NACO > Authority Control Workflow for Yale Catalog Librarians

Back to: Authority Control at Yale > NACO


Authority Control Workflow for Yale Catalog Librarians

The workflow described below is intended for Yale University Library catalog librarians. It is not intended for other cataloging staff responsible for copy cataloging or for acquisitions staff involved in FASTCAT processing. 


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Which Authorized Access Points (AAPs) should I validate against authority records?
  2. When should I import an authority record into Voyager?
  3. When should I update an authority record in Voyager?
  4. When should I delete an authority record in Voyager?
  5. When should I create a new authority record in OCLC?
  6. When should I update an authority record in OCLC?
  7. When should I export a bibliographic record to MARS?
  8. When should I Ask the Authority Control Coordinator to make a heading correction?
  9. When should I make a heading correction myself?
  10. May I correct headings in the records of other Yale units?

NACO Workflow

Step-by-step workflow what NCO-trained catalogers should follow, from  heading verification through authority record creation.


1. Which Authorized Access Points (AAPs) should I validate against authority records?

  • Copy: Validate headings for personal names that contain prefixes or compound surnames, music name-title headings, and series. Use your judgment in validating other headings.
  • Original Records: Validate all AAPs.

In either case, when validating series, follow DPCC series tracing decisions if they exist (645 field). Otherwise follow LC  tracing decisions.

Follow local Yale analysis decisions (644 field) and local Yale classification decisions (646 field) if they exist. Use local Yale classification numbers (090 field) if they exist.


2. When should I import an authority record into Voyager?

Catalogers will occasionally need to import authority records into Voyager in order to update them with local Yale analysis and classification decisions. These records should be imported from OCLC.

Importing other authority records into Orbis will generally not be necessary because MARS authorities processing will automatically "claim" the authority records that we need and send them to us for loading. However, catalogers may use judgment in this area (e.g., if it is important to get an authority record into Voyager right away).

If you do import an NAR into Voyager, inform Eva Bolkovac, the Metadata Services Unit Manager, of the AAP and LCCN so that it is added to our master authority file.


3. When should I update an authority record in Voyager?

Authority records should only be updated in Voyager when making local changes, e.g.:

  • 090 field local call numbers (NARs & SARs)
  • 644/646 local series analysis and classification decisions (SARs)
  • 690 field for local notes (NARs & SARs)

These fields are protected from overlay.


4. When should I delete an authority record in Voyager?

Delete an authority record in Voyager only if it falls into one of these three categories:

  • a locally created authority record (record without 010 field) that duplicates a national-level authority record  (with an 010 field)
  • a duplicate national-level authority record (record with the same 010 field as another record)
  • a national-level authority record that has been deleted in the national file (the 010 field in one record will be represented in the 010 $z of the other record)

5. When should I create a new authority record in OCLC?

Yale guidelines specify that new authority records should be created in OCLC and contributed through the NACO program whenever:

  • a heading requires cross references, e.g., compound names, prefixed names, multiple people with the same/similar names
  • a heading needs to be distinguished from another heading (e.g., by the addition of dates or qualifier) a heading is used on a Yale   BIBCO record with encoding level blank
  • a heading is used on a Yale BIBCO record with encoding level 4 (except untraced series)
  • a series or multi-part monograph will be classed together and analyzed a series or multi-part monograph is on standing order
  • research needs to be documented in a 670 field

In addition, NACO rules require that a new authority record be created whenever:

  • a heading that is being established contains an unestablished corporate or geographic name used as a qualifier
  • a subordinate body heading that is being established contains an unestablished parent body
  • a name-title heading that is being established contains an unestablished name

In these cases, an additional authority record must be created for the parent body, the body used in the qualifier, or the name portion of the name-title heading.


6. When should I update an authority record in OCLC?

Existing authority records should be updated in OCLC and contributed through the NACO program whenever any change is needed except recording local information in 090, 644, 646, and 690 fields. See the Updating Existing NARs page for details.


7. When should I export a bibliographic record to MARS?

Bib Records Created in Orbis:

  • Export to MARS for authorities processing once the cataloging is completed.

Bib Records Created in OCLC:

  • Export to MARS for authorities processing once the cataloging is completed and the record has been imported into Orbis.

Bib Records with In-Process NACO/SACO Headings:

  • Export to MARS for authorities processing once the NACO authority record has been produced in the OCLC authority file (not the save file).
  • Export to MARS for authorities processing once the SACO authority record has been approved by LC and appears in the national authority file.
  • If the cataloger anticipates a long wait for approval, the bib record may be exported ahead of time but should be re-exported once the heading appears in the national authority file. Otherwise, MARS will not be able to send us the authority record.

8. When should I Ask the Authority Control Coordinator to make a heading correction?

Catalogers may request the change via the Heading Change Request Form when 20 or more records need to be changed or when a consistent problem with the MARS authorities processing may be indicated.


9. When should I make a heading correction myself?

Catalogers should generally make headings changes themselves if fewer than 20 records need to be changed or if special subject or language expertise is required to determine the correct heading.


10. May I correct headings in the records of other Yale units?

Usually, if you are sure that the change is correct (e.g., correcting a typo). If in doubt or in need of assistance, refer the problem via the Heading Change Request Form.

BUT, Do not change "linked headings" (including tags, indicators, and the $6 link) without permission.  Linked headings are pairs of headings that begin with $6 (one heading is in a romanized form, the other is in a non-Roman form). 


For additional information, see the pages detailing Yale Policies for Name and Series Authority Records.


Document originally created by the Authority Control Advisory Committee; revised and maintained by the Authorities & Identities Advisory Group.

Comments to: Rowena Griem

Last modified: 
Monday, October 31, 2022 - 11:06am