Serials catalogers are frequently faced with the dilemma of deciding whether or not a serial’s title has changes. While many changes are obvious and require little deliberation, others are less clear- -words are rearranged, corporate bodies are added or dropped, words are given in different forms (e.g., as initialisms, symbols, abbreviations, etc.). When deciding whether to make a new record consider the following appropriate:

ACR2 21.2A1, 21,2C1 & LCRIs (always!)

Publisher’s intent

Issues on hand

Cataloging in a cooperative database

a. AACR2 21.2A and 21.2C:

The first step is to apply the criteria as set forth in the rules and LCRIs to determine whether a change has taken place. If the change in wording, etc. fits the criteria for a change, there is no choice but to create a new record. If the situation is less clear and is not specifically covered, consider the following.

b. Publisher’s intent:

Did the publisher really intend to change the title and will future issues look the same? Sometimes publishers note such changes in their introductory remarks. Such information is considered to be evidence of a change, even when the variation in wording might have fit one of the exceptions listed in 16.2.3. If the publisher has given no clue as to his intent and the serial is current, remember that AACR2 21.2A1 says "in case of doubt, consider the title proper to have changes."

c. Issues in hand:

Determining the publisher’s intent is easier when there is more than one issue in hand.

d. Cataloging in a cooperative database:

How a serial is cataloged may depend on what is in the database. If it is questionable whether the change should have been treated as a title change, but someone else has already created a record, it may be better to let the record stand. Keep in mind also that in a cooperative environment catalogers often create records with different information before them. One cataloger may have only one issue while another has a complete run. While records may be collapsed (i.e., multiple records are combined to form one), this should not be done arbitrarily. Collapsing records should be limited to situations where by doing so, the cataloger will eliminate the necessity for creating needless records in the future. (Procedures for collapsing records are found in CEG C8.)

Deciding whether or not to include the corporate body in the title is important when considering potential title changes. When the typography of the title and corporate body differ, as they do in this example, catalogers generally interpret that to mean that the publisher did not intend for the title to include the name of the body. The 1983 makes this clear. If the serial had been cataloged as Church of the Brethren yearbook, the 1983 issue would require al title change.

See also:

16.2. Title changes