Cataloging 101

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AACR
Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules. The standard in the US, Canada, and UK for cataloging. The current edition is the second edition, 2002 revision, 2004 update
Access Point
A name, term, code, and so forth under which a bibliographic record may be searched and identified
Added Entry
An entry, additional to the main entry, by which an item is represented in a catalog, a secondary entry. See also Main Entry.
Alternative Title
The second part of a title proper that consists of two parts, each of which is a title, the parts are joined by "or," or its equivalent in another language (e.g The Enchanted Island)
Area
A major section of the surrogate record, comprising data of a particular category or set of categories. There are eight areas of description in the surrogate record. See also, Title & Statement of Responsibility; Edition; Material Specific Details; Publication, Distribution, Etc.; Physical Description; Series; Notes; and Standard Numbers
Authority Control
A method to control the multiple headings an entry could appear under in the library catalog. Multiple entries are cross-referred to a single entry, using authority control. Entries that may require authority control include subject headings and author entries.
Authority File
A file containing the official forms of names, uniform titles, series titles, and/or subject headings used as access points in a library catalog, and citations to sources used to establish them, as well as cross-referenced to variant forms not used as access points.
Automation
Automatic, as opposed to human, operation or control of a process, equipment or a system; or the techniques and equipment used to achieve this. In the library world, automation usually refers to the process of automating routing and special library functions, such as circulation, cataloging, or collection development.
Barcode
A printed horizontal strip of vertical bars of varying widths, groups of which represent decimal digits and are used for identifying commercial products or parts. A barcode reader reads barcodes and the code is interpreted either through a software or a hardware decoder. In libraries, barcodes are usually affixed to the book covers to assist in easier circulation and collection control.
Bibliographic Level
One of the three standard styles of description prescribed by AACR, each containing varying amounts of bibliographic information from the least (level 1) to the most (level 3).
Bibliographic Record
The organized description of an information package; originally applied to the description of books, the phrase is now associated with such records of all material types. See also Surrogate Record.
Call Number
The shelf address of an item, made up of its classification number and shelf marks.
Catalog
1) A list of library materials contained in a collection, a library, or group of libraries, arranged according to some definite plan; 2) in a wider sense, a list of materials prepared for a particular purpose.
Chief Source of Information
The source of data to be given preference as the source from which a surrogate record (or portion thereof) is prepared.
Colophon
A page at the end of a printed item on which bibliographic information is given.
Control Field
A field in the MARC format identified by a tag beginning with the number zero. Control fields contain information such as a call number and ISBN.
Controlled Vocabulary
A list of terms authorized for indexing, such as a subject heading listing thesaurus.
Copy Cataloging
The act of taking one or more surrogate records from one library database and copying the record(s) into another library database; the surrogate records of another database, also known as copy.
Corporate Body
An organization or group of persons that is identified by a particular name and that acts, or may act, as an entity. Typical examples of corporate bodies are associations, institutions, business firms, nonprofit enterprises, governments, government agencies, religious bodies, local churches, and conferences.
Cross-reference
A message in the catalog that links two or more related access points (for example, a message at Clemens, Samuel Langhorne referring searches to Twain, Mark).
Databse
One or more large structured sets of persistent data, usually associated with software to update and query the data. A simple database might be a single file containing many records, each of which contains the set of fields where each field is a certain fixed width.
Delimiter
In the MARC format, a symbol identifying the start of a subfield. Delimiters print variously as a double dagger, $, or |.
Direct Entry
An access point in which the desired name or word is the first part of the heading, without naming a larger unit of which it is a part; for example, the heading is Ohio, not United States--- Ohio
Edition
Area 2 (250 tag) of the surrogate record wherein the cataloger records the version of the item being cataloged most often identified on the item with the terms "edition" and "version" but not "printing."
Editor
One who prepares for publication an item not his or her own. The editorial work may be limited to the preparation of the item for the manufacturer, or it may include supervision of the manufacturing, revision, or elucidation of the content of the item, and the addition of an introduction, notes, and other critical matter.
Entry
A record of an item in a catalog. (See also Heading).
Entry Word
The word by which an entry is arranged in the catalog, usually the first word (other than an article) of the heading.
Field
One part of a MARC record corresponding to one area of description, one subject heading, one call number, and so forth; also known as Tag.
Fixed Field
A field containing data of a specific length and format (e.g. ISBN).
Format
In its widest sense, a particular physical presentation of an information package.
General Material Designation
A term indicating the broad class of materials to which an information package belongs (e.g. sound recording).
Heading
A name, word, or phrase placed at the head of a catalog entry to provide an access point. See also Access Point.
Indicators
In MARC format are numeric codes for the computer that define the process for dealing with the information in the tag subfields. Each tag has two indicators, even if one or both are blank.
Indirect Entry
An access point (usually a geographic or corporate body name) in which the desired name is not the first part of the heading; for example, the desired name is Boston, but the heading is Massachusetts—Boston.
Information Package
The item being cataloged, whether it is a book, DVD, or LCD multimedia projector. Term used to refer to all types of materials being cataloged in a generic form rather than describing a list of item types.
Intellectual Description
The part of the surrogate record that describes the topic or discipline of which the information package is about, usually recorded in the subject (6XX) and classification (08X) tags.
ISBD
International Standard Bibliographic Description. International standard that defines the punctuation found in the surrogate record.
ISBN
International Standard Book Number. This is a system of unique numerical 10 or 13 digit identifiers for published titles. It helps to ensure more efficient ordering, inventory control, and accounting.
ISSN
International Standard Serial Number. The standard number publishers assign to serial publications; most often refers to periodicals, journal, or magazines, but may also be assigned to monographic serial publications.
