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PCCLIST  November 2006

PCCLIST November 2006

Subject:

Some statics on series, especially 490s

From:

"Gary L. Strawn" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Program for Cooperative Cataloging <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 13 Nov 2006 10:12:48 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (98 lines)

Near the end of October, I added to all of our loaders for vendor 
bibliographic records for current acquisitions some new features 
related to the recent switch in LC's tracing policy. Specially, the 
loaders now attempt to resolve 490 fields with first indicator zero 
at the time the records arrive in the local database.  'Resolution' 
in this case means: match the 490 field with an authority record; and 
then, if the authority record says that the series should be traced, 
either re-tag the series as 440, or as 490:1 with an 8XX, depending.

Although I intend to collect information over a longer period, I 
thought you all might be interested in the results from the first two 
weeks. The numbers are derived from records received from 5 or 6 
domestic and foreign vendors (depending on how you count).  I've 
collapsed numbers for all of the vendors into one set of numbers for 
simplicity in this brief note.  (Some of the numbers for individual 
vendors are very small, and wouldn't yet serve to make a useful distinction.)

         1138 bibliographic records processed
         256 440 fields present in records received
         128 490:0 fields present in records received (see below)
         49 490:1 fields present in records received
         50 8XX fields present in records received

Of the 128 490:0 fields in the incoming records:

         106 matched to an authority record: became a traced series
         2 matched to an authority record: remains a not-traced series
         20 problems reported for operator resolution (see below)

Of the 20 490:0 fields reported for operator resolution:

         3 new 430 field added to existing authority record
         3 new 643 field added to existing authority record (the 
program requires at least an approximate match on publisher)
         5 series changed to traced; new authority record created
         3 series changed to traced, no new authority record created 
(see below)
         2 problem is not with heading, but only with form of 
numbering (not resolved because item not in hand; does not affect 
primary access)
         2 deleted the 490 field (examples below)
         1 series changed to traced to match authority record; 
inserted $v code before the numbering
         1 duplicate added volume to serial detected because of 
series; provisional bib record eventually deleted

Here are the cases where I deleted the 490 field; these both occur in 
'provisional' records from one vendor:

         245 BLUE GUIDE : ROME
         250 9TH ED.
         490 BLUE GUIDE: ROME.9ED

         245 BLUE GUIDE : GREECE:: THE MAINLAND
         250 7TH ED
         490 BLUE GUIDE: GREECE.7ED

Of the 3 series changed to traced without a new authority record: in 
two cases, the program reported multiple matches (similar titles, 
similar publishers) and it was a matter of picking the correct 
one.  In one case, it was not possible to figure out the correct 
series without reference to the item, but I converted the series to 
traced because the database already contained a handful of 
bibliographic records with the same problem, and it seemed best to 
put the new record with the others and let someone else deal with the 
whole bunch at once.

At present, I'm not contributing the new authority records, because 
they're created without item in hand, but that may change in the 
future if we redesign the workflow.  Same for the modifications to 
existing records.

Although I don't think that separating out records by vendor is yet 
meaningful because of the small numbers involved, there is one bit of 
information I would like to tease out of the data for a closer 
look.  Some of the records from a particular vendor are provisional 
or temporary records intended to be overlaid later by full records; 
by definition, these provisional records have all series tagged as 
490:0.  Indeed, 115 of the 128 490:0 fields in this small sample 
occur in such records; and the program was able automatically to 
resolve 101 of these 115.  These 490:0 fields are I believe similar 
to the 490:0 fields we may expect to find in bibliographic records 
created by institutions that follow the LC tracing decision: they are 
likely to have been transcribed without reference to an authority 
record.  And yet the program doesn't have any more trouble with them 
than with other 490:0 fields.

I suppose the conclusion to be drawn is that with appropriate 
software support, deciding to continue to trace series isn't going to 
make that much of an impact on staff.  Five additional authority 
records in two weeks' time isn't a crushing burden.


Gary L. Strawn, Authorities Librarian, etc.
Northwestern University, 1970 Campus Drive, Evanston IL 60208-2300
e-mail: [log in to unmask]   voice: 847/491-2788   fax: 847/491-8306
Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit.

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