Midwinter ALA in New Orleans
Ellen C. Rappaport
Albany Law School
Midwinter ALA 2002 in New Orleans was disappointingly cloudy and cool — mostly in the fifties — but the serials meetings were Cajun-hot!
Serials Cataloging Issues:
First off, AACR2 will be revised and published this summer. We're told that it will be an entire new revision of AACR2 (the last was called "second edition, 1998 revision"). Our Chapter 12 will not be published separately. The revision will be in a ring-binder. ALA Editions plans to issue a new annual revision each year. You will also be able to purchase and download update pages, although it's not clear whether they will file readily into the 2002 volume. During the Midwinter conference, ALA solicited opinions informally on a survey form about the means of updating, so that may not yet be settled. The CONSER Editing Guide and the CONSER Cataloging Manual are being revised, and will be available late in 2002.
The Continuing Resources Chapter 12 will cover: serials, integrating loose-leafs, updating databases, updating Web sites, integrating electronic texts that are revised, and reports of an event even though those are finite. Here's the new definition of a serial: "A continuing resource issued in a succession of discrete parts, usually bearing numbering, that has no predetermined conclusion." One big difference here is that a title without numbering can now be considered a serial. Much of the content of Hallam's Cataloging Rules for the Description of Looseleaf Publications will be part of AACR2. Although description of serials will still be based on the first issue, or the earliest available, description of integrating resources will be based on the latest available. When a change occurs to an integrating resource, we will change its description and put earlier information into notes or other fields, as we do now with loose-leafs; we will not make a new record for the changed integrating resource. A representative from LC stated that because LC's loose-leafs are often not updated, we should send change information not to LC but to BIBCO members — librarians who can consult the item and make changes to the record.
The major changes to the MARC Bibliographic Format include:
The Library of Congress plans to implement Chapter 12 no earlier than September 1, 2002. Both OCLC and RLG reported at the Committee to Study Serials Cataloging meeting that they will try, but may not be ready to implement Chapter 12 by the time of LC's planned implementation in September. Unfortunately, both utilities are involved with major reorganizations of their databases right now, which delays their full attention to Chapter 12 changes. If the utilities are not ready to accept records with BibLvl "i," LC will distribute records for integrating resources such as loose-leafs temporarily as BibLvl "m." OCLC stated that it will later try to convert some records automatically to BibLvl "i." Members may have to convert other records with the piece in hand.
Training for the new rules will be available from various sources: CONSER's SCCTP basic serials cataloging course will be revised; its advanced cataloging course is being developed now and should be available in July 2002. Training sessions will be provided at the NASIG conference in the spring of 2002, and at ALA in June, at the Monday afternoon meeting of the Committee to Study Serials Cataloging. Could someone offer a training session during the July AALL conference?
Beyond the changes at the Library of Congress and the utilities, we must each find out how and when our local system vendors are implementing these changes. Some local systems may allow you to add new fields and values to your MARC tag tables, which will allow you to update your system when you want to. Your local system administrator and your vendor will know whether you can do this.
The ISSN Manual is being revised to be in harmony with AACR2 Chapter 12. It may be published by the end of 2002. ISSNs will be assigned to more kinds of material: selected integrating loose-leafs, selected updating databases, and to selected integrating web sites, in addition to all traditional serials. An unresolved problem is the assignment of ISSNs to integrating resources, such as Web sites for periodicals which change title.
Why do we care about the ISSN Manual? Because the more compatible ISSN serial records are with AACR2 serial records, the more we can use those records. ISSN (or NSDP) serial records are created in the United States by the National Serials Data Program, within the Library of Congress. NSDP serial records are created early in the life of the serial, often before it is published. Those records are distributed to bibliographic utilities, etc., with other bibliographic records from LC. Increased compatibility will allow us to use these NSDP records for acquisitions and for cataloging, without having to rework them later. And if ISSNs are assigned to more kinds of material, we will have more early NSDP records to use.
