II. Continuing resources (serials)
serial may be defined as «a continuing resource issued in a succession
of discrete parts, usually bearing numbering, that has no predetermined
conclusion» (Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2002 rev.).
Serials include journals or periodicals, bulletins, newsletters,
continuing directories or catalogues, yearbooks, annual reports, and
monographic series. They may be published not only in print format but
as audiovisual materials, computer discs or electronic resources.
Many annual or periodic reports issued as
UN documents are treated as monographs within UN document series, not as serials. The UN document series is
represented by the document series symbol recorded in 191 $b.
Individual titles within monographic series are treated as monographs.
Serials are treated at three bibliographic
levels in UNBIS. The letter representing the bibliographic level (s,
d or b) is recorded in
position 7 of the Leader (000).
A. Serials: Bibliographic level s
B. Individual issues of serials: Bibliographic level d
C. Serial analytics: Bibliographic level b
bibliographic level s
Serial records (s-level records) are created not only for periodical series but
also for monographic series. However, while serial records should be
systematically created for periodical series received by the cataloguing agency,
they only need to be created for monographic series that are received by the
cataloguing agency on a continuing basis. For example, if the library has only a
few numbers of a monographic series, and the series is not received on a
continuing basis, an s-level record for the monographic series is not
However, bear in mind that a series title authority record must
be established for every monographic series, even if a serial record is not
Example: Serial record for a monographic series
received on continuing basis by DHL and UNOG Libraries
099 $a UND
$b DHU $c UNRISD(05)/G326
099 $a UND $b DHU $c UNRISD(05)/G326
191 $a ***
245 10 $a UNRISD programme papers on gender and
246 33 $a Gender and development programme paper
Geneva : $b UN Research Institute for Social Development, $c May 2007-
362 $a No. 1-
500 $a Description based on: No. 1 (May
500 $a Issued within UN document series UNRISD/PPGD/-.
500 $a On
cover: Gender and development = Genre et développement = Género y
546 $a Includes summary in English, French and Spanish.
From Jan. 2008 UNOG call no. no longer assigned; shelved under document
650 17 $a GENDER RESEARCH
650 17 $a DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH
2_ $a UN Research Institute for Social Development
767 0_ $9 fre $t Genre
767 0_ $9 spa $t Género y desarrollo
serial record is created for all language versions of a serial title.
The record is based on the English-language edition (if available) and
information about other language editions is included on the record.
Titles of other language editions are recorded in tag 767
and language codes in tag 041.
If the title of a serial changes, a new s-level
record for the new title is created.
If the name of the issuing body and/or
document series symbol of a periodical series change, but the title
change, the name of the issuing body in tag 710 and the series symbol
tag 191 $b should be updated to the current versions, and the
history of names of issuing bodies and series symbols is recorded in a
field (tag 500).
191 $a $b
245 10 $a Transnational
500 $a Prior to 1994
issued by the UN
Centre on Transnational Corporations and by the Transnational
Management Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social
(document series ST/CTC/); from
1994 issued by the UNCTAD Division on Transnational Corporations and
(document series [TD/]UNCTAD/DTCI/); from 1997 issued by the UNCTAD
Investment, Technology and Enterprise Development (document series
[TD/]UNCTAD/ITE/IIT/); from 2008
issued by the UNCTAD Division on Investment and Enterprise (document
710 2_ $a UNCTAD.
Division on Investment and Enterprise
Call numbers and local information of
libraries holding the serial in
their collections is transcribed on the record in the appropriate MARC
Bibliographic data should be transcribed in conformity with the UNBIS Reference Manual for
Bibliographic Description, including, inter alia, the following
- A document series symbol representing
the issuing body is transcribed in tag 191 $b. UN
serial records are treated as unsymbolled, i.e. three asterisks *** are
transcribed in 191 $a.
- The corporate name heading for the
issuing body is assigned in tag 710.
