4. Fixed Fields


Type of record/Bibliographic Level. Use the appropriate code for the content (e.g. a/m for a textual monograph; a/s for a textual serial) not the physical carrier (the CD-ROM or the floppy disc). Examples:

  • Shakespeare's plays on CD-ROM: a/m
  • an atlas on diskette: e/m
  • Bach's cantatas (the musical scores) on CD-ROM: c/m
  • Biological abstracts on compact disc: a/s <ongoing serial>
  • Complete Lingua franca on CD-ROM: a/m <re-issue of a complete run of a dead serial on CD-ROM>
  • a master's thesis on CD-ROM: t/m
  • a "database" of 18th century digitized prints: k/m.

Prior to 1998 MARC standards required all CD-ROMs & other direct access electronic resources to be Type of Record m (computer data file). Currently, Type of Record m should still be used for:

  • computer software (Microsoft Office on CD-ROM),
  • numeric databases (e.g., census results),
  • computer oriented multimedia (e.g. video games, virtual art exhibition tours),
  • online systems or services (e.g. AOL on CD-ROM).

If the contents of the CD-ROM fall within the computer file category but the CD-ROM is also a serial, use Record Type/Bibliographical Level m/s, (e.g. an annual census report). Note that per CONSER (30.1), a CD-ROM is considered to be a serial & not an integrating resource even if it is cumulative and the latest issue only is retained.

008 Form of Item and Original Item

Whatever value is assigned to Type of Record, the fixed field Form of Item should be assigned value q for Direct Electronic (older records used s Electronic). For referencing MARC documentation for books, serials, and scores, Form of item is 008/23; for maps and visual materials, Form of item is 008/29. Note that this code is not used for audio CDs and DVDs.

For serials, Original Item (008/22) is coded s Electronic unless it is clear that the electronic version was made for preservation purposes. Per the CEG,

"CONSER practice for electronic resources differs somewhat from that for microforms because the distinctions between original and reproduction are less clear. With electronic resources, a serial may be produced originally in a digital form from which a print version and an electronic version are both created. For this reason, the use of "reproduction" is limited to cases where it is very clear that an electronic serial is a reproduction according to the provisions of LCRI 1.11a . For other electronic serials for which a separate record is created, both the form of item and original form of item are coded as electronic." [CEG hasn't been updated for RDA, but application guidelines are not expected to change for direct access e-resources]

007 Physical Characteristics

Mandatory. Click the 007 button to open the window, click to select the appropriate format tab, and click the NEW button at the bottom of the window. After the appropriate fixed fields have been selected, click the APPLY button. When all necessary 007 fields have been created, click CLOSE at the bottom of the window.

If the content is primarily textual, select Computer File and follow the 007 guidelines for Computer Files below.

If the content is non-textual, create two 007s. For the first 007, select the appropriate format tab, e.g. for a score on CD-ROM, select Notated Music; for an atlas on CD-ROM, select Map. For the second 007, select Computer File. (Click NEW and select) and follow the 007 guidelines for Computer Files below.

Computer File [Electronic Resources] guidelines (007) for textual content:

01 Specific Material Designation:

  1. Use: o: Optical disc for CD-ROMs, photo CDs, DVD-ROMs, CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW.*
  2. Use j: Magnetic disk for floppy disks <spelled incorrectly on Voyager as disc>
  3. m: Magneto-Optical disc [almost never used] *

*CAUTION: the scope notes for codes "o" and "m" in the MARC 21 documentation for 007 01 Electronic Resources may be misleading in that they appear to suggest that "o" applies only to read-only CDs and DVDs. Most read/write discs use optical technology, utilizing either "phase-change" or "dye-sublimation" recording techniques, which are considered optical. The magneto-optical recording technique is almost never used with the type of discs we would catalog; it appears to be used primarily with disc-drives. [Based on information from Bryan Baldus & Jay Weitz.] For technical distinctions, a frequent source cited is from the Wikipedia:



04 Dimension.

  1. Use a: 3 1/2 for floppy disks
  2. Use g: 4 3/4 for CD-ROMs (and CD-R/Ws)
  3. Use o: 5 1/4 for floppy disks

06-08 Image bit depth.

  1. Use nnn: Not applicable if there are no images;
  2. Use --- : Unknown (three dashes) if there are images but the bit depth is unknown;
  3. Use mmm: Multiple if the images are captured at more than one bit depth;
  4. Use 001-999: Exact bit depth if all of the images are one bit depth, e.g. 024 if all of the images are 24 bit color scans.
  5. Use 3. or 4. only if the information is readily available. Otherwise use 2. if there are images and 1. if there are no images.

09 File Format. Use u: Unknown

10 Quality Assurance Target. Use u:Unknown.

11 Antecedent/Source. Use u: Unknown

12 Level of Compression. Use u:Unknown

13 Reformatting Quality. Use u:Unknown

006 Additional Material Characteristics

Mandatory. Create a 006 even though a 007 has been created for Computer File. Click 006 to open. Select Computer File and click NEW at the bottom of the window. When the appropriate values have been selected, click the APPLY button and click the CLOSE button.

There are only 4 fields in 006.

Target audience: Value depends on the item in hand, but is generally blank.

Form of Item. Use q Direct Electronic

Type of File value is derived from the Type of Record code in the Leader, but the available code values may not be intuitive. Use these guidelines:

Resource LDR
Type of record
Type of file
Document (including data in tabular form, such as census or survey data, as well as journals, newsletters, & other textual material, with the exception of bibliographic data) a d
Bibliographic data a e
Art Image g or k c
Computer Application & System Programs (e.g. CAD, database programs, spreadsheet programs, word processor programs, desktop publishing programs, operating system programs, programming languages, and retrieval programs;  with the exception of electronic games & interactive multimedia) m b
Game m g
Sound i or j h
Interactive Multimedia m i
Map e or f c
Music c or d c
Numeric data m a
Photograph k c

When in doubt, use u=Unknown.

For more detail, refer to Cataloging Electronic Resources: OCLC-MARC Coding Guidelines, Field 006, "Type" and "File" Coding:


Govt Publication: same coding used for books.