Michigan State University

Serials: SERCAT Procedures

 

Contents

What is a serial?

A continuing resource issued in a succession of discrete parts, usually bearing numbering, that has no predetermined conclusion. Examples of serials include journals, magazines, electronic journals, continuing directories, annual reports, newspapers, and monographic series.

What is SER CAT?

A code used in order records to identify pieces that should or might be treated as serials.
Order records coded SER CAT addv identify serial adds (transfer to the serial adds person in Catalog Maintenance)
Order records coded SER CAT indicate pieces in need of a cataloging treatment decision (transfer to Leah Black in Acquisitions)

Which record to use for orders?

As a general rule, follow the precedent established in MAGIC when selecting a record to use for ordering purposes.
When both monograph and serial records are found on SkyRiver for a title and there is no precedent in MAGIC, export the serial record for ordering purposes and code the order SER CAT.

If the MAGIC precedent is to catalog individual issues as monographs and both monograph and serial copy is available for the piece to be ordered, export the monograph record for ordering purposes and do not code the order SER CAT.

When the MAGIC precedent for cataloging treatment no longer makes sense based on SkyRiver search results for an order in hand, use judgment and/or ask for advice regarding which record to use for ordering purposes and whether or not to apply SER CAT coding.

"It might be a serial if...."

Even if the SER CAT code is not present on the order, receivers and copy catalogers should question titles/pieces which:

  • include a year in the title
  • include edition numbering
  • include volume and/or issue numbering, or any kind of numbering near the title
  • have an ISSN (International Standard Serial Number; eight digits separated by a dash, i.e. 1234-5678)
  • appear to be annual reports, yearbooks, directories, newsletters, or statistical publications (especially those of governmental bodies)
  • have a title that begins:
    • Who's who in....
    • Fact file of...
    • Handbook of...
    • Official rules of...
    • Progress in...
    • Resource guide to...
    • Revue de...
    • Revista de...
    • Boletin...
    • Developments in...
    • Recent developments in...
    • Sourcebook of...
    • Advances in...
    • Studies in...
    • Current research in...
    • Research monographs in...
    • Technical bulletin...
    • Summary of...
    • Digest of...
    • Review of...
    • ...research in review
    • Yearbook of...
    • Annual....