In this topic:

B4.1.  Correcting obvious errors [M]


B4.2.  Changes in the publication


B4.3.  Changes in cataloging codes, LC-PCC Policy Statements, subject analysis, or CONSER practice


B4.4.  Changes to MARC 21 coding

Record maintenance is the process of ensuring the continued authoritativeness of a CONSER record through additions, changes, or deletions:

1)   To correct obvious errors;

2)   To reflect changes in the publication, or;

3)   To reflect changes to policies and practices used within CONSER for the bibliographic control of the publication.

Record maintenance may occur during first-time cataloging of the title, when a CONSER record is found on OCLC, during the cataloging of records for related titles, when changes are noted during check-in of pieces, and so forth.  For instructions on when to claim maintenance credits, consult C13.

The degree to which a record is changed may depend on the activity that the cataloger is performing, the availability of information, and the record's encoding level.  The action taken may involve making the change on the CONSER database or notifying LC or LAC of the desired change, as instructed in Section C.

In the instructions that follow, particular actions are identified as:



Action must be performed in the given situation.



Action is performed when the information is readily in hand.



Action is performed at the discretion of the CONSER institution.  Instructions are provided for institutions that opt to perform the necessary actions.

B4.1.  Correcting obvious errors [M]

Members are responsible for correcting typographical errors and errors in content designation whenever they are encountered in a record that is or is about to be authenticated.  Correct these errors wherever they occur; however, bear in mind that what appears to be an error is not always one.

245 00 Enrolment in community colleges.

[In the example, "enrolment" represents a variant spelling of "enrollment."  The title is not in error.]

Members should make corrections to related unauthenticated records, particularly when not correcting the record would hinder access to that record (e.g., adding a missing $t to a linking field, correcting the second indicator value in the title to omit searching on the initial article).

Possible errors in 050 fields input by LC (second indicator = 0) should not be corrected but instead should be reported to the appropriate cataloging unit of the Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access Directorate (

B4.2.  Changes in the publication

Changes in this category require maintenance to ensure that the CONSER record continues to reflect accurately the bibliographic details of a serial.  Following the general instructions below is a list of MARC fields that should be added, changed, or deleted as appropriate to the situation.  Specific instructions for making changes are found in Sections C and E of the CEG.

B4.2.1.  Major and minor title changes [M]

Changes of this type may or may not result in the creation of a new record.  For conditions under which changes of this type do not result in the creation of a successive record, see RDA instructions and related LC-PCC Policy Statements,,, and

1)   Changes resulting in the creation of a new record [M]

When a change in main entry heading and/or title proper results in the creation of a new record, the existing record must be closed off by making changes to the following data elements, as appropriate:


Publication status code [M]


Ending date of publication [M]

260 or 264

Publication information of later/last issues [R]

300 $a

Extent of item [O]


Designation of last issue or note relating to last issue [R]


Update "latest issue consulted" note with the designation of the latest issue consulted or the last issue, if available [R]


Linking entry (and, when available, control numbers) of later record(s) [M]

Refer to CCM 21.3 for more information on closing serial records.

2)   Changes resulting in revision of the existing record [M]

When a change in the publication pertains to data in the main entry heading and/or title proper, but the change does not result in the creation of a successive record, revise the existing record as follows:

a.   Changes pertaining to title authorized access point:

When a serial is entered under a title authorized access point qualified by place of publication, and the place of publication changes, record the new place of publication in an additional 260 field or 264 field.  Change the fixed field Country of Publication code (008/15-17) to reflect the new place of publication.  (For instructions on changing the place of publication when "backing-up" records, refer to CCM 21.10.)

When a serial is entered under a title authorized access point qualified by corporate name, and the corporate name changes, create a new successive record and close-off the existing record as in 1) above.

b.   Changes pertaining to the title proper:

Make a general or specific note (fields 246 or 500), as appropriate, about changes in the title proper that do not result in the creation of a successive record.  If important for access, make an added entry (field 246) for the later title(s).

500 ## Order of titles varies.

[No new added entry needed.]

500 ## English title precedes German title on title page, 1986-

[No new added entry needed.]

245 00 Year-book / $c the Royal Society.

246 1# $i Vols. for 1981- have title: $a Year-book of the Royal Society

245 00 Archiv fuer Bibliothekswissenschaft.

246 1# $i Some issues have the title: $a Archive für Bibliothekswissenschaft

B4.2.2.  Changes affecting other access points

1)   Title variations other than title proper (246) [R]

Record any significant additional titles (other than title proper) found on earlier/later issues.

2)   Series (490/8XX) [R]

When no series added entry is being included, transcribe the series statement, using the 490 field.  Document changes in the series statement over time in 490 fields on the bibliographic record.