SISAC, SICI and ONIX:
The Serials Industry System Advisory Committee (SISAC) met at Midwinter, after a gap of three years. In 1998, SISAC and the Book Industry Systems Advisory Committee (BISAC) were merged, and are now known as BASIC (Book and Serial Industry Communications). It was decided that SISAC will continue to exist as a subcommittee within BASIC.
SISAC created the Serial Item and Contribution Identifier (SICI) and its bar code, which includes coding of the serial's ISSN, used to identify issues of some serials. The NISO SICI bar code standard is due to be re-evaluated (you can download it from www.niso.org). SISAC will be involved with the review. Within law collections, has anyone had experience with using the SICI to check in serials? From what I've seen, few enough of our titles have ISSNs, let alone SICI bar codes. Since loose-leafs can now have ISSNs, and serials (including law reviews) always could have had them, this may be the time to start to push for more ISSNs on our titles. ISSNs, with SICI bar codes, could make titles easier to find in our serials control systems, and speed up our serials checkin.
I've wondered whether a committee at AALL would like to initiate an effort to get our law reviews, published at our own law schools, to sign up for ISSNs. The ISSN form is on the Web at www.loc.gov/issn, and isn't hard to fill out. There is no charge for an ISSN. Could we talk about this in July in Orlando?
At the SISAC meeting, we learned that the ONIX (Online Information Exchange) communications format now has a draft of formats to carry serials information; ONIX was originally only for books. Two draft formats exist now: one for Rich Catalog Infor-mation from Publishers — more than our normal AACR2 catalog record, the other, the ONIX Serial Item record, is the proposed ONIX format which is intended to support alerting, dispatch and library checkin functions. An ONIX Serial Item record may pertain to an issue or an article or an update. A record for holdings information is to be developed in the future. Information about the ONIX serial records is on the Web at www.editeur.org. This effort is just beginning; it's a long way to implementation by our serial publishers, serial vendors, and local systems.
I'll write more about ONIX for serials in my next article. Meanwhile, may I announce that I have been appointed AALL's representative to BASIC, and need to hear from you to provide input to this and SISAC and BISAC's many initiatives.
Publication Pattern Initiative:
The Publication Pattern pilot project will end in June, but contributors say they plan to continue to input patterns. One sign of success is that contributors say that when they retrieve an OCLC record to input pattern information, someone has often done it already. Have we seen 891 fields in law material, or is that an area we should begin to work on? You don't have to be a full bibliographic CONSER member to do this.
The temporary 891 fields in OCLC that now contain pattern data will continue to exist for the time being. In a few years, when OCLC will have developed a properly-coded place for holdings information, the pattern data would be able to move there, but nothing is definite at this time. The OCLC macro which makes it easy to create 891 pattern fields will be revised for use outside OCLC's Passport software, which is being replaced in the next few years. The macro will also be available in OCLC's Cataloging MicroEnhancer software in the future.
Two local system vendors, VTLS and Innovative Interfaces, have already provided ways for users to load this data into serials control records and use it to create pattern information to drive prediction. At least one other vendor is working on it. Others have found that they can copy-and-paste the information into their local system's MARC pattern field. The Publication Pattern Task Force is working on this with vendors. We hope that users — a much more powerful voice than any committee — will also urge their vendors to make it possible to load pattern data.
Toward determining the future of the pattern project, surveys will be sent to pattern contributors and to CONSER members. The present contributors are being asked a few questions about the experience, whether they are willing to continue to contribute patterns, and about the future of the Initiative, the future for the pattern data, and about their local systems' use of pattern data. CONSER members are being asked about their possible participation, and about their perception of the Initiative and the pilot project. The Task Force will meet again in June to determine next steps, but it is clear that the database will not disappear, and the Initiative will continue, in some form.
I've raised some questions in this article, and I'd like to hear from readers. Please write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. As they say in New Orleans, let the good (serials) times roll!