Field definition and scope:

Field 008 contains 40 character positions (00-39) that provide coded information about the record as a whole and about special bibliographic aspects of the item being cataloged.  These coded data elements are potentially useful for retrieval and data management purposes.

National-level and Minimal-level record requirements for field 008 for all types of material are Mandatory.  Requirements for specific 008 character positions vary.  See the character position description within the specific type of material.

Field 008 is NOT repeatable.

Guidelines for applying content designators:

Field 008 has no indicators or subfield codes.

The data elements are positionally defined.  Character positions that are not defined contain a blank (#).  All defined character positions must contain a defined code; for some field 008 positions, this may be a fill character ( | ).  The fill character may be used (in certain character positions) when a cataloging organization makes no attempt to code the character position.  The fill character is not allowed in field 008 positions 00-05 (Date entered on file).  Its use is discouraged in positions 07-10 (Date 1), 15-17 (Place of publication, productions, or execution), and the 008 position defined for Form of item (either position 23 or 29 depending upon the 008 configuration).

Character positions 00-17 and 35-39 are defined the same across all types of material, with special considerations for position 06.  The definition of character positions 18-34 was done independently for each type of material, although certain data elements are defined the same in the specifications for more than one type of material.  When similar data elements are defined for inclusion in field 008 for different types of material, they occupy the same field 008 character positions.

For guidelines on coding records for reproductions, select:  Coding 008 for Reproductions.

For information on field 008 character positions, select a topic:

008/00-39:  Character Positions by Type of Material

006 and 008:  Comparison Listing by Character Position

006 and 008:  Cross Reference Tables by Type of Material

Input conventions:

System-Generated Data Elements


Field length

Content designator history:

Changes to several character positions in field 008 were approved as part of Format Integration and related proposals.  See the Content designator history section for character positions 18-34 of the individual 008 field configurations for a description of the changes.  The changes to field 008 were incorporated into the current MARC specifications in 1995.

008/40  Fill character usage  [obsolete, 1997]  [CAN/MARC only]

In 2002, the Serials 008 field was renamed "Continuing Resources."

Related MARC fields or documents:

533  Reproduction Note

RDA in MARC Bibliographic Data

See also:

Variable Control Fields