GPO proposes new subject authority records, and changes to existing ones, according to the instructions in the Library of Congress' (LC) Subject Headings Manual (SHM). If a subject heading is needed for the resource cataloged, that is not found in OCLC's subject authority file, or if the heading is found but requires additional authority work, such as the addition of cross-references, the cataloger creates a new or change subject proposal in LC's Classification Web system, following SACO procedures. The new proposed subject heading may be entered in the bibliographic record before being approved by LC, as long as the record is entered at encoding level "blank" and not at the PCC level. If catalogers are not sure whether to make a proposal or not, they should ask the SACO liaison before beginning any work.
Tips and Instructions
When researching the Internet for sources, a cataloger will frequently find links in one source that will lead him/her to other sources. This is good. Don't forget to circle back to the original source and close the loop, picking up other links that are found there if necessary.
After linking to one of these sources, the cataloger will want to return to this page, in order to research other sources found there. One method is to open a second tab or window, always keeping this bibliography open in the first window or tab, so that the cataloger can always return to the original "jumping off point."
Subject Headings Manual (SHM)
Catalogers should utilize the search function and index, in addition to the table of contents and/or opening the relevant sections. For example, if you are proposing a specific riot, look up "riots." If you are proposing a specific fire, look up "fires."
For searching, catalogers must use Minaret (Class Web), as opposed to, or in addition to, OCLC. This is because Minaret is the most up-to-date system, and includes subject proposals. OCLC is not as current, and lacks subject proposals. Catalogers may search OCLC if they are more comfortable with its interface and features, but they then must still additionally search Minaret.
Do NOT search: http://authorities.loc.gov/.
When searching in Minaret, select "Browse and Propose a Change to an Existing Record" from the Subject Heading Proposal Menu. This will search both approved and proposed subjects in one search. It is the only selection needed for all searching in the Minaret system. Please use the instructions below as a supplement to those listed in the References section below.
- This will put you into a left-anchored Browse search. Use this when desired. Otherwise, click on the gear symbol in the top right, then select “Search.”
- Then, unless you are searching for a record number, search by either "Keyword" for greater retrieval, or by "Subject heading" to browse the indexes for references (4XXs, 5XXs) and headings (1XXs). Note: searching by "Subject heading" will perform left-anchored searches, while searching by "Keyword" will search all positions of these tracings (1XXs, 4XXs, 5XXs).
- To view a full MARC record, click on the small gray box to the right of the authorized heading, then select “MARC display.” The record will open in a new window.
- When you are ready to perform a new search, click the “New search” button at the top.
Additional Minaret (Class Web) Tips
- When searching, a useful method is to retrieve a list of related subject headings by searching a broader term (BT).
- For entering diacritics for degree, minutes, and seconds in the 670 field of Geographic subject proposals: copy and paste from the 670 field of an approved record (with an LCCN beginning with "sh") in Minaret. For other diacritics, copy and paste from OCLC or Aleph.
Examples of records to copy and paste from:
- Use the dollar sign ($) for the delimiter symbol in the tracings (1XX, 4XX, 5XX) and 67X fields.
- When entering a heading with one or more subdivisions in the 952 (Note) field, do not input the delimiter symbol or letter. Instead, connect the subdivisions with a double dash, e.g.: Small business--Finance. If you input the dollar sign ($) for the delimiter symbol in the 952 field, the system will remove it plus all subsequent text from the 952 field.
- When placing your different categories of references (Used For (UFs), Broader Terms (BTs), and Related Terms (RTs)) in alphabetical order, use the filing rule that "nothing comes before something." If you consider a space to be "nothing," then:
450 EV charging stations
- Bibliographic File Maintenance (BFM) in the proposal form is optional. This is the 952 field that says "Bib. records to be changed:" You need not research this. If you happen to come across LC records which would require BFM (Bibliographic File Maintenance) due to your proposal, you may enter these, since they are readily available. In certain situations, this may improve the chances of your proposal being approved.
- There is no auto-save feature in Minaret. While inputting your proposal in the Minaret system, you may wish to save at least every hour, to avoid timing out and losing your data. In the top right corner of the screen, click the wrench icon and then click “Save.” When a proposal is saved for the first time, it will be assigned an LCCN (sp number). Make a note of this sp number, which can be used to retrieve the proposal later.
- Update and resave your proposal in Minaret as often as you like, prior to submitting it to SACO for review. Once a proposal is submitted to SACO for review, it can no longer be updated.
- It is a good idea to save a local copy of your proposal for reference, particularly because the proposal will disappear from Minaret after it is approved or rejected by SACO. To save a local copy, click the wrench icon in the top right corner of the proposal screen, and then click “Save.” The resulting screen will have a gear icon in the top right corner. Click the icon and then click “Print” to either print a physical copy or save a PDF copy.
