I would very much like to have a single catalog record for each journal, rather than a separate one for print and electronic access. Here are ten reasons why:
1. It would better serve our patrons to go back to maintaining our own serials records rather than having EBSCO control (and sometimes refuse) the changes.
2. By linking from the catalog to the A-to-Z list, we would avoid the trouble of maintaining links and coverage dates in the catalog record.
(According to EBSCO
, they “would likely strip down the 856 to the bare minimum and exclude coverage and embargo information – that would be discovered on the A-to-Z list.” That would be a single 856 field directing patrons to online access.)
3. Coverage dates (managed or custom) sometimes do not appear in the MARC record even though they appear in the A-to-Z. We could direct people to this information by having a single 856 field to all online access.
4. Every patron would see the notes and instructions in the A-to-Z list. Notes aren’t included in the MARC records, so people using the catalog might miss important information.
5. It cleans up the catalog. Less records. Clear results. Straightforward for patrons.
6. If we eliminate duplicate information, we will reduce (or eliminate) patrons’ confusion about coverage and access.
7. If we eliminate duplicate information, we will reduce amount of work for serials staff to answer troubleshooting questions related to missing or incorrect coverage dates and MARC records that have not been updated.
What if we didn’t get MARC updates from EBSCO?
8. If we maintain our own records, we can fix problems ourselves that take EBSCO a long time to address (e.g. the diacritic problems and extra characters in 245 fields).
9. If we maintain our own records, we can fix problems that EBSCO is unwilling to address (e.g. adjusting CONSER information, duplicate bib records, and unadjustable subject headings).
10. We wouldn’t have to confirm our changes in the monthly MARC updates. The A-to-Z list is updated immediately, but the MARC files are updated only monthly. Also, depending on when a correction is made, library staff may need check two consecutive MARC updates to ensure that outdated information doesn’t overlay corrected records.