Updating Websites: Introduction



Separate cataloging guidelines are provided for electronic resources depending upon (1) mode of access, (2) mode of issuance, and (3) entry convention. The primary focus of this document is on updating websites. including remote databases. This document applies if all of the following conditions are met:

  1. The resource is a remote access electronic resource.
  2. The resource is continuously updated.
  3. Updates are integrated into the resource.

These guidelines may be used for original cataloging and for updating copy.

Remote Access vs. Direct Access

Remote access electronic resources, i.e., online resources, are accessed over the Internet. CD-ROMs accessed via network would be treated as direct access, but the usual practice is to upload the contents of the CD-ROM to the web, and would be cataloged as remote access. Cataloging guidelines for CDs, DVDs, and other direct access electronic resources are available separately: original cataloging, copy cataloging. [CAUTION: These documents are not yet revised for RDA]

Identifying Integrating Resources

Integrating resource: A resource that is added to or changed by means of updates that do not remain discrete and are integrated into the whole (e.g., a loose-leaf manual that is updated by means of replacement pages, a website that is updated continuously). -- RDA Glossary 

Possible but not conclusive evidence that an online resource is integrating is the presence of a range of publication or copyright dates, the presence of a "what's new" section, or the appearance of latest update information. If there is no indication that the resource is updated, catalog it as a monograph. Cataloging guidelines for online books are available separately: electronic editions, reproductions. [CAUTION: These documents are not yet revised for RDA]

The cataloging for integrating resources in general is based on the current  (latest) iteration (rather than the earliest issue, as would be the case in serials). This may have an impact when searching for cataloging copy if the citation in hand is based on an earlier or later iteration than the one represented in the catalog record.

Examples of remote integrating resources include Thomas and COMINTERN Electronic Archives.

When determining mode of issuance, base the decision on the item being cataloged, not on another manifestation. For example, the online version of the New York Times provides access to today's paper in the print edition but has additional content, so it would be cataloged as an online integrating resource.

Although online integrating resources are most often continuing resources, some are issued over time but are intended to be completed in a finite number of iterations. Integrating resources that have ceased being updated are still cataloged as integrating resources. See, for example, Coastal Zone, a conference website. Websites for events are typically updated only until the completion of the event. There are no differences in the cataloging of finite and continuing integrating resources.

A multi-part monograph, series, etc., in print format may become a finite integrating resource when issued online if multiple parts or volumes are issued together, the resource is reissued with additional parts or volumes, the same URL is used for each release, and previous releases are not maintained. See, for example, Britannica Online. Because previous releases are not maintained, it is impossible to isolate the content added in each release, even if that content is discrete, so the resource would fall within the scope of these guidelines.

When to Create a New Record

Create a new bibliographic record if the resource changes media type (337) or carrier type (338). A change of media type from print to online is a change of media type from unmediated to computer; a new record is made. A change in carrier type from computer disc to online resource is a change in carrier type; a new record is made.

For changes in existing online resources, 

1. Create a new record for an online resource that represents the merger or incorporation of existing online resources. Delete the record(s) for the incorporated resource(s) if they are no longer available separately.

For example, Africa-wide information [OCLC #55938851] incorporates content from African studies (Grahamstown, South Africa : Online) [OCLC #49367742]. The latter resource continues (it is itself a database of databases), so the African studies record is retained in both Orbis and OCLC. Africa-wide information includes a relationship field linking it to African studies (the OCLC master record uses 780 but 787 would be more appropriate).

2. Create a new record for a resource that has separated from the original resource. Delete the record for the resource from which it has separated if the original is no longer available.

For example, International index to the performing arts (Online : Full text) [OCLC #43357238] separated from International index to the performing arts [OCLC #39938365]. The latter continues [see OCLC], but it has been deleted from the YUL catalog in favor of the full text edition.

3. Create a new bibliographic record when a resource changes its mode of issuance from monograph to integrating resource.

4. Create a separate bibliographic record for the current iteration and transcribe or supply an edition statement if access to previous iterations of the resource is available.

The database English poetry might be considered as an example of both 3. and 4. Orbis has access to both the first and second editions. The first edition would probably fall into the monograph category, since it was essentially complete at the time of publication. The second edition is updating, so it would be coded now as an integrating resource.

5. Create a new record when the original URL remains active but links to a different resource than that described in an existing record. The cataloger should create a new record, rather than modify the record for the resource previously at that location.  If the decision is also to represent in Orbis the new resource linked to the original URL, create a new bibliographic record for the new resource; do not recycle the original bibliographic record. In either case, delete or suppress the original bibliographic record. 


RDA/LC PCC Policy Statements in the RDA Toolkit

The CONSER guidelines in YUL documentation for Updating Websites are derived from:

Provider-Neutral E-Resource: MARC Record Guide: P-N/RDA Version. Jan. 1, 2013 revision incorporating the text of the P-N Model for Serials and Integrating Resources.

CONSER MARC to RDA Core Elements (Working Draft)

See also: Where's that Tool (for Serials)? [in the RDA Toolkit; see the link in the CONSER MARC to RDA document]

CONSER RDA Cataloging Checklist (Working draft dated July 25, 2012)

CONSER RDA Core Elements Table

Non-RDA CONSER documentation: you will need to consult Integrating Resources: a Cataloging Manual: Appendix A to the Bibco Participants' Manual and Module 35 of the CONSER Cataloging Manual. A PDF of the document is available for downloading from Cataloger's Desktop. Generally follow the guidelines unless they conflict with RDA and the LC PCC Policy Statements, and any of the CONSER RDA documentation listed above.