0.1.1.  Introduction

The 2002 amendments to AACR2 introduce new terms and concepts to the code that have a profound impact on the ways in which bibliographic resources are described.  The fundamental changes are:

Many electronic, and some print resources, which were previously cataloged as monographs, are now grouped under a category called integrating resources.  These include loose-leafs, Web sites, and databases that are intended to be updated.

Because integrating resources exhibit a high degree of seriality, they are closely related to serials.

And because serials and integrating resources have so much in common, the two are joined together as continuing resources.

So gone are the days of monographs and serials!  Now catalogers will determine whether a resource is a monograph, an integrating resource, or a serial.

The primary difference between monographs and continuing resources is the fact that monographs are finite (i.e., not intended to continue).

The primary difference between an integrating resource and a serial is the form in which they are issued.

These concepts will be discussed below.  But first, a little history.

0.1.2.  Background

The work of revising the code began in 1997 with the paper "Issues Related to Seriality" by Crystal Graham and Jean Hirons.  In the paper, Graham and Hirons noted that there is a broad spectrum of bibliographic resources that exhibit seriality, some much more so than others.

The challenge for Graham and Hirons was to find ways to expand the traditional bibliographic universe of serials and monographs to include the increasing number of electronic resources, in addition to updating loose-leafs, that did not comfortably fit into either category.  Resources such as loose-leafs, updating Web sites and updating databases are continuing in nature, but rather than being issued in a succession of parts, as are serials, these resources are issued with updates that do not remain discrete within the whole.

In the years between 1997 and 2002, two new concepts were defined.  Based on a model defined by Hirons and Regina Reynolds in 1998 ("Modified Model C"), the term continuing resources was defined to serve as a broad "umbrella" category incorporating any kind of resource that has no predetermined conclusion.  The term integrating resource was defined to more specifically describe updating resources, such as Web sites, databases, and loose-leafs.  Because both serials and integrating resources exhibit a high degree of seriality and, thus, many similarities, the rules ( FN1) for both are included in Chapter 12 of AACR2, which is now called Continuing Resources.

Following the introduction of these concepts for AACR2, they were further refined in discussions with the groups revising the ISSN Manual and ISBD(S) (International Standard Bibliographic Description (Serials).  In 2000, all groups agreed to adopt the new definitions and harmonized critical practices, such as major/minor title changes.  As a result, the scope of ISSN is now continuing resources, not just serials, and ISBD(S) has adopted the name ISBD(CR)--International Standard Bibliographic Description (Serials and Other Continuing Resources).

Two factors were considered in developing models that led to the new terms and concepts.  The first was the finite versus continuing nature of a resource.  The second is its mode of issuance, whether resources are issued successively or in an integrating manner.

0.1.3.  Finite vs. continuing

A resource is finite when it is complete as first issued, or is intended to be completed.  Finite resources include both single part books, sound recordings, reports issued electronically, films, and many other forms of material.  The category also includes multipart items:  books, sound recordings, etc., whether issued all at once or over a period of time.

A resource is continuing when it has no predetermined conclusion.  This means that either it is clear that the resource is intended to continue indefinitely or there is nothing to lead the cataloger to believe that it will not continue.

A resource can be finite or continuing, regardless of its mode of issuance.

0.1.4.  Form of issuance:  successive vs. integrating

A resource that is not complete as first issued may be updated, continued, or completed in a variety of ways.

A resource is issued successively when the added or updated content is issued in a succession of discrete parts.  Examples include printed directories and multi-part books.

Figure 1 diagrams two kinds of resources issued successively.  The fictitious print CONSER Directory has separate issues, each of which has its own title and numbering.  The content is updated annually and thus, it is clearly a serial.  The Cambridge Economic History of the United States is a monograph complete in three separate volumes.  Each has its own chief source and contents.


Figure 1.  Successive issuance




Figure 2.  Integrating issuance


Integrating resources are updated over time; the updates, however, are folded into the overall work and do not remain discrete.  This situation is easiest to imagine with a printed loose-leaf.  While the updates may come on a regular basis with a cover sheet bearing numbering and dates, once the pages that comprise the update are interfiled into the base volume of the loose-leaf, the update no longer remains discrete.  For electronic resources, such as updating databases, changes are made by the publisher and the way that the cataloger or user knows that a change has occurred is usually through a revision date.

In Figure 2, the CONSER Directory is issued in an online format.  Updates to the content are added and the date of revision is changed accordingly.

These examples are quite obvious.  There are many other resources for which the form of issuance is not as clear.  For instance, is a CD-ROM that is issued with successive discs, each of which is cumulative, to be considered a serial or an integrating resource?  For the answer and more details, see Part 1, Module 2, What is a Serial.

0.1.5.  Basic differences between the description of serials and integrating resources

There are two very basic differences in the description of serials and integrating resources which are based on the form of issuance.  These are the basis of the description and entry conventions.  Serials are described from the earliest issue or part and changes are reflected in notes.  When a major change occurs, a new record is made according to successive entry conventions.  Integrating resources, on the other hand, are described from the latest iteration (because that may be all there is!) and earlier information is given in notes.  Furthermore, most changes to integrating resources do not constitute major changes and are retained on the record according to integrated entry conventions ( FN2).

See also:

Module 0.  Introduction to Continuing Resources