This section addresses the establishment and structure of Superintendent of Documents (SuDocs) classification numbers for monographic series titles. When classifying a monographic series, refer also to Class Stems and Continuing Resources. See especially the “Cuttering a Serial” section of the Continuing Resources chapter for guidance on short-term and ceased series.
Identifying a Monographic Series
A monographic series (hereafter referred to as series) can be identified by a common title that is assigned to a group of publications. Each publication also has a unique title which often covers a single issue or topic.
The main difference between series and serials is that individual issues of a series have both a common title and their own unique title, which can be found on one particular issue. In contrast, serials may have an occasional issue which has a unique or distinctive title, but in general will have the same title from issue to issue.
Base any classification decisions on information that can be discerned from the publication and that can be obtained from the issuing office. The agency’s expressed intent for the publication should be considered as a determining factor in establishing a class for a new series. For some publications, an issuing agency may specify that they intend to publish additional titles in a series. It may be necessary to contact the issuing agency to determine if a particular publication is either a serial or part of a series.
Assigning New Series Classes
If an initial publication or specific title has been identified as part of a series, and a class number does not already exist for it, a unique class should be established. As a general rule, serial and series titles should not be included in the standard SuDocs classes established for categories. However, there are cases where a new series class is formed by attaching a slash to a category class number. See Continuing Resources, ‘Works Related to Category Classes’ section.
If a publication does not belong to an established series class and is not related to an existing class, find the next available class number at the end of the issuing agency’s classes and assign it to the new series title.
A new series directly following this one, but unrelated to D 1.138:, would be classified as D 1.139:.
Series Related to Existing Classes by Subject
A new series may be related to other publications by its subject matter. When assigning a new class for a series, see if the new publication in a series is related by subject to a previously established class for the same agency.
Structure of the Series Class
In formulating the classification number, the number representing the series is assigned after the department and subordinate bureau number and is followed by a colon. The number after the colon is the book number; it is typically derived from the agency’s assigned number for each individual volume in the series.
Departmental Series vs. Bureau Series
Series or other numbering may be assigned by the parent department or by a subordinate bureau. It may be difficult to determine the issuing agency until several publications have been issued. Numbering may help determine class assignment or if the series is unique to a subordinate office. Some numbering may have been used before, particularly with older publications.
If a new series class should be established under a subordinate office, or if this is an agency series, contact the agency to clarify if it is from a bureau, department, or other area.
In a departmental series, more than one subordinate office may contribute to a series:
Both of the publications belong to a consecutively numbered series. They should be collocated under the class stem for the Agriculture Department, Technical Bulletins as a whole (A 1.36:).
Series Book Numbers
If a new class (SuDocs stem) is created and there is series numbering on the publication, that numbering should be used as the book number in almost all cases. If there is a new class with no series numbering, Cutter by significant word in the title for each publication within that new series. Only use a Cutter number if there is no unique series number. See Continuing Resources, ‘Cuttering a Serial’ section for more information.
For the purposes of SuDocs classification, numbering includes not only numbers but also letters, symbols, and punctuation. Classification policy is to use the agency-provided numbering as it appears on the document. Do not adjust or modify the numbering for the sake of consistency of style. Spacing should conform to spacing conventions described in Structure of the Classification Number.
However, agency-provided numbering may be changed as necessary to eliminate conflicts or correct printing errors.
In the following example, a comma may be problematic for an integrated library system (ILS) when used as punctuation. In those cases, a dash may be used instead: