South Carolina Information and Library Services Consortium



SCILS Serials Policy
Approved 5/2012


Cataloging and Bibliographic Standards for Serials


For a complete description of each MARC field, please see OCLC Bibliographic Standards (


General Overview

Print serials are publications issued in successive parts bearing numerical or chronological designations and intended to be continued indefinitely. Serials include periodicals; newspapers; annuals (reports, yearbooks, etc.); the journals, memoirs, proceedings and transactions of societies; and numbered monographic series. Published items containing collections of works are not serials.



When should you use a serials record instead of a monographic record?

All magazines and journals you subscribe to on a continuing basis will be cataloged with a serial record.  The only exception would be if you had a special issue or only had one issue of the magazine/journal and will not be receiving other subscriptions.

For books, use serial records if you receive regular updates of a title.  Examples would be yearbooks, annuals, yearly almanacs, etc., such as Mental Statistics (now in its 17th ed.)


Note:  Serial records are based on the first issued copy.  Major changes (mainly title changes) require a new serial record.  Minor changes, such as changes in editor or publication place, may be noted but do not necessitate a new record.


SCILS Approved Abbreviations/Captions

Use in serials bibliographic records (ONLY for Bibliographic/ Cataloging MARC fields and not for holding notes on serial controls):


Commonly used captions

V. for  volume (not  vol. or  vols.)

new  ser. for new series

no. for numbers (not  nos.)

ser. for series


Do not leave a space between the caption and the numbering:

For example V.1 [not V. 1]


Convert numeric information to Arabic numbers:

V. VII becomes v.7

First ed. becomes 1st ed.

No. Five becomes no.5


Record alphabetic data as it appears on the publication, including exact upper and lower case form.


Examples:  23a, no.36a, v.b


Use abbreviated form of captions in the vernacular. Convert to Romanized form if necessary.



                                    Abteilung becomes Abt.

                                    Band becomes Bd.

                                    nmbr becomes no.

                                    numero (French) becomes no

                                    numero (Italian) becomes n.

                                    numero(Spanish) becomes no.

                                    Nummer becomes Nr.

                                    Teil becomes T.

                                    tome becomes t.

                                    Volume becomes v.


Format Specific Policies

Electronic serials should have their own separate record from the print version following AACR2 standards.

No policy is necessary as no one is binding any periodicals.

Microfilm should be incorporated on the print record with an 852 note in the MARC Holdings tab with the MF holdings.
                                    For example: MICROFILM: 2004-CURRENT
                                                            MICROFICHE: 2001-2007



MARC Record



Minimum requirements for MARC record for original serials


(For a complete description of each MARC field, please see OCLC Bibliographic Standards ( Note: This is not the complete list of MARC fields, only ones to do with serials.)




Mandatory Fixed MARC Fields (007 fields)





Mandatory Variable MARC Fields

022 -  ISSN if known—usually included in publication information on contents page or at the back of the journal.


130 -  In addition to using field 130 for uniform titles used to collocate records, use field 130 in AACR2 cataloging for serials uniform titles to differentiate items published under an identical title proper. The uniform title consists of the title proper followed by a qualifier enclosed in parentheses. The qualifier is usually the place of publication, distribution or name of the issuing body. Not all serials records will have a 130.


Example:       130     State (Columbia, S.C.)


In this case, the 130 field is used to identify The State published in Columbia, S.C. from other newspapers named The State. 


245 -  Title: Include the indicator number for title beginning with a, an, the.


Example:       245  04           The New York times


The 04 indicators tells the computer to skip 4 spaces (3 for “an” and  2 for “a”) to read title starting with “New.”



260 -  City, state of publication, publisher, year of first publication


Example:      260     Columbia, S.C. :|bState Pub. Co.,|c1891-


3XX –  Note that most serials records do not give page numbers since page numbers may vary from volume to volume or issue to issue.  Instead, v. (abbreviation for volume) is used.  However, illustrations and size are noted since these tend to stay the same.


300-    Physical description of the item

Example:      v. :|bill. ;|c60 cm


310     Frequency of publication. Indicates how often the serial is published:


Example:      310     00        Daily


362     Beginning volume and issue, date


Example:      362     Vol. 1, no. 1 (Feb. 18, 1891)-


Note:  For serials, this field contains beginning and/or ending alphabetic, numeric and/or chronological designations of the issues or parts. Chronological designations used in this field are dates that identify individual issues of a serial. In general, publication dates are input in field 260, subfield c. Do not use this field for incomplete serial dates.  Record uncertain dates/numbers in an unformatted note followed by a question mark.


856 -    Electronic format information

Use for location and access information for electronic serials


Example:      856    41    |u



Setting each tab in the Serial Control Module according to SCILS policy

*****If it is not mentioned on this document then there is no SCILS policy for it.****


******You may also need to refer to the Sirsi Serial Procedures on the SCILS Only webpage for detailed step by step instructions for creating a serial control.********


Basic tab

Class scheme

Should be “MAGAUTO.” This creates the “Shelved alphabetically by title” setting for the call number in the OPAC, except in rare cases where you add EVERY issue to the catalog, as in the case of Surgical Clinics of North America. In this instance, the class scheme should be “LC” since each issue will have a call number added to the spine.