Joint Author
A person who collaborates with one or more other persons to produce a work in relation to which the collaborators perform the same function.
Key Heading
In Sears List of Subject headings, a set of subdivisions for one term that may be applied to all terms of its type.
Keyword
A searchable word, such as a significant word in a title or one of the words in a multiword subject heading.
Main Entry
The complete catalog record of an item presented in the form by which the entity is to be uniformly identified and cited. The main entry may include the tracings(s).
MARC
Machine Readable Cataloging. A group of identifying codes used to communicate information about an information package using computers, originally developed by and for the catalogers at the Library of Congress.
Material Specific Details
Area 3 (255 tag) of the surrogate record that describes the scale equivalent for maps and the data specifics for electronic resources.
Minimum Level Cataloging
Catalog records containing less information than the minimum required by currently accepted standard rules.
Mixed Responsibility
An information package created by contributions of more than one responsible party, such as a book having an author, an editor, and an illustrator.
Module
Application Module
A module is a software segment that performs a specific library function, such as cataloging or inter-library loans. Automation system vendors typically sell modules separately (with the exception of circulation and cataloging) and libraries need not purchase them all at once. Circulation and cataloguing modules are usually sold together, with "add-on" modules as possible extra purchases.
Monograph
An information package in which the parts belong to more than one medium and no one part predominates.
Multimedia
In a classification, the system of alpha or numeric symbols used to represent subjects.
Notes
Area 7 (5XXX tags) of the surrogate record that includes either the physical description or intellectual content of the information package that is not explained elsewhere in the surrogate record.
OCLC
Online Computer Library Center. Formerly the Ohio College Library Center, a bibliographic utility headquartered in Dublin, Ohio.
OPAC
Online Public Access Catalog. The electronic form of the library catalog.
Parallel Title
The title of an item in a language other than the primary language of the text.
Personal Author
The person chiefly responsible for the creation of the intellectual or artistic content of an information package.
Physical Description
Area 5 (300 tag) of the surrogate record that includes a description of the information package itself rather than its intellectual content. Also the description of the information package that includes all parts of the surrogate record except for subject headings and classification numbers.
Preliminaries
Pages in a book up to and including the verso of the title page and its cover.
Protocol
A protocol, in the information world, is an electronic standard by which government, business, and organizations conduct their flow of information. For example, the Z39.50 protocol is a standard by which libraries can share their MARC records.
Publication
Distribution
Area 4 (260 tag) of the surrogate record that includes a description of when, where, and by whom the information package was published.
Qualifier
A word or phrase that removes ambiguity from an access point, usually given in parentheses, such as Cambridge (Eng.).
Query
A user's request for information, generally as a formal request to a database or search engine. Queries are the search string entered by patrons when searching for a particular library item or subject in the library automation system.
Reference
A direction from one heading or entry to another.
Retrospective Conversion
This is the process by which libraries convert the shelf list into a searchable, computerized database of library holdings. This database can then be used as the backbone of an automation system.
Search Key
In computer systems, it is a combination of characters from parts of access points. Search keys are used in place of full access points to minimize the seize of indexes needed by the computer system as well as to minimize the number of characters searchers must enter.
Serial
An information package published/produced in parts intended to go on without end; in successive parts bearing numeric or chronological designations and intended to be continued indefinitely.
Series
Area 6 (440 tag) of the surrogate record that describes the publication connection between the information package and the series; group of discrete items having, in addition to their own titles, a common title identifying them as parts of the series.
Shared Responsibility
Applies when an information package is created by more than one responsible party sharing the same type of contribution (e.g. a book with two authors).
Shelflist
A catalog of items owned by a library, arranged by call number.
Standard Numbers
Area 8 ( tags 02X) of the surrogate record that includes internationally, nationally, or locally recognized numbers specific to the information package being described, most often associated with ISNB and ISSN.
Statement of Responsibility
Part of the first area of description naming those with overall responsibility for the creation of the information package, usually recorded in the 1XX, 245, and 7XX tags.
Subfield
Part of a field in the MARC format.
Subject Heading
A word or phrase identifying the content of an item being cataloged and used as an access point; a term from an authorized list of terms to be used as access points, called a Descriptor.
Surrogate Record
The result of taking physical and intellectual data about an information package and arranging that data according to standard cataloging rules (AACR); library databases are comprised of surrogate records. See also Bibliographic Record.
Tag
The three-digit code identifying a line in the MARC format, also known as Field.
Title & Statement of Responsibility
Area 1 of the surrogate record wherein the cataloger records the title proper, additional title information, and the statement of the person(s) or corporate body responsible for the intellectual content of the information package. Corresponds to MARC tags 1XX, 24Xk and 7XX.
Title Proper
The main title of an item.
Trace
Tracing
Recording information in the surrogate record so that it will be indexed and retrieved by the automated system when a query is entered by the user; tracings in the surrogate record include, but are not limited to, author, title, series, and subject.
Uncontrolled Vocabulary
Indexing in which any terms, not just those on an authorized list, nay be used for retrieval, such as a title keyword index.
Uniform Title
A title/field used to collocate editions and versions of a work that appear under different titles proper. The uniform title assigned to an item may be the title by which it is commonly known (e.g. Alice in Wonderland, not Alice's Adventures in Wonderland).
USMARC
United States Machine Readable Cataloging.
Variable Field
A field in the MARC format containing data that varies in length and format.
Vendor
A vendor is the manufacturer, distributor, and seller of a library automation system.
Z39.50
A standard for information retrieval that makes it possible for any library that uses automated library systems conforming to the standard to tap remote library collections or other libraries to tap local collections.
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