Libraries Policies: Cataloging Policies
Bibliographic Maintenance Guidelines
- Definition of Bibliographic Maintenance
For the purpose of this document, "Bibliographic Maintenance" means alteration of bibliographic records that are already in the catalog database.
- Responsibility for Bibliographic
Within Technical Services there are two units that carry responsibility for bibliographic maintenance: Catalog Management Section in the Cataloging Department handles monographic records. Serials Cataloging Section in the Serials Department handles serial records. Non-Technical Services cataloging units (Government Documents, Music, East Asiatic Collection, Special Collections, Maps) are responsible for maintenance of the records that they create, except that records from these units may sometimes be included in maintenance "projects" carried on in Technical Services. e.g. in correcting all instances of "university" retrieved in a title search, the Bibliographic Maintenance Section may correct some records from non-Technical Services units. Whenever there is doubt about a correction, however, or if most occurrences "belong" to another processing unit, or if there is a pattern to be pointed out, Catalog Management refers the matter to the unit whose records are involved.
- Submitting a Correction Request
A. Use the BIB MAINTENANCE CORRECTION REQUEST. Sign and date the form. Explain the problem on the form, or attach an annotated printout of the records or
B. Submit the Request to the Catalog management Section in the Cataloging Department. Section staff will refer request to the appropriate units.
- Types of Changes
That Will and Will Not Be Made
A. Errors Vs Improvements. Errors will be corrected. "Improvements" will be made as time permits. e.g., if a book on butterflies is classed with dinosaurs, the record will be corrected. A book on cocker spaniels that has a subject heading for spaniels will be revised only if time permits, and after consideration by a
B. Variant Practice. Change from one acceptable cataloging practice to another will to be made. e.g., seemingly superfluous notes, extra "other title information", etc., do not represent errors. They represent differences in judgement. Various wording to denote presence of bibliographies represents changes in nation
C. Typographical Errors.
Individual errors: Typographical errors will be corrected if they affect access or understanding. e.g. a typographical error in a title or a subject word, in an author's name, etc., should be submitted for correction. A typo in the description is unlikely to affect retrieval, and should not be reported unless in conjunction with a substantive report for the same record, OR unless the misspelling affected a keyword search. (e.g. a mis-typed search term such as "constiuion" may retrieve records. An error discovered by such means should be reported, no matter where it occurs in the record. Include a
Batch errors: A search sometimes uncovers a group of records that share the same mistake. e.g. A mis-typed search term " conservaiton" may retrieve several records. Such errors should be reported. Include a copy of the Chinook index screen if possible.
D. Additional Access Points. Additional access points may be added within reason, if correct, if not in violation of cataloging policy, and if not
E. System-Derived Problems. Certain problems occur because of a problem or feature in the automated system and cannot be resolved, or cannot be resolved easily. Units responsible for database maintenance use judgment in determining the appropriate approach to system-derived problems. In some cases, the only possible approach is to do nothing.
- Appropriateness or Correctness of the
Request. Technical Services is the authority on correctness
and appropriateness of the cataloging that it processes, on
consistency of database content and cataloging practice for the
University Libraries, and on correctness and appropriateness of
- Feasibility of Correction. Certain
problems cannot be easily addressed. e.g. A superseded subject
subdivision, or a single subject heading later split that occurs
on 200 records cannot be easily corrected. Technical Services
exercises judgement as to how or whether requested corrections
can be carried out.
- Notification of Correction. Technical Services is unable to inform those requesting corrections of action taken on all suggestions, but because processing and review of submissions takes time even if modifications are not made, if a pattern of reporting non-essential or incorrect changes is seen, the receiving unit may return reports to the requester, informing her/him that the modifications fall into categories that cannot or should not be handled.
Related documents: Access Points
Additional Descriptors: Errors in Catalog Records; Correction of Catalog Records; Typographical Errors; Database Maintenance