2. Preliminary Record (Serials): General Procedures


Preliminary serial bibliographic records are created for serials that are (1) on order, (2) recently received or (3) not yet represented in Orbis. Preliminary serial bibliographic records contain standard MARC fields with appropriate content designation and sufficient information for positive identification.

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

General Procedures for All Preliminary Serial Bibliographic Records

If there is evidence on or with the issue in hand that a title change is involved, consult with your supervisor before entering a new record into the database. Major changes require a new record; minor changes do not, but many minor changes will require an update to the old bibliographic record. See examples of major and minor changes at: 


For monographic series preliminary records, refer to the separate document: Preliminary Bib Records: Monographic Series.

Search thoroughly for a serial bib record in the data bases in the following preferred order before creating a preliminary serial bib record:

  1. Search Orbis to confirm that no record exists.
  2. If a record is not found in Orbis, search OCLC; if found, import to Orbis
  3. If a record is found in OCLC that can be used as a basis for a preliminary serial bib record, follow the instructions in Creating a Preliminary Serial Bib Record Using Copy from OCLC

If no serial record is found in any of these data bases, follow the procedures in Preliminary Record (Serials) 3a.

Creating a Preliminary Serial Bib Record Using Copy from OCLC

If a matching record is found in OCLC, import it and use it as a preliminary record.

  • If the record has a Leader Encoding Level other than blank, I, or 1, verify that the fixed field elements are accurate and correct as necessary according to the guidelines in  3a
  • Retain all added entries unless otherwise instructed by your supervisor
  • If more than one record is found in OCLC, choose the record created by an English language cataloging agency:  U.S., Canadian, UK, or Australian; prefer U.S. pcc cataloging (CONSER records) over other English language agencies
  • If the record was created by a non-English language cataloging agency, i.e., 040 has ‡b <language other than eng or blank>, or if all of the non-quoted notes are not in English, delete all of the 035s



Effective Date: 
February 10, 2014