Data Control's record maintenance policy

The Data Control Unit is responsible for the maintenance of metadata for SUL’s holdings, comprising millions of bibliographic, holdings, call number and item records. This metadata ecosystem is highly dynamic, with many automated and semi-automated processes. Furthermore, our metadata records come from a variety of sources and are created according to a variety of descriptive content standards; SUL makes no attempt to systematically harmonize all aspects of its vast and quickly expanding corpus of descriptive metadata.

In light of this, Data Control must deploy its resources strategically. We place the highest priority on those manual maintenance transactions that have the most direct impact on our users’ discovery experience. Accordingly, all maintenance requests received by the Data Control e-mail account will be handled according to the following criteria. The lists below are representative, not exhaustive.

Category 1—Modifications to existing metadata that directly and seriously impact discovery and access

Data Control will routinely fulfill these requests in a timely manner (within a week if possible):

  • Corrections to name, subject and series access points (MARC: 1xx, 6xx, 7xx, 8xx fields)
  • Corrections of typographical errors in titles (MARC: 130, 240, 245, 246, 490, 730, 740 fields)
  • Corrections of typographical errors in imprint (MARC: 260, 264 fields)
  • Corrections to URLs (MARC: 856 field)
  • Addition of full-text URLs (MARC: 856 field)
  • Factual errors in MARC Holdings records (e.g., incorrect volume numbers, dates)
  • Corrections of incorrect or invalid LC and government document classification numbers
  • Changes to Library, Home Location, Current Location and Item Type in item records

Category 2—Enhancements to metadata that improve discovery and access

Data Control will fulfill these requests as time allows, or refer to other units as appropriate:

  • Additional name, subject and series access points (MARC: 1xx, 6xx, 7xx, 8xx fields)
  • Additional title access points (MARC: 130, 240, 246, 730, 740 fields)
  • Addition of contents (505) and summary (520) notes (with justification, and provided this data cannot be supplied through other means, e.g., via vendor batchload)
  • Addition of URLs for supplementary or related content (i.e., not full text) (MARC: 856 field)
  • Upgrading MARC Holdings records from encoding level 3 to encoding level 4 (i.e., adding more detail)
  • Reclassification of a title from Dewey to LC Classification (with justification, on a case-by-case basis)
  • Adjusting call numbers of related resources (e.g., to collocate editions of the same work, instances of the same ongoing conference)
  • Adjusting call numbers to break conflicts within the same library

Category 3—Modifications of a cosmetic or stylistic nature

Data Control will not fulfill these requests:

  • Punctuation and capitalization changes in any bibliographic field
  • Spelling out of abbreviations, or giving additional detail in imprint and physical description (MARC: 260, 264, 300 fields)
  • Formatting or wording changes in notes (MARC: 5xx fields), including contents (505) and summary (520)
  • Additional free-text notes (MARC: 5xx fields), except for contents (505) and summary (520)
  • Modification of any vendor-supplied metadata (MARC: 905, 920 fields)
  • Formatting adjustments in MARC Holdings records (e.g., choice of caption, spacing) when there are no factual errors
  • Spacing adjustments in call numbers
  • Deletion of item records that are shadowed from public view

Requests involving more than 100 records, as well as questions regarding the above policy, should be directed to Vitus Tang, Head of Data & E-resources Control.


Created: 9/29/2014, by Casey Mullin
Last updated: 5/22/2015, by Vitus Tang
Data Control Unit, Stanford University Libraries