Full-Level OCLC-Member Editing Guidelines (Books Format)

Document sections

Definition Fixed field
Caveats Variable fields
Basic guidelines Coding and counting

The following guidelines apply to an OCLC-member bibliographic record, Books Format only, when there is no DLC (including full-level DLC and DLC/CIP) or member-input LC copy for another edition.  The category "OCLC-member" includes records of all libraries contributing to the OCLC WorldCat database except DLC, DLC/CIP, and member-input LC records.  This category includes:

(1)  Records of all libraries other than LC -- including NLC and other national libraries, British UKMARC (UKM), PCC BIBCO libraries, and regular OCLC-member libraries.

      If such records have been modified by LC (040 d DLC), they lack an 050 00 call number field.

(2)  Minimal-level DLC (DLC/7)

(3)  In-process DLC (DLC/5)


Matching record:  If there is any discrepancy in the title (245), edition (250), imprint (260), physical description (300), or series (4xx) field, or if you have any other questions as to whether your record actually matches the edition of the piece in hand:  Either consult the document "Editions and Printings, or, Which Record to Use and How to Edit It" or check with your trainer before using that record.

Serials:  Watch out for possible serials or indexes to serial publications.  Give possible serials or serial indexes to Bruce to check whether they are wanted by the Serials Dept.

Looseleaf materials:  If you are cataloguing looseleaf materials, consult with your trainer before proceeding.  They may present special problems in the 260, 300, and/or 500 fields.

Photocopies:  If the piece-in-hand is a photocopy of any kind, including University Microfilms International reproductions, consult with your trainer before proceeding if you have not already been given instructions for cataloging photocopies.

Accompanying materials:  Watch for accompanying computer disks, CD-ROMs, DVDs, sound recordings, maps, microforms, and other supplementary materials not bound in with the main piece.  They may present special problems in the 260, 300, and/or 5xx fields.  Information in the matching record must match the piece and vice versa.  If listed accompanying material is not present with the book, check with Bruce.

If accompanying material is present:  For instructions on treatment, consult "Accompanying Material:  Summary Copy Cataloguing Procedures" or "Accompanying Material:  Copy Cataloguing Checklist for Material Staying with Piece," as applicable.

"Bound-with"s:  If your piece consists of two or more separate bibliographic entities that have been bound together subsequent to publication, each title should be catalogued on a separate bib record.  Consult with your trainer before proceeding.

Defective copies:  Watch for possible defects in the book copy, including but not limited to missing pages, pages or sections bound upside down, pages that protrude from the binding, blurred printing, or defective bindings.  Give defective copies to Bruce.

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Basic Guidelines

Accept or change information in the OCLC record as instructed in these guidelines.  Accept any other fields that may appear in the record but that are not specifically mentioned unless you suspect a problem.

Authority work:

Consult the relevant variable field sections below and the name and uniform title authority work or series authority work guidelines.

Subfield codes must be accurate to ensure accurate indexing.

Proofing the record

Typos and misspellings, including missing and erroneous diacritics, should be corrected.  If a Romance-language title or name is present all in upper case on the title page, determine whether diacritics need to be added when represented online in 100, 245, 246 field, etc., if you are familiar with the language.  However, do not spend much time checking dictionaries.

E.g.    T.p.:  LES ELEVES DE MARS        Record 245:  a Les eleves de Mars

Edit to:  Les élèves de Mars      [if you know French or see the title written with accents elsewhere in the piece]

E.g.    T.p.:  ANDRES ZUNIGA        Record 245:  ... c Andres Zuniga

Edit to:  Andrés Zúñiga       [if you know Spanish or see the name written with accents elsewhere in the piece]

Punctuation and capitalization throughout the record are acceptable as is, as long as the sense of the record is unimpaired by such usage.

E.g.    T.p.:  NEW YORK TIMES        Record:  New York times

E.g.    T.p.:  Association d'Economie Politique        Record:  Association d'économie politique

Tags, indicators, and subfield delimiters must be properly set on all checked and required fields.


