Some resources require special consideration.  These include conference publications, series, and loose-leaf publications.  Institutional practice may differ on the treatment of these publications.  The following discussion explains the Library of Congress' policies, as expressed in LCRI 1.0 .

2.2.1.  Conference publications

This category includes papers, proceedings, or transactions of meetings of the members of societies, as well as meetings on a particular topic that may be sponsored by one or more societies or institutions.  Conference publications pose a dilemma to the cataloger.  Cataloging all issues as a serial saves time; however, information specific to each conference must be omitted.  Cataloging each issue as a monograph is more time consuming; however, the number, date, and place of the conference, sponsors, "distinctive" or theme titles, and subject headings specific to the theme of the conference may be provided.

LCRI 1.0 limits serial treatment to ongoing conference publications that do not have unique titles and/or are not part of a numbered monographic series.  This LCRI was significantly revised in 1997 to allow for more monographic treatment, to allow ongoing conference publications to be cataloged as serials from the first issue, and to reduce the necessity for recataloging.

Applying the LCRI results in the following:

Conference publications that are most likely to be cataloged as serials are the meetings of societies, etc. because they are less likely to have unique titles or be issued in series.

Conference publications that are most likely to be cataloged as monographs are conferences on a topic, because they more frequently have unique titles and are issued in monographic series.

The LCRI also allows more flexibility of approach, even within CONSER.  Some institutions have chosen to catalog all of the conference publications on a topic as monographs, while others use the LCRI to determine which can be treated as serials.

Note that stability of the title is no longer a consideration when cataloging from the first or a single issue.  When cataloging retrospectively, the stability of the title may be taken into account when determining which treatment to use.


The conference in Fig. 2.13. has a distinctive title and is treated as a monograph according to LCRI 1.0.

110 2# $a Textile Institute (Manchester, England).  $b Conference $d (1990 : $c Dundee, Scotland)

245 14 $a The textile world at a crossroads : $b papers presented at the Annual World Conference, November 19-22, 1990, Dundee, U.K. : market challenges, new frontiers, action for success.


The conference publication in Fig. 2.14. is ongoing and there is no unique title or series; thus, it can be cataloged as a serial.

110 2# $a College Art Association of America. $b Meeting.

245 10 $a Abstracts and program statements / $c Annual Meeting, College Art Association.


2.2.2.  Series

AACR2 defines a series as:

A group of separate items related to one another by the fact that each item bears, in addition to its own title proper, a collective title applying to the group as a whole.  The individual items may or may not be numbered.

The individual titles in a series may be monographs or serials or a combination.  Most numbered series are identified by a number rather than a date because they are issued on an irregular basis and do not "cover" a specific time frame.  Therefore, dates appearing on series publications usually refer to issuance rather than coverage.

Series are special publications because they can be cataloged as entities in themselves (at LC this is referred to as a collected set), or each item in the series can be separately cataloged.  "Series treatment"–the decision to catalog at the series level or to catalog each title in the series separately, as well as how to classify–is a matter of institutional policy.  The LC/NACO Authority File contains the treatment decisions that have been made by LC ( FN4) and other participating libraries.  The presence of one form of treatment in a series authority record (SAR) does not prohibit catalogers in other institutions from treating the series in a different manner, provided that the entry for the series is recorded as found in the SAR.  Recording the series statement in a serial record is covered in Module 12.


The serial in Fig. 2.15., Water Quality Assessment for Water Years ... , is issued in the series, Water Quality Monitoring Report.

245 00 $a Water quality assessment for water years

440 #0 $a Water quality monitoring report


The monograph in Fig. 2.16., Applied Ethics and Ethical Theory, is published in the series, Ethics in a Changing World.

245 00 $a Applied ethics and ethical theory / $c edited by David M. Rosenthal and Fadlou Shehadi ; foreword by ..

440 #0 $a Ethics in a changing world ; $v v. 1


Unnumbered series are newly defined as serials with the revision of AACR2 in 2002.  Prior to that time only a numbered series was defined as a serial.  However, unnumbered series have always been considered serials for purposes of ISSN assignment, however.  While catalog records are not generally created for unnumbered series, unnumbered series are serials in every sense but their lack of numbering.  The same rules for establishing title, entry, and for determining changes in title apply to them.


2.2.3.  Periodicals issued with distinctive titles

A distinction is made between publications that are issued in series and periodicals that are issued with distinctive titles.  The indicators are as follows:

Series normally contain a single work by one or more authors whereas periodicals normally contain multiple articles by different authors.

Periodicals usually have volume and issue numbers; series are more likely to have numbers only.

Periodicals usually have a regular frequency; series are usually issued irregularly.

When the work is to be treated as a periodical, a note, such as "Each issue also has a distinctive title" or "Some issues also have a distinctive title," is added in field 500.  Added entries for the individual titles are not generally given.  This note is not given on a collective record for a monographic series.


Figure 2.17. represents a serial, each issue of which has a distinctive title.  Note that there is a "series editor" for the serial and that the designation scheme is typical of that of periodicals.  There is also a list of forthcoming issues inside, each with its own title.

245 00 $a Clinical practice of gynecology.

310 ## $a Three no. a year

362 0# $a Vol. 1, no. 1-

500 ## $a Each issue also has a distinctive title.


2.2.4.  Loose-leaf publications

An updating loose-leaf is a publication consisting of a base set of pages that is hole-punched and issued with a binder and that has periodic updates of loose pages.  An example is the CONSER Editing Guide.  When determining the treatment of a loose-leaf it is the base volume(s) that matters.  Most loose-leaf publications are integrating resources because there is one base volume that is updated over time.  Even though the individual updates may be numbered and issued on a regular basis, they are not treated as serials.

Some publications that are issued in a loose-leaf format, however, may be treated as serials.  If the base volume is issued on a regular basis, such as an annual volume with a semiannual update, the publication may be treated as a serial rather than as an integrating resource.

See also:

Module 2.  What is a Serial?