When a series added entry is being included, provide the series heading in the 8XX field.  Establish new, or update existing, series authority record(s) in the Library of Congress/NACO Authority File (LC/NAF) as necessary.  Record variant forms of the series title in the authority record.

3)   Responsible entities (7XX/550) [R]

Trace any bibliographically significant entities associated with earlier/later issues (700, 710-711, 730), and optionally describe their significance in a note (500 or 550).  If there is no name authority record for the new heading in the authority file, and the bibliographic record contains authentication codes "pcc", "lc", "lcd", "lccopycat,"or "nlc" in field 042, complete the authority work for establishing the heading in the LC/NAF.

Also make a title added entry for a significant related work (730 or 740).  A 730 may be made based on the existence of an AACR2 or RDA bibliographic record when an authority record is not available (RDA and LC-PCC Policy Statement

4)   Preceding/succeeding entries (780/785) [M]

Make links both to and from preceding/succeeding records (780/785/580).

5)   Other linking entries (765-777/787/580) [O]

Record all changes in bibliographically significant relationships to other publications as required by the applicable RDA instructions and LC-PCC Policy Statements.  Make links both to and from related records (765-787/580) and give added entries when appropriate (700-730).

6)   Subject fields (600-651, 043, 008/24-27) [R]

Expand or modify subject headings, geographic area codes, and fixed field contents codes to reflect obvious changes in the scope of a publication.  (See also CCM 15.6, "Modifying Subject Headings.")

B4.2.3.  Other changes

1)   Subscription data (037) [O]

If the subscription data is no longer valid, it may be updated or deleted.

2)   Frequency data (310 [R], 321 [O] 008/18-19 [R])

If current frequency is known to differ from data in fields 310 and 008/18-19, change tag 310 to 321, add a new 310 field, and update fixed field 008/18-19 to reflect the new 310.  Add relationship dates, when known, in subfield $b of both fields 310 and 321.  Prefer to leave existing 321 fields on an existing record, even if more than three.

3)   Add publication patterns data, as appropriate.

B4.2.4.  Changes to pre-AACR2 records

Headings in pre-AACR2 records should be updated to currently valid forms.  Otherwise there are three basic options for updating the record to reflect changes that don't require a new record under current cataloging instructions:

1)   Enter data using rules in place at the time.  It should be noted especially that, for pre-AACR2 records, the bibliographic description is based on the latest available issue rather than on the earliest.


2)   Enter data using CSR guidelines without changing the Leader 18, i.e., update the record but do not change the descriptive cataloging code from blank.  Add field 588 "Latest issue consulted" to reflect the issue in hand (the issue showing recent changes).


3)   Re-describe serial using RDA/CSR guidelines.

Rule of thumb:  Re-describe using RDA/CSR if updating the record according to pre-AACR2 rules would make the record uninterpretable; if the serial cannot otherwise be distinguished from another serial; or if earlier code would require a new manifestation record and the current code would not.

B4.3.  Changes in cataloging codes, LC-PCC Policy Statements, subject analysis, or CONSER practice

One of the central innovations of CONSER as a cooperative program has been the authentication procedure, whereby the bibliographic description and access points in a catalog record are verified as being in conformity with CONSER bibliographic conventions and agreed-upon practices.  In general, an authenticated record should not be updated merely to reflect changes in cataloging codes or CONSER practice.  Usually, an authenticated record will continue to serve the purposes of CONSER even though the rules and/or rule interpretations under which it was constructed have been superseded.  The instructions below (B4.3.1 through B4.3.5) address some of the instances where this is not the case.

The 2002 AACR2 rule revisions carried over to RDA and LC-PCC Policy Statements contain the concept of major and minor changes for deciding when to create a new record.  These include instructions for changes in title, edition statement, and numbering that affect the number of records needed.  They also include instructions for the transcription of the title proper that differ from instructions in place prior to 2002.  Generally, CONSER libraries do not modify the title or consolidate CONSER authenticated records that were created under the provisions in place before the 2002 revisions were adopted.  Other changes introduced by the 2002 revision that are a matter of style or punctuation may be made at the discretion of the cataloger.  (For changes to unauthenticated records, see B3.)

B4.3.1.  Pre-AACR2 vs. RDA authorized access points

The criteria according to which a serial is determined to have changed its title (or authorized access point) differ between AACR2 and RDA instructions.  When a change occurs in a serial represented by a pre-AACR2 record, and that change would necessitate a successive entry as cataloged under pre-AACR2 rules, but not as cataloged under RDA instructions, update the record to RDA.

