Name Authorities: General Procedures

Optional Fields

For the optional fields in a name authority record, include or add these fields whenever the information is readily available in the resource being cataloged, and can quickly be added. No significant research should be done, and no extra sources need be consulted, to find values for the optional attributes in a name authority record.

Research in OCLC

Before adding a new name to the authority file, always search the OCLC authority file to see if the name is already established. If no record for the name is found, additionally search the OCLC authority file for any possible earlier (predecessor) names. One way to do this, is to conduct a keyword search using the parent body (should one exist), plus only one (at a time) of the following significant keywords. For example, when establishing: "United States. Environmental Protection Agency. Management Information Systems Division," enter the keywords: "Environmental Protection Agency Management." Conduct two additional searches: "Environmental Protection Agency Information," and: "Environmental Protection Agency System*." Use wildcards as needed to retrieve differing forms of a keyword.

If you find a similar name to the one you are creating, you must determine the relationship between the two names through research. For example: consult the publication in hand (the resource being cataloged), the Internet (including uncataloged publications found there), back issues of Carroll's Federal Directory, and of course, make phone calls or send emails. If you identify the existing authority record as the immediate predecessor, link the two records using properly coded reciprocal 510 or 511 fields. Only link immediately consecutive names; do not link names that are "twice removed." If a different type of relationship is found between your name and the existing name, and you feel it is important to bring out, you may add that information, reciprocally, to both records in the appropriate fields. Sometimes, it is helpful to add a 667 note such as: "cannot link directly to: [insert other name]," or "not same as: [insert other name]."

How Much Research Should Be Performed in Order to Identify or Dismiss Relationships to Other Corporate Bodies with Similar Names Found in OCLC's Authority File? 

Perform the following research:

1. Quickly check the work cataloged and the agency Web site, to see if either contains a history section, which may include the very information you are seeking.

2. Search Carroll's Federal Directory for the name you are establishing (or updating). Use the year of Carroll's that matches the resource cataloged (or the closest year available). Next, search Carroll's Federal Directory for the similar, pre-existing name you found in OCLC. For this name, start with the same issue of Carroll's used to search for the name you are establishing, but if not found, search the next issue of Carroll's that matches (or comes closest to) the year cited in a 670 field of the OCLC record for the similar, pre-existing name. If both names are found, work your way through the intervening years of Carroll's (you may sample every few years), in order to identify name changes. This research may prove to be either conclusive or inconclusive.

Examples of a conclusive relationship:

a. A linear name change is identified. (Record the relationship)

b. Both names co-exist simultaneously. (Usually, no relationship is recorded. A 667 note may be added, in the form of "Not same as [other name]" or "Do not confuse with [other name]."

Negative evidence may also be considered conclusive. Examples:

a. Multiple name changes are found in between the two names; and two or more of these are not found in the OCLC authority file. No relationship is recorded. Option: if two intervening names are found in Carroll's which are not in OCLC's authority file, and the linear progression appears straightforward, you may search OCLC's bibliographic file for these names. If one or more are found, and the task of recording this progression appears to be fairly straightforward, you may apply the option in number 3 below, of establishing one or more of these names from the bibliographic records found in OCLC.

b. Two name changes are found, so that the two bodies you are seeking are linked to the same intervening body. If the intervening body is found in the OCLC authority file, all 3 bodies can be sequentially linked. If the intervening body is not found in the OCLC authority file, no relationship is recorded. You may, however, add a 667 note to the records for both bodies, in the form of "Cannot link directly to [other name]" or "Unable to link directly to [other name]." At the same time, you may also include the information found in Carroll's about the intervening body in a 670 note. Follow the name of the intervening body with "[no access point in OCLC, (insert date searched)]." (Or: "[no publications in OCLC database, (insert date searched)]") See LC-PCC PS Earlier names not likely to be needed as relationships.

