2.3 Creating and Revising Series Authority Records


This policy governs the establishment of series access points for use in the online catalog and contribution to the NACO program. Authority records for series access points are created to ensure consistency in the use of these access points, as well as to provide increased access to library users through appropriate references in the catalog, and to document the library’s treatment practice for each series.

The policy is designed to identify the aims of series authority work. It does not prescribe specific procedures for accomplishing these aims, but should be used as a guide for establishing procedure.


A. Establishing new access points

An access point shall be considered to be established when it has a corresponding full level NACO authority record.

All series access points used in the online catalog should be established in accordance with the rules outlined in the NACO Participant’s Manual and RDA. References should be created as prescribed by RDA. Library of Congress-PCC Policy Statements (LC-PCC PS) applicable to PCC should also be considered when applying RDA.

All series access points to be used in new bibliographic records should be checked against the NACO authority file. Established forms found in this file should normally be accepted and used. If no instance of established use is found, a new access point should be established.

Care should be taken at all times that no new access point is established for an entity that has already been established under a different form or that no new access point is identical to a access point already established for a different entity.

Catalogers should use judgment in deciding whether additional sources need to be checked before a access point can be established. Encyclopedias and other reference sources may also be necessary at times. The series should be checked against the Internet to see if the series or its publisher has a page.

Exhaustive research, however, is not necessary and no more time should be spent than is needed to gather information to formulate the access point and its appropriate references.

B. Evaluating previously used access points

As they search the authority files to check new access points, catalogers should routinely be aware of access points already in the file and make quick evaluations based on their knowledge of cataloging rules. Sometimes additional information on items in hand can assist in this evaluation.

Access points that do not appear to be in compliance with RDA should be further researched and revised as new items are cataloged using these access points, even if the record has already been coded as RDA.

Evaluation may result in additional references on the authority record, revision of the access point, or creation of a new authority record where one did not previously exist.

The Authorities Specialist may evaluate access points used in bibliographic records entered by copy catalogers against the NACO authority file. Access points not established in the file may be created by the Authorities Specialist.


A. Creation of original authority records

Original authority records will be created as needed and should contain, in addition to the access point, references as prescribed by RDA, and a record of research done to establish the access point, including sources consulted and relevant information found. The records should be tagged correctly and completely using the appropriate fixed field codes and variable field tags, indicators and delimiters.

B. Access points already established

No authority record needs to be created or revised for an access point that exists in the NACO authority file in a form that appears to be correct and needs no cross references or additional RDA elements.

All authority records that are already established in the NACO authority file should be used as the established access point in the local authority file, regardless of how much or how little information they contain. These records should be SmartPorted through Z39.50. Once added to the local authority file, series authority records from the NACO authority file should be edited to insure that the library’s treatment of the series is indicated in the appropriate 64x variable fields.

C. Access points not found

Original authority records should be created for access points not found in the NACO authority file. All access points require a corresponding full level NACO authority record. All new records should be created and submitted though the NACO program for inclusion in the NACO authority file.


A. Establishing access points and creating authority records

The work of establishing access points and creating authority records requires a thorough understanding of RDA and the principles underlying the organization of an online catalog. It is thus a professional responsibility and should normally be done by a professional catalog librarian.

Professional catalogers are responsible for establishing access points in all bibliographic records they create and for creating the authority records necessary to support these access points. Catalogers who choose to delegate this responsibility to staff members under their supervision remain responsible for the quality of the output and should regularly review this work before it is submitted to the Authorities Specialist.

Authority records for access points in bibliographic records cataloged by copy catalogers will be created by the Authorities Specialist. Copy catalogers should search all series access points used in their records in the local and if necessary the NACO authority file. This will ensure consistent treatment of the series, especially in terms of classification. Series authority records found in the NACO authority file that meet the default requirements (fully analyzed, traced, classified separately) may be SmartPorted to the local authority file by copy catalogers by Z39.50, but this is not required. Any series authority record found in the NACO authority file which does not represent the default series treatment should have the item-in-hand routed to the appropriate cataloger. If no authority record is found in either the local or NACO authority files, the item-in-hand should be forwarded to the appropriate cataloger.

B. Maintenance of the online file

The inputting and online editing of authority records, as well as the reconciliation of access points in the bibliographic file with authority records, is the responsibility of the Authorities Specialist. Catalogers, if they wish, may assist with inputting their own work.


Training in creating and maintaining full NACO series authority records will be part of the initial training given all new catalogers at appointment, and will be offered periodically to all cataloging personnel.

Maintained by: Elizabeth Tobiasson

Location / Hours

The Catalog Department is located on Level 6 of the Harold B. Lee Library. The Department is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.