The decision whether to treat a work as a collection of abstracts or as an annotated bibliography is based primarily on the nature of the summaries or annotations provided. The following are typical features of abstracts, although not all abstracts exhibit all of these characteristics:

image\POINT_BL.gif they appear briefly the essential points made in the original publication, usually including the conclusion, if any, drawn by its author.

image\POINT_BL.gif they provide enough detail to enable the user to decide whether or not to refer to the original publication.

image\POINT_BL.gif they evaluate or criticize the publication.

The annotations provided in an annotated bibliography, on the other hand, usually give only a general indication of the subject matter of each publication listed, and are seldom critical in nature. Reference to the original publication is normally required in order to determine whether it is of use.

The author’s or publisher’s intention, as expressed in the title, preface, etc., may serve as a secondary factor in deciding whether to treat an item as a collection of abstracts or as an annotated bibliography.

For classification purposes, a collection of abstracts may be regarded as a collection of miscellaneous works and is normally classed with the Collected works number under the topic in question. Annotated bibliographies are classed in Z. This instruction sheet provides guidelines on classifying collections of abstracts.


1. If the schedule provides specifically for abstracts, class with the appropriate number.

Note: Such numbers are extremely rare in the LC classification system.

2. If the schedule does not provide specifically for abstracts, class with the Collected works (Nonserial) number if such a number of its equivalent exists.

3. If the schedule does not provide special form captions, and there is insufficient material on the topic to justify a new caption, class with the General works number.

4. Class abstracts published in serial form with the number for periodicals.

See also:

Special Topics, Categories of Material, Etc.