FDLP

Bibliographic Cataloging: Computer Files

Use this section in conjunction with the following sources:

This article is intended to serve as a caveat to catalogers for some unique and sometimes difficult decision-making. This article does not comprise GPO-specific guidelines, but, rather, covers MARC/OCLC instructions that:

  1. are historically not well-understood for a subset of electronic resources, and
  2. do not map easily to RDA.

Although the phrase, computer file, is not represented per se in RDA, it is represented in OCLC and MARC 21 documentation that present guidance for treatment of electronic resources. Although OCLC and MARC 21 instruct that many electronic resources are treated for “the significant aspect of the content,” e.g., “language material, graphic material, cartographic material, sound, moving image, etc.,” there are four general classes of materials that are treated preferentially as computer files and thus allocated their own workform for which Type (Leader/06) is coded “m.” Resources that should be coded and described as computer files are:

  • Computer software
  • Numeric data
  • Computer-oriented multimedia [a.k.a. Interactive multimedia]
  • Online systems and services

OCLC provides definitions of each of these four computer file types.

The challenge for the cataloger is that there exists no one-to-one correspondence of the computer file types defined by MARC 21/OCLC and RDA content types. (Cf. the RDA Toolkit’s Table 6.1 for content type terms. ) When the cataloger is describing an OCLC/MARC 21 computer file, then s/he must select corollary RDA terms from its content type list to populate the RDA Content Type field (MARC 336) in the MARC record. For example, OCLC/MARC 21’s “computer software” would translate to RDA’s “computer program.” OCLC/MARC 21’s “numeric data” likely would translate to RDA’s “computer dataset” or “cartographic dataset.” For an interactive video game, OCLC/MARC 21’s “computer-oriented multimedia” might translate to a combination of such RDA content type terms as “computer program” and “two-dimensional moving image” and “sounds,” or any other combination necessary to describe all aspects of the work.

It is possible that as MARC 21 and OCLC are phased out in favor of a new bibliographic framework that is more accommodating to RDA, “computer file” treatment in the bibliographic utility will cease to require catalogers’ attention. In the interim, it is contingent upon catalogers to reconcile the different approaches described above.

One common procedure to convert records that originally were cataloged as computer files prior to a common understanding of the format’s restrictions is described in detail below.

Procedures to Convert Type "M" (Computer File) Records to Type "A" (Language Material) Records

Older electronic resource records that catalogers find when searching for copy may be coded Type (Leader/06) “m.” At the time these records were created, this was an appropriate Type code, but this code is now only used for computer software, numeric data, computer-oriented multimedia, and online systems or services. The type code must be changed to describe the significant aspect of the resource, usually “a” for “language material.” Other, less common possibilities are: “g”—projected medium, “k”--two-dimensional nonprojectable graphic, “e”—cartographic material, or “o”—kit. All these codes, however, are dependent on the higher level Format of the record. Depending on the specific Format for the record, only certain codes in the “Type (Leader/06)” fixed field are allowed. (OCLC Bibliographic Formats and Standards, describes the relationship between Format and Type, and BLvl: Bibliographic Level. Alternatively, simply click on the hyperlinked fixed field label “Type” within any OCLC record.) Therefore, the first step to take in changing the Type code of a record is to change the Format.

Catalogers should attempt to change the record format, and replace the record in OCLC, if possible. In OCLC, this is done by going to the drop down box at the top left of the record, just below the OCLC number. Change the format from “Computer Files” by selecting either “Books,” “Continuing Resources,” “Maps,” “Visual Materials,” or one of the other formats available from this drop down menu.

Next, enter the appropriate values for the fixed fields Type (Leader/06) and BLvl: Bibliographic Level (Leader/07). Type (Leader/06) must be changed to describe the significant aspect of the resource, usually “a” for “language material. The codes for Bibliographic Level (Leader/07) will usually be “m” for monographs, and either “s” or “i” for continuing resources. The code “c” is used by GPO for collection-level records. Much rarer are the codes “a” and “b.”

