Bibliographic control numbers

Bibliographic control numbers have been assigned by various agencies to uniquely identify bibliographic entities under the agency's care. These entities can either be a published title (a book, serial, video game, or sound recording) or the "surrogate" record (bibliographic description) which describes the title. Assigning agencies are usually the publisher of the piece (in the case of an ISBN, UPC, or SISAC code) or the cataloguing agency (for 001, RSN, OCLC number, LCCN, Canadiana number, ISSN, NLM/NAL number, etc.). A good rule of thumb when adding or editing this type of information in a catalogue record, is to prefer the number closest to its source within certain constraints outlined below. This means that for numbers assigned by publishers, generally prefer the number on the piece. For those assigned by cataloguing agencies prefer the number on copy, as long as the copy describes the edition in hand.

To view USMARC definitions for the described fields, click here for 001-003 or here for 010-069.

001: Control number (non-repeatable)

This number is assigned by a local cataloguing agency and is used to control bib records within that library's MARC record file. For example, at the Library of Congress the 001 is the LCCN, which is then moved to the 010 when records are distributed to outside agencies like ISM, LQ or OCLC. ISM calls this field the RSN (Record Sequence Number) and uses a distinct range for each contributing library. This is where our 75-, 76-, 81-, and 82- range numbers originated. For OCLC records this number is the OCLC number, which has the prefix "ocm", and which we usually rewrite to 035 following the proper assigning agency code (see 035 below). Since we use the 001 as the basis for record overlays and as the unique identifier of our bib records, both in the shelflist and in our databases, this field should be treated with the utmost respect and caution. When entering 001 into LaserQuest records for example, this field should be checked and double-checked to ensure that you are not going to overwrite another perfectly valid record.

     001  |a   84145778       an LC bib record
     001  |aocm18133420       an OCLC number within that utility
     001  |an  79109330       an LC authority record

010: Library of Congress control number (non- repeatable)

On records distributed to the utilities by the Library of Congress (and this often includes records from other national source libraries such as NLC and the British Library), the 001 is rewritten to field 010. This is to avoid potential conflicts with a local library's bibliographic control numbers, as, for example, we would have had with any cataloguing done by LC in 1975 and 1976, since we use 8 digit numbers beginning with a 75 or 76 in our 001s. Note that LC usage reserves the first three bytes of the 001/010 for alpha characters. If there is no alpha prefix then these characters are blanks.

Since the 010 is assigned by the cataloguing agency (LC) and not the publisher, the number on the copy should have precedence over any number on the item being catalogued as long as the copy actually describes the edition in hand. Often publishers will reuse the LC number from an earlier edition of a piece, or even use the LCCN assigned to the serial record in the case of monographic series. When there is a conflict between the book and the LC copy, leave the 010|a alone and add a |z with the book LCCN. On older copy which obviously does not come from LC itself (e.g. it is transcribed from NUC or CIP by a third party library) use your best judgment in determining the correct 010.

     010  |a   91149492 //r92 an LC Bib record revised once, in 1992
     010  |asn 78002042       an LC Serial record
     010  |a   91037955 /M    an LC Music record
     010  |acn 93094768       an NLC control number
     010  |agb 93046501       a British Library control number

015: National bibliography number (non-repeatable)

This number is the equivalent to the 010 for national library records created outside of LC. In some libraries, staff often disparagingly refer to UkM records as "015s", since that is where the British Library control number is placed within those records distributed by LC and the utilities. You may also find German, Indian, French, Australian, etc. national bibliography numbers in this field. Although NLC prefers use of 016, Canadiana numbers in the "C" prefix format often appear in the 015 field and then again in the 016 without prefix. Since it is rather impossible to verify these numbers and they receive little, if any use internally, I would generally leave them alone on the copy and not bother adding them if they appear on the piece.

     015  |aC93-94768-1
     015  |aGB93-46501

016: Canadiana number (non-repeatable)

The 016 is used to enter the National Library of Canada's Canadiana control number. As noted above, the number is here presented without its prefix or hyphens, which are included only when displayed in the 015. As with that field, I would generally leave the 016 alone on copy and not bother to add it to copy when it appears on the book.

     016  |a 93093766X

019: Superseded OCLC number (non-repeatable)

This number is different from the others in that it controls bibliographic records which no longer exist! It has been used by OCLC to direct users to a new record of choice when an earlier surrogate for a title has been dropped either as a result of de- duping or quality control operations. These numbers often represent the OCLC number of a contributed (member) record which has been replaced by an LC record. I would ignore this field, but not delete it.

020: International standard bibliographic number (repeatable ad nauseum)

ISBNs are assigned by a publisher to a particular work and are supposed to be unique numbers identifying language (the initial digit), the publisher (digits between the first and second hyphens), and the particular edition (digits between the second and third hyphens). The last digit is a check digit which results from calculations performed upon the first 9. The 020 field may also contain textual information regarding price, format, or publisher ("bound", "paperback", "acid free paper", "Berlin").

Since the number is assigned by the publisher and not the cataloguing agency, we should, in most cases, prefer the item as a source of this data over the printout. Exceptions to this rule include cases where the copy adds a missing language (first) digit, or where an obvious error in the check digit is corrected (LaserQuest will not allow you to enter an ISBN with a bad check digit into 020|a, for example).

