This section discusses only those notes that have significance for electronic serials and are not discussed elsewhere in this module or in Module 13.  Consult AACR2 chapters 9 and 12 for other notes that may be useful.  Input notes in numerical order ( FN 2).  Linking notes related to electronic serials are discussed in CCM 30.16.

30.14.1.  System requirements (field 538) (FN 3)

The system requirements note describes the hardware and software not included with the subscription which are necessary for using an electronic resource.

Serial catalogers should keep in mind that system requirements information is outdated quickly and is difficult to keep up-to-date in records.  At a minimum provide the make and model of the computer and the operating system.  Consider omitting specific data such as versions of software or memory requirements.  Following are the types of information that may be given in this field, per AACR2 9.7B1:

1.  Make and model of the computer(s) on which the file is designed to run

IBM PC or compatible

IBM PC, XT, AT, PS/2 or fully compatible


Apple II

2.  Amount of memory required


640K installed, 465K minimum available memory

512K memory (640K recommended)

at least 4MB hard disk

3.  Name of the operating system, including the version number, if known



DOS 3.1 or higher

System 6.0.2 or higher

Windows 3.1 or higher

4.  Software requirements (software not included with the subscription; for software that is included with the subscription, see CCM 30.14.7.

Lotus 1-2-3

Adobe Acrobat

5.  Kind and characteristics of any required or recommended peripherals

CD-ROM drive

floppy disk drive

hard disk


joy stick

color monitor

graphics board

Examples illustrating system requirements notes.

538 ## $a System requirements: Macintosh computer.

538 ## $a System requirements: MS-DOS compatible system with CD-ROM drive.

538 ## $a System requirements: IBM PC, XT, AT, PS/2, or fully compatible; 640K RAM; MS-DOS; CD-ROM player running under MS-DOS extensions.

538 ## $a System requirements: 32-bit Windows operating system (Windows 95/98/ME, Windows NT 4.0, or Windows 2000); Adobe Acrobat reader to view user's guide.

538 ## $a System requirements: PC or Macintosh computer; Adobe Acrobat Reader; CD-ROM drive.

You may wish to add another 538 field to provide information on optional hardware.

538 ## $a System requirements: IBM PC/XT/AT or 100% compatible, IBM PS/2 or compatible, or 286/386/486 machine; 512K memory (640K recommended); MS-DOS 3.1 or higher; hard disk with at least 3MB free or higher; CD-ROM drive; monitor (color optional).

538 ## $a Optional hardware: Printer; IBM-compatible modem & modem cable, for access to Dialog file via Dialoglink on-disc software.

If a title is issued for use with multiple platforms and cataloged on one record, provide a 538 note for each platform.

538 ## $a System requirements for Windows: 80386 IBM compatible PC; 4 MB RAM; Microsoft Windows 3.1; MS-DOS CD-ROM extensions, version 2.1 or higher; hard disk (10 MB free); ISO 9660 compatible CD-ROM drive; VGA monitor.

538 ## $a System requirements for DOS: 8088 IBM compatible PC; 640 KB of RAM, 500 KB free; MS-DOS or PC-DOS 3.1 or higher; MS-DOS CD-ROM extensions, version 2.1 or higher; hard disk (10 MB free); ISO 9660 compatible CD-ROM drive.

538 ## $a System requirements for Macintosh: Macintosh Plus or higher; 4 MB RAM, 2 MB for Systems 6.x; System 6.0.3 or higher; 5 MB hard disk; foreign file access software; High Sierra/ISO 9660 compatible CD-ROM drive.

If the content of an electronic serial is also available for use with another computer model, provide a 538 note (AACR2 9.7B16).

538 ## $a Also issued for Macintosh systems.

System requirements information for the other computer model may also be useful, when known, but keep in mind that this type of information is likely to change.

538 ## $a Also issued for Macintosh systems; system requirements: Apple MAC; 1M RAM; system 6.0.2 or higher; hard & floppy disk drives.

30.14.2.  File characteristics (field 516) ( FN 4)

File characteristics provide information on how data is stored on the electronic resource.  When this note is used, as described in AACR2 9.7B8, give important file characteristics, e.g., ASCII character set, hierarchical file structure, etc.

516 8# $a Written in ISO 9660 and dBase III format.

