we 
may have a title that has winter, spring, summer and fall all published in 
2005, and other titles that are published winter 2004, spring, summer, fall 
2005.  Some publishers look at the calendar and determined that, when 
winter is the first issue, the winter season begins in December, others 
have decided it begins in the same calendar year as the rest of the 
issues.   This does not mean that the prediction pattern program is wrong, 
it means that it will produce an incorrect set of issues for a title where 
the winter issue is the first issue and is considered by the publisher to 
be produced in the same calendar year as the other seasons. 
It's possible that Ex Libris could choose to change the prediction program 
so that all issues are created in the same calendar year.  But that will 
mean that those titles that view winter beginning in the way that the 
standard Gregorian calendar for the Northern Hemisphere does will not be 
able to be predicted correctly. 

Note: For ODIN an attempt has been made to address this issue and it tested out as working. However, it is currently not working and in limbo.


As mentioned above, make an attempt to set up prediction patterns as they should correctly be done. If it doesn't work and matches the situations above, add or duplicate an item to "arrive" issues. 

Problem: Binding  analytic items are sometimes separate so they can't be in the list for binding. Sometimes analytics aren't set up right.

Answer: We will try these steps for now:

1) if all barcodes that need to be collapsed into one new barcode for the bound vol can be displayed, complete the binding

2) if an analytic, supplement, etc. is separately displayed, bind the regular issues normally and delete the analytic item

3) send a screen print to Gretchen who will fix analytics

1) all if not too many

2) or at least the current ones that would be affected by future binding and make note of the title to go back to later

(example: journal of fish biology)


Problem: The Aleph holdings manual says to use +^ed. but the MARC21 standard says to use +ed. The pattern template displays the ^ and it seems to work either way for prediction but the display ends up with unnecessary characters

Answer: No answer was given to 150571. UND will not use the ^, just the + unless we find it doesn't work. 


Problem: Calendar change doesn't seem to do anything

Answer: The Aleph serials manual says $x Calendar change is not used by Aleph to cause the change. It uses the $3. However, for resource sharing, libraries are encouraged to enter it anyway.


Problem: How do I note claims?

Answer: On the predicted item, add a claim note (from the UND serials notes list) to the Internal note box and change the processing status to PC


Problem: How/why predict standing orders or serials (usually monograph series) that are totally unpredictable?

Condition: Claims, reports, or record of activity may be needed.

Answer: If money is involved, there needs to be an order with an end date, and renewal date to get reports and manage budgets. If money is not involved, but tracking is necessary, use gift vendors and budgets with an order. Both of those conditions also need a subscription. Depository materials do not need an order, but a subscription is usually helpful to record notes about handling and processing and must exist in order to use prediction. Prediction should be attempted, but if the option of guessing at probable expected issues per year doesn't work, create an item with an expected date sometime in the future reasonable based on past experience.


Problem: I'm binding together two issues of Virginia Quarterly Review (AP2 .V76). They are v.80:no.1-2(2004:Winter-Spring). As separate issues they contained number designations in the Chron.Level.2 boxes. 24 for Winter and 21 for Spring. Summer issues read 22 and Autumn issues read 23 in that box. 

Answer: a) Tab5 ends up with 24-21  I don't think this will cause a problem because it is not part of prediction and display comes from Description. b) This should probably be changed in the future when a solution is settled on for seasons (tentatively language code eng for winter=21 and language code dum for winter=24 (853-Chrono) in 008 of HOL (& BIB?).


Problem: How do I do new series?

Answer: new ser. is part of the 1st level of enumeration with the first volume, e.g. new series v.3

Description: new ser.:v.3

Tab 5: 3

853/866 $a new ser.:v.

853X 3


Problem: We receive this title [on microfiche] four times a year ... approx. 3 months per shipment.

Answer: Even though you receive them in chunks, the enumeration on the issues is still by issue. That is what you have to predict. The claiming days probably need to be figured out to be later than normal so you don't get a claim on the 1st of the 3.


Problem: The ISSN changed on my title. What do I do?

Answer: The ISSN should be changed on the BIB record. Send and email to Shelby the OC## or the BIB SYS no. with the new ISSN. If there is any additional information, include it in the email, e.g. publisher is still using the ISSN of the former title (MARBI is working on new coding for this but not yet).


Problem: There are multiple locations and multiple active subscriptions for a title. Why does only one location open issues for checkin?

Answer: Each subscription has a number, e.g. 10, 20, etc. Each collection (location) needs its own HOL record. In each HOL, the 853/853X etc fields need to be entered. Then make sure $9 has the corresponding subscription number for that location. There can be only one occurrence of a subscription number among the HOL records, e.g. $9 00010 can only be used once on a title.


Problem: What does "Additional Tree branch" mean?

