ALCTS - Association of Library Collections & Technical Services

CC:DA/TF/Seriality Rules Review/3

August 1, 2000

Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access

Task Force on the Review of Revising AACR2 to Accommodate Seriality: Rule Revision Proposals

Final Report

Please note that the purpose of this document is to facilitate the work of the Committee and to provide a means for outreach to both library and non-library cataloging communities. This document is intended for the exclusive use of CC:DA and its cataloging constituencies, and is presented for discussion in the ongoing process of rule revision. Under no circumstances should the information here be copied or re-transmitted without prior consultation with the current Chair of CC:DA.


The Task Force on the Review of Revising AACR2 to Accommodate Seriality: Rule Revision Proposals was charged with preparing a detailed review of the proposals contained in 4JSC/Chair/68/Chair follow-up/2 (referred to below as the Chapter 12 proposal). That document was prepared by Jean Hirons of the Library of Congress following the decisions made by the Joint Steering Committee at Brisbane, Australia, in October 1999, on her recommendations in Revising AACR2 to Accommodate Seriality: Report to the Joint Steering Committee. The latter report had been reviewed by an earlier version of this Task Force prior to the Brisbane JSC meeting. In most cases, the JSC decisions were consistent with the recommendations of that Task Force, and the revision proposals (with one major exception) were consistent with the JSC decisions. Therefore, most of the present review is concerned with details of wording in specific rule change proposals.

The Task Force was also charged to look at the pending revisions to Chapter 9 and to comment on any possible inconsistencies between the application of the two chapters to the cataloging of continuing electronic resources. One section of our report below deals explicitly with issues concerning continuing electronic resources.

During the short term of this Task Force, we received the CCC response to 4JSC/Chair/68/Chair follow-up/2. Although there was not sufficient time to perform a detailed analysis of the response, we found it very useful and (as noted below) tentatively accept many of its recommendations.

The Task Force was assisted by the comments provided by members of the ALCTS Serials Section Committee to Study Serials Cataloging. We thank them for their contribution.

Editorial conventions in this document

This document uses strike-through and underlining to reproduce the text of the original 4JSC/Chair/68/Chair follow-up/2 document and of the CCC response. Revisions to that text are indicated by HTML-style mark-up: <ADD> . . . </ADD> for additions and <DELETE> . . . </DELETE> for deletions. Rule text is presented in serif type; comment is in sans-serif type.

In most cases, the base text for our proposals is the CCC response.

General Issues and Recommendations

  1. The CCC response. We thank CCC for a thorough examination of the proposed revision and the identification of many needed editorial changes in the presentation of the rules. We have no objections to these editorial changes, although we are not convinced in every case that the changes are necessary. For example, we would accept the suggestion to make separately-numbered subrules whenever the rule gives different instructions for different categories of continuing resource. However, we would also accept the original proposal. We do urge that some typographical means be used to emphasize the scope of such rules.

    We find many of the more substantive recommendations in the CCC response to be improvements. In the absence of specific comment in this document, we give tentative support to the CCC recommendations, while admitting that time did not allow full consideration of all their recommendations.

  2. Appendix on Major/Minor Changes. We agree with CCC that many rules in Chapter 12 are so closely connected with the Appendix that they need to be considered together. We note that ALA is presenting the Appendix as a work in progress with many important issues still unresolved. Therefore, we urge that sufficient time be allowed for both comment on the draft Appendix and work to integrate that Appendix with the rest of the rules, particularly Chapter 12. We note, for example, that some of the recommendations contained in this document would be at variance with the current version of the Appendix.

    The revisions to 21.2 contained in the draft Appendix constitute a revision of the text in the Chapter 12 proposal. Therefore, we have not commented on those sections of the Chapter 12 proposal.

  3. Harmonization: Our favourite word applies to the present exercise in several senses. We have noted the need to harmonize the various revision proposals currently in play: Chapter 9, Chapter 12, the Appendix on Major/Minor Changes, the Introduction.

    In addition, harmonization of the various specifications for describing continuing resources — AACR, ISBD(S), and ISSN — is a goal of this exercise that we strongly support. At this point, several key pieces of the picture, such as the definition of a title change or the rule for selecting the chief source of information, are still somewhat tentative in AACR. We hope that this will allow JSC to participate in the November discussions with the other groups with an ability to compromise on details in order to achieve the closest possible alignment of the various standards.

