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The Committee on Holdings Information recommends the following sources for information about recording holdings information.





MARC 21 Format for Holdings Data

"The MARC 21 Format for Holdings Data defines the codes and conventions (tags, indicators, subfield codes, and coded values) that identify the data elements in MARC holdings reports for serial and non-serial items."  Serials holdings can be recorded using MARC 21.   The link goes to complete description of fields and formatting of data required to create MARC records that include serials holdings data.

NISO Z39.71 Standard: Holdings Statements for Bibliographic Items (2006)

For libraries that communicate holdings information via client-server protocol, a standard format for holdings information is necessary to insure that information is communicated completely and accurately.   The Z39.71 standard establishes “display requirements for holdings statements for bibliographic items to promote consistency in the communication and exchange of holdings information."   The link goes to a homepage from which a PDF file of the Z39.71 standard can be accessed.

OCLC Local Holdings Maintenance at a Glance

OCLC members can create and maintain Local Holdings Records in the bibliographic database WorldCat.  OCLC local holdings "enable you to share your library's detailed holdings information with your library users, staff, and other libraries to support resource sharing activities." This link goes to OCLC's guide to creating and maintaining Local Holdings Records for use in WorldCat and the OCLC batch processing service.

Local Holdings Offline Product Quick Reference

This document explains how to order the Local Holdings Offline Product, download it and import it into Excel.  It is particularly helpful for libraries wishing to export their local journal holdings data to support ILL or document delivery services.

ONIX for Serials SOH: Serials Online Holdings
Online Information Exchange (ONIX) for Serials SOH: Serials Online Holdings is a format "designed to convey information about online serial resources from suppliers – such as hosting services, publication access management services, agents or publishers – to end customers in subscribing libraries.  Information in SOH exchanges can be used to advise librarians and their user communities on which resources are available, in which formats and from which sources."  The link goes to the home page of ONIX, which contains user guides, code lists, and glossaries to enable libraries to implement the holdings information in their integrated library systems.


DOCLINE® is "the National Library of Medicine's automated interlibrary loan (ILL) request routing and referral system."  Libraries that participate in DOCLINE must report their serials holdings in a unique format for access by other participating libraries.   The link goes to an overview of the DOCLINE serials holdings format with additional information about adding or deleting holdings and generating holdings reports.


Publication Pattern Initiative

Aiming to develop a shared pattern database to facilitate predictive checkin in ILS implementation or migration, CONSER, the Cooperative Online Serials program began the publication pattern initiative in 1999.  The Project first “seeded” shared catalog records with pattern and holdings data from several large libraries and continued with additional and updated patterns and holdings by CONSER participants using the 891 field in OCLC CONSER records.  The CONSER publication pattern initiative home page contains documentation, guidelines, project experiments and reports developed by the Pattern Initiative and its Task Force.  The link goes to the CONSER page explaining the Publication Pattern Initiative.

Knowledge Base and Related Tools (KBART) Working Group

The KBART Working Group is a joint effort of the National Information Standards Organization and the UK Serials Group that is working to "[d]evelop and publish guidelines for best practice to effect smoother interaction between members of the knowledge base supply chain."   The link goes to the homepage of the KBART Working Group, where an overview of the group’s goals, its preliminary reports, and working documents can be accessed.



 SCCTP Serials Holdings Workshop

As one of the SCCTP workshops, "The Serials Cataloging Cooperative Training Program is a cooperative program that provides standardized training materials and trained trainers in the field of serials cataloging, through workshops sponsored by library associations, networks, and institutions."  The link goes to the SCCTP home page, with information about enrolling in the training program.  Training materials are free for download from the CONSER site.

NASIGuide: Serials Holdings

The North American Serials Interest Group presents a practical guide to implementing MARC21 Format for Holdings Data.  The link goes to the homepage, from which overviews, explanations of MARC fields, and examples can be accessed.

NASIGuide: MARC Coding for Serials

NASIG presents a practical guide to creating and interpreting MARC records for serials.  The link goes directly to this online guide.



United States Newspaper Program

The United States Newspaper Program is a project of the National Endowment for the Humanities that provides funding for one library in each state to microfilm historical newspapers.   The Library of Congress coordinates holdings information about newspapers held by participating libraries as part of this historical preservation project.  The link goes to a searchable database of holdings information for newspapers preserved by participating libraries.



