SUNCAT is a union catalogue of serials, so for each serial there may be records from a number of contributing libraries. SUNCAT matches records for the same serial into a set and displays only the best bibliographic record (known as the ‘preferred record’) along with holdings information for each library. Whilst SUNCAT displays only the best bibliographic record for viewing, the search is conducted across all records in a set. If your search term is contained in one of the non-preferred bibliographic records, the serial will be included among your results even if your term is not included in the displayed record. You may also view non-preferred records by clicking on the relevant library in the "View records for" field in the full record display
SUNCAT is a union catalogue of serials. It includes information at the serial title level. You can view the latest Table of Contents (ToCs) of a large number of serials on SUNCAT enabling you to identify articles and serial titles of interest to you. However, to search for article-level information try using a Full Text or an Abstracting and Indexing database. When you have found information about the serials that include articles you would like to view, use SUNCAT to find the UK libraries that hold these titles. Alternatively you can use SUNCAT as a starting point to locate serials in your field of interest.
SUNCAT is a union catalogue of serials, so for each serial there may be more than one ‘holding’ library. The library and location limit will ensure that you retrieve only records for serials which are held in the selected library or region (location). However, SUNCAT will display all records for your selected serial title including those outside of your selected region (location) or library.
SUNCAT receives information about new titles, discontinued titles and changes in holdings from contributing libraries on a regular basis. The majority of libraries provide these data updates on a monthly basis, with some smaller libraries, who make few changes, updating quarterly or bi-annually. However, this means that the data on SUNCAT will, at times, be a little behind the holdings recorded locally. The library's local catalogue will generally be the most up to date reflection of the library's holdings and therefore we would always recommend checking this before visiting a library. Links to library websites are available on the holdings records on SUNCAT to aid quick access to the individual catalogues. The list of contributing libraries on the website also includes links to both the libraries' websites and catalogues. Please also see the FAQ on "How up to date is the information on SUNCAT?".
SUNCAT contains records from the CONSER Database, which do not represent any UK holdings but are included for their high level of bibliographic quality. When these serials are not held in the UK or when CONSER records fail to match with records from the contributing libraries, no UK holdings will be associated with these records. However, these records can be used to confirm that a serial exists. They may also be downloaded by SUNCAT contributing libraries that subsequently purchase the serial and wish to use the bibliographic detail provided as the basis for the local catalogue record.
Most electronic journals are available by subscription. UK libraries subscribe on behalf of their users. Thus, you may access full-text only as an authorised user affiliated with a subscribed institution. Access is often regulated by IP address so if you link from a computer within a subscribed institution, you can link directly to full text but if you try to link from SUNCAT to full text from any other computer (e.g. at home), you may require a password, or access may be denied. There are also some free or open access electronic journals available on SUNCAT which everyone can access.
SUNCAT contains records from over 70 libraries and therefore contains more than one record for many serial titles. SUNCAT aims to deduplicate records for the same title so that only one record appears for each, with all the libraries holding that title listed underneath the bibliographic record. However, it is not always possible to achieve perfect deduplication, largely due to the brevity of the data in some of the records supplied to SUNCAT. Therefore, a results list will commonly contain a number of records for the same serial title and each of these may have one or more library's holdings attached so it is necessary to look at each of these records to establish all the available holdings for that title in SUNCAT.
Almost all of the libraries contributing to SUNCAT send updates about their journal holdings on a regular basis. Most libraries send updates on a montly or quarterly basis depending on the size of the library and how often they make changes to their journal information. To check when a library's data was last updated go to the updates page.