  4. Terminology: loose-leafs. The Task Force was about equally divided on whether to support the CCC recommendation to change “loose-leaf publication” to “loose-leaf service.” Some members expressed concern that use of the term “publication” might not fit the intended scope of loose-leafs in the rules. Others were not convinced that this was the case and were equally uncertain about the implications of the term “service”; they also pointed out that the cataloging guidelines for this material published by the Library of Congress is entitled Cataloging rules for the description of looseleaf publications. Failing to reach a consensus, we can only recommend that consistent terminology be used in the code.

  5. Terminology: issued, published, made available. We note some variety of terminology used in rules and examples to refer to the condition of publications, distribution, etc. We question whether this variety of terminology is helpful to catalogers; in technical specifications, consistency of terminology is important. We have not done a thorough analysis to identify all the relevant rules and examples, nor do we have a recommendation on which term(s) to prefer. We simply draw the matter to the attention of CC:DA and the Joint Steering Committee.

Issues Concerning Electronic Resources

The Task Force examined the proposed rules for electronic serials or integrating resources in Chapters 9 and 12, looking for possible conflicts in meaning. We did not look for differences in wording, as suggested in the CCC response; that task remains to be done. As noted above, we support the CCC recommendation for a thorough review of the language in Chapter 9 and 12 and the Appendix of Major/Minor Changes.

Most of the differences that we found between the two chapters were just differences, not conflicts. For example, rules 9.7B7 and 12.7B7 address comparable issues on notes generally related to Area 2 of the description. However, while 9.7B7 deals with notes on edition and history, 12.7B7 is an important set of rules on relationships (not just historical or chronological relationships) between the item described and other bibliographic resources. This is a difference, but not a conflict. The reason why both chapters have to be applied to electronic integrating resources is that there are distinct rules needed to deal with the electronic and the integrating aspects of the resources. Most of the differences between the two chapters fall into this category and will not be mentioned.

What remains are some cases in which the two sets of rules may not be compatible when applied to the same resources. We offer the following discussion and recommendations. In some cases, we have recommended changes to the proposed revisions to Chapter 9.

  • 12.0A/9.0A: Chapter 12 contains an explicit instruction to apply Chapter 9 to integrating electronic resources. Chapter 9 only contains a general instruction to apply other chapters as needed. Rule 9.0A would benefit from explicit mention of integrating resources, since integrating electronic resources are such a common case.

    Recommendation: Revise 9.0A1 as follows:

    9.0A1. The rules in this chapter cover the description of files hat are encoded for manipulation by computer electronic resources. These files comprise data and programs. Electronic resources consist of data (information representing numbers, text, graphics, images, maps, moving images, music, sounds, etc.), programs (instructions, etc., that process the data for use), or combinations of data and programs. Electronic resources often include components with characteristics found in multiple classes of materials so there will frequently be a need to consult other chapters. For example, in describing a serially-issued cartographic electronic resource, use chapters 3, 9, and 12. <ADD>Apply the rules for integrating resources in chapter 12 to electronic resources that are added to or changed by means of updates that are integrated into the whole.</ADD>

  • 12.0B2/9.0B1: Rule 12.0B2 is the case in which the rule revision proposals did not follow the JSC decisions made in Brisbane. JSC decided to define the chief source of information for all bibliographic resources as the whole resource, using the source that provides the most complete information. In the event, this decision is not carried out in the rule revisions proposals for Chapter 12, but it is carried out in the revisions for Chapter 9. The result is two rules for determining the chief source of information which embody dramatically different philosophies:

    • 9.0B1 embodies the new approach endorsed by the Joint Steering Committee which takes a broad approach to sources of information: look anywhere within the resource for the most complete, relevant information that describes the whole; use judgment in selecting the best source, give a note on the source of the title so that another cataloger can identify whether or not the description represents the same item; if the information is not available within the resource, then use other sources, following a specified order of preference.

    • 12.0B2 is based on the critical significance of the choice of title proper in serials cataloging. In this context, there is a strong need for sufficient guidelines that any two catalogers anywhere in the world will not only recognize that they are describing the same resource, but will choose the same chief source (and therefore the same title). The efforts to create a single set of conventions applied worldwide for defining and identifying discrete continuing resources depend on this level of detail.

