Problems with text in MARC records?

Last month I wrote about a problem with the Harvard Business Review MARC record (from EBSCO) not including my Custom Coverage end date, “May 2005”. The explanation from EBSCO resulted in a larger puzzle than seemed fitting to describe in a simple update to the original post:

The reason the custom coverage is not being displayed is because the MARC Records product does not recognize the text such as “March 1997” and so does not know how to represent it on the MARC record.

I would suggest changing the format that you input your coverage to a number based system such as mm/dd/yyyy to have that information transferred over to the MARC record from A-to-Z.

I responded:

since the Collection Editor “Help” file lists (I’m taking this from the site):

Oct 2005 (considers this to be 1 October 2005)

as an option for Custom Coverage dates, but the MARC Records product doesn’t recognize text, why is it given as an option in the Collection Editor? Clearly, these two products work together for many of your customers, so it might be helpful to note the incompatibility.

Later, in my rush to a) notify my colleagues that we can’t use text in Collection Editor, b) download a list of all other instances of text that won’t appear in the catalog so I can fix them, and c) update my original blog entry, I realized that I’ve used quite a bit of text in the Custom Coverage fields within Collection Editor. I’ve used it to indicate rolling coverage on non-EJS titles, split coverage, and embargo dates (before EBSCO introducted the Custom Embargo field). And text hasn’t been a problem. So I sent a follow-up reply:

I found a few examples of instances where text is used in the Custom Coverage field and it has appeared in the MARC record. So now I’m not so sure why I can’t use “May 2005”. Would you please share these with the Development staff?

1. I used an end date of “Oct. 2005” for Milan Journal of Mathematics, and it has appeared in our MARC record ever since… [856 40 |3 Full text available: Sept. 2002 – Oct. 2005. |z Available in…]

2. I played with the fields for Environment and Behavior so I could better represent our coverage. See the MARC record here… [856 40 |3 Full text available: all of 1997, March – Nov. 1998. |z Available in…]

3. The Custom Coverage begin date for Echocardiography is entered as “2000 Aug.”, which is how it appears in our MARC record: [856 40 |3 Full text available: 2000 Aug. -. |z Available in…]

4. A colleague used volume numbers in the Custom Coverage for APS Journal, which appear in our MARC record: [856 40 |3 Full text available: v.3 no.4 (1994) – v.3 no.4 (1994). |z Available in…]

5. Another colleague used a season format (“Winter 2004”) instead of calendar date for East European Jewish Affairs: [856 40 |3 Full text available: Winter 2004 -. |z Available in…]

However, here’s something weird: I used text in the record for Studies in Applied Mathematics that reads “Rolling coverage – Previous two years” for the Blackwell link, but that source doesn’t show up in the MARC record.

So it doesn’t seem to be a difference between using text in the Begin date or End date, nor does it seem to matter whether the information was input using the Collection Editor or Upload. I appreciate the Development staff’s thoughts on these examples, and I look forward to their reply.

Something’s going on lately. Things keep coming up that turn my understanding of EBSCO’s rules upside-down. First the whole no-EJS-access-for-unsharable-passwords, now this. It’s a little disorienting, but at least I’ll come out with a better understanding of how this all works.

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Posted in Cataloging, EBSCO, MARC, Updates. Comments Off on Problems with text in MARC records?
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