MARC 21 Format for Holdings Data

Kathryn D. Ellis, “Understanding the MARC format for holdings data (MFHD),” The Serials Librarian 40, no. 1/2 (2001), 7-18.

Shelley Neville, “Implementing and appreciating the MARC holdings format,” The Serials Librarian 40, no. 3/4 (2001), 343-8.

Diane Hillmann, Ruth Hass and Rachel Hollis, “Implementing MARC 21 for Holdings,” The Serials Librarian 44, no. 1/2 (2003), 5-9.

Paul Moeller and Wen-ying Lu, ”MARC 21 Format for Serials Holdings: A Survey on the Acceptance and Use of Standards,” Serials Review 31, no. 2 (June 2005), 90-102.

Kay Johnson, Column Editor, with contributions from Yumin Jiang, Richard P. Hulser, and Frieda Rosenberg, “Electronic Journal Holdings Data Usage: Result of a Survey,” Serials Review 29, no. 4 (Winter 2003), 295-301.

Shirley Lincicum, “An Introduction to Holdings Standards,” Computers in Libraries 24, no. 2 (February 2004), 10-12, 14, 16.

Frieda Rosenberg, “Do Holdings Have a Future?” (presented at NASIG Annual Conference, June 28, 1998).  Available at http://www.lib.unc.edu/cat/mfh/mfhfuture.html



Kevin M. Randall, “Formatting holdings statements according to the NISO standard Z39.71-1999,” The Serials Librarian 40, no. 3/4 (2001), 261-6.


ONIX for Serials

Bob Persing, “Using the ONIX standard to manage serials,” The Serials Librarian 42, no. 3/4 (2002), 235-40.

Priscilla Caplan, “Stretching ONIX for Serials: The Joint Working Party on the Exchange of Serials Subscription Information,” Against the Grain 15, no. 6 (Dec. 2003/Jan. 2004), 88-9.

Mark H. Needleman, “ONIX for Serials--The NISO/EDItEUR Joint Working Party,” Serials Review 31, no. 4 (December 2005), 324-5.

“Serials Solutions in ONIX Study,” Library Journal 131, no. 2 (February 1 2006), 28.

Linda Miller and Katharina Klemperer, “What Is ONIX for Serials? What Potential Does It Have for the Serials Workflow?” Serials Review 32, no. 1 (March 2006), 40-1.

Ho-Chin Chen and Hsiao-Hui Chang, “A Study on ONIX for Serials,” Journal of Educational Media & Library Sciences 45, no. 3 (Spring 2008), 285-302.



Kay Johnson, “Electronic Journal Holdings Data Usage: Results of a Survey,” Serials Review 29, no. 4 (2003), 295-301.

Xiaotian Chen, “Assessment of full-text sources used by serials management systems, OpenURL link resolvers, and imported e-journal MARC records,” Online Information Review 28, no. 6 (2004), 428-34.

Peter McCracken and Michael A. Arthur, “KBART: Best Practices in Knowledgebase Data Transfer,” The Serials Librarian 56, no. 1-4 (January/June 2009), 230-5.



Donnice Cochenour, “Michigan State University's serials journey: a merry little spartan tale of MARC holdings,” The Serials Librarian 42, no. 3/4 (2002), 255-60.

Allen Ashman, “Serials Holdings Retention in Louisville Libraries, 1943-2002,” Kentucky Libraries 66, no. 4 (Fall 2002), 4-8. 

Elizabeth C. Henry, “Journal holdings lists on Web sites: designs that non-specialized staff can build and maintain,” The Serials Librarian 42, no. 3/4 (2002), 165-9.

William Anderson, “The Library of Congress Serial Holdings Conversion Project,” The Serials Librarian  49, no. 1/2 (2005), 211-40.

David Banush, Martin Kurth, and Jean Pajerek, “Rehabilitating Killer Serials: An Automated Strategy for Maintaining E-journal Metadata,” Library Resources & Technical Services 49, no. 3 (July 2005), 190-203.

Kalyani Parthasarathy, “Serials Holdings Conversion Project at the University of New Orleans' Earl K. Long Library: an Outsourcing Experience,” Louisiana Libraries 69, no. 1 (Summer 2006), 12-15.

Steven C. Shadle, Sion Romaine, Frieda Rosenberg, Ted Schwitzner, Naomi Young, and Patricia Howe, “MARC Holdings Conversion: Now That We're Here, What Do We Do?,” The Serials Librarian 56, no. 1-4 (January/June 2009), 168-80.