Information for Librarians


SUNCAT can benefit librarians in a range of roles including:

  • Inter-library loan librarians can use SUNCAT to locate serials held in the UK
  • Cataloguers can consult MARC records on SUNCAT, including CONSER records and Contributing Libraries can download records from SUNCAT
  • Serials librarians can use SUNCAT to check on the details of serials held in the UK
  • Collection managers can use the holdings comparison service to determine information about their serials collection, including the number of unique serials held in their library and any overlap with other contributing libraries which may be of interest on a geographic or subject level basis and to libraries participating in the UKRR aiming to store and preserve low use research serials.
  • Reference/Enquiry staff can use SUNCAT to help their users locate particular serials and find out about the existence of serials in a particular subject area
  • How to integrate SUNCAT into your library website and services

Case Studies

Contributing to SUNCAT

We welcome requests from any UK libraries, holding scholarly serial publications, who are interested in contributing to SUNCAT. This includes public libraries, specialist institutions, Higher and Further Education institutions.

Current Contributing Libraries

Benefits of contributing to SUNCAT include:

  • Increased exposure of your serials collection at a national level
  • Enabling your colleagues and users to search your serials collection alongside those of around 100 other libraries
  • The free download of quality MARC21 records to update and upgrade your local catalogue
  • The ability to compare your journal collection with around 100 other libraries
  • For more benefits see Benefits & Expectations of Contributing to SUNCAT

Contributing to SUNCAT is a very simple process. Libraries just need to:

  1. Complete a questionnaire about their serials data
  2. Send us a file of their serials records
  3. Send us regular (normally monthly) update files to keep the information on SUNCAT as current as possible
  4. Add links and information about SUNCAT to their website.

There are documents available on supplying data to SUNCAT and the SUNCAT team are always on hand to assist. We also have contact details for some of our existing contributors, using a range of LMS, should you have any particular questions or experience any problems exporting serials data from your system.

We are happy to accept to records in a variety of formats from MARC21 to Excel spreadsheets as long as there is a title and some associated holdings for each record. See the next section, SUNCAT Bibliographic Standards, for more information about the minimal level of record required for contributing to SUNCAT.

If you are interested in contributing to SUNCAT please contact the SUNCAT team.

SUNCAT Bibliographic Standards

One of the main aims of SUNCAT is to improve the quality of serials bibliographic records in library catalogues throughout the UK.

The 2001 UKNUC study (PDF file - 721 kb) reported that the variable quality of serials bibliographic data was a major barrier to researchers finding serials held in the UK. SUNCAT already contains a large number of high quality records from CONSER and from contributing libraries. Once libraries have contributed their records to SUNCAT they are encouraged to review the quality of any of the unique serials records they supply so that in the long term SUNCAT will contain at least one good quality bibliographic record for every title on the catalogue. Contributing libraries can download MARC21 records for free from SUNCAT so that serials data is improved in both SUNCAT and local library catalogues.

The SUNCAT Bibliographic Team in conjunction with the Bibliographic Quality Advisory Group devised two standards in respect to the serials records on SUNCAT. The standards are based on MARC; however, SUNCAT does accept serials records from non-MARC libraries.

The entry standard is a low level standard designed to allow as many libraries as possible to contribute their serials records to SUNCAT. The suggested upgrading standard is based on the CONSER minimum level standard.

SUNCAT Standards (PDF file - 98 Kb)

Contributing Libraries

How to contact the SUNCAT team

  • If you would like to know more about SUNCAT, or you are a current contributing library and have a query, you can contact us