516 8# $a ASCII character set.

516 8# $a Text in PDF format.

A note related to file characteristics that is seen on some catalog records, "Disc characteristics:  CD-ROM", is superfluous, since the pertinent information appears in the 300 field.  The 007 also provides special material designation codes to identify the type of physical carrier.

A disc characteristics note may be useful for the different standards of CD-ROM, such as the ISO 9660 standards, and other technology differences.

516 8# $a Disc characteristics: CD-ROM (ISO 9660 standard; raw data in uncompressed ASCII form).

30.14.3.  Numbering peculiarities (field 515)

Numbering peculiarities notes may be as applicable for electronic resources as for print publications.  Some examples are described in the following paragraphs, but the general principles for these notes apply, as described in CCM modules 8 and 13.

Some electronic serials are preceded by pilot or sample disks.  Biotechnology Citation Index, for which the first issue published was actually a demo disc and not part of the subscription, has a designation based on the first issue of the subscription.  However, a 515 note has been added.

515 ## $a Preceded by demo disc for Jul./Aug. 1991.

Sometimes an electronic serial has an additional designation related to that of the print title.  Provide a note illustrating this relationship (Figure 30.7.).


515 ## $a Discs for 1861-1981- also carry numbering referring to their corresponding print volumes: DAI v. 1/1-42/6-


Figure 30.8.  Numbering discrepancies between disc label and title screen

515 ## $a Issue called 1/74-4/91 on title screen constitutes 1/74-8/91.



The designation on the title screen and the disc may not always correspond.  Record the designation in the 362 field from the chief source, but cover any discrepancies in a 515 note (Figure 30.8.).

The fact that each issue of an electronic serial is cumulative may be described in a note.

515 ## $a Each issue covers the most recent 12 months.

CD-ROMs sometimes provide an interesting phenomenon with the publication of retrospective volumes.  A note describing the backfiles may be useful.

515 ## $a Backfiles from 1985 to 1988 were issued as annual cumulations in 1989.

Some titles may have volumes issued in multiple parts.

515 ## $a Issues consist of two discs, each containing one data file: Respondents, and: Non-respondents.

30.14.4.  Summary (field 520)

If the scope of an electronic publication is not clear from the title statement, a description of it may be provided in a general summary note.

520 ## $a Citations with abstracts to worldwide literature in engineering and technology, excluding patents.

30.14.5.  Additional physical form available (field 530)

If the electronic resource is also issued in another format, e.g., print, online, magnetic tape, provide a note if the information is readily available.  If the other formats are cataloged, use 776 linking fields (see CCM 30.16.2).

530 ## $a Also available online as DIALOG's File 108.

530 ## $a Also available through electronic bulletin board TAXACOM.

530 ## $a Also available on magnetic tape.

30.14.6.  Language and script (field 546)

If the text of the electronic resource is in a foreign language, or multiple foreign languages, provide a language note unless it is clear from the rest of the description, as described in Module 13.6.  If necessary, give the programming language as part of the system requirements note, not in a language note.

30.14.7.  Accompanying material (fields 556 and 500)

Often accompanying material is issued with a new subscription (i.e., with the first issue received) or occasionally during the course of the subscription (as with new versions of the search and retrieval software, or updated editions of the manual).  In such cases, describe search and retrieval software in a 500 note and documentation information in a 556 note.  If unsure, prefer the note to subfield $e of field 300.  Note that prior to format integration, the information in these two notes was combined in one note.

Describe the accompanying material in general terms, since the nature of this material may change over time.  Include information about installation software and search and retrieval software that comes with the subscription in the 500 note (AACR2 9.7B11).

500 ## $a Accompanied by the latest version of the Wilsondisc search and retrieval software on both 5 1/4 in. and 3 1/2 in. disks.

556 8# $a Accompanied by documentation.

556 8# $a Accompanied by users' guide.

500 ## $a Accompanied by installation software on 1 5 1/4 in. floppy disk.

556 8# $a Accompanied by: SPIRS user's manual, tutorial on 1 3 1/2 in. floppy disk, and quick reference cards.

Search software sometimes has a very distinctive name and you may wish to provide a specific note.

500 ## $a Contains Lotus BlueFish Searchware.

See also:

Module 30.  Direct Access Electronic Serials