OCLC Catalog Cards

On September 30, 2015, OCLC will end support for Accessions List and Catalog Cards, which have had declining use in recent years.  For more information, please see “Cataloging Cards and Accessions list” FAQs located at http://oc.lc/cc-al or contact Support at support@oclc.org.


This user guide describes OCLC catalog cards. It has guidelines and examples of data you input into records that affect card production. It also has some information on how data in records affects accessions lists and OCLC-MARC subscription records for those who produce cards and subscribe to these services. This document also contains guidelines for using Alternate Produce commands. It lists rules the system uses for sorting cards, guidelines for reporting problems, ordering reruns, and receiving credits. It lists rules for when the system produces zc cards and "bad cards."

Note: This document is a revised version of chapter 7, Catalog Cards from the Cataloging User Guide, which is obsolete.

1 Introduction to OCLC Catalog Cards


This section explains how holding library codes, receiving catalogs, and card production are related. An example illustrates the relationship.

Archive records

When you produce, update, replace, or delete holdings, the system creates an archive record. The record is a copy of what appears on the screen. OCLC stores the record for each day's transactions in a machine-readable file. It uses the archive records to create the records you receive in electronic files, accessions lists, and on magnetic tape, and to print catalog cards. Your OCLC Cataloging Profile and other offline product orders specify what products-electronic files of records, magnetic tapes, catalog cards, or accessions lists-the system creates for you and the characteristics of those products.

OCLC Cataloging Profile

When an institution becomes an OCLC member, it completes an OCLC Cataloging Profile that allows customized use of OCLC services, including cataloging cards. The profile defines holding libraries and codes, receiving catalogs, types of cards produced for each receiving catalog, and catalog card specifications, such as automatic input stamps, and various automatic data added to cards. A Cataloging Profile may specify that an institution not receive cards.

Receiving catalogs

A receiving catalog is the physical catalog into which each sequence of cards you receive is filed (such as a public catalog, shelflist, or departmental catalog). In the simplest arrangement, a library has 2 receiving catalogs: (1) a public catalog with all types of entries in alphabetical order and (2) a shelflist with one card for each title sorted in call-number sequence. Or, in another arrangement, if shelflist cards for the reference collection are filed in a separate call-number sequence from shelflist cards for the general collection, the library has 3 receiving catalogs: (1) a public catalog, (2) a general collection shelflist, and (3) a reference collection shelflist.

Defining holding libraries and codes

Each collection in your library that has unique processing requirements (such as a separate shelflist or a unique location stamp) is a holding library. During profiling, you define your holding collections and assign each a holding library code. For example, a general collection, a music collection, and a science collection each has a holding library code.

Holding library code specifications

For each holding library code, your profile defines the following:

  • The types of cards produced (main entry, title entry, subject entry, shelflist, and so forth)
  • Location stamps, notes, and tracings to appear on each type of card.
  • The receiving catalogs (for example, public catalog, main shelflist) into which each card is filed. Cards for several holding libraries may file into one receiving catalog. For example, cards for a music collection may file into the public catalog along with cards for the general collection and the science collection. In addition, the music and the science collections may have cards that file into separate department catalogs.
  • The sort order (the sequence in which the cards are delivered) for each receiving catalog that receives cards from the holding library code. For example, alphabetic order, call number order (shelflist only), user-data order, LCCN order or Input stamp/call number order.
  • The classification scheme.
  • The subject headings authority.
  • Added copy cards. Each holding library code may be profiled to produce added copy cards. How you profile your holding libraries for added copies depends on your workflow, how you process multiple copies, and so forth.
  • Extra copy cards. All holding library codes are profiled for xc cards that allow production of an extra copy card for a specific holding library code when needed.
  • zc cards. All holding library codes are profiled for zc cards, which are produced when an error occurs in card production. See section 11 for more information.