    The Task Force has had more difficulties with the question of chief source than with any of the other rule revision proposals. Our conclusions are tentative. They are also probably more extensive than the results warrant, for we think that there may not be any major problems here. The two philosophies described above are not necessarily incompatible, nor are the rules that embody these different philosophies necessarily in conflict. This Task Force is prepared to accept both the general approach currently embodied in Chapter 9 and the specific needs for cataloging serials (and perhaps all continuing resources). Therefore, we will support the two different rules so long as we do not find them to be in conflict where they overlap.

    In those cases where the scope of the rules do not overlap (monographic electronic resources and continuing resources other than electronic resources), there is no potential for conflict. Therefore we support the rules in Chapter 12 for printed resources and for non-print resources other than electronic resources.

    The overlap is for continuing electronic resources. Here Chapter 12 includes a general reference to rule 9.0B1 which seems to apply to all electronic resources. Specifically, the entire resource is to be treated as the chief source. This is modified by two subrules for the two types of electronic resources identified in Chapter 9. For remote access electronic resources, a preference is to be given to certain sources over others that might be chosen according to 9.0B1. Similarly, for direct access electronic resources, one source is to be given preference. So far, this seems legitimate: for those resources covered by Chapter 12, that chapter indicates a preference among the possible sources that, by applying 9.0B1 alone, would be given equal consideration. We see no necessary conflict here.

    The above discussion did not include the details of the preference, because there is in fact a problem here with the preference indicated for remote access resources. Although this subrule (as is the case with all the subrules in 12.0B2) applies to all continuing resources, the preference for “a source associated with the first issue” applies to serials (see 12.0B1), but not to integrating resources. Therefore, we note that this subrule needs to be revised to be consistent with 12.0B1.

    The preference indicated for direct access electronic resources is the physical carrier or its labels. There seem to be good pragmatic reasons for this preference, and there was general (but not unanimous) support on the Task Force for this subrule.

    There are some further issues that complicate matters. The rules in both chapters attempt to deal, each in its distinct way, with the fact that in both cases all of the relevant sources may not be available to the cataloger. For direct access electronic resources, pieces of a multipart item may be missing, as may containers or accompanying documentation. For remote access electronic resources, subsequent updates may remove all trace of earlier sources. For continuing resources, all issues or parts may not be available, including the critical first issue of a serial. When all of this uncertainty is combined and applied to continuing electronic resources, the resulting choice of available sources becomes increasingly arbitrary and inadequate when judged against the goal of consistent world-wide choice of chief source and of title proper.

    This situation may be more complicated in the case of direct access electronic resources, whether monographic or continuing, because of the provision in 9.0B1 that calls for selection of a chief source that applies to the entire item, not to just one of several parts. That provisions instructs the cataloger to look to the container as the unifying element that provides such a source. It is not clear how this applies to integrating resources.

    These issues make it clear that a major goal of this rule is to provide guidance for dealing with complex bibliographic situations and imperfect sources. In this context, there is no substitute for cataloger judgment, and there are limits to the extent to which consistency can be achieved. In general, we find the proposed revisions to provide useful guidance to catalogers.

  • 12.1B3: This rule uses the term “home page” to refer to a particular location within an electronic resource. Chapter 9 carefully avoids using this term, partly because there is uncertainty about what it refers to and partly because of the different approach to sources of information in the two chapters (see above).

    Some recent research shows that the term “home page” has matured and come into its own in at least three technical dictionaries where it did not appear previously. The term “home page” also seems to be more specific than Web page.

    • Microsoft Press Computer Dictionary, 4th ed., 1999:

      Home page. 1. A document intended to serve as a starting point in a hypertext system, especially the World Wide Web. A home page is called a start page in Microsoft Internet Explorer. 2. An entry page for a set of Web pages and other files in a Web site. 3. A personal Web page, usually for an individual. [p. 221]

      Web page. 1. A document on the World Wide Web. A Web page consists of an HTML file, with associated files for graphics and scripts, in a particular machine and is identifiable by a URL. Usually a Web page contains links to other Web pages See also URL.

    • Pfaffenberger, Bryan. Webster’s New World Dictionary of Computer Terms, 8th ed., 2000:

      Home page. 1. In any hypertext system, including the World Wide Web, a document intended to serve as an initial point of entry to a web of related documents. [p. 262]

    • Hansen, Brad. Dictionary of Computing and Digital Media, 1999:

      Home page. A document that is accessed via the World Wide Web by using a browser or universal client. A home page, or Web site is typically written in HTML which provides the capacity to link “hot” words to other words, graphics or paper. The home page is usually the point of entry for a Web site, with hyperlinks to the other pages. [p. 145] [Note: There is no entry for Web page(s).]

