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All about entering ISBNs and OCLC control numbers

Library Systems Newsletter [February 1990]

In the December 1989 issue of LSN we discussed the recording of standard numbers in local library systems. Last month we discussed the entering of LCCNs at length. This month we address the entering of ISBNs.

A printed ISBN contains ten numbers presented in groups which are separated by hyphens. The final digit may be an X rather than a numeral. The ISBN that applies to the title in hand is recorded in field 020 subfield $a. Both indicators are set to blank. The number should be recorded directly, without hyphens or spaces. Leading zeros are included. For example, the printed ISBN 0-8193-0503-0 would be input as 0819305030.

Common formatting conventions also apply to OCLC control numbers, but it is unusual for such numbers to be input by operator keying as they are not widely available in print form, except on catalog cards. If present, an OCLC number has usually been transferred to a machine-readable record from another source.

An OCLC control number contains from one to eight digits. The "ocl7" or "ocm" prefixes that precede the number in the 001 field of an OCLC record are not part of the control number. If an OCLC number is to be keyed into a record or transferred from 001 (in an OCLC record) to another field, the recommended conventions are:

  • use a 035 field (a MARC record may contain multiple 035 fields) subfield $a, with both indicators set to blank.
  • enter (OCoLC)--including the parenthesis--as the first characters of the $a subfield.
  • key the one to eight numerics. Leading zeros are optional, they need not be included. Do not enter the ocl7 or oem prefix.

Therefore, data in the 001 field of an OCLC record which appears as ocm0l219635 would be entered as (OCoLC)01219635 or (OCoLC) 1219635.

View Citation
Publication Year:1990
Type of Material:Article
Language English
Published in: Library Systems Newsletter
Publication Info:Volume 10 Number 02
Issue:February 1990
Publisher:American Library Association
Place of Publication:Chicago, IL
Notes:Howard S. White, Editor-in-Chief; Richard W. Boss and Judy McQueen Contributing Editors
Subject: Cataloging
Record Number:4707
Last Update:2023-11-29 22:18:24
Date Created:0000-00-00 00:00:00