The filing indicator in the following fields must be correctly set so that these titles will index properly in Voyager:

1st indicator:  130, 630, 730, 740

2nd indicator:  240, 245, 440, 830

E.g.    245 14  The man in the moon


246 fieldDelete any initial article in a 246 field, so that the title will index properly in Voyager.

t in 4xx, 6xx, 7xx, and 8xx fields:  Delete any initial article in the t subfield, so that these titles will index properly in Voyager.


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Fixed field elements

The following fixed field elements should be set as indicated for the record to be used; otherwise, show Bruce or your trainer:

Fixed-field elementOCLC LabelVoyager LabelValue
Type of RecordTypeType of Record (in leader)a
Bibliographic LevelBLvlBibliographic Level (in leader)m
Form of ItemFormForm of Item (in 008) [blank], d for large print, or r for photocopy

The following elements must be accurate and should be corrected if necessary:

Fixed-field elementOCLC LabelVoyager LabelValue
LanguageLangLanguage (in 008)(variable)
DatesDatesDate1; Date2 (in 008)(variable)
Place of publicationCtryPlace of Publication (in 008) (variable; see list)
check for LAL books

For the other elements, whatever the value is set at is acceptable, including fill characters ("_" in Voyager).

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Variable fields

Field tagAreaField tagArea Field tagArea
020ISBN 250Edition statement 5xxNotes
050, 090, 099Call number 260Imprint 6xxSubject headings
1xxMain entry 300Physical description 7xxAdded entries
24xTitles 4xxSeries statements 8xxSeries tracings

ISBN      020

Check z invalid ISBNs only.  Add ISBNs present in a single-volume book if there is no 020 in the record.   For multivolume works, add the ISBN for the set number, if present in the book but not the record, or the ISBN for the first volume catalogued.

Call Number      050, 090, 099

General guidelines:  Existing 050/090 call numbers should be accepted as much as possible, after verifying in the shelflist.

  • Only in case of problems or real doubts about the suitability of the classification should further sources be checked for verification.

  • The cutter should be left as is unless there is a conflict in the shelflist or it is clearly incorrect.

See also "Verifying Call Numbers in the Shelflist (When Cataloguing)."  For further guidance, including examples, on when to change a class number, see "OW Level of Copy."

Specific instructions and exceptions:

  • Verify.  Add if necessary.  One and only one of these fields should appear in the matching record.  Accept tag 050 or 090 for LC call numbers; accept any 050 indicators that are there.

    If adding a call number, add as 050 14.

    Use 099 for Dewey and local call number formats.

  • Any LC/NACO or local decision regarding call number treatment for a series overrides the decision of the OCLC-member library.  For example, if we treat the series as classed separately (CNV), do not accept a call number based on an all-in-one-number series that is provided by the OCLC-member library.

    If we have not yet set the series up, and an OCLC-member library has established it as a classed-together (all-in-one-call-number) series, check the LC/NACO authority file for a series authority record and its call number treatment.  If there is no LC/NACO record, use your judgment as to whether to use the OCLC-member library's series number and include it in a series authority record.

  • If a call number cutter ends with the number 1 or the letter x, delete the 1 or x.

  • If the final call number date is missing, add the imprint date of the piece in the call number (or the conference date when there is a 111 conference main entry).

    For additional instructions on adding dates to call numbers, refer to LC's Classification and Shelflisting Manual, section G140, "Dates."

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Main Entry       100, 110, 111, 130

Check.  Add if applicable; verify before adding.  If heading is present, authority work is optional.

Do not worry about whether a given heading is tagged in the record as a 1xx or as a 7xx, as long as it is present.


Uniform title    240

Check.  Add if applicable and easily determined by checking the piece, online authority files, and/or the Voyager bib file.  Includes adding a 240 field for the original title if you have a translation.  A 240 for a generic collective uniform title is optional.

First indicator should be "1."  Second (filing) indicator must be properly set.