- Information about the holdings of
individual libraries: Library call numbers are transcribed in tag 099
$c and in item records; local holdings information (beginning
and ending issues in the collection) is transcribed in tag 910;
local notes are transcribed in tags 592, 594,
595 or 596.
- Information about the history of the
serial title (preceding titles,
succeeding titles, etc.) is recorded in tags 780 and 785.
- Information about the numbering pattern
of a serial is recorded in tag 362 and the frequency
of issuance is recorded in tag 310.
- Information about a serial’s
availability in other formats is transcribed in a General Note tag 500.
If a serial is available online, a link to the online URL address
should be added in tag 856. If it is available only
as an electronic resource, the serial record should be treated
Subject analysis for s-level
records is limited to primary topical subject terms (tag 650
first indicator 1)
representing the overall or main subject(s) of the periodical series,
as well as a term for the type of serial, if applicable (e.g., NEWSLETTERS, DIRECTORIES).
If a serial concerns activities of an organization or body, the
corporate subject heading for the organization or body is added in tag 610.
Example: Serial record, holdings in
both DHL and UNOG Libraries
099 $a UND $b DHU
099 $a UNG $b
GML $c A 180
245 10 $a Africa
260 $a New York :
Communications Division, UN Dept. of Public Information, $c 2004-
310 $a Quarterly
362 $a Vol. 18, no.
2 (July 2004)-
500 $a Available
also at Africa Renewal website (viewed 25 Mar. 2008).
594 $a Library also
has ed. in French.
594 $a Holdings
recorded in UN/SA Serials Checklist.
595 $a Library also
has French ed.: A 180a.
595 $a Holdings
recorded in Voyager; prior to 1991 recorded in Kardex P.
596 $a Holdings
(French ed.): Vol. 3, no. 1/2 (Oct. 1989)
650 17 $a DEVELOPMENT
650 17 $a AFRICA
650 27 $a NEWSLETTERS
710 2_ $a UN.
Department of Public Information. Strategic Communications Division
767 0_ $9 fre
$t Afrique relance
780 00 $t Africa
856 41 $3 English
$q HTML $u
856 41 $3 Français
$q HTML $u
910 $g Eng. ed.:
Vol. 2, no. 3 (Aug. 1988)- ; French ed.: Vol. 3, no. 1/2 (Oct. 1989)-
Example: Serial record for an
electronic newsletter concerning activities of a UN body
099 $a UNG $b GUN
191 $a *** $b E/ECE/
245 10 $a UNECE
weekly $h [electronic
resource] / $c United
Nations Economic Commission for Europe
260 $a Geneva :
Information Service, $c Jan.
310 $a Weekly
362 $a No. 49 (5-9
500 $a Available at
UNECE website (viewed 9 Jan. 2007).
610 27 $a UN. ECE
650 17 $a REGIONAL
650 17 $a ECONOMIC
650 17 $a EUROPE
650 17 $a NEWSLETTERS
780 00 $t ECE
710 2_ $a UN. ECE
856 40 $3 English
$q HTML $u
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Individual issues of serials: bibliographic level d
bibliographic record is normally created for each issue of a UN serial,
especially if they are issued with individual UN document symbols
and/or sales numbers.
This practice differs from standard
cataloguing practice, which usually treats serials at the serial level
only, not at the level of individual issues.
Exceptions may be made to treat some periodicals at the serial level
only, on a case-by-case basis. Examples of UN serials that are treated
at the serial level only are the UN Office at Geneva’s Tech-news
and UN Special, and UNCTAD’s online CSO newsletter.
A decision may be taken to cease indexing individual issues of an
unsymbolled UN serial that had previously been indexed at bibliographic
level d. In that case a Local Note (tag 596)
should be added to the serial record (bibliographic level s)
indicating the date that indexing individual serial issues ceased.
