UNBIS Guidelines for Name Authorities : Policies and Practice

  • Language editions
  • Main series and sub-series
  • Name change
  • Generic names
  • Additions

  • - AACR2, Chapter 25: Uniform Titles

    - See also, MARC21 format standards in the UNBIS Reference Manual.

    - See also, separate section on Uniform Titles

    A series title is a type of uniform title, but it is treated separately here because many issues are involved.

    The practice of tracing series titles is under debate in the cataloguing community. Citing the rationale that it is too labour-intensive and not particularly useful to library users, the U.S. Library of Congress discontinued the practice in 2006 to the consternation of many library professionals.

    Publishers have a tendency to put descriptive phrases on a book's front cover, back cover or elsewhere to give an indication of the work's general subject area. It is very easy to mistake a descriptive phrase for a series title, and cataloguers should be discouraged from transcribing a phrase as a series title unless there is very good evidence that it exists, e.g., a series title page, evidence of series numbering, the word "series" in the presumed title. In doubtful cases, it is helpful to look at the records of other libraries and to check the publisher's website. «When in doubt, leave it out».

    Generally, when a phrase is essentially a statement (or a re-statement) of the name of the issuing body or a sub-imprint, the name of an editor, etc., reject it as a series; UNBIS makes an exception for academic and research institutions, e.g.

      130 _ 0 $a Publication of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law
      [published by Springer Verlag]

    If monographic series titles are to be traced, uniform title records are created that include the following elements: the established heading for the series title, variant forms of the series title, series numbering example, place of publication and publisher or issuing body, series tracing practice (see UNBIS Reference Manual).

    One standard practice not followed in UNBIS is that of including a 4XX cross-reference for the issuing body. The name of the issuing body (for example, a government body or an academic institution) is transcribed in subfield $a and the series title in subfield $t. This would be useful because it provides a list of all the series issued by the body; also, sometimes one remembers who published a series but not its exact title.

    Language editions

    If parallel editions exist in different languages (i.e., complete editions in each language), establish separate headings for each language form and connect the headings by simple see also references. But if items are published variously in two or more languages for which no separate editions exist in any language, establish a single heading. In UNBIS practice, if one of the languages is English, establish the series title in English.

    Main series and sub-series

    Make a cross-reference from the sub-series. Create a separate established heading record for the main series only if it is numbered.

      130 _ 0 $a Mondes en devenir. Série Points chauds
      430 _ 0 $a Série Points chauds
    [main series, Mondes en devenir, is not numbered and does not have to be established separately.]

    Name change

    If a series title changes significantly, establish the new heading and link the two records with reciprocal see also cross-references.

    Generic names

    If a serial publication has a generic title, such as «Annual report», the cataloguer will create a uniform title for the main entry.

      [in the bibliographic record]
      130 0 0 $a Annual report (Australia. Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs)
      245 0 0 $a Annual report / $c Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs

      [in the authority record]
      130 _ 0 $a Annual report (Australia. Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs)

    In this case, the uniform title is not treated as a monographic series title (with the added 64X series treatment fields), and the Record Type is TI not SR.


    If series by different publishers have the same title, add the name of the publisher or issuing body as a qualifier. Likewise, if the name of a series is generic, such as «Annual report» or «Bulletin», add the name of the publisher or issuing body as a qualifier. If more than one corporate body is associated with the work, choose as the qualifying term the name of the body responsible for the publication, rather than the publisher. Also, a title not conveying the idea of a title may be established with the added qualifier «Series».

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    Last updated: 20 August 2009