Preliminary Bibliographic Records


Create a preliminary bibliographic record when there is no matching record in Orbis or in OCLC when placing an order, receiving an item, or sending an item to a frontlog or backlog. Preliminary bibliographic records contain standard MARC fields with appropriate content designation and sufficient information to permit the determination of a bibliographic match manually or by machine processing.

The procedures described in this document are to be followed by all staff with responsibility for creating records in Orbis for materials that are in one of the above categories. 

A. General Procedures for All Preliminary Bibliographic Records

Search Orbis thoroughly before creating a preliminary bibliographic record to avoid creation of a duplicate order record. Create a preliminary bibliographic record, using approved templates, when there is no matching record in Orbis or in OCLC when placing an order, receiving an item, or sending an item to a frontlog or backlog.

If an Orbis search results in a record for a serial, determine if the item in hand should be added to the record for the serial before creating a new record. Pay particular attention to series statements or series-like numbering that appear in a citation (when ordering) or on the item in hand.

B. Creating an Orbis Record Using "Standard" Copy from OCLC

If a matching record is found in OCLC and it meets the criteria below, it  can be used as is as a preliminary record. No editing is necessary unless a field cannot pass our MARC tables. If the record does not pass the MARC tables, you will get a message identifying the problem field; delete the field and then continue.

An OCLC record is considered standard only if the Encoding level (Elvl) is blank, 1, I, L, 4 or 8. All standard records are acceptable as preliminary bibliographic records, but records from the Library of Congress (LC) essentially by-pass the preliminary record process.

If an item has LC cataloging copy in OCLC, it is cataloged upon receipt. If the record has been fully cataloged by LC it will usually have an Encoding Level of blank. Authorized acquisitions staff verify that the received item matches the LC cataloging and complete the local processing needed to get the book fully cataloged in Orbis. Once cataloged for Orbis, the books are sent for marking, labeling, and shelving. 

OCLC records with encoding level 8 are Cataloging-in-Publication (CIP) records usually created by the Library of Congress. CIP records are created based on publisher information and must be reviewed carefully and updated to complete the cataloging. Upon receipt, authorized acquisitions units (such as Monograph Support at SML) will complete the cataloging and local processing, and the books will be sent for marking and labeling. If an OCLC library has already updated the CIP record to full standard level, OCLC policy is to leave the Encoding Level at 8 (blank means the update was done by LC). Instructions for completing CIP records following RDA rules are found at CIP Records.

Records at standard level not cataloged by LC are used as preliminary records and are routed to the backlogs or to the cataloging unit.

C.  Creating an Orbis Record Using "Non-Standard" Copy from OCLC

If a matching record is found in OCLC and it does not meet the criteria for "standard" copy provided in Section B on this page, it can still be used as a preliminary record, with some editing. Most records that are characterized as "non-standard" are records created by vendors, records created by foreign libraries, some batchloaded records not created in OCLC, and minimal-level cataloging records.

The Encoding Level (ELvl) codes for non-standard cataloging in OCLC records are: 2, 3, 5, 7, K, and M.

Many of the access points on non-standard records are not in authorized form. Generally leave all access points in the non-standard record as is, including 653 and FAST headings. The editing will be done in cataloging or by MARS processing.

Parallel records are batchloaded records created by national libraries or vendors that use languages other than English in their cataloging. The language of cataloging is identified in 040 ‡b. Example of a record using German as the language of cataloging. 

040 __ ǂa HEBIS ǂe rakwb ǂb ger ǂc HEBIS ǂd GWDNB

If the record does not have 040 ‡b, check the physical description and the notes. If these are not in English, you are looking at a parallel record. You should delete all 035 fields from these records. If we complete the cataloging without deleting the 035, our record will cluster with the foreign language records rather than with the English language records and will be, to some extent, lost. Delete the 040 field as well.

Variant edition. If an OCLC record is used as the basis for a variant edition (e.g. the OCLC record is for the first edition and you are adding a preliminary record for the second edition), 

  • be sure to change the edition statement in 250 (see 1b) to match your edition
  • change the date in 264 (or 260) ǂc to match your edition
  • change the date in 008
  • delete all 035 fields (otherwise the record will match on the wrong edition in OCLC) 
  • delete the 040 field

The following fixed field elements must be verified for accuracy and corrected as necessary according to the fixed field guidelines in 1a: Record type, Bibliographic level, Place of publication, Language, Form of item, Date 1 (Beginning date of publication), and Date 2 (Ending date of publication).

D. Creating a Preliminary Record in Orbis Using a Template

If a record is not found in OCLC or Orbis, create an Orbis record using one of the YUL templates. To open your default template, click the NEW icon on the Voyager toolbar. To change a template to a different format, 

  • open the Options menu
  • select Preferences
  • select the Folders/Files tab
  • open the RDA templates folder (click on the ellipses button on Templates/Bib)
  • select the appropriate RDA PRELIMINARY .tem file & click Open
  • click OK to save

With help from your Expert User, you can also automate the sequence using MacroExpress.

Fill in the template according to the procedures in 1a-1d for books, or 2a-2d for serials. Code the MFHD for all preliminary records according to the procedures in section F. on this page.

E. Authority Validation

After completing the record, attempt to save the record by clicking on the sailboat icon labeled "Save to DB." The authority validation window will appear. Although most of the non-standard records will have no more than 2 access points, non-LC standard records and high quality M records may have quite a few. If the item is in hand and going directly to cataloging, ignore the window and continue; once the copy cataloger exports the record, offsite processing at Backstage will validate or update most of the access points.  If the record is on order or is a non-priority receipt (i.e. to be backlogged), look for the See Reference text in the Validation column in the authority validation window. Click on the Retrieve Authority button and look for the access point in the authority record's 1xx field. If it differs from your access point, replace the access point on your record with the authorized form. Otherwise, leave the access point as is. See the Authority Validation page, item 6.

F.  Recording Information in the Orbis MFHD

852 Use one of the following patterns to enter MFHDs for order records.

Single volume books:

852 8 0 ‡b <location code>‡h On Order

Multivolume books or serials:

852 8 1 ‡b <location code>‡h On Order

Change the text in ‡h to IN PROCESS when the item is received if it is sent directly to cataloging.

For items sent to the SML Frontlog, UNCAT with a sequential number is used in ‡h. In the following example, the item was received as part of a series standing order; the "sso" indicates that no order record will be attached to the bibliographic record for the individual part. 

852 80 ‡b sml ‡h UNCAT200890 ‡x sso

Original release date: 2005

Effective Date: 
February 10, 2014