245 10 $a Bulletin (UN Division for Palestinian Rights) / $c
Division for Palestinian Rights
596 $a Cataloguing
at the D-level ceased as of Oct. 1996.
Special issues of serials that are not
normally indexed at bibliographic level d may be
indexed on a case-by-case basis.
245 10 $a Special bulletin on the commemoration of the
International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. $n
260 $a [New York] :
$b UN, $c
300 $a v, 77 p.
630 07 $a International
Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (29 Nov.)
650 17 $a PALESTINE
650 17 $a INTERNATIONAL
710 2 _ $a UN.
Division for Palestinian Rights
A serial record (bibliographic level s)
should be created for every title that is treated at the serial issue
level (bibliographic level d).
Current bibliographic practice is to
transcribe the title of the serial in tag 245 $a and
the number of the specific issue in 245 $n,
preceded by a period. Subsequent information relating to the numbering
of the issue is separated by a comma-space. Subtitles are recorded in
subfield $b preceded by space-colon. AACR2
abbreviations are used to transcribe months in titles designating
numbering of individual issues, and the word «Volume» is abbreviated as
«Vol.» This practice deviates from standard cataloguing practice which
does not use abbreviations in the title area unless printed on the item.
If an issue bears a distinctive title in addition to the serial title,
the distinctive title may be recorded as a variant title in tag 246,
second indicator value 2.
Titles of different language versions of the issue are recorded in tag 767.
bearing distinctive titles in addition to the title of a monographic
series are treated as monographs (bibliographic level m).
Refer to the UNBIS Reference
Manual for Bibliographic Description for rules on recording
monographic series titles and series statements in tags 440,
490 and 830.
The distinction between a monographic series title and a serial title
that has issues with distinctive titles is not always evident, but the
distinction can usually be made based on the type of title, periodicity
If a serial issue is also available online,
a link to the online URL address for the serial should be recorded in
tag 856. If the issue is available only as an
electronic resource or non-print format, the record should be treated
an issue contains articles on different topics by individual authors,
it may be decided to index the contents analytically (see Serial analytics: bibliographic level b).
If an issue of a serial is treated analytically and individual articles
are indexed, in general it is only necessary to assign primary subject
terms (tag 650, first indicator 1)
for the main subjects covering the issue as a whole. Specific subject
terms will be assigned to the analyzed articles. If the issue is not
treated analytically, the indexer should consider assigning secondary
descriptors in addition to primary subjects, particularly in subject
areas of interest to the UN.
The principles set out in Subject analysis and indexing of UN
also apply to indexing issues of UN serials. Consistency is important
in indexing issues of a serial, but at the same time indexers must be
attentive to changes in subject coverage that should be reflected in
the choice of subject terms.
Indexers should be attentive to
changes in title, numbering, frequency, format, issuing body, final
issue, etc., that may require updating the serial record (bibliographic
level s) as well as changing the way individual
issues are described and indexed.
Issue of a serial (annual) bearing a distinctive title, analyzed in
depth since it is a major publication on issues of importance to the UN
245 10 $a Human development report. $n 2006
246 32 $a Beyond
scarcity : $b power,
poverty and the global water crisis
246 38 $a HDR 2006 :
$b beyond scarcity :
power, poverty and the global water crisis
500 $a Includes
bibliographical references (p. 238-260).
500 $a Available in
all official languages, as well as Catalan, Italian and Portuguese, at
UNDP website (viewed 21 Jan. 2008).
505 0_ $a Overview:
Beyond scarcity : power, poverty and the global water crisis -- Ending
the crisis in water and sanitation -- Water for human consumption --
The vast deficit in sanitation -- Water scarcity, risk and
vulnerability -- Water competition in agriculture – Managing
transboundary waters -- Human development indicators.