Finally, fill in any other basic, mandatory requirements for that format, especially the fixed fields, including DtSt (008/06) and both Dates fields (008/07-14). At this time, do not change the ELvl: Encoding Level (Leader 17). After making these basic changes, attempt to validate or replace the record in OCLC. Carefully read any error messages that appear if the validation or replacement fails. Some of these error messages may describe incompatibilities between various codes in various fields. Remediate all errors within your capability. If validation is successful, replace the record. If you successfully replace the record, then, as a secondary step, make all the other changes warranted for the update, including upgrading the ELvl: Encoding Level (Leader/17), if possible. Never change the fixed fields ELvl Encoding Level or Srce: Cataloging Source (008/39) if already blank. If the system says you are not authorized to upgrade the ELvl or add an 042 field, you may contact OCLC as described below.

If OCLC does not allow you to replace the record (the error message will usually contain the phrase “Not authorized to replace”), then you should email the record to OCLC at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , asking them to change the record’s format. This may also be done from within the record on OCLC, by selecting “Report Error” from the Action drop down menu. Using either this method or email, provide the OCLC number of the record, and the Format (from within the drop down menu that currently has “Computer Files”) that you wish the record to be changed to. This format will usually be Books or Continuing Resources, though it may also be Maps or Visual Materials.

If desired, you may go ahead and make all needed changes to the record, both the basic, mandatory and secondary changes, including the Encoding Level, and save these in the online save file. Then, in your message to OCLC, mention that they can either simply change the format of the record, or alternatively, they may replace the record with your save file number (include this number) in GPO’s online save file. OCLC can access this. If you do not hear back from OCLC within four days or so, check back on the OCLC master record, as they may have made the change without notifying you.

 

