Linking Text Subfields in 856

For field 856, it is YUL policy to display a linking text in the OPAC view rather than a URL. By default, the field to enter the linking text has been subfield 3.

In the current MARC 21 bibliographic standard, subfield ‡y is now used to "contain link text which is used for display in place of the URL in subfield ‡u. ... Subfield ‡3 contains information that specifies the part of the described material to which the field applies."

In most cases, ‡y should be used instead of ‡3 for entering linking text, since the bibliographic record is generally intended to describe the e-resource as a whole. Both fields should not be used in the same 856 field, since the presence of ‡3 will prevent ‡y from display in the OPAC. In some rare cases where both ‡y and ‡3 are needed, two 856 fields should be created.


Bibliographic record for an e-book.

856 4 0 ‡u <URL> ‡y Online book


Bibliographic record for a microfilm set, where a link is needed from the bibliographic record of the microfilm set to the web guide. The web guide is in effect a kind of "virtual" accompanying material, a part of the whole set described in the bibliographic record. Note that the 2nd indicator is 2, identifying the Microfilm guide as a resource related to the microfilm set described in the bibliographic record. (See the Appendix at the end of this document for second indicator guidelines)

856 4 2 ‡3 Microfilm guide ‡u <URL>

However, if a separate bibliographic record is created solely for the online microfilm guide, then the 2nd indicator is 0--the URL represents the same resource described by the record as a whole.

856 4 0 ‡u <URL> ‡y Online book


Bibliographic record for an e-book with links to both the e-book and to the e-book's subject index, on a sub-page of the online book.

856 4 0 ‡u <URL> ‡y Online book
856 4 2 ‡3 Subject index ‡u <URL>

Note that vendor-created records for e-resources sometimes enter the link text in ‡z or ‡3 where ‡y would be appropriate. However, these records are not contributed to the utility & should not be used as a model.

Records created by Yale catalogers with the intention of export to OCLC should follow the current MARC 21 standard. Copy cataloging where the member copy follows the earlier standard does not require editing, since this will not affect the status of the OCLC master record. Do not "correct" Orbis records made prior to the policy change.

Refer to the table "Standard Terms for Use in 856 ‡y" for the list of standard link text terms/phrases authorized for YUL cataloging. Whenever appropriate, use the same standard terms if ‡3 needs to be used. However, because the variety of potential terms used for parts of e-resources is so broad, a ‡3 term does not need to be authorized by a listing in the table.

Link Text (‡y) vs. Public Note (‡z)

In the current Orbis settings, ‡y will prevent ‡z from displaying in the OPAC.

If, in addition to the link text, a public note is also needed, combine both in ‡y. Although in the absence of ‡y, ‡z alone can function as a link text in Orbis, technically only ‡y is specifically designated by the MARC 21 documentation to display in place of the URL. It is possible that a different system would not have the ‡z link text functionality.

856 4 0 ‡u <URL> ‡y Online book. Access from menu on vendor website.

Alternative: instead of combining the type of electronic resource with the ‡z note, enter the note information in the appropriate note field. Be sure the note is the first 590 in order to place it directly below the Online book link in the OPAC displays.

590     ‡a Access from menu on vendor website.
856 4 0 ‡u <URL> ‡y Online book.

If the situation calls for a note but no standard term, enter the note in ‡y.

856 4 2 ‡u <URL> ‡y Click here for circulation status or to request no.41(1828:Aug.)-no.62(1828:Dec.) [bound with no.37(1828:July)-no.40(1828:July) of: "The Athenaeum"]

Note that the 2nd indicator is 2, for related resource--in this case another Orbis record for a bound-with title.


856 second indicator (Relationship of resource described in the bibliographic record with the resource linked via 856 ‡u)

_ No information provided

0 Resource <when the bibliographic record describes the online resource and the link is to the online resource>

1 Version of resource <for example, when the bibliographic record is for the print resource and the link is to the online version of the print resource; this model is generally not followed by YUL cataloging>

2 Related resource <for example, when a record for a microfilm set has a link to an online guide; or when a record for an online resource has a link to a specific section or subpage of the online resource; or when an 856 link is made from an Orbis analytic record to an Orbis cover record, or, for a bound-with serial, when an 856 link is made from an Orbis guest record to an Orbis host record>

8 No display constant


Standard Terms for Use in 856 ‡y and ‡3

To: Technical Services Staff
From: Steven Arakawa for CCC & CPDC
Date: (May 8 2008: issue date/ 05/07/2008 revision date)

Last modified: 
Thursday, October 22, 2015 - 10:05am