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PCCLIST  January 1998

PCCLIST January 1998


A&I TF report


Jean L Hirons <[log in to unmask]>


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


Tue, 6 Jan 1998 10:50:16 -0500





text/plain (427 lines)

CONSER and PCC members,

Attached is a report from Cindy Hepfer, Chair of the A&I/ISSN Issues
Task Force that gives details of the recent survey conducted and her
analysis.  The report is quite long because many of the comments from
the survey were included. If you're short on time, look over the
statistics and Cindy's analysis at the end. The task force will meet
on Saturday at ALA to discuss next steps and Cindy will be reporting
at the CONSER At Large meeting on Sunday morning.

Jean Hirons
From:   Cindy Hepfer <[log in to unmask]>
To:     Jean Hirons <[log in to unmask]>
Date:   1/5/98 5:49pm
CONSER A&I Task Force Report
Report of the Survey Completed in November, 1997

January 5, 1998

To: Jean Hirons, CONSER Coordinator

From: Cindy Hepfer, Chair CONSER A&I Task Force

In order to begin work on our charge, in November the CONSER A&I Task
Force members distributed a survey regarding the MARC 510 fields to a
number of relevant Internet discussion lists.  (The survey was posted
Autocat, Colldv-l, Consrlist, Docdel-l, Fedref-l,  ILL-l,
Libref-l, Medlib-l, RLIN-l, and Serialst.)  141 responses were
received; tabulations and comments from the survey constitute the
bulk of this interim report.

Background information on the CONSER A&I Project: The CONSER A&I
project, conducted during the 1980s under the direction of Julia
Blixrud, added over 130,000 510 notes to just under 50,000 unique
bibliographic records.
Major A&I services contributed lists of the serial titles they
covered for over 130 different products.  The project was funded by
grants and in-kind contributions, including an in-kind contribution
by OCLC.  Total project cost was well over $1,000,000.

The Survey -- Questions and Responses.

1)  Does your institution retain the MARC 510 field in serial records
when loading them in your online catalog?
 Y: 110 (77.46%)
 N: 25 (17.61%)

1a)  If yes, does your institution edit existing information
(add/update/delete) in the MARC 510 field?
 Y: 23 (16.20%)
 N: 85 (59.86%)

2)  Do you make use of the index/abstract information in MARC fields
CONSER serial records?
 Y: 101 (71.13%)
 N: 36 (25.35%)

2a) If yes, who uses it?  Check all that apply:
 collection development staff:  64 (45.07%)
 reference staff:  87 (61.27%)
 acquisitions staff:  27 (19.01%)
 patrons:  38 (26.76%)
 other:  14 (9.86%)

3)  What tools do you prefer to use to locate information concerning
index/abstract coverage of serial publications?
 Ulrichs  57 (40.14%)
 EBSCOs Serials Directory 24 (16.90%)
 Vendor  5 (3.52%)
 A&I service  35 (24.65%)
 Info Trac  2 (1.41%)
 KATZ  3 (3.52%)
 Publisher  13 (9.15%)
 CONSER/OCLC  26 (18.31%)
 UMI  1 (0.70%)
 First Search  2 (1.41%)
 MULS 0 (0.00%)
 Other  10 (7.04%)

4)  Has the presence of outdated or incorrect information in 510
fields been a problem for your institution?
 Y: 28 (19.72%)
 N: 98 (69.01%)

5)  If 510 information presently on CONSER records cannot be
maintained, would you prefer:
 510s be removed: 69 (48.59%)
 510s remain even though the information may be incorrect: 69

6)  Size limits are an increasing problem in CONSER serial records as
new fields are added to record information about online versions.  In
light of this problem, would you prefer that CONSER:
 add 510s only for those services which cover a title completely: 92
 continue also to add 510s for services which only partially cover a
title: 33 (23.24%)

7) For what kind of library are you reporting?
 academic research:  38
 academic:  51
 public:  5
 government:  14
 community/junior college:  8
 medical:  4
 law:  10
 library schools:
 other:  11

8) If you wish to amplify or clarify any of your answers or add
additional comments, please do so here:



We can usually predict where titles are indexed, but 510s are very
useful for difficult or interdisciplinary titles; 510s most useful
for titles which are NOT widely indexed: 3

Alternatives: Ulrichs and the Serials Directory (like Serials
Directory all in one volume[editorial note: but its not all in one
volume]; public relies on other A&I services (inc the Net) rather
more heavily than on
MARC data; prefer Wilson indexes, InfoTrac, IAC; check RLIN/OCLC if
selector needs the information; get the information from vendor
lists; The lack of current and accurate 510 data in CONSER records is
of course a problem to NLM staff and its users.  NLM staff must use
printed lists from
A&I services, Ulrichs and other tools to find the needed information.
Using multiple sources is always time consuming.  It is very
desirable to find abstracting and indexing information in the record
for a serial/journal: 10

