Variable Data Fields (300-5xx)

300 Physical Description CCM 31.11

CONSER practice is to make a 300 field only if the serial has ceased. Optionally, the cataloger can use “1 online resource” even if the serial has not ceased. YUL: follow the option.


For P-N, 310/321 are not listed and are not mandatory. Per CSR: for born digital, 310 is mandatory; 321 is not.  Since P-N is applied to online versions of printed serials, frequency for the print version may not be consistent with different electronic aggregators, so 310 should probably be left off. If a serial is born digital, the frequency can only apply to the electronic resource, so it is reasonable to assign a 310 if the information is available.

362 1_  P-N; CCM 31.8

If the complete backfile has not been digitized, record the initial designation of the print version. If the first issue has been digitized, transcribe chronological/numeric designation as found, with or without abbreviations. Otherwise, copy the original print 362 even if it has pre-RDA abbreviations.

For Content, Media, and Carrier Types use:

336     ‡a text ‡b txt ‡2 rdacontent
337     ‡a computer ‡b c ‡2 rdamedia
338     ‡a online resource ‡b cr ‡2 rdacarrier

Use of ‡b codes is optional.

347 File Size. P-N.

Do not use, since file size will vary depending on provider.

4xx/8xx Series

P-N guidelines. “Use the authorized form of the heading for the physical format when providing an added entry for a series that exists in a physical format as well as online. For series that exist only online, use the authorized form of the online series. Do not use for package/provider series.”  Exception has been made for DLF Registry, Hathi Trust, and other preservation projects. “Use the print ISSN rather than the online ISSN for series that exist in print as well as online. Append the ‡x to the end of the field as the final subfield.”

YUL: Make a 490 1 even if the form matches the 830. (CONSER does not require 490 if an 830 is made). For reproductions and new electronic editions, make an 830.

Source of Title Note

The source of title for serials is the chief source of the earliest issue that can be accessed on the website, and not the home page of the serial as a whole. Often the chief source for the earliest issue will be the table of contents page of the earliest issue. However, note that if the decision is to catalog the resource as an integrating resource, the source of title is the latest issue.

The source for variant forms of titles can be anywhere on the website, so if the home page title varies from the earliest issue title, access should be provided through 246. The source for the 246, as indicated above, is not required. For earlier titles, see Title Changes section below.

Other Notes

506 Restrictions on Access Note [Subscription Series Only!] CCM 31.13.1.

The accompanying paperwork should indicate whether or not the online serial is a subscription. For subscriptions, the following 506 note is required:

506     ‡a Access restricted by licensing agreement.

Comment: CONSER catalogers are instructed not to enter this note unless restrictions apply to all versions and formats of the serial. Under CONSER, the 506 would only be used for classified government documents. For specific restrictions, CONSER catalogers are instructed to use ‡z in 856.

515. Numbering Peculiarities. CCM 31.13.2

CCM provides some good examples of numbering peculiarities that would apply to online serials.

530 Other Formats CCM 31.13.7

YUL: If the serial is available on the website as both html and PDF, catalog the serial as an electronic edition. Make a note about the other format.

530     ‡a Also available in PDF format on the same website.

Do not use for other formats that are not part of the website; use 776 instead.

538 System Requirements Note CCM 31.13.4

The note Available on the World Wide Web is no longer made. 538 is still used if special equipment is needed to run some applications, but this should be rare for online serials that were born as print. If you run into such a situation, consult with a catalog librarian. (A web browser is not special equipment, but a media player would be.)

538 Mode of Access Note CCM 31.13.5.

Mode of access note is made only if access is other than the World Wide Web.

556 8_ Information About Documentation CCM 31.13.6

Made if the documentation can be accessed together with the online serial.

588 __  CCM 31.8

Two 588 notes are made.  The source is the online serial, not the print version. They are always the last notes in the record unless there is a 590 note. The first 588 combines the Description based on note <earliest issue available> and the source for the title. The second is the latest issue consulted note. Transcribe captions and numbers as found on the source consulted. Include the view date in parentheses.  Do not use 500 for these notes.

Example from P-N:

588     ‡a Description based on: Volume 1, Issue 1 (September 2012); title from journal home page (ScienceDirect Web site, viewed May 16, 2012)
588     ‡a Latest issue consulted: Volume 1, Issue 2 (April 23) (viewed April 23, 2013).

590 Local note

For subscription e-journals (see 506 above), add also:

590     ‡a Access is available to the Yale community.

When cataloging on OCLC, 590 should only be entered in the institution record.