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 standards?)

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 

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]