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GPO Cataloging Guidelines

Introduction
Bibliographic Cataloging
Overview
Authoritative Status of the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications
GPO Records in OCLC and Record Maintenance
Sources
What LSCM Catalogs
Treatment Decisions for Collections and Analytics
Factors to Consider for the Treatment Decision
Separate Record Policy
Background
Procedures
Exceptions
Original Cataloging
Copy Cataloging
Adapting PCC Pre-RDA Records
Adapting Non-PCC Pre-RDA Records
Authenticating Non-PCC Pre-RDA Records as PCC
Replacing and Exporting Records
Cataloging Non-distributed Formats (for C&I)
Authority Records
General MARC Field Policy 490 – Series Statement Field
General MARC Field Policy 856 – Historic URLs
074 GPO Item Number
Multiparts
Item Number Corrections
086 SuDoc Number
Sources to Consult
Background and General Instructions
Multiparts
Serials and Integrating Resources
Microfiche
Current RDA Policies and MARC Fields (February 2015- )
MARC Fields
Overview of Previous Microfiche Policies
Re-Cataloging Microfiche
Congressional Publications
Fixed Fields
Leader/17- Encoding Level
Leader/18 - Descriptive Cataloging Form
008/39 - Cataloging Source
Variable Fields
037 - GPO Sales Stock Number
042 - Authentication Code
050 - LC Call Number
086 - SuDoc Classification Number
088 - Report Number
1xx - Principal Creator
130/240 - Unique Title for Work
245 - Title Statement
250 - Edition Statement
264 - Publication Statement
264 - Distribution Statement
300 - Physical Description
500 - General Notes
504 - Bibliography, etc. Note
505 - Contents Note
Technical Reports
Identification of Technical Reports
Monograph or Serial
Sources of Information
Cataloging Instructions
Fixed Fields
Variable Fields
General Guidance on Special Technical Report Fields
027 – Standard Technical Report Number
513 – Type of Report and Period Covered Note
536 – Funding Information Note
Public and Private Laws
Public Laws
Private Laws
Instructions
Treaties
074 - Item Number
086 - SuDoc Number
490 and 830 - Series
546 and 041- Language
Senate Treaty Document Series (Y 1.1/4:)
Cartographic Materials
Background and Sources Consulted
BLM Surface/Mineral Management Maps
Encoding Level
1XX- Principal Creator
255 - Cartographic Math Data
300 - Physical Description
655 - Genre Term
Audiovisual Resources
Scope of the Format Visual Resources
Definitions of Types of Visual Resources
Bibliographic Treatment in the CGP
Analytics of Videos
Collections of Videos
Analytics of Still Images
Collections of Still Images
MARC Fields for Visual Resources
245
300 - Physical Description
655 - Genre/Form Terms
Continuing Resources
Selective Registration for ISSN Assignments
GPO’s automated submission of continuing resources for ISSN assignments
GPO’s selective registration of continuing resources for ISSN assignments
Inclusion criteria
Exclusion criteria
Serials
Sources to Consult
Policies, Procedures, Practices
Definition of Serial
Monograph vs. Serial and Frequency of Issuance
When Mode of Issuance Is Ambiguous
Replacement of Monograph Records with a Serial Record
Ceased Serials Cataloged for the First Time GPO
Numbering–Exceptions to RDA Principle of Transcription
Notification of Cataloging Updates via WebTech Notes
Notification of OAM for Serials Harvesting
Updating Collections of Serials
MARC Fields
Leader /17 (Encoding Lvl) & 042
010 - LC Control Number
022 - ISSN
050 – LC Call Number
060 – NLM Call Number
070 – NAL Call Number
074 - Item Number
082 - Dewey Decimal Classification Number
086 - SuDoc Number
246- Varying Form of Title
264 - Production, Publication
300 - Physical Description (300|a )
362, 588, and Any Field Where Designation Is Represented
500 - Distribution Note
515 - Numbering Peculiarities
538 - System Details Note
588 - DBO/Source of Title Proper Note
Verbiage for “Description Based on” Note
Print Version Record Used As Basis of Description for Online Version
76X--78X– Linking Entry Fields
776 – Additional Physical Form
Cessation of print version, continuation online version
Cessation of serial due to format and title change
Microform serials and GPO practices for linkages
Former, discontinued practice for linking microform serials to other manifestations
Current practice for linking microform serials to other manifestations
Other Considerations for Linking Entry Fields
Parallel formats
Works linked but not described in bibliographic records
856 – Electronic Location & Access
Single- vs. Separate-Record Approach and PURLs
Appendix A: Bibliographic File Maintenance: Deletion of Records from the CONSER Database
Appendix B: Where to Find Certain CONSER Procedures
Integrating Resources
086 - SuDoc Number
130 - Authorized Access Point for Work
245 - Title
Other Title Information ($b)
Statement of Responsibility ($c)
300 - Physical Description
5XX - Notes
Order of 5xx Notes
588 - DBO/Source of title proper note
580/760-787 - Linking Relationships
Computer Files
Procedures to Convert Type "M" to Type "A" Records
Name Authorities
Background
Instructions to Consult
Policy Overview
Personal Names
Congressional Publications
Other Publications
Corporate/Conference Names
Variant Names
Conference Authority Records
Programs and Projects
Corporate Names for Parks, Forests, Preserves, etc.
Works and Expressions
Multipart (Collective) Titles
Series
Series-Like Phrases
Places (Jurisdictional Geographic Names)
General Procedures
Optional Fields
Research in OCLC
How Much Research Should Be Performed . . . ?
When to Consult Additional Sources
