Additions to book numbers may be numbers, words, or abbreviations. The guidelines presented here cover additions to book numbers in general terms. Many additions are specific to situations arising in series and serials classes. See the Monographic Series and Continuing Resources sections for more information.
The date (year) represented in the suffix has changed format several times. The last three digits of the year were used to represent the date prior to 2000. From 2000 onward, the year is represented by four digits.
Dates for Revised Editions
Since 1985, revised publications have been classed by adding a slash and the date (year) to the class for the original edition. Revised publications that were classed prior to 1985 may have /REV. following the Cutter rather than a date.
Add a date to the class if any indication exists that an earlier edition has been published. When determining if a publication is a revised edition of an earlier publication consider information found in introductory sources when classifying.
If the publication being classified is a revised edition of an earlier publication, it should be Cuttered using the same word or letter as the original with the addition of the year of revision:
If a publication is revised more than once in the same year, revisions after the first for that year are assigned the same class with the year, a dash, and sequential number.
Punctuation in Dates or Date Ranges
If the dates or date range as written on the publication are not compatible with the SuDocs classification system and its punctuation, convert the dates or date range to the SuDocs format, including the four-digit year format.
A slash in the date or date range after a Cutter number is not permitted; a dash in the date range is appropriate.
Volume, Part, Chapter, and Section Numbers
Volume, part, chapter, section, title, or other numbers may be needed at the end of a class number for any type of publication. The need will be apparent from the title and format of the publication. This type of number is added as necessary after a slash at the end of the class.
More than one of these designations may appear on a single publication. Exercise caution to avoid using more of these numbers than are necessary to identify the individual publication.
When necessary to identify a particular volume or issue, use a secondary level of designation. If this occurs, another slash is added, followed by the appropriate abbreviation and the number.
In this example, the first number after the colon represents the first level designation: Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations. It is followed by a slash and the secondary level: Part 482-end.
Sometimes a date may be used in a book number, and another number, printed on the publication, may be added after the date to further identitfy an issue or part. In these cases, an explanatory word or abbreviation is typically added before the number and after the final slash.
In the past, abbreviations such as CH.SH. for Change Sheet were commonly used. The need to identify change sheets and revised pages is becoming less frequent as tangible formats are replaced by online versions.
Volume Number and Date: Which Comes First?
Whether the date or volume number is used first depends on the publication and on the meaning of the date and volume numbers in the class.
Volume Number Followed by Date
Normally, when numbered volumes of a set are received, the volume number is added at the end of the class. As volumes are revised, the revision date (4-digit year) is added after the volume number.
In some sets the volumes may be used alone and are revised individually and irregularly. In these cases, also, the year should follow the volume number.
The logical organization is to keep the set together by volume number. Using the date first for these volumes makes it difficult for users to discover the latest edition, and filing by date would not keep the volumes in order unless they were all revised the same year.
Date Followed by Volume Number
If the publication being classified is one of a set which reports on a year’s activities, the date (year) will come first, then the volume number. Each volume may cover a specific subject. The issuing agency may have divided a set into volumes for convenience because of the large quantity of material. Individual volumes may also lack specific titles.
Words and Abbreviations
Words and abbreviations are used in the suffix of the SuDocs classification number to help describe the publication. They serve as an indication of the format or nature of the content. All words and abbreviations used in the suffix are in uppercase letters.
There was previously a seven-character limit on abbreviations and words in the suffix due to technical limitations. A suffix no longer has this limitation. Unless it is a standard abbreviation (see section below), a complete word should be used.
Avoid the use of arbitrary abbreviations; this can lead to inconsistent application and confused interpretation. Although an abbreviation may be correctly interpreted in some cases, in other cases it can create ambiguity. FR., ITAL., or GER. could signify a language, a country, or another word entirely. If a word is spelled out, there is no ambiguity as to what is meant.
Foreign-language publications are classified the same as an English edition, but with a slash followed by the name of the language at the end of the class. (See Exception* for series below.)
For Spanish-language publications only, use the standard abbreviation SPAN. rather than spelling out the full name of the foreign language.
For bilingual or multilingual publications, list up to four languages with a slash between them; for publications with additional languages, add /ETC. after the first four languages. For bilingual and multilingual publications that include an English version, include the abbreviation ENGL. If the publication contains English and a foreign language, the foreign language is mentioned first.
When a descriptive word is used in the class, use the English term for any language edition(s). In the example shown here, the standard abbreviation for ‘summary’ is used in both the English and Spanish versions:
*Exception: In situations where series numbering used in the class already indicates a language there is no need to add /Language.
For continuing resources add the language at the end of the 086 field, followed by a slash. The language should be given at the end of the call number, even if no English version exists for the title or specific issue. When creating item records for tangible issues, the language should always come at the end of the call number, following any chronological or numerical data.
Multiple Word Phrases in a Suffix
If two or more words are used in a phrase in the suffix, add a space between words.
Multiple Versions of a Publication
Sometimes other words may be needed to differentiate two or more versions of a publication, especially when they are in different physical formats. Rather than giving each a separate slash-number after the Cutter, use the same class, then add a slash and a word or a standard abbreviation as necessary.
Some adjustment may be necessary depending on the wording of the publications. In most cases, one word is sufficient.
See Classes by Publication Type for more examples of classifying related publications together.
Corrected Copies of Numbered Volumes
A revised publication issued with a volume and number printed on it is sometimes issued as a corrected copy. In that case, the class ends with a slash and the abbreviation /CORR.
Standard Abbreviations and Words
The most frequently used abbreviations, combined abbreviations, and words are listed here. To maintain consistency with long established practice, follow these standard forms when using these words.
* Generally do not use /REV. for revised editions. See section ‘Dates for Revised Editions’ above for more guidance.
For state abbreviations added to a book number, use the 2-letter U.S. postal codes.
To Cutter by a state, see Cutter Numbers chapter, “State Cutter Numbers” section.