- When the proposal is ready to be submitted to SACO, see Subject Cataloging: Subject Heading Proposals, Workflow, Submitting SACO Proposals to the Library of Congress for submission instructions.
Include a scope note in your proposal whenever appropriate. This will improve the likelihood of obtaining full approval, without the proposal being returned for further revision.
Use of the Dictionary
Utilize Webster's Third New International Dictionary (Web. 3) whenever there is a chance that your term(s) may be found there. If not found, enter "Web. 3" in the 675 field of your proposal.
Use of Wikipedia
You may consult and cite Wikipedia as a source. However, always try to use other sources in addition to it. For topics of a current nature that have not yet found their way into the literature, Wikipedia and online newspapers/news services may be your only relevant sources. For discipline-specific topics, such as those in medicine, biology, agriculture, engineering, computer science, geography, etc., you are better off consulting discipline-specific government and private sources rather than Wikipedia. In these cases, the list of references in a Wikipedia article, may still come in handy, by leading you to journal articles and other relevant sources.
Use of LCSH as a Thesaurus
LCSH, as a thesaurus, has a practical bent, and is based on actual usage of terms, rather than on exact technical definitions, differences in definitions, "accepted" terms vs. variant terms, etc., all of which might exist, but perhaps not have entered into common use. For examples of this, see the following records:
Class Web or Minaret
- Classification Web (Class Web) or Minaret
- Instructions for Using the Minaret System
- SACO homepage
- Web Resources for SACO Proposals
- SACO Participants' Manual
- SHM H 405 Group One & Group Two lists
- Topical Heading Proposal Checklist
- Subject Headings Behind the Scenes
- SACO Proposal Training, part 1 - Fundamentals (GPO internal training material)
- SACO Proposal Training, part 2 - Examples (GPO internal training material)
- Tips for Making Successful Subject Proposals, by Janis L. Young
- Basic Subject Cataloging Using LCSH
- Paul Frank taught this two day Workshop at GPO in 2011. The last section is on making SACO proposals. Participants received a binder.
- SACO Proposal Research Demonstrations (GPO internal training material)
SHM (Subject Headings Manual)
These selected sections comprise basic training, to be completed by catalogers before making their first subject heading proposal.
- Under "Making Subject Heading Proposals"
- H 187
- H 200: numbers 3-21
- H 202
- H 203
- Under "Formulating Subject Headings"
- H 285
- H 290
- H 306
- Just note the titles of the other instruction sheets in this section, from H 310—H 364
- Under "References"
- H 370
- H 371
- H 373
- H 374
- H 375
- SHM H 400 Scope Notes
- SHM H 405 Name vs. Subject Authority File
- In SHM, open up the following sections, and simply note the titles of the instruction sheets within:
- Geographic Headings and Subdivisions
- Subdivisions Controlled by Pattern Headings
- Special Topics, Materials, Subdivisions, etc.
- Webster's Third New International Dictionary (Web. 3)
- National Register of Historic Places
- Various discipline specific dictionaries, thesauri, etc.
Resources for Geographic Proposals
- Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) (See SHM H 203 for citation method)
- GEOnet Names Server (See SHM H 203 for citation method)
- GPO participated in a webinar by Janis Young in May 2013. It is suggested that catalogers retain the handouts, notes, and exercises from this webinar in a separate folder for Geographic Subject Headings. These will direct catalogers to the relevant SHM instruction sheets.
- Janis Young's "Proposing New and Revised Geographic Subject Headings Webinar: Presentation" (internal GPO document)
- Janis Young's "Proposing New and Revised Geographic Subject Headings Webinar: Exercise Answer Key" (internal GPO document)
- Janis Young's "Proposing New and Revised Geographic Subject Headings Webinar: Selected Online Geographic Reference Sources" (internal GPO document)
- SHM section: Geographic Headings and Subdivisions
- National Wildlife Refuge System
- Annual report of lands under control of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- National Parks Index
Geographic Print Resources
- National Register of Historic Places
- Columbia Gazetteer of the World, 1998
- Merriam-Webster's Geographical Dictionary, 3rd edition
- Rand McNally ... commercial atlas & marketing guide
- Rand McNally's The New International Atlas
- The Times Atlas of the World
Examples of GPO Subject Proposals
- White-nose syndrome sh2009010759
- Wallow Fire, 2011 sh2012002192
- Robotic exoskeletons sh2010011967
- Battery charging stations (Electric vehicles) sh2012003590
- Butoxyethanol acetate sh2009009283
- Aluminum oxynitride spinel sh2011002508
- Dextromethorphan sh2007010731
- Rosiglitazone sh2009002732
- Tom and Lucy Gilgo House (Portsmouth, N.C.) sh2017004786
- Namonuito Islands (Micronesia) sh2012000694
- Carroll Creek (Ala.) sh2012000461
- Driftless Area National Wildlife Refuge sh2012001808