Friday, July 31, 2015

Numbering of Serials in RDA Cataloging

Resource Description & Access (RDA)

Numbering of Serials

  • Numeric and/or alphabetic designation of first issue or part of sequence, chronological designation of first issue or part of sequence, numeric and/or alphabetic designation of last issue or part of sequence, and chronological designation of last issue or part of sequence are CORE ELEMENTS. Other numbering is optional.
P         Look at instruction 2.6.1

Numbering of serials is the identification of each of the issues or part of a serial. It may include a numeral, a letter, a character, or the combination of these with or without an accompanying caption (volume, number, etc.) and/or a chronological designation (RDA 2.6.2-2.6.5).

Recording Numbering of Serials
  • Record numbers expressed as numerals or as words applying the general guidelines given under 1.8. Transcribe other words, characters, or groups of words and/or characters as they appear on the source of information. Apply the general guidelines on transcription given under 1.7.  Substitute a slash for a hyphen, as necessary, for clarity.
  • Record the number for the first issue; if it has ceased publication, record the last issue
  • If the numbering starts a new sequence with a different system, record the numbering of the first issue of each sequence and the numbering of the last issue of each sequence.
362 0# $a Volume X, number 1-          (formatted style)
362 1# $a Began with January 2010 issue (unformatted style) 

[Source: Library of Congress]



Aaron Kuperman The biggest problem with serials is that the "oral traditions" of serial catalogers are such that even when a work clearly has a single creator (and should get a 100 entry), and is cited that way in reference sources and by users of the catalog, the serial catalogers insist the person is a mere editor and therefore a contributor (only a 700 entry) -- and as more on more monographs are being cataloged as serials/continuing resources, we are losing access to the most important access point (n.b. Cutter's first rule that the catalog needs to provide access to works by the name of the author). Under RDA, serial catalogers should make 100 heading entries for author who create the work - which is what RDA says to do, and which they don't.
[Aaron Kuperman is a Law cataloger at Library of Congress, Washington D.C.]

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