While the ISBN has proven useful in isolating matches of books against copy, it has been a failure in terms of identifying unique bibliographic entities. French publishers, for example, routinely reuse the same ISBN on three or four unrelated titles released within the same year. Many publishers leave off the language digit (this was the norm for SBN, the earlier standard) or drop a digit or two from elsewhere in the ISBN, leaving you with less than 10 numbers. Where the ISBN appearing on the piece differs from the copy, other than in the first (language) or last (check) digit, prefer the piece as source over the copy. For the exceptions, prefer the copy (this assumes that the difference is only in the first or last digit and not the entire number). In all other cases except "near" copy, change the 020 on the copy from |a to |z. Where the ISBN on the item has obviously dropped one or more digits from the ISBN (exclusive of the language digit), give this in an 020|z as well.

We often receive "near" copy for the same textual edition published by a different publisher. Rather than risk duplicating an order by not including this ISBN anywhere in the record, use 021 to display this. In cases where the item in hand shows multiple ISBNs representing release in multiple countries (Springer Verlag, for example, gives a German and U.S. ISBN for each of their publications) or by more than one publisher, add another 020 with this information as wel l as parenthetical information on the origin of the ISBN. Where multiple volumes or formats of a work exist, give a separate 020 for each. In these cases use text contained within parentheses to define the nature of the work associated with that ISBN. There does not appear to be any standards on text usage, although generally country is the preferred qualifier over city or publisher name. On the other hand, if your Springer copy has "Berlin" rather than "Germany", fine. Here are some examples of these cases:

     260   |aNew York :|bSpringer Verlag,|c1993.
     020   |a0387940618 (U.S.)
     020   |a3540940618 (Germany)

     260   |aLondon :|bSheed & Ward ;|aWashington, D.C. 
          :|bGeorgetown University Press,|c1990.
     020   |a0878404902 (U.S.A.)
     020   |a072202010X (U.K.)

     020   |a0415062942 (bd.)
     020   |a0415062950 (pbk.)

     020   |a0521361346 (v. 1)
     020   |a0521361354 (v. 2)

     020   |a0404637507 (set)
     020   |a0404637515 (v. 1)
     020   |a0404637523 (v. 2)

022: International standard serial number (repeatable)

While this control number won't affect many of you, you should at least be aware that, unlike ISBNs, ISSNs are assigned by cataloguing agencies and not by the publisher. Centres belonging to ISDS, the International Serials Data System, assign ISSNs to new serials published within their jurisdiction. Thus NSDP assigns ISSNs within the US, and ISDS/Canada assigns the numbers for Canadian serials. These agencies operate through the CONSER database which is based at OCLC, thus making the ISSN on OCLC CONSER copy the standard. ISDS participants scan OCLC for new serial records, assigning 022s and authenticating cataloguing information as these are found. A serial title change record I created on OCLC was authenticated by NSDP and assigned a new ISSN within a day of its entry while I was working at Villanova. Publishers, on the other hand, often don't recognize that they have actually changed a title and will often reuse the ISSN from their superseded title. Prefer the ISSN from CONSER records and treat those on the publication with judicious suspicion.

023: Standard film number (repeatable)
024: Standard recording number (repeatable)
027: Standard technical report number (repeatable)

You probably won't see many of these, but these are all fields defined to allow for the entry of standard numbers for different formats. The 024 is the field most likely to be encountered, as one of its purposes is to provide for the entry of UPC (Universal Product Code) information from catalogued titles. Since these are assigned by the producer of the title rather than by the cataloguing agency, prefer the number on the piece to the one on the copy.

     024 0  |aSE-T38-85-302-12     International Standard
                                   Recording Code
     024 1  |a6428759268           UPC from barcode printed on
     027    |aMPC-387              Standard Technical Report

035: Utility control number (repeatable)

USMARC practice has been to maintain access to control numbers assigned by bibliographic utilities in the 035|a. The source agency is identified by its NUC symbol in a parenthetical expression preceding the control number. As the placement of the OCLC number in this field enables us to drop our holdings symbol from that record in that utility should we drop the local record, please add this field to records where the OCLC number appears either in the 001 or 010 (but drop the "ocm" prefix). If copy appears with 035 coded with a utility's NUC symbol and control number, leave them in the record (again assuming that the copy describes your edition and not an earlier or later one). The symbols used here include the following:

     (OCoLC)        OCLC (Online Computer Library Centre)
     (CStRLIN)      RLIN (Research Libraries Information Network)
     (CaOTULAS)     ISM (Utlas)
     (WaOLN)        WLN (Washington Library Network)
     (DNLM)         NLM (National Library of Medicine)
Note that, at Memorial, the 035 has been used for other data as well, including local barcodes and the initials of the cataloguer responsible for editing a record. These should be kept, although |q information from LQ and other 035 data may be deleted.

     035  |a(OCoLC)18133420|fcp

069: Other system control number (repeatable)

This field is specific to OCLC and is most often connected with National Library of Medicine records where it is used for CATLINE citation numbers, the NLM control number. As this field is not actually valid within our bib databases, you will probably only see this field on OCLC itself.

     069 0      |a7908113          NLM CATLINE citation number

Initial release date: 22 June 1994.
Last revised 26 April 1996.

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