Your idea of creating a series bibliographic record to lead users to the
authorized series entry (or to collocate by a call number or some other
device) is very intriguing. It's what I was getting at in my comments
about whether doing away with series authorities might mean more work for
serials catalogers, who might be called upon to create records that are
not currently made (as I mentioned, here at UW, for a classed as sep
series we may have a brief bibliographic record in our catalog for checkin
and treatment decisions, but it's currently suppressed from public
display). Perhaps a descriptive rule change could be proposed to allow
qualification of variant titles in serial title variant added entries (to
deal with your point that we qualify such titles in series authority
records but not in bib records). In an earlier message, I wondered
whether providing issuing body access points for untraced series in
analytics (whether classed together or separately) might be need too to
make up for series access.
In our catalog we didn't create a separate series index, so the indexing
for series titles is included in the general title index.
I'm anxiously awaiting hearing reports from the recently held BIBCO/CONSER
Operations Committees meetings. I'm wondering what if anything was
Adam L. Schiff
University of Washington Libraries
Seattle, WA 98195-2900
(206) 685-8782 fax
[log in to unmask]
On Sat, 29 Apr 2006, Steven Arakawa wrote:
> Adam, I'm not sure your example necessarily makes the case for the series
> authority record.
> Let's assume most users begin (and go no further than) keyword searching.
> It's my understanding that most OPACs don't apply keyword indexing to
> references in authority records, but most do keyword indexing of variant
> title fields in bibliographic records. Given user behavior and the common
> limitations of the OPACs, wouldn't it be better to use a bibliographic record
> to control the series access? Such a bibliographic record could be cataloged
> by default at the minimal level standard, perhaps validated by CONSER. (Since
> LC is getting out of the series business, what other body could determine
> If no SAR was created, but a series bibliographic record with index fields
> for all variants was made instead, you could include a note in the
> bibliographic record, e.g.,
> "Separate records have been created for titles in this series. For individual
> titles, click here: [established form of the heading] or here: [call number
> for the series if classed together]"
> The heading/call number could then be hotlinked in a web catalog to retrieve
> all records with that series/call number.
> You could also add instructions to staff to trace the series, give the
> appropriate form of numbering, etc. ; these instructions would not need to
> display in the OPAC.
> If a SAR is used to control series access, keep in mind that not all OPACS
> have title browse searches that combine titles with the references generated
> by authority records. This impacts if the citation is using a variant form,
> the scenario you are evoking. In LC's OPAC, the Title search listed at the
> top of the search options will retrieve the 47 items in the series
> Information, computer, communication policy. However, if the variant form
> ICCP is used, a Title search will not retrieve a reference to the established
> form; the searcher would have to use Series/Uniform Title Browse to take
> advantage of the SAR reference from ICCP to Information, computer,
> communication policy. On our OPAC, also Voyager based, the equivalent index
> is called "Uniform Title as Main Entry (e.g. Bible, Arabian Nights)" and is 9
> index options below the Title search. (You have to scroll down to actually
> see it). I note without comment that this is the last option provided in our
> OPAC & the 2nd to the last option on the LC page. On the other hand, if ICCP
> was in the 246 field of a bibliographic record, a simple title search would
> retrieve the record. (I also note that the lack of reference availability in
> the Title search is not clear from the help screens for Title.)
> Some disadvantages that I see with SARS:
> 1. the common lack of keyword indexing noted above; the not uncommon split
> indexing problem noted above
> 2. many staff find authority record coding incomprehensible (in contrast, one
> can write staff notes in plain English or the equivalent in a bibliographic
> record holdings field). In general I think information you can enter in
> bibliographic records is not as limited by the abbreviated nature of
> information in the SAR. The whole culture of authority work seems to
> privilege extreme brevity; consider the recent thread on (title not given).
> 3. Because of acquisitions workflow, a bibliographic record for the series is
> often needed for receipt. For staff who need to find the bibliographic
> record, creating a SAR seems redundant (variant forms entered in both bib &
> SAR). Why not just display the bibliographic record?
> 4. SARs require references from issuing bodies which have to be established.
> Much expensive effort to create these; how much benefit as references?
> One advantage of SARs vs. bibliographic records
> Variant titles in SARs can be qualified; this doesn't happen with 246. But in
> order for the reference to be useful, it needs to be in an index that is
> From a cooperative viewpoint, it's easier to get minimal level series
> bibliographic records into a utility database than it is to get national
> level series authority records into the national file.
> For automated processing, would it necessarily be harder for a vendor to
> harvest and match on a bibliographic record as opposed to an authority
> record? The bibliographic 008 Type of record m would identify the
> bibliographic record and the pcc codes would identify the preferred standard.
> Margaret Rohdy speculated that classing together might become obsolete. I
> think working papers would be a good example of a type of series that would
> be worth classing together. Do we really have the time to assign a separate
> call number to hundreds of 25 page pamphlets? I could see our library
> deciding to class together and do minimal level analytic cataloging to
> provide title access for a new working papers series. Of course, if you class
> together, an OPAC call number search might replace the need for collocation
> by series added entry ...
> --Steven Arakawa (my opinions only; not those of my institution!)
> At 01:46 PM 4/28/2006, you wrote:
>> Here's an interesting real example of how relying on just keywords for
>> series without a series authority record loaded into a catalog is not going
>> to work well.
>> The Wildlife Conservation Society publishes a monographic series that has
>> been established as WCS Working Paper. On the analytical title page of the
>> individual monographs, the series title appears variously as WCS Working
>> Paper or Working Paper. Some issues have a series title page that says WCS
>> Working Paper Series. And many issues have the title WCS Working Papers on
>> a publisher's listing of all the issues or on the analytical t.p. verso.
>> In our OPAC, a keyword search of a string of words first searches for that
>> string together. If nothing is found, the system will execute a boolean
>> "and" search of each word.
>> A user doing a keyword search on the title WCS Working Papers retrieves
>> absolutely nothing, because that variant is never found on a source used
>> for transcription of the series statement. On the other hand, if the user
>> did a title browse search of that variant, they would get a referral to the
>> controlled form of the title used as the series added entry, WCS Working
>> Paper (the only difference is the singular/plural form of Paper(s)) because
>> a series authority was created documenting all the variants and was loaded
>> into our OPAC.
>> For monographic series that are cataloged as separates (i.e. classed
>> separately), our current policy is that we do not create a public
>> series/serial record in our OPAC. We rely on the series added entries to
>> collocate the series. If we stopped tracing controlled series access
>> points and producing series authority records, I wonder if we might need to
>> start creating serial records for these resources, since only there would
>> one find all the variant titles for the series traced in that bibliographic
>> record, which would provide the keyword and variant title access that could
>> get people to some resources.
>> My main point is that keyword access in our (and other) OPACs will only
>> work when the user searches on keywords present in a bibliographic record.
>> We need both keyword and controlled access through the presence of series
>> authorities to get users to some resources.
>> Adam L. Schiff
>> Principal Cataloger
>> University of Washington Libraries
>> Box 352900
>> Seattle, WA 98195-2900
>> (206) 543-8409
>> (206) 685-8782 fax
>> [log in to unmask]
> Steven Arakawa
> Catalog Librarian for Training & Documentation
> Catalog Dept. Sterling Memorial Library. Yale University.
> P.O. Box 208240 New Haven, CT 06520-8240
> (203)432-8286 [log in to unmask]