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Parallel Records for Language of Cataloging

Parallel Records for Language of Cataloging

University of California, Riverside Libraries
Cataloging/Metadata Services Department

Parallel Records for Language of Cataloging
Manuel Urrizola
June 12, 2012

For questions about this policy, please contact Manuel Urrizola.

When the only OCLC record available is for the same title, but not cataloged in English (called a "parallel record"), the UCR policy is to create a new record in English (that is, the language of the cataloging agency).

Below is a summary of the information from OCLC's Bibliographic Formats and Standards, Chapter 3 Special Cataloging Guidelines, Subchapter 3.10 Parallel Records for Language of Cataloging at http://www.oclc.org/bibformats/en/specialcataloging/default.shtm#BCGBAEHC.

These procedures apply to "parallel records"--that is, records for the same title, but cataloged in different languages. In 2003, OCLC policy changed to allow for parallel records within WorldCat by language of cataloging.

Language of descriptive cataloging is coded in field 040 (Cataloging Source), subfield |b (Language of cataloging) of the OCLC-MARC bibliographic record. If subfield |b is not present in a bibliographic record within WorldCat, the language of descriptive cataloging is assumed to be English.

Subfield |b is in records created by libraries for which English is not the language of the cataloging agency. The language is indicated by a three-letter language code. Examples:

040   LGP |b cze |c LGP
040   FLD |b fre |c FLD

The language of descriptive cataloging (field 040 subfield |b) is not to be confused with the language of the item, which is recorded in the fixed-field element Lang (Language Code) of the OCLC-MARC bibliographic record. Example:

Lang:   spa

Previously, records for the same title, but cataloged in different languages, such as English, Spanish, and French, were considered duplicate records. OCLC no longer considers these records duplicates, but considers them parallel records. Note: Only one record per language of descriptive cataloging is allowed for each manifestation of a title.

When searching within WorldCat, if the matching record is cataloged in a language other than that used by the inputting library, the library may enter a parallel record in its language of descriptive cataloging. When using an existing record for copy cataloging, however, do not change the language of cataloging if upgrading the Master Record. Vendor records are an exception to this. See the section "Exception for vendor records" below for more information. Examples:

  • A library with Spanish as the language of cataloging, that finds only an English record in WorldCat, may enter a Spanish language record.
  • A library with English as the language of cataloging, that finds only an Italian record in WorldCat, may enter an English language record.

Exception for vendor records:

  • (Note: At UCR, if the record has already been exported into Scotty, you do not have to go back to OCLC to upgrade vendor records. But we may decide to revisit this policy in the future.)

    Libraries are encouraged to upgrade vendor records contributed in non-English languages instead of considering them parallel records. Vendor records may be identified by the presence of field 938 (Vendor-Specific Ordering Data) and the presence of a vendor symbol in subfield |c (Transcribing agency) of field 040. See the Vendor Record Contribution Program Participants List for a current list of vendors and their symbols. The List is available on the web: http://www.oclc.org/partnerships/material/contribution/technical/default.htm

    Libraries may change the language of vendor records to the language of the upgrading library when upgrading vendor records to full level. Libraries receive a credit for upgrading minimal level records. Once a vendor record has been upgraded, the upgrading library symbol appears in subfield |d (Modifying agency) of field 040.

    Note: For an example of a vendor record that has been upgraded with language of descriptive cataloging changed to English, see OCLC #41873570.

Last modified: 6/19/2012 2:05 PM by M. Potter

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