The choices are active, cancelled, ceased, unknown.  Active is for a current subscription you are receiving.  Cancelled is for serials you have stopped subscribing to but that are still being published.  Ceased is for serials that have ceased publication. Unknown should never be used.



Patterns tab

Enumeration Pattern: Check use box and choose volume (V.) and number (No.) with gadget, if applicable.  Use “radio” buttons to indicate number or alphabetic designation of volume and issue numbers. SCILS policy is to not list V. and No. for newspapers even if the publication has them listed because newspapers are notorious for skipping issue numbers. This will cause all your predictions to be incorrect.


Choose “continuous” if volume number continues indefinitely. Most journals start a new volume number each year, but some continue indefinitely. 



The number of issues you receive in a volume is not necessarily the number of issues you receive in a year. Some titles have two volumes per year, though most have only one.


Chronology pattern

Choose appropriate chronology pattern.  This will be used to generate predictions. 

There are examples of each chronology type in the SIRSI Serials help screen.  Workflows has 16 chronology type possibilities in the drop down menu, but SCILS only uses 10 of these as shown in "Appendix B Chronology Types" (p. 191) of Sirsi Dynix Training Guide (GL3.1).


Publication Pattern

 Check box that says “Allow automatic prediction of issues.”  Use “gadget” to choose publication cycle to match predictions. 



Days to wait before claiming

Estimate a reasonable window of time during which you should receive the periodical; in general, the fewer issues you receive per year the longer the window. As time passes and you have more data on a specific title, you can loosen or tighten the claiming periods based on the information from past receipts. EBSCO will not accept claims for magazines after 6 months. 


             Examples of reasonable times to wait to claim:

Daily- 4 (days)

                                 Weekly-10 (days)

Monthly-15 (days)


Note:  You must be running the Sirsi claiming reports for the days to claim to            matter. The SCILS recommendation is to run the reports a minimum of     

once a month.



Days before subsequent claim

Again, estimate a reasonable wait time before reissuing a claim. The number you list here is added to the number in “Days to wait before claiming” to get the actual claim date. If there is a 4 in the claim box and a 30 in the subsequent claim box, the 2nd claim would be made after the serial was 34 days late.


           Examples of reasonable times to wait to subsequent claims:

Daily- 30 (days)

                                 Weekly -30 (days)

Monthly-45 (days)

Quarterly-60 (days)


May also need to refer to Sirsi procedures on the SCILS website.


OPAC display tab

 Automatically update MARC holdings should be checked


Number of most recently arrived issues to display as a note should be 1.


Form of Name to Display should be “Both” in most cases, as magazines usually have enumeration (a volume and/or an issue number) as well as chronology (a date identifying the issue).  If the issue has only chronology (no volume and number), you will select “Chronology.”  If the issue has only enumeration (no dates), you will select “Enumeration.” 


Note:  The information you have entered on the Pattern Tab under       Enumeration pattern and Chronology pattern must match the information      you are entering in the OPAC Display tab under Form of name to display. 


MARC holdings tab

This is the information that determines what displays in the OPAC for current holdings of back issues.  It is important to be consistent.  Use all caps in all cases. 


Holdings should be noted on the record under MARC holdings tab (on Serial Control) in 852 MARC tag in Workflows as follows (NOTE: These are different from what is used in the MARC record in Bibliographic record):


May also need to refer to Sirsi procedures on the SCILS website.


 All notes in the Serial module are to be capitalized and numbers should be used. Cataloging has separate rules.

                       Example: CURRENT 2 YEARS

                                                JUN. 2003-CURRENT



The term “CURRENT” is used.

                       Example: CURRENT 6 MONTHS.

                                                CURRENT YEAR.


Months are always abbreviated with the first 3 letters of a month with a period.

                       Example: JAN. 2007-CURRENT

                                                2001-APR. 2004


           There should be no spaces between the dashes.

Example: 2005-CURRENT

                                                2001- 2004


           If there is a break in holdings, use commas to indicate (,).

                       Example: a. V.1-v.5,V.7-V.9

                        (Library holds vols.1 to 5 and vols.7 to 9, lacks vol.6)

                        b. 1990-1992, 1995-CURRENT

                        (Library holds 1990-1992, and currently receives 1995 forward)

                        If there are many missing issues, can use [BROKEN] after dates.

                       Example: 2005-CURRENT [BROKEN]


If there is a nongap break in holdings, use a semicolon (;).

                       Example: a. V.1-V.3;V.5-V.7

                                                (Vol.4 was not published)


If a double volume number or a single physical volume covering more than one calendar year is published, use a backslash(/)

                       Example: a.V.1/2-

                                                (Vols.1 and 2 were published as one physical volume)

                                                b. 1990/1991-CURRENT

                                                (Vols. for 1990 and 1991 were published in one

Physical volume)

              Use all four digits to indicate year.
Example: 1990, not 90.





Subscription tab


Copies to receive

The number of subscriptions your library receives for that title. Usually “1.”


