Hi Amy and everyone,


Here at the University of Florida we continue to put as much energy into controlled series headings as we did before LC made a decision to cease series authority control.   However, the decision required a slight change in workflow for copy cataloging staff (we identify and verify incoming PromptCat records that contain series coded 490 first indicator 0 and convert them to 440s.  This process is semi-automated in that a macro is run to identify the records with 490s). 


Like DUKE, shortly after learning about LC’s decision we met with public services staff.   The science librarians, in particular, informed us that they rely heavily on numbered series as important access points.  They also pointed out that other citations for science titles refer to the series title and series vol. number rather than to the individual vol. title, leading many users to search them as though they were serials.


Although we haven’t yet done any studies to assess the impact of LC’s decision locally, we have made the decision to continue to support public services staff and the rest of our patrons (and the PCC) through controlled series access.




Priscilla Williams

Head, Authorities and Metadata Quality Unit

NACO & BIBCO Coordinator

University of Florida

300 Smathers Library

P. O. Box 117007

Gainesville, FL 32611


352-392-7365 fax

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From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Amy H Turner
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2007 7:36 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [PCCLIST] Seeking information on series practice


In a month or so, the PCC Ad Hoc Series Review Task Force will post a discussion paper on the future of PCC series authority control.   At this point, we would like to hear from PCC libraries about their current practices.  We would also appreciate any information on studies that have been done on how series are used (by both library staff and by other users), costs of series authority control, etc.

To open the discussion, here is a description of series authority control at Duke:

Soon after LC announced their decision to cease series authority control, we discussed the matter in Open Forum, a library-wide monthly meeting.  Public services staff expressed support for  tracing series.   We had already determined that with our authority control vendor, LTI, we could continue to do so easily.  LTI offers an option of converting 490 fields with first indicator zero to 830s and verifying them.  Except for choosing that option, and making a small adjustment to how we process LTI reports (see below) we did not need to make any changes in response to LC's decision.

Duke defines "copy" as records that can be accepted with no (or minimal) editing.  Changes such as the addition of call numbers are referred to original catalogers, and changes are made in OCLC as well as the local catalog.   Access points (including series) are verified when replacing the master record in OCLC.  Catalogers are encouraged, but not required, to make name and series authority records for any headings not yet in the LCAF.  Last year 17.6% of our cataloging was "original."  

For "copy" name and series headings are not verified as part of cataloging.  Every week, we send newly cataloged records to LTI, and they match the headings to the LCAF, make needed changes, and produce a list of "unlinked headings."   This is a totally automated process

I analyzed a sample of the unlinked series headings on 10,500 records cataloged in the first quarter of 2007    There were 231 unlinked series headings out of 4012, or about 6%.    We do not verify unnumbered series from the lists.    Sixty-five different numbered series headings were represented in the 231 unlinked headings.   After searching these in the catalog and the LCAF, I made corrections to twelve.  Seven of these corrections resulted from the LC series decisions.   The other five were to errors on copy from other libraries.  

After this study, we decided to focus staff time spent with LTI's unlinked headings on series, because the error rate on name and topical headings is much lower.

Typically, less than an hour a week is needed to review the unlinked series headings.   The most common type of change is the addition of a qualifier, for example "Data series" to "Data series (Geological Survey (U.S))".   Most headings are left unchanged, as they appear to be valid, just not supported by an authority record.

In conclusion, Duke was able to adapt to LC's decision without any measurable increase in staff time spent on authority control    We haven't seen definitive research to support the usefulness of series authority control, but given the support from public services staff and the low cost, there is no reason for us not to continue.

The PCC Ad Hoc Series Review Task Force  looks forward to reading your descriptions of current practices, and your input on future directions.


Amy Turner (Duke) (Co-chair)

Les Hawkins (CONSER Coordinator)  (Co-chair)

Joe Kiegel (SCS member)

Peter Fletcher (SCS member) 

Gordana Ruth (University of Maryland)

Robert Bremer (OCLC)

Renette Davis (U of Chicago)

Heather Rosie (British Library)

Judy Kuhagen (CPSO liaison)

Carolyn Sturtevant (BIBCO Coordinator)