This is the UNBIS reference manual for bibliographic description for UN and non-UN materials. The bibliographic treatment of these two types of material is different, therefore, it is important to distinguish between them.

In addition to documents and publications that are obviously issued by UN bodies or published by the UN (items bearing UN document symbol, UN document masthead, or UN publisher statement), the following cases are also treated as UN materials for the purposes of bibliographic processing in UNBIS:

  • Documents and publications bearing a UN job number (even if no document symbol is printed on the item and it lacks UN masthead).
  • Materials co-published with the UN, on behalf of the UN, under UN auspices or bearing UN copyright. Documents and publications of UN specialized agencies are processed as non-UN materials.
If the presence of a UN logo on a publication is the only reference to the UN, it may be a case of unauthorized use of the UN logo and judgement should be used in processing the item as UN.

The manual consists of:

  • the text of MARC21,
  • guidelines for indexing* and cataloguing and
  • lists of codes.


* Including elements of ITP (Index to Proceedings) of the General Assembly, Security Council and Economic and Social Council.

Maintained 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 2003-2009. All rights reserved