630 07 $a Millennium
650 17 $a HUMAN
650 17 $a WATER
650 17 $a SANITATION
650 17 $a POVERTY
650 17 $a DEVELOPMENT
650 17 $a STATISTICAL
650 27 $a DEVELOPING
650 27 $a PUBLIC
650 27 $a PUBLIC
650 27 $a RIGHT TO
650 27 $a PUBLIC
650 27 $a SANITATION
650 27 $a HUMAN
650 27 $a WATER
650 27 $a CLIMATE
650 27 $a WATER
650 27 $a IRRIGATION
650 27 $a INTERNATIONAL
650 27 $a SHARED
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analytics: bibliographic level b
periodicals with substantive articles and individual authors are
indexed analytically. This may be decided on a case-by-case basis,
usually when serials contain distinctively titled, substantive articles
by individual authors.
Examples of UN serials that are indexed analytically are UNCTAD’s Transnational
corporations, the UN Centre for Regional Development’s Regional
development dialogue, and the UN Institute for Disarmament
Research’s Disarmament forum.
A bibliographic citation to the issue
containing the article is recorded in tag 773, in
accordance with the UNBIS
Reference Manual for Bibliographic Description.
Analytic records for periodical articles are unsymbolled, i.e. three
asterisks *** are recorded in 191 $a, and the series
symbol of the issue containing the article is recorded in 191
ISBN, ISSN, UN sales number or job number appearing on the host issue
are not transcribed on the analytic
record. However, the call number of the host serial issue is
transcribed in tag 099 of the analytic record.
No imprint is recorded (tag 260) but the publication
date of the host serial issue is recorded in tag 269.
Personal name headings for individual authors of articles are recorded
in tag 700, but the corporate author of the serial
issue is not recorded in tag 710.
The indexer should add a link in tag 856 to the full
text of the article when it is available online.
Subject terms (tag 650) should be assigned for the
specific topics discussed in the article.
These specific topics are not necessarily assigned to the s-level
record for the host serial issue, unless they are also considered to be
main subjects of the serial issue.
Example: Analytic record for an article
in a UN serial
191 $a *** $b
245 10 $a Globalization,
FDI and employment in Viet Nam / $c Rhys Jenkins
650 17 $a FOREIGN
650 17 $a AFFILIATE
650 17 $a EMPLOYMENT
650 17 $a MANUFACTURING
650 17 $a VIET NAM
650 17 $a GLOBALIZATION
700 1_ $a Jenkins,
773 0_ $a Transnational
corporations. - 15(1) Apr. 2006
-142 : graphs, tables
856 41 $3 English
$q PDF $u
The primary subject terms on the host
serial issue for the above article are TRANSNATIONAL
CORPORATIONS and FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT.
If all articles in a periodical issue are
on a subject that is quite
specific, a decision may be taken not to index at the analytical level.
For example, each individual issue of the UNIDIR quarterly Disarmament
bears a distinctive title and contains articles on various aspects of
the subject covered by the issue. Frequently the articles are indexed
analytically to provide maximum specificity, since the disarmament
field is important in the UN. However, if indexing the individual
articles does not provide much additional specificity, it is probably
not necessary to index at the analytical article level. Instead, a
Contents Note could be added listing the articles and authors.
245 10 $a Disarmament Forum. $n 2007/2
246 32 $a Peacebuilding
505 0_ $a The
United Nations Peacebuilding Commission : origins and initial practice
/ Richard Ponzio – The UN Peacebuilding Commission and civil society
engagement / Renske Heemskerk -- The UN Peacebuilding Commission and
international Geneva / David Atwood & Fred Tanner -- Prospects for
the UN Peacebuilding Commission / Thomas J. Biersteker.
the subject covered by this issue is already quite specific (the UN
Peacebuilding Commission) a decision is made not to index the articles
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by the Department of Public Information (DPI), Dag Hammarskjöld
Library. Comments as well as suggestions for further
additions/enhancements may be directed to the Dag Hammarskjöld Library.
© United Nations 2008-2009. All rights reserved.
Last updated: 12 August 2009