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Machine-Readable Accessions (MARA) Guidelines for Contribution to the National Union Catalogue

4. Mandatory and essential data elements

Below are brief descriptions of some of the "mandatory" and "essential if applicable" bibliographic data elements required for MARA reporting. For the full extent of required data elements for MARA reporting, see "Appendix A: Required data elements".

4.1 Leader (000)

The leader is a 24 character fixed field (i.e., character positions 00-23) at the beginning of each MARC record. It provides essential information on the processing requirements for each MARC record. Character positions 06 and 07 (i.e., 000/06 and 000/07) are crucial to the AMICUS matching and loading programs, and must be coded correctly.

4.2 Control fields (001-00X)

Control numbers, contained within control fields, are central to the AMICUS record matching programs and, when properly formatted and coded, help to prevent the adding of duplicate records in AMICUS. Accuracy in reporting and formatting these numbers is crucial. Formatting instructions for control numbers can be found in the MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data.

4.2.1 Bibliographic record control number (001)

The bibliographic record control number is a unique and consistent character string used to identify the record within a reporting library's system and is the basis for matching MARA contributed records in the AMICUS database.

Reporting libraries must provide a bibliographic record control number in tag 001 for each record submitted. This number becomes a record's MARA control number. All transactions for this record (i.e., new, corrected or revised, or deleted) must report the same control number in tag 001.

4.2.2 Fixed-length data elements (008)

Data placed in the defined character positions of this tag consist of characters that give either coded bibliographic information about the work being catalogued or instruction to aid machine processing and manipulation of the record. Data elements will vary from record to record depending on the type of material being treated.

c.p. 7-10: Date 1
The data provided in this area is essential for matching records in the AMICUS database. If the library's system does not allow for this data in the fixed fields area, when the records are exported the data can be copied from the "imprint" area (i.e., tag 260, subfield $c for monograph records) or from the "Dates of publication and/or sequential designation" area (i.e., tag 362, subfield $a for continuing resource records).

c.p. 15-17: Place of publication, production, or execution
This three-character code provides important data for matching records in the AMICUS database. If possible, the minimum code "xxc" is essential for Canadian imprints. The full list of country codes is found in the MARC 21 MARC Code List for Countries. (10)

c.p. 23; c.p. 29: Form of item
Separate records must be provided for each different form of the same bibliographic item (e.g., microform, large print, Braille). For example, the printed version of a work and its microfiche edition must be reported as separate records, with the "form of item" coded appropriately. This ensures that distinct forms of the same bibliographic item are correctly added to AMICUS. (Note: The 008/23 is "Form of item" for Books, Continuing resource, Music, and Mixed Materials. The 008/29 is "Form of item" for Maps and Visual Materials. The 008 for "Computer Files" does not have a character position reserved for "Form of item".)

4.3 Cataloguing source (040)

Subfield $a contains the code of the "original cataloging agency", while subfield $c contains the code of the "transcribing agency". One or both of the tags must include the code of the reporting library. The subfield $b contains the "language of cataloguing". If this tag is not present in the records of the reporting library, then the tag can be system supplied during the conversion process at Library and Archives Canada.

4.4 Main entry fields (1xx)

Each record must have a coded main entry, if the main entry is other than the title. Only one main entry per record is valid.

4.5 Title statement (245)

Each record must have a title statement. Without a title statement the record cannot be loaded into AMICUS.

4.6 Publication, distribution, etc. [Imprint] (260)

An imprint, even if "[S.l.: s.n.]", is a mandatory data requirement. Both indicators are undefined and should be left blank. The $a (place of publication) is mandatory for continuing resources; $b (publisher) and $c (date of publication) are mandatory for monographs.

4.7 Physical description (300)

The physical description, or "collation", is particularly important for monographs, microfilm, computer disks, and sound recordings, among others. The tag may be coded minimally when necessary (e.g., if the pagination or the number of volumes are not available).

4.8 Dates of publication and/or volume designation (362)

This tag is mandatory for continuing resources. It contains the extent of volumes and /or the beginning date and/or the ending date(s) of publication of a continuing resource item. Since this tag records the coverage of the item, it is often the only distinguishing difference between similar continuing resource publications. This tag should NOT reflect the holdings of the reporting library.

4.9 Locations and holdings statements (850)

4.9.1 Adding the 850 to MARA records

All MARA records must contain an 850 tag before they can be loaded into AMICUS. Records lacking an 850 tag are rejected prior to loading. Some libraries are able to add an 850 tag to the records they send to Library and Archives Canada. This is usually done when records are being exported from the local system into a file to be sent to Library and Archives Canada. Libraries that are not able to export their records from the local system with an 850 tag in place will have the 850 tags for their records created during the conversion process at Library and Archives Canada (cf. section 3.3, "Conversion by Library and Archives Canada").

Records sent with 850's
Tag 850 is a repeatable tag. Library systems can report the holdings of several branch libraries on one record by repeating tag 850 for each branch that has its own Canadian library symbol. Also, regional centres and networks may report the holdings of several institutions on one record by repeating tag 850. While many 850 tags may be attached to an individual record, each 850 tag must represent a unique library symbol (i.e., must have a unique library symbol in subfield $a). An individual record may not contain multiple 850 tags with the same library symbol in subfield $a.

Records sent without 850's
Libraries that cannot export 850 tags from their local system may also report the holdings for several branch libraries, or for other institutions, on the same record. Such libraries simply need to ensure that the necessary locations and holdings information is present within the record sent to Library and Archives Canada (e.g., in a 9XX tag). During the conversion process, this information will be 'flipped' into corresponding 850 tags, thus allowing the records to be loaded into AMICUS.

4.9.2 Inter-Library Loan

If several libraries use one designated institution as an Inter-Library Loan (ILL) centre, the designated institution's library symbol should be clearly identifiable in the records sent to Library and Archives Canada to ensure the proper routing of ILL and photocopy requests.

To avoid receiving loan requests for materials reported to the National Union Catalogue, libraries that do not participate in ILL must ensure that the records they send to National Union Catalogue clearly reflect their ILL status.

4.9.3 Multiple copies

Multiple copies of a work held at one institution should not be reported; only one copy should be reported (e.g., the monograph available for loan; the continuing resource that is most complete). Copy numbers should not be included.

4.9.4 Further information on tag 850

For the minimal amount of data required in tag 850, please see "Appendix A: Required data elements". For further information on the subfield codes used in tag 850, please see "Appendix B: Notes on 850 subfield codes".

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