LCRI 1.6. provides guidance in deciding whether a word or phrase constitutes a series or whether it should be treated as a quoted note. (7) Two aspects need to be considered: the source of the statement and the nature of the title and numbering.

The presence of the word "series" does not necessarily mean that a phrase is a true series since this word is often used by publishers in a generic sense to refer to the issues of the serial.

This statement does not constitute a series statement although the word "series" appears. In this situation the word "series" refers to the serial itself rather than any separate title.

a. Source of statement:

Series statements may be taken from the following sources in this order of preference:

a series title page

the chief source of the serial

a formal (8) or embedded statement found on the preliminaries or colophon

a formal statement found in another source

a publisher’s listing when it is the sole source of the series title

In order for an embedded title to be considered a series, it must be set off typographically from the rest of the words in the sentence (e.g., through the use of capitals, italics, etc.) A word or phrase is not considered to be a series but may be given as a quoted note when it is embedded in text on a source other than one of the preliminaries.

In some cases, only the series numbering appears on the piece without the title. The title may be bracketed in or the series omitted altogether, depending on the instructions found on the SAR. Such decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.

b. Nature of the title:

Do not treat a word or phrase as a series if the word/phrase:

essentially repeats the name of the publisher or a subsidiary


consists of a strange combination of letters and numbers that are unlikely a series and are more likely a stock number. Such letter/number combinations are often found on technical reports and government documents. In many cases, alphanumeric combinations constitute Standard Technical Report

Numbers, which are recorded in field 027. Other alphanumeric numbers may be input in field 088 (Report number). See CEG fields 027 and 088 for further details.

Words such as "Report" or "Publication" that appear with numbering may constitute a title of a series or may be considered to be part of the designation when other words appear that constitute the series title. If possible, examine other publications to see if the word appears regularly and if it is omitted on some pieces, do not consider it to be the title.

Note: When a letter/number or word/number combination is not considered to be a series by LC, an SAR may be made instructing the cataloger to give it as a quoted note. Such notes are not generally added to serial records because the numbers change from issue to issue and must be omitted and a quoted note of "Report" would add little to the record.

See also LCRI 1.6. and DCM C11 for more complete guidelines on how to determine what is or is not a series.

See also:

12.2. Is it a series?