Ulrichs/Serials Directory wont help for non-current titles, but 510s
will; incorrect to think of the 510 information as incorrect -- was
accurate for the period of coverage: 2

Ulrichs/Serials Directory dont always have accurate information
either: 1

Handy to know if a title is partially/fully indexed; knowledge of
partial coverage of a journal by an A&I service assists library
patrons and librarians [and] is just as valuable as knowing that the
whole journal is indexed; some titles are almost exclusively covered
selectively: 4

Use for collection development and/or binding decisions, indication
of journal quality - if indexed, more heavily cited: 8

Addition of URL to records as/more important: 1

We make heavy use of/rely on 510s; good starting point to find A&I
information; consulting another source adds an extra step; useful to
patrons;  ILL uses for verification; significant time saver in
reference; out-of-date information is less a concern than the ability
to discover possible avenues of continuing a search from within the
catalog; I am grateful *every day* for my colleagues in cataloging at
my institution and worldwide for the useful information they provide
in support of research:

Unedited records eventually become unacceptably inaccurate: 1

The decision to drop 510s was made without consulting either serials
or reference: 1

Prefer no 510s at all: 4

Alarming to hear that LC lacks staff resources to maintain the
information: 1

Long lists of 510s clutter OPACs: 1

510s can affect decision about cataloging treatment (analyze/not): 2

Nice, but not a must have: 1

I primarily look at the 510 indexes we have access to but now through
other libraries on campus we can access more indexes: 1

CONSER doesnt carefully follow 1,2,0 indicator order -- has an impact
OPAC displays: 1

We are aware that indexes drop and add titles and expect that there
will be occasional inaccuracies: 1

The NLM Literature Selection Technical Review Committee (LISTRC)
considers the serial control records 510 data in reviewing journals
for possible inclusion in MEDLINE.  In the future the 510 data in the
NLM bibliographic serial record will be used: 1

In regard to which tools are preferred to locate A&I information, NLM
staff would prefer using the CONSER 510 data provided it is correct
and properly maintained: 1

In regard to removing 510s or retaining possibly incorrect data if
the 510 field cannot be maintained: Neither option is a desirable
solution for
NLM.  The current practice of removing 510 fields in order to add
other fields, such as the 856, is not an acceptable solution.  The
practice particularly concerns NLM since the Library adds and updates
the 510 in
CONSER records: 1

In regard to adding 510s for services which cover a title completely
or continuing to also add 510s for services with partial coverage of
a title:
...eliminating the 510 fields will not solve the long record problem
now or in the future since frequently the older and best known
journals require additions and changes that affect record length: 1

How 510s handled locally:

We make corrections to 510s when we notice errors; we make additions,
but not consistently: 4

We dont retain/display 510s in our catalog (concerns regarding:
accuracy; record length; record retrieval time; ease of use/puzzling
information to patrons if indexes not owned; patrons dont know the
510s are there; full/partial information confusing to patrons;
consider information unreliable and frequently outdated; Who needs a
510 for Time or Newsweek to find out where its indexed? is hard
for our reference librarians to understand why information is in the
catalog if it isnt kept up-to-date): 15

We dont make heavy use of 510s; we underutilize 510s; we prefer other
sources: 3
We favor A&I services available locally: 1

510s retained only if |x present and ISSN passes check digit routine:

We delete 510s until the record fits: 1

Reference librarians havent requested maintenance: 1

510s require more maintenance than they are worth: 2

Use [could use if had retained 510s] to generate a list of titles
owned which receive coverage in a given index: 2

We seldom reach maximum record size: 2

Can be found only through keyword search; keyword searches [which
510s] cause misleading results: 2

I remember surveying the reference libraries [sic] to find out if
they would use the 510 -- they said no -- they would not look to the
bib but would to an index or a current issue: 1

NLM adds 510 data to CONSER records for serial/journal titles it
These data are regularly maintained in CONSER records for this group
of titles whenever NLM changes its indexing practice for a given
title: 1


If space is a problem, exclude less widely held indexes; Set a limit
of 2 or 3 or even just 1 510 per record - index with the largest
circulation: 2

Delete fields early on in MARC record instead/first; Delete 510s only
as a last resort - delete other fields first: 2

