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Electronic Resources & Databases


Sources of Information
Record Format
Item Information
MARC Fields
     Fixed Fields
     Variant Fields


Sources of Information

  • Follow RDA Use as the preferred source of information the first of the following with a title: a) textual content; b) embedded metadata in textual form that contains a title (e.g., metadata embedded in an MP3 audio file).
  • Follow RDA 2.2.3 for More Than One Preferred Source of Information.

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Record Format

  • When creating a record for an original electronic/Internet resource select the format appropriate to the most significant aspect of the content rather than the physical form. Therefore use the MARC format for electronic books and use the SERIAL format for e-journals, etc.
  • Most databases will be of the “integrating resources” type and will use the record format SERIAL.
  • Do not use record format MRDF (“The Machine Readable Data Format is used for computer software, numeric data, computer-oriented multimedia, online systems, or services. Other classes of electronic resources are coded for their most significant aspect”—SIRSI help)

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Item Information

Call number: Internet Access
Class scheme: ASIS
Library: MNA

Home location: INTERNET
Item cat 1, Item cat2 – leave blank; price: 0.00; items are “non-circulating”

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MARC Fields


Fixed Fields

  • Follow regular values used at EPL for monographs/serials (see MARC Coding).
  • New values to watch for include:
  • Bib_Lvl: i [integrating resource]
  • Frequn: k [continuously updated]
  • Ser_Type: d [updating database] / w [updating website]
  • Repr: s [electronic]
  • SLI_Ent: 2 [integrated entry]

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Variant Fields

  • Additional fields or changes to regular fields may include:
  • 006 [additional material characteristics]:  Do not use.
  • 007 [physical description]: Use the provided gadget and fill in the first two values only:
  • TypeCode: c [electronic resource, processed by a computer file]
  • Type_Mat: r [electronic resource accessed remotely] – use for EPL electronic databases, check MARC21 for other codes.
  • 245: Use the general material designation |h[electronic resource]. For integrating resources, record only the latest title/statement of responsibility in the 245 and record previous information in a note [RDA].
  • Title proper source: Make a note on the source from which the title proper is taken if it is not one of these sources:
    a) the title page, title sheet, or title card (or image of it) of a resource consisting of multiple pages, leaves, sheets, or cards (or images of them)
    b) the title frame or title screen of a resource consisting of moving images. [RDA]
  • 256 [Computer file characteristics]: Record digital file characteristics if considered important for identification or selection [RDA].
  • 260: For integrating resources, record only the latest place & name of publisher; record previous information in a note if important. For date display purposes in BiblioCommons it is preferable that a full date displays or if that is not possible, no date [i.e. a blank date display is preferable to dates displaying with only 2-3 digits, e.g. 200 or 19]. To achieve that request, do not leave 260 |c blank if there is a date using unknown digits in date1 fixed fields, e.g. 199u [date  will display as: 199] -- it is better to add a date in the 260 with a question mark, e.g. 1999? [date will display as 1999]. Note that if date1 fixed fields is filled with a full date and 260 is blank, the display will match the fixed fields date; also, if date1 has date using unknown digits (e.g. 199u) and 260 also has some digits replaced with dashes (e.g. 199-?), the date display will be blank.
  • 300: Not used in a remote access record for databases.
  • 310:  A statement of publication frequency can often be found for an electronic database, e.g. Updated daily [fixed fields Frequn: d] or, Continuously updated [i.e. more frequently than daily: fixed fields Frequn: k].
  • 520: A note describing the material to be found at a remotely accessed location is recorded if easily available. Note that publisher blurbs, etc. can be cut & pasted into bibliographic records in Workflows.
  • 530 [Additonal physical form available]: Use if information is readily available. Can also be used to record connection to EPL print resources.
  • 538 [System details note]: For all remote access items, eecord any equipment or system requirements beyond what is normal and obvious for the type of carrier or type of file [per RDA]. For all EPL databases, the mode of access is via the World Wide Web, e.g.

