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Electronic Resources Cataloging Policy

This document gives local usage and local decisions for cataloging items for the Chester Fritz Library, University of North Dakota. For field definitions, appropriate tags, national standards, etc., consult MARC21 and CONSER documentation. While catalogers should review and understand these information sources, the standards for cataloging remote access computer files are not definitive. They will continue to change. See Cataloging Electronic Documents for additional guidelines. See Cataloging Web Sites for local CFL field-specific instructions.

Electronic resources are to be reviewed following the Electronic Resources Selection Guidelines.

Pre-cataloging Procedures

  1. Search the ODIN Catalog and OCLC.
  2. Evaluate the Web site and indicate:
    • type of access (full, abstract only, etc.)
    • special software (sound card, panorama viewer, video, etc.)
    • free or licensed and what the restrictions are
    • direct or through aggregator
    • special notes needed for users
    • main home page or individual sections/titles need to be cataloged
    • title changes
  3. See General Considerations under Cataloging for more details about determining whether or not to add an electronic copy statement to a print version record or to create a separate record.
  4. Check to see if an trigger date is needed:
    1.  to alert staff to check the URL
    2.  re-license or re-subscribe


Cataloging - General considerations


  1. To determine how to catalog an item, consult Library of Congress Rule Interpretations 1.0 and rules 21.2C1 and 21.30J.
  2. See definitions: Serial-Monograph-Integrating? Single-Separate?‚Äč
  3. To determine how to handle serial title changes and when to create a new bibliographic record, see: Major/minor title changes (document below) or Differences Between, Changes Within at: [login required]
  4. Serial or monograph? Single or separate record? A discussion of issues from CONSER, ALCTS and JSC work.
  5. Single versus separate records. Normally, if the print version was the source of the electronic version (scanned image, PDF file), add an electronic copy statement to the print version record. If the item being cataloged is a Web version or other separate emanation of the print version, use the following criteria to decide how to proceed:
    1.  Is the main title the same? (e.g., the print version is Encyclopedia Britannica; the networked resource is Britannica Online. In this case, create separate records.)
    2. Are there things in one version that aren't in the other version? For example, the NY Times on the Web ... When deciding, consider the presence/absence of major articles and sections, and the presence/absence of images essential to the use of the materials. Advertising is not usually considered.
    • If the item may be accessed in part for free and in full only through library licensing, use separate 856 #z for explanatory notes.
    • create a separate record if there are significant variances in content, numbering, scope, presentation; generally catalog print and online journals on separate records
      • Separate record for original format:
        • 530 On each record to indicate the existance of the other format. Ex: Also available online.
        • 776 0 #t Title #w OCLC to indicate link
        • 049 UNDA, etc.
      • Separate record for electronic format:
        • 530 On each record to indicate the existance of the other format. Ex: Online version of print journal.
        • 776 0 #t Title #c (Print) [or #c Original] #w OCLC to indicate link
        • 856 #z note #u URL
        • 049 UND7
      • One record (follow OCLC guidelines for original input)
        • Use appropriate original format record
        • 049 UNDP(etc.) #a UND7
        • 530 Also available online.
        • 530 [GPO]Also available via the Internet from the __ site. Address as of __ (date) via PURL:
        • 655 0 Genre term. If using LCSH topical as genre, use indicator 0; otherwise use indicator2 7 and #2
        • 773 0 Aggregator
        • 856 #z note #u URL
    • add electronic data fields to the print record if the electronic resource is a near facsimile of the original, generally PDF; or
    • After considering these points,
    • For websites with common names or unclear names, use the HTML source code for the title. Add a 246 1 #i Common title: #a title to provide access to what it appears to be known as.
    • If the electronic version is considered a searchable database, do not add it to print serial record if using single-record approach. For example, BIOSIS, the electronic version of Biological Abstracts, should not be cataloged as a serial despite the print version's treatment as such.
      However, if a site has a simple search screen to access its own documents, users may be better served by adding the URL in an additional 856 or noting its existence in a note.
    • Stable and/or significant depository-related documents or web sites should be cataloged, including US federal, ND state, local, and UND
    • Online version of print journal/standing order subscriptions will be cataloged. If an additional fee is charged, Collection Development must review.
    • Homepages with multiple and/or variable features will be cataloged rather than each feature, unless:
      1. The bibliographer specifies the need for a specific feature or title
      2. The homepage coverage is extremely broad and the features/links themselves are significant
        • Call numbers will be assigned to electronic resources. The purpose of classification is to place objects or concepts together in "classes" or groupings with other objects that share the same characteristics. In the online catalog this usually means things about the same topic should all be identified with the same class number, regardless of format or location. LCC is used for most works and SUDOC for federal documents; special projects may have local numbers.
        • In situations where multiple URLs (856s) could be used to access an electronic resource, use the most direct one(s). In particular EBSCO online URLs that switch to publisher's site is less direct than accessing the publishers site if we have access rights, use only the publisher's site. Less direct URLs may be put in 530. For fre and/or government documents, use $u. For subscribed electronic resources, do not use $u. Do not do this for EBSCO online URLs.


Monographs - General Considerations

  1. Follow the guidelines in Cataloging Electronic Resources: OCLC-MARC Coding Guidelines
  2. Follow first content, then format specific guidelines (e.g. cartographic)
  3. Consider GPO guidelines for federal documents

Serials - General considerations

  1. Follow CONSER rules and practices as a minimum Local materials should be cataloged with fullest information as possible.
  2. CONSER does not catalog the following as serials: 1) Online public access catalogs or databases; 2) Gopher servers; 3) Discussion lists or their digests; 5) WWW home pages without designated parts; 5) Online services such as America Online. Databases which in their print manifestations are cataloged as serials or are integrating resources are cataloged as serials in their electronic manifestations.
  3. If the title changes, continued access under the license must be verified. If it is no longer accessible or access is changed to another source (eg. from OCLC ECO to JSTOR), the 856 in the bibliographic record must be modified accordingly.

Serials/Integrating Resources - Serial Bibliographic and Checkin Records: Chester Fritz Library Guidelines

Database Maintenance of the Library Database Records

  1. Notify ABC using the Checklist when URL's change, when URL's need to be withdrawn, or when access notes need to be changed.
  2. Notify ABC when major title or content changes occur.
    • If the title has actually changed, a new record will be required.
    • If the content has changed, new subject or added entry access points may be necessary.