When you send Produce commands, the system uses your profile to create the correct cards for holding library codes in field 049, as the following example illustrates:

Catalog Entries Receiving Catalog  
Action (Cards Produced by OCLC) (Cards Filed into the Receiving Catalog)
Produce cards 1 Main entry card Public catalog
for ABCG 1 Title entry card (Main entry, title, subject, added entry cards)
(General Subject and added entry cards  
collection) 1 General shelflist card General shelflist
    (General shelflist card)
Produce cards 2 Main entry cards Public catalog
for ABCM 2 Title entry cards (Main entry, title, subject, added entry cards)
(Music 2 sets of subject and added  
collection) entry cards Music department catalog
  1 Music shelflist card (Main entry, title, subject, added entry cards)
    Music Shelflist
    (Music shelflist card)
Produce cards 2 Main entry cards Public catalog
for ABCS 2 Title entry cards (Main entry, title, subject, added entry cards)
(Science 2 sets of subject and added  
collection) entry cards Science department catalog
  1 Science shelflist card (Main entry, title, subject, added entry cards)
    Science shelflist
    (Science shelflist card)

Added complexity

As a library's needs become more complex, for example, as branches are added to a library system, profiling and catalog card production become more complex. The previous example is a simple arrangement to illuminate the principles.

2 Field 049 and Input Stamps


This section has information about how data in field 049 affects catalog card production.

Field 049

Field 049 (Local Holdings) contains holding library code(s) and copy and volume designations of items held by an institution.

Options for data in field 049

The system automatically displays the default holding library code in field 049. The following table describes several options for card production:

Option Description
Default produce Produce cards for the holding library that automatically displays in field 049. You can produce the record without changing field 049.
Nondefault produce Produce cards for a collection other than your default holding code. Enter the alternative holding library code in field 049 subfield ‡a and produce.
Multiple produce Produce cards for the receiving catalogs for all holding library codes in field 049 subfield ‡a. Codes may be in one subfield ‡a, separated by commas or in multiple subfield ‡a's. For example,
049 ABCM ‡a ABCR ‡a ABCS
Input Stamps in field 049 In addition to holding library codes, subfield ‡a of field 049 may contain input stamps. An input stamp is a character or group of characters that you enter to be printed on catalog cards above or below the call number. For example:


049 [Spec Col] ABCM A one-line stamp prints above the call number.
049 [Ref] ABCM [Also][Circ.] A one-line stamp prints above the call number and a 2-line stamp prints below.
049 ABCM[c.1] ‡a ABCR [c.2] ‡a [Also Ref] ABCD[c.3] Copy stamps print below the call number for ABCM, ABCR, and ABCD; and, for ABCD a one-line stamp prints above the call number.

Input stamps and cataloging profile

Your profile determines cards on which input stamps print. For example, if you are profiled for an input stamp to print below the call number only on certain cards, the characters that you enter following the holding library code appear only on those cards regardless of what you enter in the field 049.

OCLC-MARC Subscription records

OCLC-MARC subscription records carry holding library codes exactly as entered: uppercase, lowercase, or mixed; in a single subfield ‡a or in multiple subfield ‡a's. Check local guidelines to ensure correct processing of records in your local system.

More information

For more information on the content of field 049, see Bibliographic Formats and Standards.

3 Call Numbers


This section has information about how data in call number fields affect catalog card production.

Call numbers

Each holding library code is profiled for one of the following classification schemes:

  • Library of Congress
  • Government Documents
  • Dewey Decimal
  • National Library of Canada
  • National Library of Medicine
  • National Agricultural Library

Call number fields in records

A valid call number (or "x-suppression" character. See 3 for information about x-suppression) for a class scheme for which you are profiled must appear in one of the following fields when you produce:

  • 050 Library of Congress Call Number
  • 086 Government Document Classification Number
  • 055 National Library of Canada Call Number
  • 090 Local Library of Congress Call Number
  • 060 National Library of Medicine Call Number
  • 092 Dewey Call Number
  • 070 National Agricultural Library Call Number
  • 096 Local National Library of Medicine Call Number
  • 080 Universal Decimal Classification Number
  • 098 Other Classification Scheme
  • 082 Dewey Decimal Classification Number
  • 099 Local Free-Text Call Number

Call number selection priority

If multiple call numbers appear in the record, the system selects a call number to be used on a catalog card based on the following priority order and classification scheme of the holding library code in field 049:

Classification Scheme Selection Priority
Library of Congress 099, 098, 090, 050
Dewey Decimal 099, 098, 092
National Library of Medicine 099, 098, 096, 060, 090, 050
Government Documents 099, 098, 086
National Library of Canada 099, 098, 055, 090, 050
National Agricultural Library 099, 098, 070, 090, 050

Line number priority

If the record has 2 or more call numbers with the highest priority, the system selects the field having the highest line number.