    Recommendation: Retain the term “home page” in 12.1B3. We find it ironic that Chapter 12 should make use of this term, but not Chapter 9. We recommend that the term be used in appropriate rules in Chapter 9, but are not making a specific recommendation at this time (although 9.0B seems an obvious place to start).

  • 12.2B/9.2B: Rule 9.2B1 contains an instruction for “frequently updated remote access resources” and a reference to 9.2B8 for the instruction to make a note. The governing rule for such integrating resources should be in Chapter 12, particularly since the decision needs to be made whether to consider a statement as an edition statement or a frequency statement (12.2B2).

    Recommendation: Update rule 9.2B1 as follows [rest of rule unchanged]:

    9.2B1. Transcribe a statement relating to an edition of a computer file an electronic resource that contains differences from other editions of that file resource, as instructed in 1.2B. <DELETE>For frequently updated remote access resources, see 9.2B8.</DELETE> <ADD>For continuing electronic resources, see 12.2.</ADD>

  • 12.7B and 9.7B both contain instructions to make notes in the order given. Each chapter follows the order of the ISBD areas, but each has a different set of notes to put first.

    Recommendation: Do not add new rules to deal with this. We are confident that the cataloger may be relied upon to judge whether (for example) the frequency note should be given before or after the mode of access note.

  • 12.7B17-18/9.7B17: The parallel rule numbering has broken down at this point. 12.7B17 deals with notes on indexes; 9.7B17, with summary notes. However, 12.7B18, which deals with contents notes, includes instructions for making summary notes for electronic integrating resources and for loose-leaf publications.

    Recommendation: The rules for contents and summary notes in Chapter 12 should be separate. While noting the point in the CCC response concerning the utility of parallel numbering of notes, we are not recommending any particular solution to the numbering of the rules at this point. We suggest the following revision to 12.7B18 [based on text in CCC response]:

    <ADD>12.7B[18]. Summary.   For electronic integrating resources, provide a brief summary of the resource according to 9.7B17. Avoid including information that is too specific or likely to change.

            Summary: Distributes weekly programming, including news and information, comedy and variety, music, and specials and documentaries, with emphasis on developing new talents and program concepts, and on serving diverse audiences. Also provides links to other public radio organizations and industry-related information
            (Web site for Public radio international)</ADD>

    12.7B[19]. Contents.   Give details of inserts, other serials continuing resources included in the serial, and important special items with specific titles, unless they are catalogued separately. Do not give contents notes for monographic series.

            Includes: Bibliography of Northwest materials

            Issues for 1922-1931 include: The women voter : official organ of the League of Women Voters

    a) Serials (other than a monographic series). If individual issues of a serial have special titles, give the individual titles in contents notes if they are considered to be important.

    <DELETE>b) Electronic integration resources. Provide a brief summary of the site according to 9.7B17. Avoid including information that is too specific or likely to change.


    c) Loose-leaf services. Make a note of the contents, either selectively or fully, if it is considered necessary to show the presence of material not implied by the rest of the description

            Contents: v. 1. Administrator’s volume (3 v.) – v. 2. Attorney’s volume (3 v.)

Comments on the Chapter 12 Proposals

  • 12.0A1: The parenthetical phrase in the first sentence implies that databases are all integrating resources and this isn’t the case. Many databases are issued as one-time things with no intention to update. Add the word “some” before “databases”.

  • 12.0B1: We note the use of the phrase “latest iteration” in the context of integrating resources. We question whether the concepts of earliest and latest are applicable to integrating resources. We suggest in this case that “latest” be changed to “current” and that the rest of the chapter be checked for other examples of this language.

  • 12.1B1: In the third example, correct the capitalization: “The New York times on the Web”.

  • 12.1B1: In the final paragraph, change the order to the instruction to parallel that in other rules, from “Always give the source … for electronic resources” to “For electronic resources, always give the source ….”

  • 12.1B3: The final clause of the last sentence — “and/or when cataloging retrospectively, in indexes, abstracts, or other lists.” — is confusing. Perhaps if “when cataloging retrospectively” were moved to the end of the list it would be less confusing.

