Supplying records to SUNCAT - A guide for contributing libraries

If you experience any problems or have any queries about supplying data please contact the SUNCAT team. If one of the team is unable to help we may be able to put you in touch with another Contributing Library member, using the same Library Management System, for further information and guidance. If you are a Talis library that has not yet migrated to MARC21 or Aleph library please also see our additional notes on providing dates from these systems. Please ask the SUNCAT team for a copy if none has been supplied.

What to supply

Serial bibliographic records and associated holdings as defined by Leader (LDR) character position 7 = s or i or b

Marc 21 will be the default MARC format for SUNCAT. If your data is not in this format, please advise, and we will see if it can be converted.

Exclude order records (if they have no holdings records attached to them), "suppressed" records, and records representing "withdrawn" materials, and any holdings associated with these latter two categories. Some libraries have in their catalogue holdings for other institutions or bodies - please check whether or not these should be included in SUNCAT. Please advise us if you cannot exclude these records.

How to supply

The method of supply is ftp, and details will be advised two weeks prior to the scheduled supply date. At time of supplying your data, please provide a count of bibliographic records, along with the name of the file, supplied via ftp. This information should be sent as an email to the SUNCAT project team.

Information required

  • You should already have received and returned the preliminary SUNCAT questionnaire.
  • You will be asked to fill out a data questionnaire and supply it with your file, if not before. The questionnaire is designed to obtain information on the MARC format and characters sets used, local practices, and serials holdings.
  • Information from the questionnaire and the library file will be used to complete a data specification form which will be sent to you for approval. The data specification form will contain information on data manipulation to be done before load to SUNCAT.

After the load

Once your file has been loaded to SUNCAT, the following reports will be prepared and the action required discussed with you:

  • Rejected records
  • Invalid characters (from Marc8 to UTF conversion)

If you have any problems, please contact the SUNCAT Project Team.

The ideal SUNCAT record

A record exported to SUNCAT should contain the following as a minimum standard:

  • Local control number (we shall put this into a 001 tag)
  • LDR character position 7 = s (to indicate a serial), or i (to indicate a integrating resource) or b (serial component part)
  • 008 (if you do not use these, we shall add a dummy 008)
  • 245
  • Holdings and location (we shall put these into an 852 tag)
  • Records should be classed as a serial (see above)

It would be useful to have:

  • 015 (where it is the BNB)
  • 022 (ISSN, where applicable)
  • 1XX (main entry, where applicable)
  • 260 (publisher, where applicable, including $a, $b, $c)
  • 6XX (subject headings, where applicable)
  • 7XX (added entries, where applicable)

These fields all help match your library record in with the existing records in SUNCAT; any other fields are a bonus.

If your library is a non-MARC library, please contact the SUNCAT team, and we shall ask for a sample file. Working from this, we shall compile a specification to convert your data into MARC21, so we can load it into SUNCAT.

Reasons records are rejected in SUNCAT

The rejected records and character conversion error reports are generated when the data is converted.

Common reasons for rejection include:

  • LDR character position 7 is other than an "s" (indicating it is not a serial) or an "i" (indicating it is not an integrating resource) or “b” (indicating that it is not a serial component part)
  • For the initial load only: LDR character position 5 = d (to indicate a deleted record)
  • No 001 (record sent to SUNCAT has either an inconsistent local control number or none at all)
  • No 245$a (no title)
  • Records have no summary holdings statement or locations after conversion (no 852 tag)