Accessions lists

For accession lists, the system selects the call number with the highest line number, regardless of classification scheme. Before producing, ensure your call number is the highest line number or delete unwanted call numbers from the record.

Options for entering Call Numbers

The following table describes options for card production with call numbers:

Option Description
Accept call number If the record has an acceptable call number, you need not supply any additional call number.
Revise call number If the record has a call number you want to revise slightly, edit the existing field. For example you may modify a book number by replacing, adding, or deleting characters.
Add new call number If the record has no call number in the classification scheme you use or the existing number needs extensive revision, add a new call number in the default call number field that appears directly above field 049. If the holding library is profiled for a classification scheme other than the default, type over the tag and insert the call number for the holding library.

OCLC-MARC Subscription service records

OCLC-MARC Subscription service records contain all call numbers present in the record at the time of produce. Check local guidelines to determine local call number processing specifications.

Call number suppression (x-suppression)

Some holding libraries require cards with no call number. Your profile designates a character to appear in the call number field, usually x, that alerts the system not to print a call number on the catalog card. You type the character in the call number field. The option is called x-suppression.

Field to use with class scheme

Each classification schemes uses a specific field for x-suppression. Use the following table to determine which field you should use for the classification scheme for which you are profiled:

Classification Scheme Selection Priority
Library of Congress 090
Dewey Decimal 092
National Library of Medicine 096
Government Documents No x suppression available
National Library of Canada 055
National Agricultural Library No x suppression available
Government Documents No x suppression available


The following list summarizes x-suppression:

  • x-suppression cards print without a call number, but automatic stamps for the holding library and any input stamps print as profiled.
  • Use the profiled character, for example x, for call number suppression. Any other character or data is treated as a call number and prints on the cards.
  • The system does not suppress data in fields 099 and 098. You cannot use field 099 and 098 for x-suppression.
  • No record should be added to WorldCat with the x-suppression data in a call number field that is retained in the master record. If using a workform or new record, update the record first with the appropriate call number, and then add the x-suppression to produce catalog cards.

4 Title Paragraph Printing


This section describes title paragraph printing.

Fields print in the title paragraph area in the following order:

245 Title Statement
250 Edition Statement
254 Musical Presentation Statement
255 Cartographic Mathematical Data
256 Computer File Characteristics
257 Country of Producing Entity for Archival Films
362 Dates of Publication and/or Sequential Designation (1st indicator value 0)
260 Publication, Distribution, Etc. (Imprint)
261 Imprint Statement for Films (Pre-AACR1 Revised)
245 00 Word processing report.
250   International ed.
260   London : ‡b Geyer-McAllister Publications, ‡c 1971-
362  0 Vol. 1, no. 6 (Oct. 1971)-
Prints as: 
Word processing report. -- International ed. -- Vol. 1,
    no. 6 (Oct. 1971)- . --  London : Geyer-McAllister
    Publications, 1971-
245  0 4 The Wall Street journal.
250     Southwest ed.
260     New York : ‡b Dow Jones
Prints as: 
The Wall Street journal. -- Southwest ed. -- New York : Dow Jones
245 1  0 Salve Regina für Chor und Orchester / ‡c Vincenzo Bellini ; herausgegeben von Gerhard Frommel.
250     Erstausg.
254     Partitur.
260  0   Stuttgart : ‡b Carus-Verlag, ‡c c1984.
Prints as: 
Salve Regina für Chor und Orchester / Vincenzo Bellini ;
    herausgegeben von Gerhard Frommel. -- Erstausg. -- Partitur. --
    Stuttgart : Carus-Verlag, c1984.
245 1  0 Road atlas Europe / ‡c Bartholomew.
250     1978/79 ed.
255     Scales differ.
260  0   Edinburgh [Scotland] : ‡b John Bartholomew & Son, ‡c c1980.
Prints as: 
Road atlas Europe / Bartholomew. -- 1978/79 ed. -- Scales differ.
    -- Edinburgh [Scotland] : John Bartholomew & Son, c1980.
245  0  0 Mathematics ‡h [electronic resource].
250     Version 3.1.
256     Electronic program (2 files).
260     [Saint Paul, Minn.] : ‡b Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium, ‡c c1980-1981.
Prints as: 
Mathematics [electronic resource]. -- Version 3.1. -- Electronic
    program (2 files).  -- [Saint Paul, Minn.] : Minnesota Educational
    Computing Consortium, c1980-1981.
100 1   Tippett, Michael, ‡d 1905-
245  0  0 String quartet no. 4 (1978) / ‡c Michael Tippett.
254     Study score.
260     London ; ‡a New York : ‡b Schott, ‡c c1982.
Prints as: 
Tippett, Michael, 1905-
    String quartet no. 4 (1978) / Michael Tippett. -- Study score. -- London ;
New York : Schott, c1982.
100 1   Symonds, Robert Wemyss, ‡d 1889-1958.
245 1 2 A book of English clocks / ‡c by R.W. Symonds.
250     Rev. ed.
260     London : ‡b Penguin Books, ‡c 1950.
Prints as: 
Symonds, Robert Wemyss, 1889-1958.
    A book of English clocks / by R.W. Symonds. -- Rev. ed. -- London :
Penguin Books, 1950.