Number of issue

The number of individual issues you receive in a year for that title.


Expiration date



Link for ordering/claiming                         

Fiscal Cycle: 2004.  If using the Sirsi claiming process always select 2004, as SCILS is not “rolling over” vendors for fiscal years.  If you are not using the Sirsi Claiming process or are receiving the serial directly or as a donation, this can be left blank.


Vendor ID

EBSCO in most cases unless not claiming.  If you are not using the Sirsi Claiming process or are receiving the serial directly or as a donation, this can be left blank.



Use drop down box to choose your library. If you are not using the Sirsi Claiming process or are receiving the serial directly or as a donation, this can be left as E_RESOURCE.


Distribution tab


Holding code

Do not use “Default” or “Magauto” for holding code under this tab.                   Your holding code should be initials related to your school with MAG_MAG or MAG_MA. If you are unsure of your school’s holding code contact the SCILS Librarian.

            For example: ST_MAG_MAG, OCT_MAG_MA, HGS_MAG_MA


Copies expected

Usually 1, but can be more if you are receiving more than one copy. May want to contact the SCILS Librarian if have more copies.


Copies to add to the Catalog

Almost always 0 unless you are barcoding every issue.


Update holdings

Choose “N” so that this does not cause issues if the system is changed.  SCILS does not display this information in the catalog.



Binding tab

Do not use.  No one in SCILS binds copies of magazines. 


Extended info tab

Use if item is donated with donation information. Add information in Notes for titles that should be checked in without predictions.  This can be used for any relevant information.  Notes cannot be viewed by patrons.


            Example: Check in without prediction. Too irregular to predict

                                    Donated by Jason Wade



Expected tab

Not every title should have predictions generated. If a title is too irregular to predict, such as Forbes, add a note that there should be no prediction on the Extended tab. The “Y” should be next to the first issue that you should receive next.  Contact SCILS Librarian if it is not.


Note: Be aware that in order to use the Sirsi claiming process there must be expected issues. Use Generate Predictions, to create a list of expected issues.



Received tab

You have a choice to display received issues by enumeration, date received, or date expected plus either ascending or descending order.  The recommendation is that your choices are Descending order and by date received for the most readable option.


Retention policy for received issue: The SCILS Librarian will automatically remove old received issues based on the policies adopted by the Technical Advisor Committee.


For frequent publications: Defined as receiving more often than 1 time a month (daily, weekly, and semimonthly). 6 months are retained


For semi-frequent publications: Defined as receiving more often that 4 times a year (monthly, bimonthly, or school year). 1 year are retained


For occasional publications: Defined as receiving less than 5 times a year (quarterly, seasonal, annual, etc.). 2 years are retained.




If you run the claims reports, it will mark issues in Workflows that have been claimed through the reports. They show up on the “Clams” tab. You are still responsible for letting the vendor know about missing issues. Workflows does not transmit the information to your vendor.



You may use “gadget” to create a list of names to route with the periodical. If you create a list, a note will pop up when you check in that serial.




Cancelling and/or Removing Serials


Publisher title changes


Persons responsible for checking in serials must keep a close eye on possible title changes. 


Title changes can be quite obvious (i.e., Academic Leadership changes to just Leadership) They can also be more subtle, such as adding or deleting a few words or using initials instead of the spelled out name (i.e. HG for House & Gardens). It can be difficult to know when a title has changed.  There are specific rules that address this.  Check WorldCat and EBSCOnet.


If a serial title has changed, the newer MARC record will have a 780 field that indicates previous title. Here is an example of a serial that used to be called Academic Leadership and changed its name to Leadership.


780 00 $t Academic leadership $x 1086-1149 $w (DLC) 96664166 $w (OCoLC) 33808818


Meaning of individual fields:

$t         Title

$a        Main entry heading

$x        International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

$w       Record control number (in OCLC)



The previous title will get a 785 with the new title records information, so there are links between the previous and current titles. Here is an example of a 785 entered on the MARC record for the previous record for Academic Leadership to indicate what the name was changed to.


785     $t Leadership (Mesa, Ariz.) $w (DLC) 2006264789 $w (OCoLC)71210400


856     Electronic location/access.


Cancelling a serial  

You may also need to refer to the SCILS Procedures on how to actually close or delete a serial control record, item, and title.


Scenario 1: Library has cancelled subscription or title is no longer published and library is removing all back issues


·         Remove your serial control

·         Check out your item to discard

·         Update the bib. record, removing any notes associated with your school

·         Removing your holdings symbol from Worldcat 


Scenario 2: Library has cancelled subscription or title is no longer published and library is retaining back issues of the title.


·         On the Basic tab in the serials module, the Status needs to be updated.  Change from “Active” to “Cancelled” if title is still being published and your library has elected not to receive it anymore. Status needs to be changed to “Ceased” if the title is no longer published. This includes title changes.

·         Never use “Unknown” as a status.

·         On the MARC Holdings Tab, edit holdings to reflect current    holdings with a start and ending date. Example: Changing “CURRENT 3 YEARS” to “2011-2012.”

·         Delete any expected issues.



Serials Policy | Serials Policy


Approved: 5/2012