Major Differences Between Third and Fourth Editions


1 Major New or Revised Areas
2 New Fields


The fourth edition of Bibliographic Formats and Standards (September 2008) is a complete revision of the entire book. In addition to incorporating the relevant information from all technical bulletins, highlights of the revision include the items below.

1 Major New or Revised Areas

Continuing/integrating resources

Information explaining new coding for Continuing/Integrating Resources can be found in BLvl, Type, S/L   Entry Convention, field 247 and throughout the document.

Abbreviated-level records

OCLC introduced new guidelines for Abbreviated level records (Encoding Level 3 records) in 2008 in Technical Bulletin 256. These have now been incorporated into Chapter 2, along with a chart comparing the different encoding levels. See Chapter 2 (Online Cataloging), 2.4, Full, Minimal, and Abbreviated-Level Cataloging.

Parallel records

The discussion of parallel records (records with different languages of cataloging noted in field 040, subfield b) has been significantly expanded to include:

  • Examples of correctly coded records, incorrectly coded records, and hybrid records
  • Instructions for correcting or reporting parallel record errors
  • The policy change eliminating the vendor exception (previously documented in Technical Bulletin 250). Vendor records are now treated exactly like all other records in regard to language of cataloging.

See Chapter 3 (Special Cataloging Guidelines), 3.10 Parallel Records for Language of Cataloging.

Database enrichment

Additional fields that libraries can add to full-level records have been added to the "Fields you can add or edit" table in Chapter 5 (Quality Assurance), 5.3 Database Enrichment.


Added examples and explanations for 10- and 13-digit ISBNs, as well as EANs (international article numbers) are found in fields 020 and 024.

2 New Fields

New fields

The fields below are new in the fourth edition.

Part Music Parts
TrAr Transposition and Arrangement
012 Terminal Display
026 Fingerprint Identifier
031 Musical Incipits Information
079 OCLC Master Record Number
258 Philatelic Issue Data
563 Binding Information
648 Subject Added Entry - Chronological Term
662 Subject Added Entry - Hierarchical Place Name
695 Added Class Number
696 Local Subject Added Entry - Personal Name
697 Local Subject Added Entry - Corporate Name
698 Local Subject Added Entry - Meeting Name
699 Local Subject Added Entry - Uniform Title
720 Added Entry - Uncontrolled Name
796 Local Added Entry - Personal Name
797 Local Added Entry - Corporate Name
798 Local Added Entry - Meeting Name
799 Local Added Entry - Uniform Title
896 Local Series Added Entry - Personal Name
897 Local Series Added Entry - Corporate Name
898 Local Series Added Entry - Meeting Name
899 Local Series Added Entry - Uniform Title
901–907 User-Option Data
989 Project Identifier