Preserve this information somewhere like a Web page if not retained
in the bib record; move to an attachment to record (info in
attachment should include ISSN, LC card no. or unique identifier like
those used by NLM);
Reference finds valuable; cataloging wants removed and placed in
another database:  5

LC might coordinate information gathering and CONSER libraries each
adopt a service: 1

510s should be maintained locally, not by CONSER: 1

Shift out of middle of records to end -- would be less confusing to

Consider freezing 510 field (no maintenance) and make it optional to
add to new records; local systems have different size limits than
CONSER should look at infrastructure and consider alternative
methodology for sharing catalog information of this nature: 1

Continue to leave 510 but individual libraries can remove locally: 1

If youre looking for ways to shorten serial MARC records, then
510s is the way to go: 1

Omit A&I services which are narrower/tangential in subject matter: 1

Add only for services which cover a title completely; limit to full
coverage if partial cannot be maintained: 2

Ability to link 510s directly to the [online] index is desired: 1

Increase record size, for monographs too (for TOCs); ...urge CONSER
try to encourage OCLC to increase the number of fields allowed and
expand record size:  2

NLM  also urges CONSER to encourage A&I service[s] to add 510 data
and to maintain that data as is done by the Library.  Providing A&I
information in the bibliographic [record] assists[/]is of value to
many users of periodical or journal literature, laymen, researchers,
librarians, etc....: 1

Analysis and Comments

The overriding problems that emerged from the survey concerning the
status quo of the CONSER A&I fields are:
 lack of maintenance of the data;
 overcrowding/cluttering of the record;
 lack of interest in the data on the part of some

The survey did not ask who (i.e. serials librarian, cataloger,
reference librarian, collection development staff member, etc.) was
responding or how this person gathered his/her information.  While it
was clear that some respondents surveyed staff members prior to
responding and reported varying viewpoints, it appears that others
shot from the hip, giving only their own opinions.

Opinion was (amazingly) evenly divided regarding question 5, which
asked whether the 510 field should be removed or remain in the CONSER
serial record.  48.59% said remove them, 48.59% said let them stay!
Breakdown by type of library:

Law (no.=10)
 remove: 30.00%; retain: 40%
Public (no.=50)
 remove:  40.00%; retain: 60.00%

Government (no.=14)
 remove: 50.00%; retain: 57.14%

Medical (no.=4)
 remove: 50%; retain: 50%

Community/Jr. College (no.=9)
 remove: 55.56%; remain:   44.44%

Academic Research (no.=38)
 remove: 52.63%; remain:  44.74%

Academic (no.=51)
 remove: 52.94%; remain: 45.10%

Other (no.=11)
 remove: 27.27; remain: 72.73%

Catalogers and others see 510 fields are seen as a nuisance for
several reasons:
 lack of maintenance/updating of most services
 problems introduced by 510s when doing keyword searches
 the sheer number of 510 fields in some records/record size
 lack of proper order of 510s causes display problems in OPACs
 libraries may not have the A&I services which cover a title, which
then leads to patron frustration

A number of libraries dont retain the 510s in the OPACS or card
Some retain only those A&I services to which they subscribe.

There are a variety of places to get A&I coverage information, but
all are imperfect.  There is some tendency to rely on secondary
services themselves for information regarding what they cover.

The 510 field can be a good indicator of historical coverage of
specific periodicals by A&I services.

The 510s are helpful in collection development, save reference
librarians extra steps and can be used by ILL staff in the
verification process.
They can even be used to help determine the importance of a journal
for a binding decision or how to treat a title for cataloging

Even if the national database is meticulously maintained, once
downloaded into an OPAC 510 fields are seldom (if ever) scrupulously
maintained -- when the 510s are updated, its only on as needed basis.
 [Just how accurate or inaccurate IS the information in the OCLC
record?   Id love to know!  My guess is that much of the information
is still accurate.]

While my initial inclination was to drop some of the less well
known/less widely known services from the 510 fields -- an
inclination which garnered significant support from those
responding-- others effectively argued that indication that a
periodical receives partial coverage by an index may be just as -- or
even more -- important than information about titles which receive
full coverage.  Its the titles which are not obviously covered by
certain indexes where the information regarding A&I coverage is most

The location of the A&I information in the CONSER records causes some
problems -- there is a preference by some to have this data at the
end of the record.  A couple of respondents suggested adding this
kind of information to an appended record or moving the data out of
the record and onto a Web site that would link to records.

Only one response addressed the presence of ISSN in the 510 fields as
a hook.

There is some strong sentiment that overall record size needs to be
addressed,  not only in OCLC but in specific integrated online

There is strong sentiment that the 510 data is very nice and a
time-saving step, but that overall it is not an absolute necessity.

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