Title and statement of responsibility     245

Check.  Add a and b when applicable.  Second (filing) indicator must be properly set; first indicator should be accepted as is.

c code must precede statement of responsibility.  If statement of responsibility is wholly lacking, it is not necessary to add it.

All other appropriate title page information must be included somewhere in the record, but the field is not important, e.g., it does not make any difference whether a subtitle or contents notes titles on the t.p. appear in 245, 500, or 505 field.

Variant title     246

Check.  Add variant titles not already in a 240, 245, 505, 7xx t, or 740 only in the following cases:

  • Ampersand (&) in the first five (5) indexed words of the title.  Provide 246 with the indicators "3" and spell out the ampersand in the appropriate language.

  • Cover, spine (etc.) titles not represented in 245 or 505.  Provide 246 with indicators and subfields appropriate for the type of title, e.g.:

    Cover title246 14
    Spine title246 18
    Added t.p. title246 15
    Title information above title proper246 1 _   i At head of title: a
    Corrected title246 3 _

    (Check with your trainer if you are not certain of the indicator.)

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Edition Statement       250

Check.  Add if applicable.  A genuine edition statement should be tagged 250; however, accept 250 = [Book Club ed.] or 500 = "Book Club edition"--Jacket.  If appropriate, add "Book Club edition" and other dust jacket edition information as a quoted note, i.e.: ".........."--Jacket.

(For further information on editing 250 field, see also "Editions and Printings: Part II.A., Edition Statement.")

Imprint       260

Check.  Add first place (a) and publisher or printer (b) if missing.  Do not worry about distinctions between publishers and printers.  Adding a second place and publisher is optional.  Do not add distributor information.

(For further information on editing 260 field, see also "Editions and Printings: Part II.B., Imprint.")

Physical Description      300

a    Check.  Add if missing.  Must be correct; however, it is not necessary to verify the number of plates given.  If you need to add:  Use, when applicable:

  • "1 v. (various pagings)"- - for books with several sequences of page numbering
  • "1 v. (unpaged)" -- for books with unnumbered pages.

For multivolume titles, consult "Notes on Multivolume Monograph Cataloguing."

b    Check quickly; accept whatever appears if it seems to be correct.  If b subfield is lacking and should appear, use general term "ill.," whatever the illustrations may be.

c    Accept whatever is given as long as it is not obviously in error.  (Note that you only need to measure the height of the piece if you suspect that it may differ from the 300 c by over 2 cm.)  If it is lacking altogether, it need not be added.  Exception:  check and add for RARE items.

eAccompanying material:  If e subfield is given in record, make sure that the relevant accompanying material is present; otherwise, check with Bruce

If accompanying material is present:  For instructions on treatment, consult "Accompanying Material:  Summary Copy Cataloguing Procedures" or "Accompanying Material:  Copy Cataloguing Checklist for Material Staying with Piece," as applicable.

(For further information on editing 300 field, see also "Editions and Printings: Part II.C., Physical Description.")

Series Statements       4xx

See the separate document "Guidelines for Series Checking and Verification Procedures for Non-DLC Copy Cataloguing."

Treat 500 quoted notes for series-like phrases as any other 500 field; do not do any series authority verification, simply check against the piece.

(For further information on editing series fields, see also "Editions and Printings: Part II.D., Series Statement(s).")

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500, 501, 502, 504, 533, 539, 546

In general, check notes that appear in the record.

Do not add any note unless:

  1. It is essential for identification of material being cataloged.   E.g.:

    • Notes dealing with language, translation (if the original title is not present in the record as a uniform title), or adaptation.

    • Edition and history, including reprint notes and notes about title changes between editions in the same language.

    • Significant information about publication (including labels covering imprint).

    • Dissertation notes (not including dissertation history notes).

    • Photocopy information.

  2. A name added entry is required and the reason for it is not apparent from the body of the description or from a note already present.

Accept whatever form of note is present in the matching record, including reprint and bibliography notes, as long as the information is found in the piece or if you are reasonably sure that the information is correct.

Exception:  If the note is not a quoted note and is in a language other than English, translate it into English -- or delete it if an English-language equivalent is already present.

