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Modifying Bibliographic Records for Electronic Packages: A Statement of General Principles

Vendor-supplied sets of catalog records for electronic packages vary widely in their quality and usability. Also, these records may appear in WorldCat on an erratic schedule. Apply the following general principles when approaching a new set to determine what level of work is appropriate to apply to it, as well as how to decide what workflow is appropriate to follow.

  1. Unless there is special need to catalog titles earlier, generally:
    1. Wait for MARC records to appear in WorldCat before cataloging a set.
    2. Wait for a vendor announcement that records are available rather than proactively looking for new records.
  2. As records can come from a variety of sources, generally prefer sources in the following order:
    1. Existing records in WorldCat
    2. Derivatives from existing records in WorldCat
    3. Vendor records that can be loaded into WorldCat
    4. Batch created records from information from vendor or other sources that can be loaded into WorldCat
    5. Vendor records that contractually cannot be loaded into WorldCat
      1. Records in the OCLC Central index with records in Millennium
      2. Records in the OCLC Central Index without records in Millennium
      3. Records not in the OCLC Central index
    6. Records created manually in WorldCat, one by one
  3. Give preference to records cataloged according to AACR2 or RDA. Use judgment when faced with records cataloged according to other standards. It may be appropriate to upgrade these records if it’s easy to do, or if the records are for items that are part of a collection of distinction.
  4. Consult local guidelines (http://tpot.ucsd.edu/policies-procedures/bibrec/RDALocal.html) and PCC guidelines for provider-neutral records (http://www.loc.gov/aba/pcc/scs/documents/PCC-PN-guidelines.html) as a starting point for what the finished records should look like.  The guidelines potentially may dictate that some formats will require more work than others.
  5. Consider the importance of the materials to determine how much work is appropriate. Doing more to collections of distinction may be justified.
  6. Modify records at the network level when possible. Examples of fields where data that might be supplied when missing:  006, 007, 300, 856.
  7. When source bibliographic records need to round-trip from and back into WorldCat, prefer using Connexion and MARCedit as primary editing platforms. In rare cases, mainly involving uploading newly-created records into WorldCat, Millennium could be the best tool of choice. See Donal, Kate or Jim for recommendations of the best editing tool and workflow.
  8. Because making manual changes to large sets is less sustainable than changes to smaller ones, look at the size of the set to determine how much custom work to apply to individual records. Also use set size to determine whether you will notify OCLC of duplicates or changes that you can’t make at the network level.
  9. Generally avoid creating records one-by-one unless there are no records available from any source or there is a specific reason for creating records manually. Examples of items of special interest might include packages that have been prioritized for processing, e.g. items that are a part of JSTOR and Project MUSE.
  10. Refer to past practices used on a package to help determine future treatment. However, remain flexible to change if current circumstances suggest that the package would be better processed differently.
  11.  It’s always best to deal with problem records as far upstream as possible, so don’t hesitate to work with vendors/WorldCat to address problems at the point of record creation or soon after. Some folks are willing to put effort into making their data better, and sometimes there can be benefits, aside from better records, to UC San Diego.

Created:  March 2012 or thereabouts, author unknown

Reviewed:  Hanley Cocks, February 8, 2016

Revised:  Hanley Cocks, March 7, 2016

Approved by:  RMPS, March 22, 2016