5 Subject Headings


This section has information about how data in subject heading fields affects catalog card production.

Agencies create subject authorities

Authority agencies create subject headings and are responsible for the content, production, and distribution of subject authorities, the documented guides that list the headings produced by the agency. For example, the Library of Congress is the agency responsible for producing Library of Congress Subject Headings.

Subject headings

Each holding library code is profiled to print subject headings from subject authorities. Fields 600-651 contain subject headings for each authority, and fields 690 and 691 contain subject headings for local authority. The system prints field 690 and/or 691 whenever they are in the record. The system selects and prints a heading in field 600-651 when the conditions below are met:

  • Indicator value (listed below under Fields Selected) is in the field
  • Holding library code is profiled for the Subject authority classification scheme
Subject Authority Scheme Field Selected
Library of Congress Subject Headings 600-651 (2nd indicator 0), 690, 691
Library of Congress Subject Headings for Children's Literature or Annotated Card program (AC) 600-651 (2nd indicator 1), 690, 691
National Library of Medicine Subject Headings 600-651 (2nd indicator 2), 690, 691
National Agricultural Library Subject Headings 600-651 (2nd indicator 3), 690, 691
National Library of Canada Subject Headings/English 600-651 (2nd indicator 5), 690, 691
National Library of Canada Subject Headings/French 600-651 (2nd indicator 6), 690, 691
Special Subject Headings 600-651 (2nd indicator 7), 690, 691
Sears Subject Headings 600-651 (2nd indicator 8), 690, 691

Guidelines for subject headings in records

The following table describes guidelines for subject headings in records:

Option Description
Other subject headings in the record A record may have subject headings from an authority other than those profiled for the holding library code. Subject headings from such authorities do not print, so you need not delete the fields.
Different authority If you want a subject from a different authority to print, change its second indicator value to a value for a subject heading scheme for which the holding library code in field 049 is profiled.
Local headings Enter all local subject headings in 690 and 691.

Genre headings

Genre headings (655 fields) print if an institution is profiled to receive them.

OCLC-MARC records

Records have all subject and genre headings present when you produce. Depending on how you process records, you may want to delete unwanted headings.

6 User-option Data, Long Words, Fixed Field, Print Constants


This section has information about how data in field 910 and the fixed field affect catalog card production. It also has information about long words and their effect on catalog card production.

User-option data

Use the following guidelines when adding field 910.

  • Add field 910 (User-Option data) for data of local interest, for example, an accession number. Data in 910 prints in the user-option area of cards. Your profile determines the cards on which the data prints.
  • No more than 21 characters can print. If you enter more than 21 characters, only the first 21 print. However, the entire 910 field is retained in the archive record and is on OCLC-MARC Subscription records.
  • Many institutions are profiled for data to be printed automatically in the user-option data. Any data added to field 910 automatically overrides supplied data; therefore, add field 910 only if you are not profiled for automatic user data. To supply information normally printed automatically and new information, add two 910 fields. Type in the formerly automatic information in one field and type the new information in the other.

Long words

A word is an unhyphenated group of characters between blank spaces. Use the following guidelines for long words in records:

  • The maximum number of characters that can print on one line of a catalog card is 48, minus the number of spaces in the left margin. For example, if a line on a card begins in the 10th character position, 39 characters can print on that line.
  • The print program cannot print cards for a record that has a word longer than 48 characters (one line). Check your record for long words before producing. Count the number of characters including diacritics in any word that may be too long. If the word is too long, insert a space or a hyphen to break the word.
  • To conform to AACR2 and LC practice, do not enter a record with artificial word breaks. When using a workform or new record with a long word, use the Update command to add the record to WorldCat, then reformat, edit, and produce.

