Subject headings include topics, person, corporate bodies, places, and uniform titles. These headings comprise one of the four areas of subject-related data in serial records. The other are classification numbers, the geographic area code (field 043), and fixed field contents codes (008/24-47). In addition, the abstracting and indexing coverage note (field 510) indicates the sources in which the contents of the serial is indexed. As many libraries choose not to classify all or part of their serial collections, subject headings are a primary method of providing access to the subject matter of these publications and the only method to be covered in this module. For information on classification fields, fields 043, 008/24-27, and 510, see the CEG.

This module explains the philosophy of subject heading assignment for serials. It does not cover the specifics of subject heading construction, assignment of subheadings, or authority work.

This module will discuss:

A suggested thought process to apply in subject analysis

Guidelines to apply in assigning subject headings

Where specifically to look in a serial for indications of its subject content

Ways to expedite and attain a degree of consistency in serial subject analysis

A review of the difference between LC’s and NLM’s subject heading

15.1. Thought process involved in subject analysis

15.2. Guidelines

15.3. Sources for subject information

15.4. Strategies for streamlining subject analysis

15.5 Differences between LCSH and MeSH

15.6. Modifying subject headings


See also:

Part 1. Original cataloging