Revision History

Revision in progress

The OCLC WorldCat Quality Management Division continually revises Bibliographic Formats and Standards (BFAS). When a page within BFAS has been changed, a revision date appears at the end of the page, for example, "This page last revised: July 25, 2019."

In conjunction with the implementation of Resource Description and Access (RDA) in 2013, OCLC began a comprehensive multi-year project to thoroughly review, revise, reorganize, and update BFAS. You will see frequent changes throughout the text, which may result in some temporary inconsistencies. This ongoing revision of BFAS includes such changes as:

  • Updating policies
  • Adding references to RDA and the LC-PCC PSs 
  • Adding and revising both RDA and non-RDA examples 
  • Revisions to Chapters 1-5
  • Deleting references to card printing, which was discontinued in 2015
  • Documentation of Local Bibliographic Data (LBDs) and Local Holdings Records (LHRs) fields

In the Cataloging Documentation section of BFAS, we have also linked to many cataloging community best practice documents and other useful tools.

Please send any questions or concerns to

Revision chronology

Date Scope
2020 BFAS Chapter 5.2.3, Editing Capabilities for PCC Records, has been updated to include over two dozen fields newly opened to being added and/or edited. The Fixed Field Introduction page has been consolidated and updated. The Introduction to Call Numbers 050-099 page now includes revised information and examples for including multiple call numbers in a bibliographic record. The introductory pages for the 6XX and 7XX field ranges have been updated to better explain the groups of fields and how individual fields fit within those groupings. Punctuation sections have begun to be added to relevant field pages. Links to the MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data have begun to be added to most individual field pages. Information from all 2020 WorldCat Validation Release Notes has been incorporated.
2019 BFAS Chapter 2: Online Cataloging and Chapter 3: Special Cataloging Guidelines completely revised. Information from Technical Bulletin 269: OCLC-MARC Update 2019 being incorporated.
2018 BFAS Chapter 5: Quality Assurance completely revised. Updating of 76x-78x Linking Entry Fields completed. Documentation of Local Bibliographic Data (LBDs) and Local Holdings Records (LHRs) continued. Information from Technical Bulletin 268: OCLC-MARC Update 2018 incorporated. Continued the thorough update of BFAS.
2017 BFAS Chapter 4: When to Input a New Record completely revised. BFAS Chapter 5: Quality Assurance underway. Updating of 76x-78x Linking Entry Fields underway. Documentation of Local Bibliographic Data (LBDs) and Local Holdings Records (LHRs) in progress. Information from Technical Bulletin 267: OCLC-MARC Update 2017 incorporated. Continued the thorough update of BFAS.
2016 New Access Points and Control Subfields sections added. Links to Searching WorldCat Indexes added. Information from Technical Bulletin 266: OCLC-MARC Update 2016 incorporated. Continued the thorough update of BFAS.
2015 Information from Technical Bulletin 265: OCLC-MARC Format Update 2015 incorporated. Began deletion of references to card printing. Continued the thorough update of BFAS.
2014 Information from Technical Bulletin 263: OCLC-MARC Format Update 2014, Phase 1 and Technical Bulletin 264: OCLC-MARC Format Update 2014, Phase 2 incorporated. Continued the thorough update of BFAS.
2013 Information from Technical Bulletin 262: OCLC-MARC Format Update 2013 incorporated. Began the thorough update of BFAS, including the addition of RDA examples.

Information from Technical Bulletin 261: OCLC-MARC Format Update 2012 incorporated.


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

2010 Information from Technical Bulletin 258: OCLC-MARC Format Update 2010 including RDA Changes incorporated. BFAS Chapter 5: Quality Assurance revised to reflect that the changes of the Expert Community Experiment have been made permanent.

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

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


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This page last revised: February 4, 2021