Abstract & revision notes


Bibliographic Formats and Standards is a guide to the bibliographic information about records in WorldCat. It provides tagging conventions, input standards, and guidelines for entering information in WorldCat records.

Revision in progress

The OCLC WorldCat Quality Management Division is revising Bibliographic Formats and Standards (BFAS). The bibliographic aspects of the OCLC-MARC Updates for 2014, documented in Technical Bulletins 263 and 264, have been implemented in WorldCat and are in the process of being incorporated into BFAS. We have finished incorporating the changes to BFAS that were part of the OCLC-MARC Updates for 2012 and 2013, which were documented in Technical Bulletins 261 and 262.

The larger job of revising BFAS in its entirety is ongoing and includes such changes as:

  • Updating policies
  • Incorporating references to RDA and the Library of Congress-Program for Cooperative Cataloging Policy Statements (LC-PCC PSs)
  • Adding and revising examples (RDA and nonRDA)
  • Adding links to Searching WorldCat Indexes

This process of review and revision is a huge undertaking that will happen gradually over time. This means you will see changes occurring throughout BFAS at frequent and irregular intervals (the date of the most recent update appears at the bottom of each page). As a result, there may be periods during which the book is inconsistent. Any such periods will be temporary.

We have brought together on the OCLC About RDA page links to LC, OCLC, and other documentation about RDA. These include the current OCLC RDA Policy Statement and a recorded Webinar that takes an in-depth look at that policy statement. Many cataloging communities (including AV, music, maps, etc.) are working on their own RDA best practices documents and we will be providing links to those as they become available.

Please send any questions or concerns to AskQC@oclc.org.

Revision history

Date Scope
2012 October

Information from Technical Bulletin 261: OCLC-MARC Format Update 2012 and Technical Bulletin 262: OCLC-MARC Format Update 2013.

2011 October

Information from Technical Bulletin 260: OCLC-MARC Format Update 2011. In addition to changes from the technical bulletin, this revision also includes miscellaneous changes throughout.

2010 July

Information from Technical Bulletin 258: OCLC-MARC Format Update 2010 including RDA Changes.

2010 February

Chapter 5: Quality Assurance revised to reflect that the changes of the Expert Community Experiment have been made permanent.

2009 December

Information from Technical Bulletin 257: OCLC-MARC Format Update 2009.

2008 September Bibliographic Formats and Standards, 4th edition. For more information, see Major Differences Between Third and Fourth Editions.

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