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Serials and Periodicals


MARC Coding
       Serial Type
020 ISBN
022 ISSN
092 Call Number
245 Title
260 |c Date of Publication
300 |a Physical Description
500 Notes
      500/550 Notes
      510 Citation/Reference Note
6XX Subject Headings
7XX Added Entries
856 Local Cover Image
949 Item Information
Closing a Serial Record
Serials Reminder List


MARC Coding


Fixed fields

Serial type

  • Ser t: [blank] (most common)
  • Ser t: m (only where each issue has its own title)
  • Ser t: n (newspaper)
  • Ser t: p (periodicals, contain separate articles, stories, etc. and are published more frequently than annually)

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  • In serial records the Date1 fixed fields (f.f.) will be filled with either the date of the 1st issue (if in hand or if LC/CAN record available), or, the date of the 1st issue EPL receives, i.e. the date recorded in the 500 note: Description based on: xxxx (not always same as the publication <date> in the 260 field).
  1. If the coverage date of the first issue is known, this date is recorded in field 362. The Fixed Field Date1 is taken from field 362. For split dates, use the latter date, e.g.

Date1: 1969  Date2: 9999
260 1970- OR [1970?]-
362 1968/69-

  1. If coverage date of first issue is not certain, i.e. first issue not in hand or LC/LAC record unavailable, record coverage date in 500 note: Description based on:(RDA Use date from 500 “Description based on” note in f.f. Date1 [Not consistent with RDA; this will have some effect on BiblioCommons display.] E.g.

Date1: 1971  Date2: 9999
260 <1970-  >
500 Description based on: 1971.


  • If the first and/or last issue, part, or iteration is not available, supply an approximate date or dates by applying the instructions at 1.9.2 RDA i.e. using square bracketed date(s).
  • If the date or dates cannot be approximated for a multipart monograph, serial, or integrating resource, do not record a date of manufacture.
  1. If date of coverage not used, Fixed Field Date1 is taken from field 260. E.g.

Date1: 1970  Date2: 9999
260 [1970?]-
No 362 or 500 "Description based on" note.

This is rare e.g. monographic titles published as serial.

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020 ISBN

  • Do not include ISBN's for individual issues in serial records, except in those cases where it may be useful to determine edition or frequency.

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022 ISSN

  • Record ISSN's using a hyphen between first set of 4 digits and second set of 4 digits.

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092 Call Number


Periodicals (Magazines)

  • "Magazine" is not included on labels.
  • Title records have 099 Branch Magazines.
  • For Branch magazines including Milner and Milner Youth Services Division, the call number is entered by Acquisitions staff in the following format:

Branch Magazines|z[JUN 2013, etc.]


  • For all other serials, use the number of digits as indicated in this Manual’s DDC general guidelines.

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245 Title

  • If the title includes a date or numbering that varies from issue to issue, omit this date or numbering and replace it by an ellipsis, unless it occurs at the beginning of the title, in which case do not indicate its occurrence [RDA].

e.g. Annual report
… Annual report

  • RDA would not recommend use of a mark of omission unless it is being transcribed; however in the Exceptions section at
  • Date, name, number, etc., that varies from issue to issue. If a title of a serial includes a date, name, number, etc., that varies from issue to issue, omit this date, name, number, etc. Use a mark of omission (…) to indicate such an omission.
  • If a date or numbering occurs at the end of the title proper, LC does not transcribe it as part of the title proper unless there is a linking word preceding the date or numbering, such as, Sport in 1998; therefore, e.g.

Annual report is a transcription by LC of both
1998 annual report and
Annual report 1998 (LCRI, Nov. 1995)

  • Be aware that if an ellipsis is in a title:

E.g. “…and then there were none” (a transcription)

  • It is treated differently from the following:

E.g. “A book of cookerie and the order of meates … / Thomas Dawson” (an abridgement in transcription)
E.g. … annual report (an exception for a serial omitting a varying date, number, etc.)
E.g. Hockey in ….. (when the element i.e. field ends with a period)

  • RDA: When an element ends with the mark of omission and the punctuation following that element either is or begins with a full stop, include the full stop that constitutes or begins the prescribed punctuation.
  • Do follow AACR when creating an original serial record; LC’s practice is acceptable for derived work. Do NOT add notes (246, 500) to indicate changes in the position of the date or numbering on subsequent issues. Do NOT create separate records if the only change in the title is the place of the date or numbering.