Fixed-field guidelines

The following table describes fixed-field guidelines that affect card production:

Guideline Issue
Verify Lang in records to ensure your cards are sorted correctly. Lang (Language) specifies the principal language of the text and identifies initial articles to be ignored in sorting cards.
Verify Desc before produce to ensure that cards are punctuated correctly. Desc (Descriptive Cataloging Form) indicates whether the item has been cataloged according to the International Standard Bibliographic Description (ISBD). It determines whether the print program supplies ISBD print constants and inter-field punctuation.
Check the fixed field before you produce or update to maintain accurate archive records. Archive records: Data in the fixed field is in your archive records. Check the fixed field before you produce or update to maintain accurate local archive records. OCLC-MARC records: Data in the fixed field is in your records.

Print constants for card producers

Some variable fields have print constants, words and/or punctuation that do not appear in the displayed record but are supplied on catalog cards or by some local systems. Do not type print constants in the record.

For example, using first indicator value 0 in field 510 causes the print constant Indexed by: to print before the note in 510 on catalog cards. Do not type Indexed by: in field 510.

See Bibliographic Formats and Standards or local guidelines for information about print constants.

7 Alternate Produce Procedures


This section describes several different procedures and provides guidelines for using Alternate Produce commands: All, Add, and Extra card.

Procedures in this section

These procedures describe production of cards for multiple locations and offer general guidelines. Card production for your institution may vary, depending on your profile and on whether your institution uses the OCLC-MARC Subscription service. The procedures use examples that describe a "union catalog" at a main library. The union catalog contains entries for other catalogs in a library system file.

OCLC-MARC Subscription service records and produce procedures

The system creates an archive record each time you produce regardless of whether you have produced on that record before. If you use the OCLC-MARC Subscription Service, you may have special procedures for producing on records on which you have previously produced over time. For example, local practice may require the last record produced to carry all locations and holdings data. You may need to use the Update command following Produce commands. Follow local guidelines.

All locations command

Produce cards for all locations in a single transaction unless the locations have unique cataloging requirements that cannot be accounted for by your profile. For example, the profile determines which call number and subject headings print for each holding library, but other differences cannot be accounted for by the profile. For example, a local free-text call number (099) overrides all other call numbers. If one copy uses a local free-text call number and other copies use a Library of Congress call number, the copy using 099 must be produced separately. Or, each copy may require a unique local note (590) or user-option data (910). Follow local guidelines.

Added cards command

An added card is a catalog card you order for copies of items you already hold, but for which you need additional card sets. You may need added cards in these situations:

  • Item held in main and branches
  • Item held in branches only
  • Item previously cataloged for another location (suppress duplicate cards for a union catalog)
  • If branch library is profiled to print cards for union catalog at main library and cards for the branch
  • To suppress duplicate cards for a union catalog

For procedures used to produce added cards, see Connexion help for the interface you are using (browser or client). You may also consult the documentation for the browser or the client.

Extra cards command

Extra cards are additional cards produced at the explicit command of the user. The information in the cards is determined by your OCLC Cataloging profile. You may need added cards in these situations:

  • To produce all cards for all holding libraries in field 049, plus extra cards for each holding library
  • To produce extra cards for main and branch libraries
  • To produce extra cards for some locations, but not others

For procedures used to produce extra cards, see Connexion help for the interface you are using (browser or client). You may also consult the documentation for the browser or the client.

Multiple holding libraries

When an item is held by multiple libraries, such as main and branch libraries, you may need to produce added cards, extra cards, or a combination. For sample situations, see the examples above under Added cards and Extra cards.

For procedures used to produce cards for multiple holding libraries, see Connexion help for the interface you are using (browser or client). You may also consult the documentation for the browser or the client.

8 Card Appearance and Card Packs


This section describes a typical catalog card and describes the data on cards. It also describes types of packs and illustrates a Start of Pack card.

Example of catalog card Cards are standard 3 by 5 inches on acid-free stock:

Example catalog card

Note: OCLC cards are formatted as above, but the typeface may vary slightly.

