3.4.2 Descriptive Cataloging of Theses and Dissertations


This policy delineates cataloging practice for describing unpublished academic theses issued by BYU or other institutions. The term thesis here should be understood to designate all types of academic dissertations, field projects, research papers, honors theses and other papers written to fulfill requirements for a degree or other scholastic recognition. This policy does not apply to published editions of works originally presented as theses. For copies of theses and dissertations issued by a non-academic agency such as University Microfilms International, see also the policy on Facsimiles, Photocopies, and Other Reproductions (3.4.1).


AACR2 and LCRI, chapters 2 and 4 (specifically, 1.7B13, 2.7B13, 4.7B13, and 4.4B1)
USMARC Format for Bibliographic Data: Books, fields 06, 008/15-17, and 008/24-27
Maxwell, Robert L. Maxwell’s Handbook for AACR2R. Chicago: American Library Association, 1997. p. 102-103, p. 153-154.
CSB 118.8 (Summer 1976)


Academic theses are actually manuscript books. On the one hand, they are unique, unpublished materials; on the other, they are in the form of a book. Because of this dual nature, we need to apply cataloging rules pertaining to manuscripts (AACR2 chapter 4) and books (AACR2 chapter 2).

We describe typescripts of academic theses and copies thereof according to the rules for manuscripts (AACR2 chapter 4). For theses, these rules result in similar descriptions as do the rules for books, with one notable exception – the publication area (260 field). Because theses are generally unpublished materials, they are given only the date of the manuscript, with place and publisher being omitted.

Correspondingly, the particular fixed field codes that reflect the description are as follows:

Leader 06:

Type of record: t (= manuscript language material)
Unicorn = Rec_Type

Leader 07:

Bibliographic level: m (= monograph)
Unicorn = Bib_Lvl


Place of publication, production, or execution: xx (= no place, unknown, or undetermined)
Unicorn = Ctry


Nature of contents: m (= Theses)
Unicorn = Cont

The 502 field is used to record the details of the thesis. This is done by using the term “Thesis”qualified by the type of degree (M.A., Ph. D., etc.), the name of the university (followed by the name of the department for all BYU theses), and the date the degree was granted. (See example below.)

Please note that Ph. D. is used with a space between the Ph. and the D. (LCRI 1.0C)

Please note also that in a thesis revised for publication, a 500 note is used rather than a 502, with somewhat different wording.

500: : Originally presented as the author’s thesis (Ph. D.–Indiana University, 1980).

500: : Originally presented as the author’s thesis (M.A.–University of Utah, 1995) under title: __________.

For theses to which conventional abbreviations do not apply, the term “doctoral” or “master’s” may be used.

502: : Thesis (doctoral)–Universität Heidelberg, 1998.

502: : Thesis (master’s)–Universidad de Madrid, 1990.

For BYU research papers (i.e., field projects, honors theses, marketing research projects, etc.), we will use a 502 field to indicate the type of research paper, qualified by the degree (if applicable), Brigham Young University, the specific department of the University (if applicable), and the date the paper was produced (date in 260 field).

Examples of currently used terminology:
502: : Honors Project–Brigham Young University, 2001.

502: : Marketing research project–Brigham Young University. Marriott School of Management, 2000.

502: : Closure Project (B.I.S.)–Brigham Young University. Dept. of Independent Study, 1999.

502: : Project (M.S.)–Brigham Young University. Dept. of Nursing, 2001.

Please be aware that older BYU records may have used different terminology, punctuation, spacing, and capitalization, as well as different tags to convey information of this type. Some records may have used a 500 field transcribing exact wording from the title page – e.g., “Submitted to Brigham Young University in partial fulfillment of graduation requirements for University Honors.” Others may have used various terms to denote a research paper for University Honors — e.g., Honors Project (B.A.); Thesis (Honors); Thesis (University Honors); University Honors; “A University Scholars Project.” Still other records may have omitted the date. For older records, we will attempt to standardize the tagging (using a formal 502 field) as time and resources allow.

For future records, the expectation is that catalogers apply the terminology and punctuation used in the examples above and that they follow the guidelines specified in this policy.


Rec_Type: t      Bib_Lvl: m               Enc_Lvl:          Desc: a
TypeCtrl:           Entrd: 920908       Dat_Tp: s         Date1: 1992
Date2:                 Ctry: xx                     Lang: eng          Mod_Rec:
Source: d            Illus: a                       Audience:         Repr:
Cont: bm             GovtPub: a              ConfPub: 0      Festchr: 0
Indx: 0                Fiction:                     Biog:

040: : UPB|cUPB
100:1 : Richards, Thomas D.
245:14: The bacterial ferritin of azotobacter vineland ii : |biron release kinetics and extended X-ray absorbance fine structure studies /|cby Thomas D. Richards.
260: : |c1992.
300: : vi, 90 leaves : |bill. ;|c28 cm.
502: : Thesis (M.S.)–Brigham Young University. Dept. of Chemistry, 1992.
504: : Includes bibliographical references (leaves 86-90).
650: 0: Ferritin.
650: 0: Azotobacter.
650: 0: Extended X-ray absorption fine structure.
655: 7: Dissertations, Academic.|2lcsh



3.4.17 Electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs)


3.4.3. Facsimiles, Photocopies, and Other Reproductions
4.6.0. Classification of BYU Theses and Dissertations

Maintained by: Chad Parker

Last Updated: August 2014

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.