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Direct Access Electronic Resources: Technical Processing Notes 

Scope: This document is to assist catalogers and assistants in the physical processing and cataloging of direct access electronic resources for most catalogers in the UC San Diego Library.  For other direct access resources, like flash drives, consult with the appropriate collection manager.  Special Collections catalogers, however, will have their own processes.  The physical processing guidelines are definitive.  The other portions of these notes are to be used in conjunction with the documents referred to below, and are meant to summarize, not replace, the guidelines contained in the original documents.

Physical Processing

If computer discs are issued in anything other than the UC San Diego standard, soft, durable plastic containers, repackage them in the standard archival containers.  Remove any inserts, booklets, papers, etc. from the original jewel case and put them in the archival containers.  They might not always fit perfectly so a little bit of trimming might be in order.  Miniature computer discs, as well, should be placed in the same full-sized archival containers.

Exception: U.S. government documents computer discs remain in the cases they arrive in because CARS staff put a sticker with the “U.S. Depository” stamp on the case.

Sometimes the resource will have a license code (sometimes called a CD key) that the user must enter when installing. Oftentimes, this code will be on a sticker on the hard jewel case. Copy the license code onto a white label and place the label on the soft plastic container. If the license code is printed on accompanying documentation then there is no need to copy it to a label. You must also enter the license code in a note in the item record.


If there is no accompanying material or insert to be kept with the computer disc, place a barcode in the upper left hand corner of the soft plastic container.  Either use a single barcode or use a “two-up” (two barcode stickers with the same number) and throw the second barcode away so that it does not get used on another piece by mistake.

If there is accompanying material or an insert that fits in the container with the computer disc, use a “two-up” barcode and place the one barcode number in the upper left hand corner of the soft plastic container and one on the accompanying material.  Do not put the second barcode on documentation that does not fit inside the container, and NEVER put a barcode on the disc itself.

If the accompanying material does not fit into the container and thus will be shelved separately from the computer disc, use a different barcode number from that on the computer disc.  Either use a single barcode or a “two-up” and throw away the second barcode so that it does not get used on another piece by mistake.

Media Desk titles generally only have barcodes on accompanying material if it is particularly significant or sits separate from the item under a different accession number.

Diskettes should have a single barcode put on them in a place that doesn't obscure important information and that doesn't interfere with the shutter of the diskette.

Each piece of accompanying documentation should be barcoded. If it is in book form, then barcode it as you would a book. If it's a single sheet (e.g., a quick reference card) or something else non-standard, then just put one barcode on it at the top.

Unless the item is to be located at the Media Desk (see below), write the call number (or accession number) on the face of all the discs using an archivally-safe pen.

CJK materials:  Pencil a systems details note on the flyleaf if needed to specify unusual requirements (e.g., “Requires [specific software/operations systems] (e.g., Japanese Windows 98 or higher).”

Keep all parts of the electronic resource (documentation, container, the carrier, etc.) together and put on the appropriate labeling shelf when it's ready to be sent on its way.

Media Desk:  Catalog item, place in the soft durable plastic containers, then give disc(s) to workleader for Music & Media student assistant.  Music & Media will assign the accession number, write the accession number on the disc(s), adjust item location if necessary and deliver to the Media Desk staff.

Item Types

The following item types are used for direct access electronic resources. The complete list of item types can be found at: Item type usage 




Independent mono computer discs


Independent mono Diskettes


Guides to Mono electronic resources


Independent serial diskettes


Independent serial computer discs


Guides to serial electronic resources


Computer discs accompanying monos & type 4 serials


Diskettes accompanying monos & type 4 serials


Computer discs accompanying type 2 serials


Diskettes accompanying type 2 serials


Branch, Location, and Status Codes






BLB Reference

All formats




BLB Front Desk

All formats




Geisel Research Assistance Desk




- or o
(assume it is circulating unless streamer indicates otherwise)

Geisel GIS Lab (Circulating)

All formats




Geisel GIS Lab (Library Use Only)

All formats




Geisel Docs (U.S.)





Geisel Docs (California)





Geisel Docs (E.U.)





Geisel Docs (All Collections)

Floppy Disks





Material Type

Code the MAT TYPE in the bibliographic record based on what the item is, rather than the physical carrier. Here's a chart that should help:



m -- Books

Use for monographic electronic resources that are mainly textual in nature (e.g. ebooks, PDF files, textual databases, etc.)

s -- Serials

Use for all electronic resources that fit the definition of a continuing resource that are mainly textual in nature.

u -- Music scores

Use for electronic resources that are mainly musical scores

d -- CD audio

Use for electronic resources that consist of audio files (e.g. .wav, .mp3, etc.) that can only be played on a computer

r -- Records/Tapes

Never use

v -- video formats

Use only for electronic resources that consist mainly of video formats transferred to a medium that can only be played on a computer

f -- Films

Never use; use mat type “v” instead.

l -- Slides

Never use

g -- Graphics/Art

Use for electronic resources that consist mainly of representations of photographs, paintings, posters, works of art, etc.

p -- Maps/Atlases

Use for electronic resources that consist mainly of representations of maps, and also resources that consist mainly of geographic data

c -- Software

Use only for electronic resources that are software, multimedia where no one type predominates, and manipulable numerical data

h -- Archives & MSS

Never use

e -- Equipment

Never use

@ -- Ebooks

Never use


Call Numbers

Direct access electronic resources are given accession type call numbers for all locations except CULD.  For items being housed in the documents collection, use documents numbers just as you would for print resources.

 To assign accession type call numbers, use the table called “Non-Book Call Number Prefixes for UCSD Library Collections” (http://tpot.ucsd.edu/policies-procedures/subjanal/prefixes.html) to determine the appropriate call number prefix. Once you have determined the correct prefix, search that prefix in the MilCat call number index, go to the last screen of your search results, and choose the next unused number. Input the call number in a 099 field with a space between the prefix and the number.


099 YCD 344

Accompanying Material

Note: Music & Media will assign accession numbers and handle physical processing for material accompanying music direct-access computer discs. Catalog the items, and then attach accompanying material to the primary item and give to workleader for Music & Media student. Do not follow directions below for music materials.

Create an item record for each piece of accompanying material. Use the same 099 call number that you gave to the chief component and add a non-MARC tag “v” to the record describing the accompanying material. Example:

099 YCD 344
v     $u User's guide

Accompanying material receives a different item type than that of the chief component. See the item type chart above for the correct code.

Autostats Coding

Please refer to the TPOT page:  [coming soon]

Author: Hanley Cocks
Date: July 30, 2003
Revised for MCL: Shirley Higgins, April 4, 2006
Revised SSH locations: Deann Trebbe, July 22, 2008 
Revised for Music Controlled Circulation: Deann Trebbe, Jim Soe Nyun, October 8, 2008

Revised for SIO locations: Hanley Cocks, January 27, 2011
Revised for SSH Reference locations: Hanley Cocks, March 14, 2011
Revised:  Hanley Cocks, April 24, 2015
Approved:  Roger Metadata Policy Subgroup, April 28, 2015