Card format

Cards have the following parts:

Part Description
Call number The call number, location, and holdings information for oversize symbols, if applicable.
Heading The added entry heading, name, title or series, or a subject heading.
Main entry The main heading from a 1xx field, or the title or uniform title if title main entry is used.
Uniform title The bracketed filing title from field 240 or 243.
Title page transcription The title, editing, formatted data, and volume designation for serial, and publication information.
Physical description and series statements The physical description from field 300 and series statements from 4xx fields in parentheses.
Notes Notes from 5xx fields and notes generated from other fields.
Tracings Subject headings and added entry tracings.
Record and user identification The MARC Institution code for your organization (formerly NUC [National Union Catalog]) symbol, user option data, the pack symbol, and the Library of Congress control number.

Schematic representation of OCLC catalog card

Below is a schematic representation of the format of an OCLC catalog card. The size and typeface differ from those actually used on OCLC cards.

Schematic representation of OCLC catalog card

Arrangements of cards in packs

Within each pack, OCLC arranges cards in the sorting sequence specified by your OCLC Cataloging Profile. See section 8 for more information.

Card packs

A card pack is the collection of cards produced in one day for one receiving catalog. The system sends one card pack for each receiving catalog.

Start of pack card

The system identifies each pack by a start of pack card.

Pack symbol

The pack symbol is the OCLC holding library code and a 2-character mnemonic description of the type of catalog, for example, sl for shelflist, sc for subject, dc for dictionary.

xc pack

Extra main entry cards come in separate xc card packs.

zc pack

If an error prevents production of a full set of cards, you get a zc pack. See section 11 for information on when the system produces a zc card.

Exceptions pack

If a heading is too long to print with the maximum number of lines, all the cards for that item come in an Exceptions pack. The cover card on the pack indicates it is an Exceptions pack.

9 Rules for Card Sorting


This section lists rules for sorting call numbers and describes how entries and articles are sorted. It also lists words the system abbreviates and the abbreviations used for sorting.

Entry sorting

Cards are sorted alphabetically (word by word) by the first 60 characters of the main entry through title or by heading (including names) through main entry. Numerals are sorted after alphabetic characters. You may also have main entry cards sorted by LC control number or user-option data in field 910 (User Defined data).


For title entry sorting, the system follows the following rules for articles of the alphabetized entries. The system determines the language of a record by the language code in the Fixed-field element Lang (Language):

  • The system ignores English initial articles a, an, and the for all records regardless of the language of the record. For example, in any title beginning with the word a, the a is ignored. For records that have N/A in Lang (for example, musical scores with no text), the system ignores only the initial English articles regardless of the language of the record.
  • The system ignores initial articles for Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish language records. Contractions of initial articles, however, are sorted, for example, L' sorts under L in French records. The French initial article La is ignored even if it is a personal name entry.
  • Filing indicators do not affect sorting for articles.

Special characters and abbreviations

The following special characters and abbreviations are sorted as follows:

Special Characters
and Abbreviation
Sorted As
æ Æ   ae
œ Œ   oe
ø Ø   o
arr.     arrangf (an approximation of arranger, arrangement)
Brit     Britain
Dept.     Department
Ed.     Editor
Govt.     Government
Gt.     Great
M'     Mac
Mc     Mac
Mr.     Mister
No.     Number
Nos.     Number
N.T.     New Testament
O.T.     Old Testament
St.     Saint
Tr.     Translb (an approximation of translator, translated)
U.S.     United States
U.S.A.     United States of America
Vol     Volume
Vols     Volume

Call number sorting

The system sorts shelflist cards by call number if you are so profiled. Your input stamp above the call number can also be included in the sort.

Call number sorting system rules

The following rules govern system actions for sorting call numbers:

  • The system sorts the input stamp and/or class number up to the first cutter.
  • Library of Congress call numbers sort as follows: class letters, class numbers, decimal class numbers, and data (or number that precedes the first cutter).
  • The system sorts the entire Government Document call number.

10 Guidelines for Reporting Card Problems


This section defines general card problems and has guidelines for when to report problems.

