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What We Do For

Cataloguing in Publication
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Frequently Asked Questions

What is CIP?

Cataloguing in Publication (CIP) is a voluntary program of cooperation between publishers and libraries. It enables the cataloguing of books before they are published, and the prompt distribution of this cataloguing information to booksellers and libraries. The Canadian CIP Program is coordinated by Library and Archives Canada.

How does a Canadian publisher obtain CIP?

As far in advance of publication as possible, the publisher sends information about a forthcoming title to a CIP agent library. This information is submitted on a CIP form, which covers various details about the book, such as its author, title, subject matter, etc. The CIP application form is available here.

The completed form is returned to the CIP office along with proofs of the title page, preface, introduction, table of contents and/or any publicity material that is available. The CIP office uses this information to create a catalogue record for the book which is then returned to the publisher for printing on the verso of the title page.

How much does CIP cost the publisher?

A CIP record is provided to the publisher free of charge.

How long does it take before the publisher gets a CIP entry for a book?

The process takes at least ten working days.

Who do I contact about CIP?

Publishers should consult the list of CIP agents.

Why is only one author's name shown at the top of the CIP entry when the book has two authors? Why aren't both author's names shown there?

This question, as you might have guessed, is often asked by the authors themselves! In cases where a book has two or three authors, library cataloguing rules state that the first author mentioned on the title page must be used as the "main entry" on the cataloguing record; the others are recorded as "added entries". When a catalogue record is printed the main entry displays at the top of the catalogue record and the added entries appear after the description of the book. However, this format of main and added entries is a convention for display purposes only; added entries can be searched as well as the main entry in catalogues and databases.

The title on the book begins each word with a capital letter. Why does the CIP entry begin each title word, except the first word, with a lower case letter?

The capitalization in the CIP entry follows the cataloguing rules used by libraries. In library cataloguing, only the initial letter of the title is capitalized. There are some exceptions to this practice but they are limited to certain cases specified in the cataloguing rules. Publishers should print the CIP cataloguing record in the form in which it was returned to them by the CIP agent library, using the same capitalization, punctuation and layout.