500  Mode of access: World Wide Web.

  • For EPL purposes, details regarding system requirements are not required at this time, e.g. computer, operating system or software requirements.
  • 710: Make added entry for the publishing/issuing agency if it would provide a useful access point.
  • 856 [Electronic location and access]: The electronic address recorded in the 856 provides a link in EPL’s public catalogue (iBistro) to the actual electronic item; the link is not “live” in Workflows. Values used for EPL’s remotely accessed databases are:
  • 1st indicator: 4 [HTTP, i.e. the access method is through the Hypertext Transfer Protocol]
  • 2nd indicator: 0 [the given URL is for the resource described as a whole in the record]
  • 1st subfield: |u [URL]: Provide the URL (electronic address) as given at the EPL home page: [] >>Databases>>More info on databases>>[use address as given in address box [top of screen] for each selected database]
  • 2nd subfield: |z [Public note]: The public note , e.g. |zAccess online now, |zRead it online, |zListen online, etc., will be recorded for all EPL databases; when this field is used, only the text of the note itself is available to the public in the public catalogue, i.e. the electronic address is not shown.

856 40 |u|zRead it online

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  • BiblioCommons maps our databases to the format option "database." 
  • The exception to the database format option is Capital City Records, which displays as Streaming music, as it is a streaming music database.


MARC Fields

  • Fixed Fields
    • Bib_Lvl: i [integrating resource]
    • Frequn: will vary
    • Repr: s [electronic]
    • Date1: corresponds to 264, may include a ‘u’ if continuing, e.g. 201u, 20uu, uuuu, etc.
    • Date2: 9999


  • Ensure audience level is properly coded for databases geared towards a specific audience, especially juvenile, e.g. 008|22 = e, j or d, alright to leave | if unsure


035 Control Number

  • Add control number with (CaAE), e.g. 035 |a(CaAE) a123456


099 Call Number

  • Add 099 |aInternet Access


245/246 Title Fields & GMD

  • Ensure all title fields include the GMD |h[electronic resource]
  • Add subfield |b[database], e.g. 245 ||h[electronic resource] :|b[database]


310 Frequency

  • Optional field, not required
  • The frequency will vary depending on the resource, e.g. Continually updated, see WorldVitalRecords example
  • Check the database site to verify how often it is updated, continually, quarterly, annually, never, etc.


336/337/338 Content Media Carrier

  • Add as many CMC fields as necessary to describe the resource, e.g. which includes video, text, etc.
    • 336 text|2rdacontent
    • 336 two-dimensional moving image|2rdacontent
    • 337 computer|2rdamedia
    • 338 online resource|2rdacarrier

490/830 Series Statement

  • Add series statement if applicable, e.g.
    • 490 1\ |aGale Primary Sources
    • 830 \0 |aGale Primary Sources.


  • Optional field if database is only accessible in a branch


520 Summary

  • Add a description of resource, see actual resource or landing page for resource description


538 Mode of Access

  • Add mode of access: World Wide Web


650 Subject Headings

  • Add appropriate subject headings with |vDatabases.
  • E.g. 650  0|aEnglish literature|yEarly modern, 1500-1700|vManuscripts|vDatabases.


655 Genre/Form Headings

  • Add a genre/form heading for Databases
  • E.g. 655  7 |aDatabases.|2lcgft


856 40 Link to Database

  • The URL may point to the landing page for the resource, or it may link directly to the resource, it depends on the database
  • Add |zAccess it online, or |zAccess online from EPL branches only (e.g. Ancestry Library), e.g.
    • 856 40 |u|zAccess it online
    • 856 40 |u|zAccess online from EPL branches only
    • 856 40 |u|zAccess it online

856 42 Link to Cover Art

  • Add URL for Databases local stock format icon, e.g.
    • 856 42 |zCover image|u

Item Information

  • Call number Internet Access
  • Class Scheme: ASIS
  • Library: MNA
  • Type: E-RESOURCE
  • Home location: INTERNET
  • Item cat 1, Item cat2 – leave blank; price: 0.00; items are “non-circulating” but ok to leave the Circulate box checked under Item Info in WorkFlows (this does not appear to impact display in BiblioCommons)



  • MARC records for databases should correspond (to a degree) with the databases listed on the webpage for A-Z Resources
  • The A-Z Resources webpage on is maintained by the Digital Discovery Librarian
  • Adding a note regarding access to licensed databases is not required

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Last revised: Nov. 1, 2017