Answer: The system has a limit of items and HOL records it can display in the tree. If it exceeds that number, the message is displayed. In ACQ/SER you need to go to the Item list or Checkin All to see all the items. In CAT, go to the item node.


Problem: Subscription to and from dates. They are in orders, subscriptions and invoices. What dates should be in them?

Answer: In the Order and Subscription, the from date is whenever we decided to start subscribing to the journal or standing order. In the same forms, the to date is to be far out into the future until you decide to cancel or it ceases. Aleph migrated 1995-2010. We will use 2050. On the invoice, the dates are for this year's payment (must also match budget cycle). If the Check Subs. Date Overlap is checked it will verify that the payment is within the Order/Subscription dates. Note: invoices for Serials and Standing orders are never completely invoiced or completely arrived until we cancel or the title ceases.


Problem: How do renewal dates work?

Answer: Running the service Acq-23 with update database will move the renewal date forward and send a letter (if desired) to let the vendor know we want to continue the subscription. On Acq-23 for budget cycle 1 subscriptions, enter to and from for a one year span within which the renewal dates exist on orders. It will not change the date, if the NEW renewal date would be later than the end date of the Order/Subscription (to) date.


Problem: Alternate numbering and alternate chronology  how do I use those?

Answer: They are used to record the data on the right side of an equal sign in a 362.


Problem: How to handle inactive, decision, or gift subscriptions


End subscription date for open orders  2050

If a serial title is inactive, there are four places to make it inactive by changing the end or to date.

1)      BIB record

2)      HOL record

3)      Order record

4)      Subscription record  this can remain for informational purposes

a.       add ending/closing to date

b.       claiming no

5)      Prediction - delete predicted issues


A subscription can exist to record decisions to route, throw, process, etc. It must have bib record.

1)      BIB record  can be STA SUPPRESSED

2)      HOL record

3)      Subscription record


1)      BIB record

2)      HOL record

3)      Order using a gift budget and gift vendor

4)      Subscription record

5)      Prediction


All are reversible. However, DO NOT change bib to STA DELETED unless the decision is to delete all records  BIB, HOL, invoices, orders, subscriptions, etc. 

Problem: Continuous numbering with more than one volume.

Answer: One can try this: In the 853 field, in the 'u' subfield enter 'var' for varies, and then add an 'x' subfield and enter 01,07..or whatever months you want the

volume number to change. So far this has worked for us with no problems.

(see also above - Harvard notes)


Problem: Continuous numbering, year to year

Answer: Example:

If you want the pattern to look like:
174 all the way thru 177(2004)


Then the 853 would be as follows:
85320 L $$81$$a(*)$$i(year)$$wb$$x01

and the 853X would be as follows:
853X L $$81$$900001$$a172$$i2004$$320050301

Problem: How do I predict new series?


85320 |8 1 |a new series v. |b no. |u 12 |v r |i (year) |j (month) |w m |x 01
853X |8 1 |9 00002 |a 4 |b 1 |i 2004 |j 01 |3 20040101

Problem: How does alternate numbering go in the description and tab5?


1) On tab5 Alt.Enum.1 $g should have the number for the alternate number in it (in this example it is ser.##)

2) The description should have an "=" for alternate numbering




Problem: How do we manage damaged or replacement issues?


1. - Dup/add that item record 
2 -  Click on the Claim button to prompt the Claim form. 
3 -  Click 'New' and fill-in claim form [ex:  "ClmdEbsco ReplacementIss 
5/5/05 ; "] 
4 - Print off the Claim letter 
5 - Close Claim form and Item Record will automatically have the Item 
Processing Status changed to PC [Period Claim] 
6 - If claiming Replacement issue, Add/modify Internal Note field 
w/info referring to "RecdDam ClmdRepla 5/5/05" 
7a - Enter Claim for Replacement Issue into EbscoNET 
7b. Or If direct, then Send claim letter (or email claim to pub) 
8 -  'Arrive' the damaged issue on the Item Record listed. 
9 -  Add blank label below Call Number label with info "Damage. Ordered 
Replacement 5/5/05 vendor" and highlight YELLOW 
10 - Add/adjust the Internal Note on that item record ... "RecdDamaged. 
ClmdRepl 5/5/05 ;" 
11 - a) Defective article - pull issue, delete item record and toss issue 
11 - b) Damaged issue:

a) if NoBind, pull damaged issue, delete item and 
toss issue 
b) if Bind, at time of binding, delete item and 
toss issue

Example of notes on each item record:



DAMAGED ISSUE! REPLACEMENT RECD> See Additional Item Record UseOtherCopyForBinding ; Ebsco ; www.iste org/L&L ; ClmdREPLAC Iss Ebsco 5/4/05 ;