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26X |c Date of Publication

  • Use the date of the first issue as the date of publication; it is left open until the serial is completed.
  • DO NOT USE the following practice; BiblioCommons developed a glitch reported in mid-2014 in its brief display:

e.g. (Book/Magazine, etc.--2008-&gt; ); substitute [2008-] if noticed.
F.F. Date1: 2008              Date2: 9999
260 |c<2008-    >
500 Description based on: 2008.

Backstage Library Works introduced another glitch in early 2014 when 260 fields were read as 264.

260 |c<c2008-   > when transformed became
264 1 |c,<[2008-]> and 264 4 |c©2009

BiblioCommons is able to read 264 1 although the actual coding is incorrect/meaningless when read in WorkFlows.

  • If cataloguing from a later issue, use 260 |c < > to indicate the publication date on the copy in hand.
  • When using < >, do not use a question mark (?) inside < >. This temporary information can be changed to include dates from other issues and may be corrected to permanent data in whole or part e.g. 260 |c <1983>-1994 when the last volume date is known. Only use square brackets if no date on item.

260 |a New York : |b Macmillan, |c 1980-
260 |a Chicago : |b ALA, |c [1973?]-
260 |a Toronto : |b Key Porter, |c <c1983-   >

  • This practice is not suggested in RDA. RDA prefers usage of square brackets for supplied individual dates or ranges of dates as well as probable dates and ranges of dates.


260      ##$aTulsa, Okla. :$bWinchester Press,$c<1981- >

            260      ##$aNew York :$bMacmillan,$c1981-<1982>
                         [temporary date recorded in angle brackets.]

  • For serials where the publisher/issuing body has changed, e.g. the annual Writers' & Artists' Yearbook, formerly published by A&C Black, now Bloomsbury, leave the 260 as is but add a 500 or 550 note, see 500/550.

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300 |a Physical Description

  • Temporary data may be stored in angled brackets < > when cataloguing a multi-volume work which is of unknown number of volumes.

Volume 2 through 5 of a multi-volume work
300 |a <v. 2-5>

  • Use of angle bracketed information is consistent with MARC; RDA prefers: When preparing a comprehensive description for a resource that is not yet complete, record the term indicating the type of unit without the number. Apply also for a resource when the total number of units issued is unknown.


volumes (loose-leaf)

Do not record extent for a resource that is not yet complete (or if the total number of units issued is unknown), if:
the resource was planned to be in more than one unit, but not all have been issued
it appears that the resource will not be continued
describe the incomplete set by recording the number of units issued. Make a note that no more units have been issued (see

Angled brackets may also be used in 310, 321, 505 according to MARC.

310 |a Annual, |b <1984-   >
321 |a Biennial, |b <1980>
505 |a v. 2. Apparent markets for textiles <1985>

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500 Notes

  • If the 1st issue of the title is not available (and no source record exists) make a Description based on note.

500 |a Description based on: Vol. 15, no. 1 (March 1997).

  • Holdings i.e. branch current subscriptions, bound backholdings, special newstand supplemental issues are not noted as of June 2017; barcodes for each issue should reflect this information in a timely and accurate way.

Item Entry

  • For all branches including Milner, use Type: PERIODICAL or JPERIODICL
  • Home location: MAGAZINES or JUVMAG
  • For Indigenous Collection newspapers and magazines, use Home location ABORIGINAL at Milner only.

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500/550 Notes

  • For serials where the publisher/issuing body has changed, leave 260 as is, add 500 or 550 note, e.g.

500 |a Imprint varies: 1999- , Gale Group.
550 |a Issued <2000-   > by: Canadian Construction Association. (MARC provides no such example)

  • If the publisher/issuing body has been traced, also add 710 for new name.

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510 Citation/Reference Note

  • Delete from all derived records.

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6XX Subject Headings

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7XX Added Entries

  • Rarely, it may be desirable to trace a serial title's editor(s) in order to distinguish between serials with the identical title.

