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Discusses the basic issues relating to bibliographic control of maps and related materials. Discusses rules and standards covering such cataloging, as well as application of the rules and principles both in general and in response to specific problems, and various practicing options.

This group is part of Core's Metadata & Collections Section.

Removal of Field 655 "Electronic books" in WorldCat Records

  • 1.  Removal of Field 655 "Electronic books" in WorldCat Records

    Posted Aug 16, 2022 04:05 PM

    The term "Electronic books" has never been valid for use in either LCSH or LCGFT as a genre/form heading (field 655). Although many institutions have long used it in WorldCat bibliographic records, it is a restatement of the type of carrier of a resource rather than an indication of the form or genre of the content. The usage of this term in field 655 may have been useful in the early days of eBooks, but with implementation of RDA, the MARC 21 format now has many metadata elements that provide information to determine if a resource is an electronic book:


    • Form fixed field coded for electronic resource
    • 006 Additional material characteristics for the computer file aspects of the resource
    • 007 for electronic resource
    • Field 300
    • 33x Fields


    Information about coding electronic resources in MARC can be found in Bibliographic Formats and Standards 3.3.1 Electronic Resources:  


    OCLC has consulted with members of the ALA Core Subject Analysis Committee regarding the term "Electronic books"; their advice was to remove this term from WorldCat bibliographic records, since it is redundant and just adds clutter to the records.     


    OCLC will be removing "Electronic books" in field 655 from WorldCat records when the term is coded as coming from LCSH, LCGFT, from an unspecific controlled vocabulary, or local controlled vocabulary. The following are the four scenarios where the term will be removed:


    • 655 _ 0 Electronic books
    • 655 _7 Electronic books $2 lcgft
    • 655 _ 4 Electronic books
    • 655 _7 Electronic books $2 local


    If your organization would still like to have "Electronic books" in field 655 there are other options that can be used, such as Local Bibliographic Data (LBD) for those institutions that use the WorldShare Management System (WMS). For information on LBDs, please see 3.4.1 Copy- or Institution-Specific Information: For institutions that have other integrated library platforms you can export the record with a 655 second indicator 4 or second indicator 7 and subfield 2 "local" when the term is in a local control vocabulary list. Please do not leave this field on WorldCat records as it will be deleted.


    The project to remove these headings from WorldCat records will commence in September 2022.


    If you have any questions or comments on this project, please contact us at


    Please excuse duplication of this message.





    Jay Weitz


    OCLC · Senior Consulting Database Specialist, Membership and Research

    6565 Kilgour Place, Dublin, Ohio USA 43017

    T +1-614-764-6156 · T +1-800-848-5878 x6156 · F +1-614-718-7195

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    Jay Weitz
    Senior Consulting Database Specialist
    Online Computer Library Center