Copy Cataloging of Serials


Minimal CONSER Records (042 msc)

CONSER vs. non-CONSER. CONSER records will have a 042 field for the authentication code (lc, lcd, nlc). CONSER records with 042 msc are minimal level and should be routed to your unit's original cataloging serial specialist. CONSER records with 042 lccopycat have had all headings checked against the national authority file and may be used, but the description may not follow CONSER standard. Recataloging the description to follow current CONSER standards (except for specific local guidelines) should not be done.

SUBJECTS. If the record lacks subjects, refer to a cataloger authorized to assign subjects. (In most cases, a record without subjects should have an Encoding Level of 7 or below and the record should be upgraded by the unit's serial specialist.


  1. Arrange issues in numeric/chronological order. Are issues missing?
  2. Is the title consistent across all of the issues?
    • Is the inconsistency on the chief source or substitute? [see 245 under Verification/Editing]
    • If there is a title inconsistency on the chief source/substitute, is it a title change per the rules?
    • If it is a "major change," go to Successive or Latest Entry? section
    • If it is a "minor change" make a 246 if necessary


  1. Successive entry: S/L 0 Latest entry: S/L 1
  2. If the record uses latest entry, re-search in OCLC for successive entry. If no record is found, re-route to original cataloging.
    • If a CONSER library has closed the earlier title, created a record for the later title, and linked the two titles, handle as copy cataloging.
  3. When successive entry is applied to title changes, records downloaded to Orbis should match the issues in hand (i.e., don't download records for earlier or later titles we don't have)
  4. Searching tips:
    • try a journal search in LCDB
    • for older titles without ISSN, in the Search WorldCat window, limit by Format serials; if the title is generic, limit further by issuing body
    • Note that the new records may not have uniform titles and the descriptive data will be reduced. Especially in situations where an ISSN has not been assigned, you will need to verify the description carefully to make sure that your record actually matches the item in hand. As you do so, keep in mind that you may have to make some upgrades to the record based on the checklist, so pay close attention particularly to these areas.


AACR2 records will have Leader  Cataloging Form "a."  RDA records will have either Cataloging Form "i" or (less likely) blank.  RDA records are identified by 040 $e rda. If there is no 040 $e rda, the record is not RDA cataloging, although it may have some hybrid features such as 336, 337, 338.

RDA records have different directions for transcribing descriptive elements in 245, 250, 264, 490, and 300. Differences from AACR2 practice in an RDA record do not necessarily mean the cataloger made an error in the RDA record. For example, under RDA the 245 statement of responsibility does not have to be taken from the same source as the title. If the statement of responsibility does not appear on the title page with the title proper, leave it in the record if everything else checks out.


Shelflist all call numbers for serials, including LC 050 00 : a shelflisted LC 050 00 does not need trailing X. Serials potentially can fill up a lot of shelf space, so the extra time invested makes it worth excepting serials from the general processing guidelines for shelflisting.


Standards for Recording Serial Volume Holdings in MFHD

The following are high-level editing guides for CONSER catalogers performing derived cataloging. Since YUL is not a CONSER library, cataloging supervisors interpreting the guidelines should filter them appropriately.

CONSER Guidelines for Working with Existing Copy

Enhancing and Editing RDA Serial Records

Enhancing and Editing non-RDA Serial Records