780 & 785

  • The 780 field links to a preceding serial record and the 785 field links to a succeeding serial record.
  • Both 780 & 785 trace the main entry heading in subfield $a but do not use additional subfields such as $q, $c & $d, followed by subfield $t, e.g.
    • ​100          Black, Christopher$q(Christopher F.) is traced as follows in the 780/785,
    • 780/785   Black, Christopher (Christopher F.).$tMcGraw-Hill's SAT
  • The 780 field could end with a subfield $x, for the ISSN, or subfield $g for related parts (e.g. date).
  • When using a $g, use the chronological coverage from 362 instead of from 260X $c.
  • For adding 780s & 785s to a closed serial record, see Closing a Serial Record for more information

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856 Local Cover Image

  • Unless otherwise provided, add a URL for the local magazine or newspaper stock format icon:
    • 856  42 |zCover image|u
    • 856  42 |zCover image|u

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949 Item Information

  • Vendor-supplied Item records in 949 fields:
  • It is important to code:

French 323.4905 AMN|v2013|wDEWEYPER|i31221108920500|kON-ORDER|lOTHLANG|mEPLZORDER|p28.28|tOTHLANGBK|xWLFRENF|zADULT


  • This publication is published annually and covers part of two successive years.

623.825 HIS|v2012/13|wDEWEYPER|i31221105028125|kON-ORDER|lNONFICTION|mEPLZORDER|p99.99|tREF-BOOK|xNONFIC|zADULT

  • This publication is published annually but each issue is in multiple physical parts
769.56 SCO|v2015 v. 5|wDEWEYPER|i31221110788515|kON-
  • This publication is not identified with a date
TES|vv. 16|wASIS|i31221104890673|kON_
  • Also distinguish between copies of a multivolume monograph 123 ABC 2013|vv. 4 vs a multivolume serial 123 ABC|v2013 v. 4

French THI|vt. 2|wASIS|i31221104728881|kON-ORDER|nOTHERLANG|mEPLZORDER|32.60|tOTHLANGBK|xWLFREFCAN|zADULT (complete in 5 v.)

031 WOR 2008|v. 22|wDEWEY|i31221085695034|kON-ORDER|nREFERENCE|mEPLZORDER|l48.10|tREF-BOOK|xNONFIC|zADULT (complete in 22 v.)

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Closing a Serial Record

  • A serial record may need to be 'closed' for the following reasons:
    • The serial has ceased publication
    • The coverage has changed
    • The author main entry has changed
    • The title has changed, specifically within the first 5 words, e.g. McGraw-Hill's Education SAT has changed to simply SAT
  • If the serial record needs to be closed, make the following changes:
    • Change the Date Type from c to d, e.g.
    • Change the Date 2 from 9999 to the date that corresponds to the date in the 362 field
    • Add the number of volumes in the 300 field
    • Add an end date to the 264 field
    • Add an end date or final edition, etc. to the 362 field

(Current serial record)                                       (Closed serial record)

780 & 785
  • If the serial record is to be closed and a new serial record is to be created, add a 785 field to the closed record to link to the succeeding entry -- 785 field should be added only if the title is being continued -- and add a 780 to the new serial record to note the preceding entry. Some records may include both a 780 and a 785.

  • See MARC 76X-78X Linking Entries for more information here

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Serials Reminder List

  • Frequency: check US MARC list
  • 022 (ISSN) must include a hyphen between first 4 digits & remainder
  • Call number is Branch Magazines
  • No 130 field in serials
  • Include a date in 260 |c
  • Do not include 265 (publisher's address) or 350 (price)
  • For serials without t.p. add a note showing source of title:

500 |a Title from cover [caption, etc.].

  • Make a serial record instead of a monographic record if:
    • there is an obvious date or volume number (not just a date of publication).
    • there is a prominent order of chronology such as an ISSN in the publication in hand.
    • there is a statement of intent to revise or issue a new edition within a three year period (sometimes in the form of an invitation to readers to contribute updating material).
  • Do not deduce that a title should be a serial because of the nature of its contents.
  • Use derived serial records which cite an ISSN lacking on the issue in hand.
  • Treat automobile repair manuals covering multiple model years and travel guides as monographs.
  • When in doubt that a title is a serial because it is lacking an obvious date or volume number or because it is acquired for a single issue only, create a monographic record. 
  • Be sure to check for on-order records by the various titles, etc. and to merge the on-order record with the current or appropriate serial record.

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Revised: Feb. 13, 2018