Consulting Database Specialist, OCLC Quality Control Section
The new provider-neutral cataloging policy changes the cataloging of eBook resources resulting in fewer bibliographic records.
Provider-neutral records are the same as Aggregator-neutral records. They are bibliographic records which contain information common to all equivalent manifestations of an eBook. Information specific to any one provider is generally omitted except for the 856 field.
Provider-neutral records are base records available in the shared cataloging environment of WorldCat to which libraries can add information locally as needed. OCLC staff have been working to neutralize existing eBook records. Some examples of records which are provider-neutral and where Duplicate Detection and Resolution has merged the other versions are:
Catalogers are encouraged to create only one record to represent equivalent manifestations of an eBook. Duplicates can be reported by sending email to OCLC Quality Control or while viewing a bibliographic record in Connexion go to the Action menu and choose Report Error. This opens a window with an area for free-text, and upon sending includes a copy of the record as it appeared at the time the window was opened.
Please see: http://www.oclc.org/worldcat/catalog/quality/expert/websessions.htm for a recording of a Provider-Neutral Webinar, as well as a PowerPoint presentation. Also, the Provider-neutral e-monograph MARC record guide is available.
This policy, implemented on August 1, 2009 by the Program for Cooperative Cataloging, currently applies only to eBooks, and not to other monographic formats such as eAudio streaming video, etc The eBooks may be issued as born-digital resources, current simultaneously-issued-with-print editions, or scanned reproductions of previous existing materials. Create a provider-neutral record for eBooks even if no equivalent manifestations exist at the point of cataloging.
OCLC's “Bibliographic Formats and Standards” (BFAS) is a guide to machine-readable cataloging records in WorldCat. It provides tagging conventions, input standards, cataloging practices, and guidelines for entering information into WorldCat. In Chapter 2, there is detailed information on original and copy cataloging, as well as a comparisons between the different levels of cataloging found in WorldCat. Chapter 3 provides guidelines on special cataloging topics such as "In" analytics, Theses, Parallel records, Electronic resources, etc.
To promote a common basis for decision-making and creation of a useful database, OCLC and its advisory groups established guidelines for inputting new records into WorldCat which are covered in Chapter 4 ‘When to Input a New Record’. Chapter 5 is ‘Quality Assurance’. This chapter provides guidelines on how to participate in OCLC’s quality programs such as database enrichment, how to edit records in WorldCat, or, report errors to OCLC’s Quality Control. Other chapters provide MARC field and subfield coding. Each section includes the input standards noted at the top of the screen for full and less-than-full level cataloging and many examples. The examples provided are illustrative, not prescriptive.
For the very latest information see the Technical Bulletins list. TB 258 explains in detail the new fields, subfields, search indexes, etc. added for MARC Format Update 2010. Many of the changes are related to the scheduled testing and possible future implementation of Resource Description and Access (RDA), the proposed successor to AACR2.