Part 1 is a decision-based, rather than a rule-based, approach to constructing a cataloging record.  The AACR2 rules for the description of serials are found in both chapters 1 and 12.  In addition, serial catalogers have to consult chapter 2 for the physical description, and chapters 21-25 for the assignment of access points.  Thus, it is difficult to teach a cataloger from the rules alone.  The CCM is organized by the decisions to be made, citing the relevant rule or LCRI, or an area of the CEG.  In this way, new catalogers can first learn what decisions have to be made and then where to go for the answers.

To a great extent, AACR2 and the LCRIs assume that catalogers can recognize various types of bibliographic data.  AACR2 instructs catalogers as to how and where to record this data.  For new catalogers, however, recognizing the various elements of a serial, such as an edition statement, series, or common title, is not always easy.  For instance, AACR2 12.1B instructs catalogers to "transcribe all other title information appearing in the chief source of information according to 1.1B."  But just what is other title information?  What does it look like?  Where is it normally found?  What distinguishes a word or phrase that is considered to be other title information from a word or phrase that is considered to be the title proper?  The CCM discusses the characteristics of each type of data in order to help catalogers with these decisions.  For example, discussions are provided on the differences between a serial edition and a section title and between common titles and unnumbered series.

Perhaps the most difficult task for a new cataloger is learning to recognize various situations and knowing whether these situations are covered explicitly by a rule or LCRI, or whether they require the application of "cataloger's judgment."  While this term is frequently used, there is no single path for a new cataloger to develop this judgment and to know when to apply it.  By checking the citations given in the text, the beginning cataloger can learn which situations are covered by a rule and which require judgment, building on the closest match with the rules.

Order and structure of modules.

The order of the modules does not follow AACR2.  Instead, it follows more closely the order in which cataloging decisions are likely to be made when cataloging from an online workform.  Each module is separately paged, however, making it possible for users to rearrange the modules as they wish.

Each module begins with a general description of the aspects covered and not covered by the module, followed by references to other sources and to the applicable rules and LCRIs.  Individual modules are divided into the various elements of the decision process, followed by instructions on how to handle changes occurring on later issues of the serial.  A summary and notes page is included at the end of the module.


Examples are meant to be illustrative of the points explained in the manual.  The cataloging fields accompanying the examples reflect the rules and rule interpretations current at the time of the writing, and the philosophy expressed in the manual.  For this reason, and because serial records are dynamic, the actual records may not appear in the same manner on cataloging databases.  While most of the pictured examples were either scanned or recreated from real serials, a number of the examples represented by cataloging fields alone were made up.  Most have been labeled as such.

Most examples have been updated to reflect the 2002 revision of AACR2.  Where examples are illustrative of past practices, however, they have not been revised.  Note also that the leading $a, called for in MARC 21 but not displayed in OCLC, has been added to the examples.

Further examples have been added at the end of some of the modules following the summary and notes page.  These examples illustrate unusual situations that require a certain amount of problem solving.  They are given only to show how one cataloger solved the problem and are not meant to dictate how such situations must be handled.


Citations marked "AACR2" refer to the revised second edition of the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules.  All citations to rule interpretations are for the Library of Congress' and are cited as "LCRI... ", so as not to confuse those who may have their own rule interpretations.  References to other sections in the CCM or CEG are labeled as such, unless an entire module has been cited.


Definitions included within the text have also been grouped at the beginning of the relevant module and combined in a glossary.  When possible, definitions were taken from AACR2.  A number of definitions were created by the writers for serial-related terms not included in the AACR2 glossary.  Citations are given for all definitions; those defined by the authors are cited as "(CCM)."

See also:

Part 1.  Original Cataloging