[Cross-posted to multiple lists-- please excuse/ignore duplication]



For some months now, OCLC’s WorldCat Quality Management Division has been planning and implementing a project to incorporate “Resource Description and Access” (RDA) practices, references, and examples into OCLC's "Bibliographic Formats and Standards" (BFAS) (  OCLC’s recent migration to a new content management system has now allowed this effort to begin.


We are now in the process of incorporating the changes to BFAS that were part of the OCLC-MARC Update 2012, which was documented in Technical Bulletin 261 (  We are also taking this opportunity to announce the implementation of the OCLC-MARC Update 2013, which is documented in the new Technical Bulletin 262 (  Highlights are listed below.  The changes resulting from this OCLC-MARC Update 2013 are also being incorporated into BFAS.  The updates to BFAS resulting from these two sets of changes have now begun and will continue through coming weeks.


As part of these changes, the PDF version of BFAS has been discontinued.  There are two main reasons for this decision:

1)  The PDFs had extremely low usage rates.  As an example, the most heavily used PDF covered the 0XX fields and was accessed 3 times per day on average from February 2008 to February 2013.  In contrast, the 0XX HTML files were accessed 1,323 times per day on average over the same five-year period.

2)  The maintenance of two formats exerted a significant drag on the speed with which updates could be made.

As a result, we anticipate more timely updates and corrections from now on.


When we finish the task of incorporating the changes from the 2012 and 2013 OCLC-MARC Updates into BFAS, we will begin the larger job of reviewing BFAS in its entirety.  Policies will be updated, links to “Searching WorldCat Indexes” ( will be added, occasional references to RDA and the Library of Congress-Program for Cooperative Cataloging Policy Statements (LC-PCC PSs) will be incorporated, and some examples will be updated and others added to reflect RDA practices.  This is a huge undertaking and will be happening gradually over time. 


In the meantime, we have brought together on the OCLC “About RDA” page ( links to LC, OCLC, and other documentation about RDA.  These include the current “OCLC RDA Policy Statement” ( and a recorded Webinar that takes an in-depth look at that policy statement (  Many cataloging communities (including AV, music, maps, etc.) are working on their own RDA “best practices” documents and we will be providing links to those as they become available.


In short, we have begun our work to bring BFAS into the world of RDA.  You will be seeing changes regularly as the BFAS Update Project progresses. 


Please send any questions or concerns to [log in to unmask].



OCLC-MARC Bibliographic, Authority, and Holdings Formats Update 2013

OCLC has now implemented the changes related to the OCLC-MARC Bibliographic, Authority, and Holdings Formats Update 2013, which are detailed in OCLC Technical Bulletin 262 (, now available.  This installation includes MARC 21 Update No. 15 (dated September 2012), code list additions and changes published chiefly since May 2012, and other suggestions from WorldCat users and OCLC staff.  Many of these elements, including those from MARC 21 Update No. 15, are related to Resource Description and Access (RDA).  Among the points of interest:

                    In Bibliographic Scores 008/20 and 006/03 (FMus), existing codes “c” (Accompaniment reduced for keyboard), “d” (Voice score with accompaniment), and “h” (Chorus score) have been “redescribed” and a new code “k” for “Vocal score” has been defined.

                    In Bibliographic field 024, both old-style (ten-character) ISMNs and new style (thirteen-character) ISMNs may now be input and coded correctly.

                    In Bibliographic field 028, new subfield $q for “Qualifying information” has been validated.

                    Bibliographic fields 261 (Imprint Statement for Films (Pre-AACR1 Revised)) have been converted to field 260 and are no longer valid for input.

                    Bibliographic fields 262 (Imprint Statement for Sound Recordings (Pre-AACR2)) have been converted to field 260, to the extent that was safely possible.  Field 262 is no longer valid for input.  Due to incorrectly coded or contradictory data, many 262 fields remain unconverted.  Any unconverted or incorrectly converted 262 fields should be corrected when possible or reported to OCLC via [log in to unmask].

                    In Bibliographic field 511, long-obsolete First Indicators blank, 2, and 3 have been converted and invalidated.

                    New Bibliographic and Holdings fields 883 for “Machine-Generated Metadata Provenance” have been validated, but are intended for future use.  Please do not use field 883 at this time.

                    Authority field 368 (Other Attributes of Person or Corporate Body) has been renamed; existing subfield $c (Other designation) has been redefined; and new subfields $d (Title of person), $s (Start period), $t (End period), $u (Uniform Resource Identifier), and $v (Source of information) have been validated.  NACO participants should not input these new subfields in the Authority 368 field until an announcement regarding their use is made by the Program for Cooperative Cataloging.

                    New indexes will be implemented at a future date, including several involving Dewey Decimal Classification data in Bibliographic fields 082, 083, and 085; several to account for recently-implemented subfields in Bibliographic field 502 (Dissertation Note); and an Action Note Authorization index for both Bibliographic and Holdings fields 583 subfield $f.  There will also be some additions to various existing indexes.  OCLC will announce availability via logon Messages of the Day, Connexion News, and the OCLC-CAT discussion list.



Jay Weitz

WorldCat Quality Management


Christopher Dawson



Luanne Goodson

WorldCat Quality & Partner Content Dept.



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