3. Now, you should search OCLC's bibliographic file for the intervening corporate body. If not found, you are done. However, if you do find the name in even one bibliographic record in OCLC, you may create an authority record for this name, with the caveat that the name is transcribed in the descriptive portion of the record. If the name is only found in access points (1XX, 6XX, 7XX) but not in the description (245, 260, 264, 5XX), do not create an authority record for it. If the name is found in the description, create an authority record for this intervening name, giving the first 670 in the following form: 670 OCLC, [insert date searched] ǂb (hdg.: [insert heading found]; usage: [insert usage found]. Be selective. You may list multiple usages that seem to be accurate transcriptions, and multiple headings that adhere to the rules under which the record was created. Once you create the authority record for the intervening corporate body, link it to its predecessor and successor records, and remove any preliminary 667 notes and "[no publications in OCLC database]" phrases. [Note: the procedure just described is somewhat out of sequence. This paragraph, which begins with "Now, you should search OCLC's bibliographic file," should logically occur after the third sentence in the paragraph just above this, after "no relationship is recorded." This somewhat illogical sequence is offered as a time-saver, since: (1) the information recorded from Carroll's provides a convenient place-holder, and (2), this information usually remains in the record since publications are not usually found in OCLC.]

Examples of an inconclusive relationship:

a. Only one or none of the names are found in Carroll's.

b. The names found in Carroll's are different, and cannot be matched with those you are seeking.

If searching Carroll's is inconclusive, contact the agency via phone call or email, asking if a direct relationship can be identified between the two names. If not, your research is completed, and you may establish the new corporate body without recording any relationship.

While the above research may seem excessive when similarly named corporate bodies are only cited in publications that may be 35 or more years old, surprises have come up, when the earlier name has persisted, and only recently changed to the name that is being established. It is worth a couple of hours of research to identify or dismiss such relationships, in order to expand user access to successors and predecessors.

When to Consult Additional Sources

If research in OCLC does not result in any possible related names, it is usually not necessary to consult any additional sources beyond the resource cataloged. However, if the resource cataloged is not issued by the entity whose name you are establishing in the authority file, do consult at least one additional source. This guidance would apply to all names, corporate or personal, that are needed as subjects for the resource cataloged (unless said name also issued the work). For a corporate body, it will usually suffice to consult its Web site, in addition to the resource cataloged. For a personal name, a few searches on the Internet will usually suffice to determine the preferred name. GPO's local policy is based on its experience that publications issued by an entity tend to be more accurate in rendering their name than publications not issued by them.

Therefore, for corporate bodies, GPO prefers the name found in items issued by that body. When a resource is not issued by a corporate body, consult an additional source such as its Web site, which is issued by that body. If the name on the Web site or other source issued by the body differs from the name in the resource cataloged, use the name on the Web site as the preferred name, and the name on the resource cataloged as the variant name. Use the resource cataloged as the first 670, even though the name cited therein was not chosen for the 1XX. Use the Web site (or other source issued by the body) as the second 670. Many USGS reports (in various series) exemplify this situation.

On the t.p. of the resource cataloged: "prepared in cooperation with City of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, Community Development Services." This body did not issue this USGS report, therefore, consult: City of Hopkinsville, Community and Development Services Web site: "City of Hopkinsville, Community and Development Services." [Note the addition of the word "and" after "Community."]

Thus: 1101 Hopkinsville (Ky.). ǂb Community and Development Services

4101 Hopkinsville (Ky.). ǂb Community Development Services

670 Flood-inundation maps for an 8.9-mile reach of the South Fork Little River at Hopkinsville, Kentucky, 2013: ǂb PDF t.p. (City of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, Community Development Services)

670 Community and Development Services, City of Hopkinsville [Ky.] Web site, Apr. 9, 2013. [Note: no ǂb is needed, because it would add nothing to the ǂa, which itself adds nothing to the 1XX.]

What if the Web site contains the same exact name as the item—should the Web site still be cited even though it contains no additional information? In this situation, when the item is not issued by the body, go ahead and cite the Web site in an additional 670, even though the name found is redundant. Thus:

On the t.p. of the resource cataloged: "prepared in cooperation with the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game, Division of Ecological Restoration."