  • 12.1E1: We question whether this rule should apply to all continuing resources. We would prefer that it apply only to serials.

    For integrating resources, there are strong reasons to transcribe other title information. There are too many Web sites where the other title information is essential to distinguishing it from other resources with the same title proper or else the title proper is very generic and the other title information provides essential information about the nature, scope, content, etc., of the resource. In this respect such Web sites are more like monographs than serials. Consider the example “Species identification guide : an online guide for amphibians in the United States and Canada”. If the rule were followed, only the title proper would be transcribed, leaving users in the dark as to what species are included and what the geographic coverage is. The rule as proposed allows judgment at the very end, but this may not be strong enough.

    There are a number of ways of strengthening the rule:

    1. The scope of 12.1E1 could be changed from “continuing resources, with the exception of loose-leaf publications” to “serials” and the scope of 12.1E2 could be changed from “loose-leaf publications” to “integrating resources”. It might also be advisable to delete the word “always” in the final paragraph to allow room for cataloguer judgement.
    2. Another subrule (d) could be added which instructs to transcribe other title information if it elucidates the nature, scope, or content of the resource. The above example could be used with such a subrule.
    3. The final paragraph could be parenthetically modified:
      In all other cases, use judgment in deciding whether to transcribe other title information in the title and statement of responsibility area <ADD>(e.g., if it elucidates the nature, scope or content of the resource)</ADD>, in a note (see 12.7B5) or not at all.

    There is some preference among Task Force members for alternative number 1 above, but we are making no specific recommendation at this time.

  • 12.1E3: In the first paragraph, add “specific” for clarity, changing it to: “ … and make a note of the specific changes … ”

  • 12.1F3: Change “that are editors” to “who are editors” (two occurrences)

  • 12.3A1: Change “first/last” to “first and/or last”

  • 12.3B1: Delete the other title information in the Magic touch example. The rule is not illustrating the transcription of the title and statement of responsibility area and, applying 12.1E1, it is not clear that other title information would be recorded in this case.

  • 12.3C1: Delete the other title information in the Commonwealth immigration example. The rule is not illustrating the transcription of the title and statement of responsibility area and, applying 12.1E1, it is not clear that other title information would be recorded in this case.

  • 12.3C4: The rule proposed here for altering the form of numeric designation inspired an extended discussion about whether information in Area 3 should be transcribed from the first issue or whether it was more important to normalize the statement in order to define the pattern of enumeration, chronology, etc. To put this dilemma another way, the information in Area 3 is comparable with series numbering in Area 6. However, with series, the cataloger can transcribe a series statement which appears on the item and also give a normalized series added entry which (among other things) will arrange the volumes, parts, etc., in the intended order. With serials, there is only Area 3, and thus a need to decide whether transcription or normalization should determine its content.

    The Task Force feels that issues concerning transcription are less important in this area than those which concern the clear recording of the pattern of enumeration. There is a direct relationship between the pattern recorded in Area 3 and the pattern recorded in the series authority record (MARC 21 field 642) for those serial titles for which series authority records are created; there should also be a relation between Area 3 and the publication pattern in the holdings records which governs the display of piece-level information. Since Area 3 cannot always support both exact transcription and the recording of the numbering pattern, we feel strongly that the latter is the more important function of this element in the descriptive record.

    This conclusion seems to justify the instruction in the (proposed) second paragraph of 12.3C4 to rearrange the numbering so that the year comes first in the case described. In fact, it might even be a good idea to generalize 12.3C to deal with all cases in which there are multiple levels of enumeration and/or chronology and to specify that these be recorded in hierarchical order from most general to most specific, or from whole to part. In other words, it is unclear that the instruction should be confined to cases in which the more general level is a year. We are not making a specific proposal to this effect, but simply pointing out one possible conclusion from our discussion of this rule. In the end, we support the rule revision as proposed, but we ask that the foregoing discussion be taken into consideration.

  • 12.3G1: We recommend that the final clause in the third paragraph be removed (rest of rule and examples unchanged):

    If, however, the numeric designation of a serial begins over with the same system of numbering without the addition of words such as new series, supply [new ser.] or another appropriate term (or its equivalent in the language of the title proper) <DELETE>unless there is a chronological designation to distinguish the numeric designations</DELETE>.

