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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Cataloging Services

Acquisitions & Cataloging Services

Bibliographic Records: General policies


Cataloging rules

Original cataloging records created at the University of Illinois should be done according to RDA rules. For additional information on the library's policies regarding RDA, see RDA local policies.

Copy cataloging accepts the best English-language record regardless of rules used.

Do not attempt to upgrade a non-RDA record to RDA.

Language of cataloging

The language of cataloging for all records in our Alma catalog should be English. Never use a catalog record created by a non-English cataloging agency.

English-language records are identified in OCLC when ‡b in field 040 is "eng" or is not present. If ‡b in field 040 contains a code other than eng, it is considered a "parallel language record," and it should not be brought into the library's catalog. For more information on parallel language records, see OCLC's Parallel Records for Language of Cataloging.

If there is no English-language record for a piece you are cataloging, it requires original cataloging.

When to create a new record

When comparing the piece in hand to a record in OCLC Connexion for copy cataloging, there are specific discrepancies that require a new, original record to be created. For the complete set of guidelines on when a new record is needed, see OCLC's When to Input a New Record.

Separate records for e-books

ACS catalogs electronic monographs for which the library has licensed access.  It is no longer ACS’s practice to add e-book links to print records.  E-books are represented in the catalog by separate records for the electronic version.  When the library has access to the same title through multiple vendors, a bibliographic record, with appropriate links and notes, will be added to the catalog for each vendor.  The addition of records to our catalog for unlicensed content that is freely available online should be avoided.  When cataloging e-books, ACS follows PCC’s guidelines for provider-neutral records.

For more information about e-book cataloging contact Willy Kries.

Non-LC subject headings

While the University of Illinois library uses LCSH for subject analysis, do not remove non-LC subject headings from records. This includes subject headings in foreign languages, FAST headings, medical subject headings (MESH), and terms from other specialized vocabularies (e.g., AAT, Rare Book genre terms, etc.).

Non-Latin script in records

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library prefers use of records that include non-Latin script when appropriate and follows the PCC Guidelines for Creating Bibliographic Records in Multiple Character Sets. In accordance with these guidelines, non-Latin data in a bibliographic record should be accompanied by a parallel field with Romanized data. In OCLC Connexion, these appear as linked fields with the same tag. Romanization should adhere to the ALA-LC Romanization Tables.

Copy-specific notes

Information describing unique aspects of a specific copy will now be added to the catalog in the holdings record (MFHD) rather than in the bibliographic record, following discussion at the Cataloger's Working Group meetings. Information that describes all copies will remain in a bibliographic general note in field 500.

For more information and examples, see Holding Records Policies: Copy-Specific Notes.

Special fund entries

Library policy regarding notes for materials purchased with special funds has changed over the years. The library has previously made use of 500, 700, and 690 fields in bibliographic records to indicate specific funds.  Current practice is to create copy-specific notes in the appropriate Holdings Record (MFHD) for materials purchased on special funds.

Records with purchase orders

When cataloging a book with a “firm order” or “approval” streamer, always make sure to find the record with the purchase order.

If you do not use the record with the purchase order, 

  • Suppress the record, and notify Alisha Taylor that the record was suppressed so that the purchase order can be moved.

Do not move the holdings to a different bibliographic record, as the purchase order is linked to both the holding and the bibliographic record.

Replacing records

If when saving a record to Alma the Bibliographic DeDupe window opens, always verify that the correct record is being replaced.

If you are replacing a short or incorrect record with a new record that has a different OCLC number in field 035, save the record first and move the MFHD to the newly saved record. The short or incorrect record should be removed if the record does not have a purchase order. 

Suppressed records

All the extra bibliographic records and MFHDs entered in error through various ordering processes:

  1. Please make sure that the catalog has the correct record for item.
  2. If the bibliographic record and the MFHD are not going to be used, remove the records IF there is no purchase order attached.
  3. If a purchase order is attached, suppress both the bibliographic record and MFHD and contact ACS.
  4. If you are now using a different OCLC record (for example, a set record instead of records for individual volumes or a full record instead of a vendor record), please remove our holdings from the record(s) not being used. Connexion has a toolbar button for this, or use Action>Holdings>Delete holdings.