Streamlining Tips for Original Cataloguing

Document sections

Introduction Optional fields and subfields
Editions vs printings Notes:  form of notes
Other-edition copy Workflow considerations


[Based on “General Guidelines for Original Cataloguing,” a series of recommendations issued in September 1992 by the Cataloging Department Cataloguing Simplification group.]

There is only a limited amount of streamlining that can be introduced into our original cataloguing procedures, due to the requirements established by AACR2 and the LCRI; by OCLC in its Bibliographic Formats and Standards; and, for BIBCO cataloguing, by the PCC program and OCLC’s National-level Enhance guidelines.

The following tips deal with aspects of original cataloguing where we have flexibility.  This list is not exhaustive.

  1. Editions vs printings

    When possible based on national and local guidelines, items should be interpreted as later printings of an edition for which there is OCLC copy online.  Original records should only be input for actual different editions.  See also “Editions and Printings:  Selecting the Best Matching Record.”

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  2. Other-edition copy

    When a particular edition of a work requires an original record, if there is member copy for a different edition:

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  3. Optional fields and subfields

    OCLC’s input standards should be followed regarding mandatory and required fields.  For fields designated as optional, generally use judgement.  For example, do not go overboard in providing notes or, when publisher names are present, printer names.


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  4. Notes:  form of notes

    AACR2 Revised and the LCRI specify formats for certain formal notes, which should be followed in original records. Examples include:

    Contents: ...
    Includes bibliographical references (p. < >-< >).

    Apart from these particular categories of notes, AACR2 Rev. 1.7A3 simply states:  “When making informal notes, use statements that present the information as briefly as clarity, understandability, and grammar permit.”  Examples include notes about conferences and duplicate pagination.  As long as the information is presented clearly and concisely, it should not matter whether a model found in a DLC record is being followed.  If following a familiar model saves time in composing a note, you are encouraged to use a model, but extra time should not be spent searching for or discussing an unfamiliar model.

    Punctuation in notes also should not be a major issue beyond that prescribed in AACR2 Rev. and the LCRI.

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  5. Workflow considerations

    If original records are required for a number of titles sharing a common characteristic -- such as titles in the same series or on the same topic -- it can be efficient to catalogue them all at the same time.

    More generally, if cataloguing a record has entailed solving a problem that involves multiple records, such as a name or series authority problem, it may be helpful to catalogue all titles that have been identified as sharing that problem or that heading, to reduce the odds of having to re-investigate it later.  This pattern is particularly, although not only, applicable if the items need to be retrieved from the backlog to help solve the problem.

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    Original cataloguing

    16 September 1992; rev. 11 September 2000, 31 March 2011

    HTML document last reviewed:  1 April 2011