1101 Massachusetts. ǂb Department of Fish and Game. ǂb Division of Ecological Restoration

670 Estimated sediment thickness, quality, and toxicity to benthic organisms in selected impoundments in Massachusetts, 2013: ǂb PDF t.p. (Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game, Division of Ecological Restoration)

670 Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game, Division of Ecological Restoration Web site, Apr. 10, 2013.

GPO creates or modifies personal name authority records for persons used as subjects (field 600), and, in Congressionals only, for persons used as authors (field 100 or 700). For personal names, GPO follows RDA 9.2.2 and 9.2.3. For persons used as subjects, consult a few additional sources by performing a few searches on the Internet, in order to determine the preferred name. For persons used as authors, there is no need to consult additional sources unless the authorized access point chosen for the person conflicts with that in another authority record.

When searching the Internet for names, in the situations described above, generally avoid citing Wikipedia. This instruction applies to names, not to subjects. For the Wikipedia policy on subjects, see Subject Cataloging: Subject Heading Proposals, Background and Tips. For names, use sources other than Wikipedia whenever possible.

Tips for contacting agencies

  • Take time to identify knowledgeable contacts. Use the agency's Web site, or Carroll's Federal Directory.
  • Do your homework first so you can determine, identify, and develop your questions.
  • Begin with: "Hello, I'm calling/emailing from the U.S. Government Publishing Office."
  • Explain what we do, why, and what your questions have to do with this.
  • Use layperson language, not cataloger language. Instead of using the term "corporate body," which might connote "corporations," speak in terms of "government authors and issuing bodies of publications," for which we provide "access points" for searching.
  • Explain what you found, and what you don't know.
  • Ask open-ended questions.