B4.3.2.  Consolidating multiple pre-AACR2 records into a single RDA record

When a serial entered under a name heading according to earlier rules must be updated because the responsible entity has changed (while the title proper has remained the same), if RDA instructions call for a title authorized access point or a title authorized access point with place of publication as qualifier, update the record to RDA.

If other pre-AACR2 successive records exist for earlier changes in the main entry heading, and the title proper has stayed the same, then these records should be consolidated with the revised RDA record.  (See C8.2.)

For restrictions on consolidating LAC or ISSN Canada records, refer to C8.1.2.

B4.3.3.  Revising the choice/form of entry of AACR2 records to reflect RDA instructions

In most instances it should not be necessary to alter substantially the description of AACR2 records to reflect changes in RDA instructions.  If, however, the change involves main entry, and it would necessitate successive entries according to the rules and rule interpretations under which the record was created, but not according to current RDA instructions and LC-PCC Policy Statements, update the description to reflect current RDA instructions.

130 0# International relations (Central Connecticut State College)

[Name of college changes to Central Connecticut State University.]

This record was created under earlier AACR2 based practices, by which titles consisting solely of subject terms were qualified by corporate body.  The current instruction in LC-PCC Policy Statement for making additions to authorized access points does not include this requirement.  To avoid making a new record, change the qualifier to place of publication.

130 0# International relations (New Britain, Conn.)

550 ## Vols. for <1968-> issued by: Central Connecticut State College; <1987- > by: Central Connecticut State University.

B4.3.4.  Revising the description of AACR2 and RDA records based on the issue in hand

When an AACR2 CONSER or RDA CONSER record is based on a later issue and a CONSER member has the first issue in hand, the member "backs-up" the record to reflect the first issue, updates the "description based on" note and adds a "latest issue consulted" note, as appropriate.  This may also be done when an earlier issue, but not the first, is in hand and the issue reflects information that is different from that given on the CONSER record (but that would not result in the creation of a new record).  (See also C3.)  In general, do not "back up" records solely to record an earlier issue in the "Description based on" note.  (See also CCM 21.10.  For first time authentication, see B3.)

If a CONSER AACR2 or RDA record is based on an earlier issue and another CONSER member performing copy cataloging has only a later issue, the serial should not be re-described.  Any changes appearing on the later issue and the "latest issue consulted" should be noted in the record, as appropriate. (For first time authentication, see B3.)

See additional guidelines for deciding when to convert existing records to RDA at:

B4.3.5.  Revising subject analysis fields to reflect current practice

CONSER members may make changes to subject analysis fields that clearly do not correlate with the subject matter of the publication.  Data should be removed from records only when clearly incorrect, not just when a matter of judgment on predominant subject emphasis.  When there is doubt, fields should not be changed.

1)   Subject headings.

The cataloger adds, changes, or deletes subject headings to reflect vocabulary changes in standard subject heading lists as well as heading and subdivision assignment practices in such source documents as Subject Headings Manual, MeSH Browser, Canadian Subject Headings (CSH) on the Web, etc.  Redundant, largely duplicate fields should be removed from a record (although subject headings assigned from different lists are not considered duplicates).

2)   Classification.

The cataloger adds, changes, or deletes classification fields to reflect additions and changes to standard classification schemes.  A clear exception to this is a call number assignment by a national library; in this case, an updated class number may be added to the record in a separate field according to the guidelines in Section E.

B4.4.  Changes to MARC 21 coding

Changes to MARC 21 coding are issued in the MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data and may have resulted from the implementation of format integration or from the ongoing revision of MARC 21.  Some changes to records are automatically generated by OCLC as part of implementation of the new coding while others are left to catalogers to make when revisiting the records.  CONSER policies for maintaining specific fields are noted at the end of the field in a section labeled "CONSER maintenance."

In general, making changes to variable fields is optional.  For example, a 500 note that now could be recorded as 246 $i can be converted if desired, but this is not required.  Similarly, in some of the linking fields, $i could be used instead of 580/530 notes for displaying text.  However, catalogers should move the latest issue consulted citation in the 936 to a 588 note when making changes to a record (but be careful not to delete other data that might be recorded in the 936).

Making changes to fixed fields is necessary, at least in some cases.  For example some legacy records for integrating resources that are predominantly language type material were coded type of record code = a, bibliographic level = m when they were created.  These records may be changed to reflect the appropriate bibliographic level "i."  The record may be reported to OCLC or the fixed fields may be changed by the cataloger.

Related fields,etc.

B3, B4.3.1-B4.3.5, C3. C8.2

CCM 15.6, 21.3, 21.10

See also:

Section B.  Policies and Practices

CONSER Editing Guide:  Contents