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**Under Revision**

Guideline for the Use of 856 Fields in Aleph

Related AlephPro documents:

Broken Link Repair

Withdrawing Electronic Resources

Checking Links in the Catalog

PALMM Cataloging

Integrating Resources: Databases

Integrating Resources: Web sites

Moving 856 Links

UF ETD Cataloging

Vendor Codes for Electronic Resources by Vendor Name

Vendor Codes for Electronic Resources by Code

Internet resources now comprise a very strong portion of the Libraries' efforts to address the information needs of our institution. It is important to have a consistent policy for including these materials in the library catalog.

Links In Records For Resources Only Available on the Internet

While suggestions from all are invited, it is the responsibility of the Collection Managers to request that specific Internet resources be added to the Aleph database by the appropriate cataloging unit to permit access by patrons searching our catalog. Requests for cataloging or for obtaining access and subsequent cataloging should be sent to the appropriate staff from an identified Collection Manager or Selector. (See the Electronic Resource Request Form and the License Agreement and Trial Subscription Policy at: - does this form still exist?

Internet resources identified by Collection Managers for cataloging that do not already have available OCLC MARC records will receive original cataloging. If cataloging must be delayed, a brief provisional record including a functional linking field will be input.

One exception to this workflow will be the very significant number of federal documents issued electronically for which records will be added as part of the Federal Depository Library Program.


Links In Records For Materials Owned By UF In Other Formats and Available on the Internet

Internet resources that correspond substantially to print or other format materials that have (or will have) bibliographic records in Aleph will be accessible through links added to those records. No new record shall be created in Aleph for the Internet version, although one may in some cases be contributed to OCLC or a shared SUS database for the benefit of other libraries. Links may optionally be added to Aleph holdings records as well as bibliographic records for electronic journals as insurance against accidental loss of data through record overlay. An exception to this single record policy may be made for e-book sets acquired along with corresponding bibliographic records to be loaded en masse. 

Links to electronic versions not actually available to UF patrons should not be added, and should be deleted or moved to a 599 staff-only note field when found in copy cataloging.

Only 856 links that point to significant, related content (for example: indexes, summaries, tables of contents, or full versions, etc.) may be retained or added to the bibliographic record by the cataloger. Other Internet materials may be referred to the appropriate Collection Manager for possible selection.

Sites which contain only advertising materials, publisher's catalogs, ordering information, or other unrelated matter should not be linked via 856 field, but may if desired be entered in other appropriate Aleph fields. An example of when this could be useful is for serial or loose-leaf resources to facilitate post-cataloging inquiries regarding later volumes or updates.

Staff performing cataloging will verify accuracy of URLs using automated procedures. In the case of nested links, choice of URL for the link should be based on specificity and stability (inclusion of a URL in a related print item may be an indication of stability).

When in doubt, catalogers should forgo the link or query appropriate Collection Manager. Unnecessary sites will be deleted upon request.


The following fields will be included on bibliographic records for print resources with associated Internet links:


For Internet versions of more significant resources on non-computer file records it is necessary to include the 006 computer file field in order to enable limiting by computer file format in searching. This should be omitted for minor resources such as tables of contents.

856 - Electronic location and access field:

1st Indicator - Access method, 4 if http
2nd Indicator - Relationship (Note display constants in OCLC are slightly different).

  • # - No information provided;
  • 0 - Electronic resource:
  • 1 - Electronic version:
  • 2 - Related electronic resource;
  • 3 - No display constant generated.

|u -- the URL (Universal Resource Locator) of the net resource (or the PURL).

|3 - material specified (i.e.: Table of contents, abstracts, etc.) This field specifies the part of the bibliographic item to which the field applies and while it is "required if applicable" in OCLC, it helps avoid confusion for the user. When 2nd indicator is blank, 2 or 3 use delimiter 3 field to advise patrons what is offered by the link.

|y - link text: This field, also called anchor text, is intended to display and be clicked upon in lieu of the actual URL in the public catalog. While Aleph does not yet have this functionality, we have been using it on PALMM, NetLibrary and other e-book sets to provide a cleaner display for the public. We will continue to include this subfield for these records in anticipation of Aleph's implementation of it. For the present it displays as a note along with the URL.

|z Public note (optional, for other brief useful notes to display with link)

530 Format Note. (i.e.: Also available on the Internet, Index available on the World Wide Web, etc.)

An optional field for electronic versions of print resources which may expand on the 856 |3 or acknowledge the Internet sponsor, give necessary software such as Adobe Acrobat, or clarify how the electronic version may vary from the print.

For Internet electronic resources not associated with a locally owned print version, cataloging will be done using the most appropriate format for the content of the resource and include description and tagging for computer file cataloging, including the 856 field as described above. Procedures for cataloging of Internet resources that are integrating resources such as databases, electronic theses and dissertations, or PALMM Project reproductions and for loading of record sets for electronic books are available in the AlephPro website.


An Aleph sublibrary and collection code appropriate to the electronic resource should be entered in the HOL record (852 field, subfields b and c) when the linked site offers a full version of the work. Typical codes are as follows: for documents |b UFER |c DOCS; for e-books |b UFER |c SMBK; for UF electronic theses and dissertations |b UFETD |c GEN; for electronic journals: |b UFER |c SMJR for others |b UFER |c SMGEN.  All of these codes display in the catalog with the location "Online". If due to unavailability of the print version for comparison, the cataloger cannot tell if the Web version exactly duplicates the print, a substantially complete version will be treated as complete and designated as "Internet version" or some similar term in the material specified field or an equivalent display constant generated by the 2nd indicator. The 852 first indicator which normally indicates type of classification number will be entered as blank.

No holdings record will be entered for sites not offering either the substantially complete resource or significant or current serial holdings.

Volumes or years available may be entered in the case of electronic journals provided through aggregators such as JSTOR where the available content is a matter of contract with the libraries and not subject to being changed without warning. The link may be included in the holdings record for journals in an 856 field in addition to its entry in the bibliographic record.


The Electronic Resources Unit in the Acquisitions and Licensing Department runs a linkchecker quarterly to identify and correct broken and redirected links. 

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