Since July 2013, LSCM has been identifying and acquiring eBooks for inclusion in the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). Local GPO policy does not consider a PDF to be an eBook, so the term “eBook” in this chapter refers to EPUB and MOBI versions. eBooks may be available in other versions; please contact your supervisor if you have unusual versions to catalog.
eBook acquisition decisions will be based on GPO acquisition guidelines. GPO staff should review the detailed guidance in the internal documentation, LSCM G 2-2021, Guidelines for Acquiring Information Dissemination Products for the FDLP and Cataloging and Indexing Programs; a summary is provided below.
- If a federal government eBook is available at no cost, acquire it for the FDLP; in addition to that, another free online version (such as PDF or HTML) must also be acquired, if available.
- Some eBooks will be provided to LSCM as CD-ROMs through GPO Procurement orders; before cataloging the eBook files from the CD-ROM, check to see if there is a freely available eBook version online.
- If the eBook is freely available from either the GPO Bookstore or the agency website, you may proceed with cataloging the resource for the FDLP.
- If the only eBook version available is for sale, attempt to acquire a free PDF or other free online version instead. If the eBook for sale is the only online version available, you may acquire it for the Cataloging & Indexing program only (see below section for Non-Distributed eBooks for cataloging guidance).
- If it is unclear whether an eBook received on CD-ROM will be available for free or for sale, consult with your supervisor.
As a member of the Library of Congress’ Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC), GPO will follow the Provider-Neutral record approach for eBooks. This approach emphasizes recording only information applicable to all manifestations with the same content. A Provider-Neutral record does not contain information specific to particular providers, vendors, system requirements, reproductions, or other information related to a specific manifestation. If a resource cannot be described by a Provider-Neutral record, consult with your supervisor.
Because of the Provider-Neutral approach, there is very little distinction between the cataloging treatment of eBooks and other remote electronic resources (e.g., PDFs). Publications that are available as eBooks will include all online versions on the same bibliographic record. The record will be based on the PDF version of the resource; if a PDF version is not available, the record will be based on whatever online version is available. If an online version record for a publication already exists in the CGP or in OCLC, that record should be updated to include the information about the eBook version.
Disposition of eBooks on CD-ROM
If an eBook has been received on CD-ROM, return the CD-ROM to the Content Acquisitions Specialists after files are extracted and cataloging is completed. Please contact your supervisor if you have any questions.
The instructions below primarily cover areas where eBook practice deviates from general online resource cataloging.
020 – International Standard Book Number
347 – Digital file characteristics
Field 347 subfields ǂb (Encoding format) and ǂc (File size) are not Provider-Neutral. Do not include them in original cataloging, and remove them from the master OCLC record when adapting existing records. Subfield ǂa (File type) is optional for most resources, but core for some materials; leave in adapted eBook records, but do not provide in original eBook records.
856 – Electronic location and access
New records, or non-GPO adapted records
Add an 856 40 PURL field, with a PURL pointing to a URL that provides access to all available online versions of the resource; if no such URL exists, point instead to the PDF version. Indicate in subfield ǂ3 the online versions that are available.
For online serial publications with eBook versions, use subfield ǂ3 to indicate Current or Archived issue(s), followed by the eBook versions available at the time of cataloging. Use “or” (PDF, MOBI, or EPUB) to allow for changes to the eBook versions over the life of the serial.
Add an 856 4_ Historic URL field for the URL used to create the PURL(s); if that URL did not provide access to all online versions, include a subfield ǂ3 indicating the version(s) found at that URL.
Report the PURL to OAM for harvest and redirect. Include links to all online versions of the resource, if necessary.
For detailed instructions, GPO staff should review the guidance in the internal documentation LSCM SOP 8-2020/2, Electronic Access and Location in Bibliographic Records.
Existing GPO records
If the resource has previously been cataloged by GPO and has a PURL field (or fields), retain the original PURL field(s) and Historic URL field(s). Add a subfield ǂ3 to the PURL field(s), indicating which online versions are available. Add a subfield ǂ3 to the Historic URL field, indicating the online version(s) that were found at the original URL, if known.
Report the PURL(s) to OAM for harvest and redirect. For detailed instructions, GPO staff should review the guidance in the internal documentation LSCM SOP 8-2020/2, Electronic Access and Location in Bibliographic Records.
955 – Local GPO notes
A 955 tag “Gov eBook” is included in the Aleph bib record for resources available in any eBook version. This tag ensures that the record is included in the Government eBook collection of the CGP.
The Gov eBook tag should appear in the Aleph bib record only once. Depending on the workflow and the cataloger’s preference, the tag can be combined with the 955 cataloger code and date tags, or provided as a separate field; note that the order of 955 fields does not matter. The Gov eBook tag may be added in OCLC prior to export, or in Aleph.
The Gov eBook tag in combination with the 955 subfield ǂb date tag ensures that the record is included in the New Titles lists of New Government eBook Titles in the CGP. If an existing CGP record is updated to add eBook versions, remove the previous subfield ǂb and enter a new one with the current date. See below for examples.
New record, acquired directly by cataloger
If an eBook is acquired and immediately cataloged by the same person, there will be no brief bib in Aleph, and only one set of cataloger codes will be necessary. Enter your cataloger code as usual, but also add the Gov eBook tag.
New record, acquired by acquisitions team
If an eBook is acquired by an acquisitions staff member, they will typically enter the Gov eBook tag when they create the brief bib. When the cataloging is completed, add your cataloger code and date as usual; there is no need to edit the existing 955.
Existing GPO record, updated to include eBook
If an existing GPO online record is being updated to include eBook versions, remove the subfield ǂb date tag from the previous 955. Add the Gov eBook tag, your cataloger code, and your date tags, including a subfield ǂb date tag.
In rare cases, LSCM may acquire eBooks that cannot be distributed to the FDLP. For instance, if LSCM rides an eBook order, and receives files burned to CD-ROM, but the agency and GPO bookstore have decided to sell the eBook rather than make it freely available. If another online version (e.g., PDF) is freely available, disregard the eBook version for sale, and catalog only the free online version; GPO staff may review the detailed guidance in the internal documentation, LSCM G 2-2021, Guidelines for Acquiring Information Dissemination Products for the FDLP and Cataloging and Indexing Programs
In order to fulfill GPO’s obligation to catalog all government publications, and to provide records for any libraries that might purchase the eBooks, LSCM will catalog such eBooks as “format not distributed” resources for the Cataloging and Indexing (C&I) program. Follow general cataloging guidelines for non-distributed materials; special instructions for non-distributed eBooks are included below.
If the sale status of the resource changes, please see your supervisor for guidance.
Omit any 074 associated with the resource’s SuDoc number, since it is not distributed.
500 – General note on distribution
Enter a note indicating the distribution status.
Enter a Description Based On note following the instructions in the Cataloging Guidelines.
856 – Electronic location and access
After creating or replacing an OCLC record, delete OCLC holdings.
Export to Aleph
There are two options for exporting the completed record from OCLC to Aleph:
- Export the record using code XZL4, and change the item status to 02, Not distributed
- Export the record using code XZLN, and change item’s material type to EL, ONLINE ONLY.
Resources to Consult
- Internal GPO documentation: LSCM G 2-2021, Guidelines for Acquiring Information Dissemination Products for the FDLP and Cataloging and Indexing Programs
- Internal GPO documentation: LSCM SOP 8-2020/2, Electronic Access and Location in Bibliographic Records.
- Provider-Neutral E-Resource MARC Record Guide: P-N/RDA Combined Version