First and Second indicators:

#  Undefined


a  System details note (NR)

i   Display text (NR)

u  Uniform Resource Identifier (R)

3  Materials specified (NR)

5  Institution to which field applies (R)

6  Linkage (NR)

8  Field link and sequence number (R)

NOTE:  See MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data (538 System Details Note) for code definitions not given below.


Record system information in field 538 for the following types of serials:

Direct access computer files

Remote access computer files


"System requirements" information for computer files, such as software programming language, computer requirements (e.g., computer manufacturer and model, operating system, or memory requirements), and peripheral requirements (e.g., number of disks, support software, or related equipment) can be included for computer file serials.  System requirements for "electronic serials," in addition to those necessary for standard Internet access, may also be specified.

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

538 ## System requirements: IBM 360 and 370; 9K bytes of internal memory; OS SVS and OS MVS.

538 ## System requirements: NEC 9801, IBM PC or compatible; 640K RAM; DOS 3.1 or higher; hard and floppy disk drives.

538 ## System requirements: Adobe Acrobat reader or PostScript printer.

"Mode of access" information for computer file serials available by remote access should also be recorded in field 538.  It may be appropriate to include different types of information specified by AACR2 9.7B1 (Nature and scope and system requirements) in a single note.

538 ## Mode of access: Internet email, FTP, and World Wide Web.

538 ## Mode of access: Internet email and World Wide Web. For online subscription, mail to, with the message: subscribe mini-air [firstname lastname].

538 ## Electronic journal in ASCII text available via Internet email and World Wide Web.  Browser software required for World Wide Web access.

For serial videorecordings, information about the trade name or recording system(s) (VHS, Beta, etc.), number of lines of resolution, and modulation frequency may be recorded.

538 ## Videocassettes in Beta II format.

538 ## Available in both Beta and VHS formats.


$a  System details note.

Input in subfield $a the entire text of the note.

$i   Display text.

Subfield $i contains text intended to be displayed preceding the other data contained in the field.

$u  Uniform Resource Identifier.

Subfield $u contains the Uniform Resource Identifier (URI), for example a URL or URN, which provides electronic access data in a standard syntax.  This data can be used for automated access to an electronic item using one of the Internet protocols.

$3  Materials specified.

Subfield $3 contains information that indicates the part of the described material to which the field applies.

538 ## $3 1889:Dec 3-7 $i Digital master conforms to: $a Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials. Version 1. Digital Library Federation, December 2002. $u

$6  Linkage.

For instructions on the use of subfield $6, see field 880.

Related fields, etc.

Notes - General Information, 753, 856

538 System Details Note  (MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data)

See also:

5XX  Note Fields

Variable Data Fields

Section E.  MARC 21 Format for Serials as Applied Within CONSER

CONSER Editing Guide:  Contents