The Z method:
An alternative method for converting 866’s into a more NISO compliant format
With the transition to Aleph in May of 2004, the University of Florida Technical Services Division began the task of converting the free text 866 lines of their Serials Holdings into more NISO compliant 853/863 pairs. This conversion process is an arduous and time consuming one and often is not as straightforward as it should be, based on the inconsistent 866’s produced at UF over the years. For particularly troublesome titles, such as those with extensive and confusing lacking statements, the amount of time and energy required to convert the title with 100% accuracy to full NISO compliance is prohibitive.
Preservation staff are spending between 10 and 20 hours a week converting 866 lines and have as much experience performing this function as anyone in the Library, other than the Principal Serials Cataloger. Even with this level of expereience, for some problematic titles, determining the propoer 863 configuration can take hours. Therefore, Preservation is proposing to convert these ‘problematic’ titles using a slight variation on the currently accepted conversion method. We are calling this variation the ‘Z’ method, as it makes use of a ‘Z’ line (public note) in the 863. Please see the draft procedure and the chart listing one title (Itogi) with three (one original and two duplicated) bibliographic records with the same holdings data converted in one each of the three possible formats for your examination.
As funds and resources permit, it would behoove UF to hire and train someone to visually inspect the bound volumes themselves to confirm holdings details. Then he or she could update the titles converted using the ‘Z’ method over to fully detailed 863’s. To facilitate this eventual process, Preservation staff will track the holdings records of the titles converted using this method by retaining the Z in the encoding level of the LDR.
1. Examine each title as it enters the review portion of the conversion work flow for inclusion of Z level public notes. Titles to be converted using the Z method are obvious early on in the review process, mainly due to their lacking statements or discrepancies in the information regarding missing issues in the holdings and the item records..
2. For titles converted using this method, when updating the LDR, leave the encoding level (17) as Z. In the future, as resources allow, we will be able to run reports that 'pull out' those records with this level.
3. Generally speaking, in this method, each calendar year gets its own 863 line. So, in the Itogi sample on the separate chart, 1998,1999, 2000, etc. each have their own line. According to the caption information contain in the 853, information regarding the first and the last issue for that year is entered, ignoring the missing issues. Add a |g w to indicate gap(s). Finally, add a Z note starting with the word ‘Missing’. There, add as much information as is known about each and every missing issues. Whatever parts of volume, number, month and day are known, add that data in as legible a format as possible. Do not repeat the year.
4. In an effort to be as complete as possible, Preservation staff has decided to add missing issues information contained in both the item records AND the lacking statements together to come up with these new ‘missing’ statements. This may be incorrect but without having the time or resources to wander through the ALF stacks, this is the happiest compromise we could envision.
5. For titles with long runs, where certain years do NOT have any lacking statements, please collapse these years into one 863. So, for instance if we had a title with a 37 year run (1963-2000) with issues missing in 1967, 1972, 1980-1985 and 1994, you would have 14 distinct 863 lines, as shown:
NOTE: If the number of missing issues in 1980-1985 is not significant, these can be collapsed into one line. Please use your best judgement.