E.g.    504    a Comprend des références bibliographiques.

Translate as:  Includes bibliographical references.

Prefer adding a note as quoted information from the piece if it can be quoted easily.  Do not add a note citing the original publication date only.

Do not add bibliography, index, or errata slip notes.

Change tagging of genuine edition statements to 250.

Treat 500 quoted notes for series-like phrases as any other 500 field; do not do any series authority verification, simply check against the piece.

Contents note      505

First indicator must be properly set to supply the correct display constant in the public catalog.

Multivolume monograph record:  Check.

  • Add if the local copy has more complete holdings than the matching record.

  • If the local copy has fewer volumes than the matching record, accept information about other volumes if you are reasonably sure that it is correct; otherwise, edit the record to match local holdings.

(For further information on editing multivolume 505 field, see also "Notes on Multivolume Monograph Cataloguing" and various sections in "Editions and Printings: Part II.E., Multivolume Titles.")

Single-volume monograph record:  Check.  Add only if judged to be important; add contents in a formal 505 or quoted 500 note if 7xx added entry needs to be added.

Summary note      520

Check quickly to confirm that the general content applies to the book in hand.

Local, copy-specific notes       590

If applicable, add, delete, or correct information for:

  1. Binder's title on cover or spine

  2. Limited edition copy numbers.  Add only if book is sent to "rare" or "lal,rare" location.  However:  Watch for books with limited editions of 300 copies or less and/or that are autographed copies.  These books are candidates for "rare" or "lal,rare" location.  If you have not yet been trained in rare-book cataloguing, or if these books have not been designated for a rare location, consult with your trainer before proceeding.

  3. Information on defective copies (show Bruce first).

Please note:  Copy-specific information should also be included in the MARC holdings record, in an 852 z public notes field.

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Subject Headings:

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Added Entries:

700, 710, 711, 730

Check.  If heading is present, authority work is optional.

When to add:  A 7xx should be present for all persons or corporate bodies represented on the t.p. who are responsible for significant intellectual or artistic content, e.g., editors and co-authors.  A 710 or 711 should be present for corporate bodies on the t.p. that:

  • appear to have a significant role beyond that of publishing the piece


  • would provide the only main or added entry.

Generally do not add:

  • Photographers or illustrators when illustrations are not a significant feature
  • Translators or translations that are not significant
  • Honorees of Festschriften

If there are more than three authors, three editors, etc., add a 7xx only for the first individual or corporate body in each category appearing in the 245.

Add a 7xx based on information from other areas of the piece or from title pages of later volumes of multivolume works only if it is important for the identification of the work.

If you are not sure whether a 7xx added entry needs to be added, check with your trainer.

How to add:  If a personal name heading is not already in the record, verify the form in authority files or consult your trainer for the correct heading form.

If a corporate body heading is not already in the record, search the authority files.  If you cannot verify the heading:

  • If it would provide the only main or added entry, consult an appropriate librarian.

  • If other main or added entries are present, forget about it.

Analytical added entries:  Check.  Delete f subfields except those following t subfields that consist solely of "t Works" or "t Selections."

For works with two distinct parts, there must be access either through a 245 a, 240, 246, or 7xx analytical added entry for both titles.  Add such a 7xx entry if not present.  If you don't find the heading in the authority files, use the form in your piece.

For works with three or more distinct parts, do not add.

Related work added entries:

Check.  Add only for supplements, concordances, and other materials that should be used in conjunction with the main piece.

Analytical or variant title added entry:      740

Check.  Do not add 740s.

Series Tracings       8xx

See the separate document "Guidelines for Series Checking and Verification Procedures for Non-DLC Copy Cataloguing."

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Coding and counting

948 c:  Use "o" or "ow," as applicable.

Counted as "member-OCLC" copy.

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28 August 1992; revised 22 July 1997, 15 November 1999, 31 August 2002, 10 April 2003, 18 May 2007, 6 June 2007, 13 August 2010

HTML document last reviewed:  24 August 2010