Tips for Contacting Agencies
General Field Specific Guidelines
043 - See from Tracing
1xx and 4xx
4XX - See from Tracing
5XX - See Also from Tracing
670 - Source Data Found
678 - Biographical or Historical Data
781 - Subdivision Linking Entry - Geographic Subdivision
RDA
General Policies
Hybrid Records in RDA Name Authority Records
When to Recode an Existing NAR to RDA
How to Recode an Existing NAR from AACR2 to RDA
Field Specific Guidelines
$u and $v in the 046 and 3XX Optional Fields
Source of Information: 670 vs. $v in the 046 and 3XX Optional Fields
046 – Special Coded Dates
$2 – Source of Term
$s (start date or period) $t (end date or period)
336 - Content Type
368 - Other Attributes of Person or Corporate Body
370 - Associated Place
371 – Address
372 – Field of Activity
373 – Association Group
377 – Associated Language
4XX – See from Tracing
5XX – See Also from Tracings
670 – Source Data Found
678 – Biographical or Historical Data
Personal Names
Procedure for ECIP
General Instructions
046 – Special Coded Dates (RDA 9.3)
$s and $t in the 046 and 3XX Optional Fields
100 – Authorized Access Point
$q – Fuller Form of Name
$d – Birth and/or Death Date
$c – Titles and Other Words (Professions) Associated with a Name
368 - Other Attributes of Person or Corporate Body
370 - Associated Place (RDA 9.8-9.11)
371 - Address (RDA 9.12)
372 – Field of Activity (RDA 9.15)
373 – Associated Group (RDA 9.13: Affiliation)
374 – Profession or Occupation (RDA 9.16)
375 - Gender (RDA 9.7)
377 - Language (RDA 9.14)
378 – Fuller Form of Name (RDA 9.5)
400 - See from Tracing-Personal Name
510 - Related Corporate Body
678 - Biographical or Historical Data (RDA 9.17)
Corporate Names
Notes
Sources to Consult
Before You Begin
MARC Fields
110 - Corporate Name
Places Associated with the Corporate Body
Associated Institution
Names Containing the Word "Services"
111- Meeting Names
368 - Other Attributes of Corporate Body, $a Type of Corporate Body
370 - Associated Place
372 - Field of Activity
373 - Associated Group (11.5)
410/411 - See from Tracing
Initialism or Acronyms in Capital Letters
Variants for Names Containing Ampersands
410 - See from Tracing - Corporate Name
Variant Names Entered Subordinately
Place Names As Jurisdictions vs. Locations
Variant Names Entered Directly
Variants for Names Containing the Term “Inc.” or “Incorporated”
411 - See from Tracing - Meeting Name
Additional Identifying Element(s) for Initialisms/Acronyms in Variants for Meeting Names
510/511 – See Also from Tracing
Relationships and Relationship Designators
Mergers
510 - See Also from Tracing - Corporate Name
Hierarchical Superior Relationship
667 - Nonpublic Gen Note
678 - Biographical or Historical Data (11.11)
Works and Expressions
046 – Special Coded Dates (RDA 6.4 and 6.10)
130 – Authorized Access Point
336 – Content Type (RDA 6.9)
370 – Associated Place (RDA 6.5)
377 – Associated Language (RDA 6.11)
380 – Form of Work (RDA 6.3)
410/430 – Variant Authorized Access Points
667 – Nonpublic General Note
670 – Source Data Found
EXEMPLARS
Places
043 - Geographic Area Code
451 - See From Tracing
670 - Source Data Found
781 - Subdivision Linking Entry-Geographic Subdivision
AACR2
General Policies
Hybrid Records in RDA NARs
When to Recode an Existing NAR to RDA
How to Recode an Existing NAR from AACR2 to RDA
Field Specific Guidelines
5XX - See Also from Tracings
Personal Names
100 – Authorized Access Point
$q - Fuller Form of Name
400 – See from Tracing-Personal Name
678 – Biographical or Historical Data (RDA 9.17)
Corporate Bodies
Auth Status - 008/33
110 - Corporate Name
111 – Meeting Name
410/411 – Variant Name
5XX – See Also from Tracings
670 - Source Data Found
Places
043 - Geographic Area Code
451 - See from Tracing
670 – Source Data Found
781 - Subdivision Linking Entry-Geographic Subdivision
Subject Cataloging
General Policies
LC Subject Headings
NASA Thesaurus Terms As Subject Headings
MESH, NAL, and Other Non-LC Subject Headings
LC Genre/Form Terms for Library and Archival Materials
Adding General LCGFT to Bibliographic Records
Background Resources for LCGFT
Adding LCGFT to Cartographic Records
Adding LCGFT to Audiovisual Records
Subject Heading Proposals, Background, and Tips
Tips and Instructions
Internet Research
Subject Headings Manual
Searching Minaret
Add'l Minaret (Class Web) Tips
Scope Notes
Use of the Dictionary
Use of Wikipedia
Use of LSCH As a Thesaurus
References
Class Web or Minaret
SACO Resources
Subject Headings Manual
Print Resources
Resources for Geographic Proposals
Geographic Print Resources
Examples of GPO Subject Proposals
Subject Heading Proposals, Workflow
Submitting SACO Proposals for Internal Review
Producing Associated Bib Records; Exporting Subject Authority Records
Submitting SACO Proposals to the Library of Congress
Updating Aleph Authority File
Name vs Subject Authority File
Overview
Instructions
Name Headings As Subjects
Special Topics, Materials, Subdivisions, Etc.
Environmental Impact Statements
Legal Topics
Research
Other Metadata Schemes
Dublin Core
ONIX
Glossary
Initialisms and Acronyms
List of Major Changes to the Cataloging Guidelines

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Please Note: The online guidelines are updated frequently. Superseded text is replaced by new text or deleted. The PDF version is published semiannually.

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Questions on the GPO-specific practices outlined in the guidelines should be submitted via askGPO. Please indicate "Cataloging: Policies & Practices" in the subject area.