Back to Top

GPO Cataloging Guidelines

Cataloging/Metadata Policy-making Process
Cataloging Policy and Documentation Committee (CPDC)
GPO Cataloging Guidelines Review and Revision
GPO Cataloging Guidelines: Organization and Structure
List of Standards
Other Metadata Schemes
Cooperative Associations
Bibliographic Cataloging
Authoritative Status of the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications
GPO Records in OCLC and Record Maintenance
What LSCM Catalogs
Cataloging/Metadata Encoding Levels Policies
1.0 Purpose
2.0 Background and Related Documents
3.0 Guidelines and Standards Consulted
4.0 Coordination with Collection Development Procedures
5.0 General Principles
5.1 General Cataloging/Metadata Workflows - Individual Records
5.2 Project and Retrospective Cataloging
5.3 Batch Processing of Record Sets
5.4 Categories of Federal Information Products
5.5 922 Codes
6.0 Cataloging Levels Chart
Treatment Decisions for Collections and Analytics
Factors to Consider for the Treatment Decision
Separate Record Policy
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)
GPO Sales Program Information
Authority Records
General MARC Field Policies
Formats, Modes of Issuance, Etc.
Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) Policy on ISBD Punctuation
Fixed Fields
ELvl - Encoding Level
Variable Fields
037 - Source of Acquisition
040 - Cataloging Source
050 - LC Call Number
060 - NLM Call Number
070 - NAL Call Number
082 - Dewey Decimal Classification Number
100/700 – Personal Name Access Points
100 - Principal Creator – Personal Name
110/111 - Principal Creator - Corporate/Meeting Name
130/240 - Unique Title for Work or Expression
130 - Unique Title for Work or Expression - No Principal Creator Present
240 - Unique Title for Work or Expression - Principal Creator Present
245 - Title Statement and 246 - Varying Form of Title
245 $c - SOR
246 - Varying Form of Title
250 - Edition Statement
264 - Production, Publication
GPO Sales Statement
300 - Physical Description
336 - Content, 337 - , 338 -
490 - Series Statement Field
500, 588 - Title Source, Source of Description Notes
500 - General Note
536 - Funding Info Note
546 - Language Note
6XX - Subject Access Fields
600 - Personal Name Subject
700 - Personal Name Associated with a Work
710/711 - Corporate/Meeting Name Associated with a Work
76X to 78X - Linking Entries
776 - Additional Physical Form Entry
074 GPO Item Number
Item Number Corrections
086 SuDoc Number
Sources to Consult
Background and General Instructions
Serials and Integrating Resources
Related Chapters/Sections
Fixed Fields
DtSt: Type of Date/Publication Status
Variable Fields
020 – ISBN
037 – Source of Acquisition
088 - Report Numbers
Types of Numbers NOT Recorded in the 088 Field
Mail Stop and Routing Codes
245 ǂc - Statement of Responsibility
250 - Edition Statement
300 - Physical Description
ǂa – Extent, Complicated or Irregular Paging
ǂa – Multipart Monographs
ǂa – Sheets
500 - General Note
500 – Title Source Note
Report Numbers
Sales Information Notes
Shipping List Notes
Multipart Monographs
505 - Formatted Contents Note
520 - Summary, etc.
536 - Funding Information Note
588 - Source of Description Note
Single-part Online Monographs Examples
Multipart Monographs Examples
Related Works and Expressions
Related Chapters/Sections
Related Resources
Related Works and Expressions - Overview
Frequently Revised Monographs
Language Editions and Translations
Language editions
Parallel text edition
Analytical Access Point(s)
NEPA Documents
Revised Editions
Definition / Context
Precataloging Decision-making
Logistical Note for Bibliographic File Maintenance for Multiple Editions
Detailed Instructions and Examples for Revised Editions
New Expression – Revision and earlier edition share all common authorized access point elements
New Expression – Revision with different title proper
New Expression – Revision’s authorized access point constructed according to a different descriptive convention
New Work – Revised edition with a new primary author
New Work – Revised editions with the same title proper and primary author (or editor) and new content
Ambiguous Status – Appearance of additional authors
Summary included within resource being cataloged
Summary separate from resource being cataloged
Unspecified Relationships and MARC 787
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
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
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
Brochures and Visitor Guides Treated as Maps
BLM Surface/Mineral Management Maps
Serial Treatment
Encoding Level
086 - SuDoc Number
1XX - Principal Creator
130/240 - Unique Title for Work
245 - Title Statement
255 - Cartographic Math Data
300 - Physical Description
500 - Notes
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
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
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
Language 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
Disposition of eBooks on CD-ROM
MARC Fields
020 – International Standard Book Number
347 – Digital file characteristics
856 – Electronic location and access
New records, or non-GPO adapted records
Existing GPO records
955 – Local GPO notes
New record, acquired directly by cataloger
New record, acquired by acquisitions team
Existing GPO record, updated to include eBook
Non-Distributed eBooks
074 – Item number
500 – General note on distribution
588 – Description Based on Note
856 – Electronic location and access
OCLC Holdings
Export to Aleph
Resources to Consult
Name Authorities
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-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 - Geographic Area Code
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
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
Procedure for CRS Reports
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
Sources to Consult
Before You Begin
MARC Fields
110 - Corporate Name
Places Associated with the Corporate Body
Associated Institution
Names Containing the Word "Services"
678 - Biographical or Historical Data (11.11)
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
510 - See Also from Tracing - Corporate Name
Hierarchical Superior Relationship
667 - Nonpublic Gen Note
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
043 - Geographic Area Code
451 - See From Tracing
670 - Source Data Found
781 - Subdivision Linking Entry-Geographic Subdivision
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
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
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
Name Headings As Subjects
Special Topics, Materials, Subdivisions, Etc.
Environmental Impact Statements
Legal Topics
Other Metadata Schemes
Dublin Core
Initialisms and Acronyms
List of Major Changes to the Cataloging Guidelines

yellow question mark flat

Please submit your questions about the GPO Cataloging Guidelines via askGPO by choosing the “Federal Depository Library Program” tile and selecting the category “Cataloging/Metadata (Policy and Records).