Thursday, October 11, 2007

Validation Records

From the LC Cataloging Newsline Vol. 15, no. 3 (October 2007)
The Cataloging Policy and Support Office (CPSO) has begun creating and distributing subject authority records called "validation records" that represent valid 6XX headings plus subdivision strings (topical, chronological, geographic, and form), including strings with free-floating subdivisions for which subject authority records were not previously made. Validation records are being created to improve the "validation" capability of many integrated library management systems used by the Library of Congress and others by providing an authorized form of subject heading strings for machine matching.

The validation records are identified by the presence of the 667 field which reads: "Record generated for validation purposes." All validation records will appear in LC's online catalogs but will not be printed in the annual edition of Library of Congress Subject Headings nor will they appear as proposed headings on the LC Subject Headings Weekly List. As of Sept. 25, 2007, 1,900 validation records have been distributed. Some examples are:
  • sh2007005269 Abdominal wall$xAbnormalities (May Subd Geog)
  • sh2007100421 United States$xEconomic policy$vPeriodicals
  • sh2007100247 Great Britain$xRelations$zUnited States
  • sh2007100224 Indians of North America$vSongs and music
CPSO is creating the validation records by using a combination of one-by-one record creation as subject strings are encountered in weekly operations and use of an automated program to generate and distribute validation records without human intervention. For this latter automated method, the focus is on subject heading strings applied since the year 2002 for which the LC catalog contains fifty or more bibliographic records that include the same 6XX string. Once the automated program is tested and approved, several thousand records are expected to be generated and distributed each week. CPSO will make an announcement before the automated method is put into full production.

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