    We agree with the need to add provision for supplying “[new ser.]” when it has been omitted on the piece, as this will cut down on the number of unnecessary title changes prompted by the often whimsical enumerations assigned by publishers. However, in order for automated systems to normalize repeated numbering in a clear manner, the addition of this term is required, even when there is distinct chronology. In the following cases, there is a distinct chronology and thus this rule (as currently proposed) would not apply. The resulting list of issues might be:

    v. 1, no. 1 (1983 Jan.)
    v. 1, no. 1 (1997 Aug.)
    v. 1, no. 2 (1983 Feb.)

    Whereas, if the addition of “[new ser.]” were not forbidden in this case:

    v. 1, no. 1 (1983 Jan.)
    v. 1, no. 2 (1983 Feb.)

    [new ser.] v. 1, no. 1 (1997 Aug.)

    See 12.3C4 above for our argument that the primary function of Area 3 in Chapter 12 should be to record the pattern of enumeration. Note that this principle also suggests (as in the examples above) that both the enumeration and the chronology should be recorded in hierarchical order from general to specific (e.g., year before month before date). Once again these comments go beyond the actual proposals on the table, but we urge that they be taken into consideration.

  • 12.3G1: In the third paragraph, change “begins” to “starts over” in order to be consistent with the language in the first paragraph.

  • 12.3G1: In the fourth example, the ordinal should be simply “3rd” (i.e., no superscripts).

  • 12.3G1: In the examples where “new ser.” is not in brackets, there is a comma, but in the bracketed examples there is no comma. Is there a general rule about double punctuation that explains this or is it an error?

  • 12.4F2: The final example is unrealistic because it is unlikely that the actual date of last update would be so much later than the stated date on which the title ceased. Change the example to read “1990-1995 [last updated 1996]”.

  • 12.5: Throughout this area, add the word “tangible” before “continuing resources” in statements defining the scope of the rules. Unless the footnote as 9.5 is removed — which ALA is opposing at this time — Area 5 would not be given for intangible (i.e., remote) resources.

  • 12.5B1: We take the opportunity to note that the LC Rule Interpretation for 12.5B1 reads “For printed serials, use only the specific material designation "v."; do not use "no." or "pt." …”. Is there any interest in simplifying AACR2 in this manner? The distinction between volume, number, and part in the physical description (as opposed to Area 3) seems rather pointless.

  • 12.5B3: This rule implies that the physical description should always give the current number of volumes for a loose-leaf publication. However, while the loose-leaf is still in progress, the number of volumes may not be known. We are informed that it is common practice in law libraries to leave the number of volumes blank until the loose-leaf service ceases issuing updates. Would it not be preferable to allow the omission of the number of volumes in such a case?

  • 12.5D1: In the next-to-last example, change “disk” to “discs”. The current decision for Chapter 9 is to use that spelling and the SMD should be plural. In addition, “3/4” should use the same typography as “1/2” in the last example (i.e., small type for the numbers).

  • 12.6B2: The proposed rule contains a reference to rule 1.6J1, which rule does not address the question of changes in the title proper of a series. The reference may be to some other rule, but we suspect that it may be to the LC Rule Interpretation for 1.6J1, in which case the reference should be deleted.

  • 12.7B1: In the next to last example, one of our would-be grammarians speculates that “Continuously updated” is an ontological impossibility and that perhaps “Continually updated” is intended.

  • 12.7B3: In the first sentence, change the order to the instruction to parallel that in the second sentence (and in other rules), from “Always make a note … for electronic resources” to “For electronic resources, always make a note …”

    In the final examples, change “viewed” to “viewed on” to be consistent with 9.7B22 and 12.7B23.

  • 12.7B4(a): In the final (new) example, change “Title bar title:” to “Title in HTML header:” to parallel the terminology used in the revision of 9.7B4. The issue may be more complicated. Most members of the Task Force assumed that “title bar title” referred to the title that is displayed at the top of the browser window and contains information from the <TITLE> element in the HTML header. However, one of our serial catalogers thought it referred to a Web graphic version of what might be called a masthead on a print title. Given this uncertainty, we urge that “title bar title” not be used in the rules; we think “Title in HTML header:” is suitable for this rule, whether it means the same thing or not.