Causes of card errors

The following causes account for most card production errors:

Cause of Problem Examples of Typical Errors
Cataloging profile has errors Incorrect automatic stamps, stamps on the wrong card, wrong format and type of call number, wrong format or type subject headings, cards consistently in the wrong order, all cards for a holding library are unit cards, same type of card consistently missing, card packs consistently in the wrong order.
Input from record has errors Spelling errors, incorrectly placed input stamps, incorrectly formatted cards, misplaced data, missing cards (if you forget to send the Produce command after editing).
Production problems at OCLC Poor print quality, cards out of order, late cards, cards received out of sequence, damaged cards, no cards received.

Profiling errors

Profiling problems generally occur when you first start cataloging online or when you change your profile. Report profiling problems immediately. Profiling problems are characterized by consistency; that is, the same error happens in the same place every time. You should scrutinize your beginning production and periodically check it for profiling problems.

Input errors

Input errors are usually obvious mistakes like misspellings that occur once. The most common input error is missing cards when you forget to send the Produce command after editing.

Production errors

Production errors are usually one-time occurrences. The most common production problem is cards that arrive late because of being misdirected in the mail.

Guidelines for reporting problems

Use the following guidelines to determine whether to report a problem:

  • If you are a new member or you recently changed your cataloging profile, examine several days production, and report profiling problems as soon as possible. For large numbers of cards with errors, request reruns. See section 10 for information on when to request a rerun.
  • Do not report input errors. Reproduce the cards online.
  • Do not report one-time production errors unless they are severe (for example, poor print quality, missing entire day's production, and so forth). If you have a series of one-time problems, report them to alert your network/service center or distributor and OCLC that there may be a system problem that needs resolution. For large numbers of cards, request a rerun. See section 10 for information on when to request a rerun.

11 Guidelines for Reruns and Credits


This section has guidelines for when to request a rerun of cards and when to request credits.

Guidelines for reruns

If a profiling error or production error caused problems with your cards, OCLC can rerun the cards or you can produce the cards online and then request a credit. Use the following guidelines when determining whether to request a rerun:

  • Make requests as early in the warranty period as possible.
  • OCLC can only rerun an entire day's production for an institution or for one or more holding library codes. OCLC cannot rerun cards for selected receiving catalogs.
  • OCLC only reruns cards if production for the day exceeds 25 titles. For profiling and production errors of fewer than 25, reproduce the cards online, then request a credit.
  • Reruns cannot be made on records with input errors because the same errors occur in the rerun as the original.

Guidelines for credits

OCLC issues credits requested within the warranty period. Usually, a library requests credit for reproducing a small number of unacceptable or missing cards. OCLC also issues credits for profiling errors. OCLC does not issue credits for the following:

  • You already requested a rerun of the cards in question.
  • The cards were damaged at the library.
  • Duplicate cards that resulted from multiple Produce commands.
  • Duplicate cards because of printing of duplicates at OCLC. You are not charged for such duplicates and therefore receive no credit.
  • Blank cards in a pack. You are not charged for blank cards and therefore receive no credit.

Ordering reruns and credits

Contact your OCLC-affiliated regional network/service center or distributor to order a rerun or credit.

When to report problems

Report problems to your OCLC-affiliated regional network/service center or distributor. The office needs the holding library code and the dates of production to help in problem resolution.

12 zc Cards and Bad Cards


This section lists the conditions under which the system produces zc cards and defines and gives guidelines for correcting bad cards.

zc cards

The following rules govern when the system produces zc cards:

  • The record lacked the type of call number assigned to the holding library code.
  • The call number was not formatted or spaced as required. See Bibliographic Formats and Standards for information on call number formatting.
  • The call number contained a 1 (the number one) instead of the letter l or a 0 (the number zero) instead of the letter o, or vice versa.
  • The record contained a word that appeared on the card that was longer than 48 characters, minus the number of spaces in the left margin.
  • The author entry was too long to print on a single card.
  • The combined added entry and author entry were too long for a single card.
  • Call number, automatic stamp, and input stamps exceeded the number of lines available for the call number area on the card.
  • The record length required more than 9 cards in one card pack.
  • Field 245 (Title Statement) field subfield ‡a (Title) was more than 400 characters.

Bad cards

If a call number prints on line 7 or lower, the call number begins one or more lines below the first line of text and a portion of the call number is overprinted by the body of the card. The system produces a continuation card that has BAD CARD in the upper-left corner. Usually, only the title card is bad and can be manually repaired. Do not reproduce Bad Cards because the same error will occur again.