  • 12.7B5: In general we support the CCC version of this rule. In particular, we agree that the phrase “if they are considered to be important” should not be omitted from any part of this rule (as the original proposal does in the case of parallel titles that are added, changed, or omitted on subsequent issues of a serial). On the other hand, we question whether the final sentence in the proposal and in the CCC response (concerning slight variations) is necessary. It is common practice to ignore insignificant variations in parallel titles and other title information, and we would hate to require the addition of “(varies slightly)” — something that seems to have very little benefit in terms of either identification or retrieval.

  • 12.7B7: We agree with Jean Hirons’ comment regarding the use of “name” and “title” in this rule. We think the usage should be consistent. We are not sure which term is preferable.

  • 12.7B18: The paragraph “for integrating resources” contains the instruction to “Provide a brief summary of the site according to 9.7B17.” Since not all integrating resources are Web sites, we suggest changing “site” to “resource”. [Note: we have proposed further revisions to this rule in the discussion of issues concerning continuing electronic resources above.]

  • 12.7B23: In the first example under the subrule for integrating resources, there is a space missing following the colon — “Description based on: 1994 ed. …”

    In the last example, the date is given as “10/26/00”. This is a North American style of noting dates. To avoid confusing, a neutral date convention should be used, i.e., “Oct. 26, 2000”.

  • 12.8B1: As proposed, the addition of the ISBN to Chapter 12 without any qualification is a major change in the rules for describing serials. Standard practice has been to ignore ISBNs that might appear on individual issues of a serial (as they do on many serials). We suspect that the change to this rule was intended to allow ISBNs to be recorded for non-serial continuing resources, where they are clearly a significant part of the description. We recommend that the language of this rule be changed. One possibility would be to require the recording of ISBNs for non-serial continuing resources, with an option to record them for serials.

    We also note that the new second paragraph in this rule deals with qualifiers and thus should be moved to rule 12.8E, perhaps as a new rule 12.8E2.

  • 1.4F7: In the example following the (new) third paragraph, it is not clear whether a comma should follow the name of the publisher when the date is omitted. Rule 1.4A1 is written in terms of the punctuation that precedes the date, but CONSER practice is to add the comma.

  • Glossary, “Serial”: We support the definition of serial in the proposal.However, we would like to raise some issues regarding two phrases in that definition which we would like JSC to consider.

    The phrase “in any medium” may require minor adjustment. We note that the definition of serial includes the term bibliographic resource, whose definition in turn includes the sentence “A bibliographic resource may be in any medium or combination of media and may be tangible or intangible.” To include only the phrase “in any medium” in the definition of serial omits most of this. Our first thought was to recommend that the phrase “in any medium” be deleted from the definition, thus relying solely on the implied reference to the definition of bibliographic resource, but that might be unnecessary and unfortunate. We ask JSC to consider the relationship between these two definitions and the degree of overlap that is appropriate.

    We also had an extended discussion of the phrase “or chronological”. We noted that the AACR2 Glossary now contains a definition of numbering which includes not only numeric and alphabetic designations, but also chronology. Given that, we wonder whether it is the intent of JSC that the terms “enumeration” or “numbering”, wherever they appear in the rules, are to be interpreted in the light of this definition. If so, then it seems unnecessary to continue to add “and chronology” to references to numbering. This becomes a mantra that is almost, but not quite, as annoying as “publication, distribution, etc.” However, unless there is a concerted effort to deal editorially with all occurrences, the exceptions will stand out as if they mean something. We also question whether, in spite of the definition, most catalogers will understand that enumeration includes chronology. Therefore, we recommend that the phrase remain in the present definition, but that JSC give some consideration to an editorial policy for dealing with the new definition of “numbering”.


This Task Force commends Jean Hirons and the CONSER AACR Review Task Force for a thorough set of revision proposals.

The Task Force recommends general support for the concepts of continuing and integrating resources and the way in which they have been implemented in the revision proposals.

The Task Force recommends general support for the proposals to revise the rules for cataloging serials. We see this as a significant step towards a truly international set of conventions for describing serials. We strongly endorse the concept of international agreement on such conventions.

The Task Force offers the recommendations and comments in this report as a contribution towards enhancing the intelligibility and utility of the rules for describing continuing resources in AACR2.

Task Force members
John C. Attig, chair
Everett Allgood
Ruth E. Christ
Laurel Jizba
Wayne Jones
Judy Knop
Ann Sitkin
Mitch Turitz