Ongoing Serials Maintenance

Modified on Wed, 23 Mar 2022 at 10:51 AM

WYLD Technote : Ongoing Serials Maintenance

Finding Serials Control Records can be achieved by running the Serials Control Records Report in the Reports Toolbar of Workflows. Finding your serials control records is the first step to cleaning up serials. 

Run the serials control record report in the Reports Toolbar in Workflows.

1) Click on Reports toolbar.

2) Click on Schedule New Reports wizard. If you get the windows for setting sessions, click OK. You can set options that bypass the display of this window so you may not retrieve it.

3) Click on the Serial tab to access the serials reports. Reports are listed alphabetically.

4) Click on the report called Serial Control Records.

5) Click the Setup & Schedule button.

6) Click on the Serials Control Selection tab.

7) Click on the gadget next to the option for Library.

8) Highlight your library in the list on the left.

9) Click the right pointing arrow to move your selection to the area on the right.

10) Click the OK button to close this selection window.

No other options need to be selected on this or any other tab in the report.

11) Click the Run Now button.

This report runs very quickly.

12) Close the Schedule New Reports wizard.

View the serials control record report.

1) Click on the Finished Reports wizard.

2) Highlight your report called Serial Control Records. 

3) Click the View button.

4) Click the OK button.

The top portion of the report will indicate how many serials control records were found for your library.

5) Scroll down to find the beginning of the display of serials control records.

The lower portion of the report provides information about each serials control record found.

Information in the above serials control record includes,

    from the Basic folder: 

        Title; Serials control number for your library for that title; ISSN for the title

        Base call number (MAGAZINE); Date the serials control record was created;

        Status; Vendor title; Categories

    from the Subscription folder:

        Number of copies; Number of issues in subscription; When subscription expires

    from the Pattern folder:

        Chronology type (MONTH); Publication cycle

    from the Expected folder:

        Last issue predicted (MAR 2012)

    from the Distribution folder:

        Number of copies to check in (add to the bibliographic record);

        No automatic updating of MARC holdings

    from the Generate Predictions helper:

        Date of expected issue for first one in new predictions

Use the Serial Control Record report for serials maintenance.

Use the report to determine if your library still receives titles on the report list.

1) Match titles on the report against the periodicals you actually have in the stacks. 

2) Check both current stacks and where back issues of periodicals are kept. If your Serials Control Records report shows titles that have the status of UNKNOWN, CEASED, or CANCELLED, those should be easy to eliminate but should be checked against the stacks just like those that have the ACTIVE status.

3) If titles on the list aren’t in the current stacks, determine if any are in the area where you keep older periodical issues.

Match the titles against the item records of the bibliographic record in WYLD. If you didn’t find any issues in the stacks, you shouldn’t find any issues still linked in WYLD. Nor should your MARC holdings record indicate that you still have issues.

Basically, if you have no issues for a title, there should be no linked items, and no MARC holdings record and no serials record. If other libraries own the title, the bib record should be left in the system but all other parts related to just your library can be removed. 

I. Periodical titles being removed from your collection: if no issues are being kept at all. The MARC holdings record should be removed, then the serials control record and the linked, barcoded issues.

If you do have back issues for a ceased or cancelled title but decide to no longer retain those issues, the MARC holdings record should be removed and then the serials control record can be removed. Remember that deleting the serials control record does not automatically remove the MARC holdings record so remove the MARC holdings record first. Remove any linked issues on the bib record. If no other library owns that title, delete the bibliographic records as well. 

**Note: If there is any likelihood that your library will pick up a subscription later or it might be donated, you can keep the serials control record on a title your library has stopped receiving. Just change the status on the Basic tab to CANCELLED so you don’t have to re-create a serials control record again later. If the cancelled title is one you don’t want at all, delete the MARC holdings record and the serials control record and any barcoded issues. 

II. Periodical titles being removed from your collection: if some barcoded issues are being kept.

If your library has stopped receiving a title but you are keeping older linked, barcoded issues, the serials control record could be deleted (or updated with CANCELLED as the status in the basic tab if there is any likelihood that your library may resume receipt of the title).

The MARC holdings record should be updated with the new retention information.

Barcoded issues being kept should be reviewed for accurate base call number, subfield z enumeration/chronology, and class scheme. Use the Call Number and Item Maintenance wizard in the Cataloging Toolbar to correct call number information.

III. Periodical titles being removed from your collection: if no barcoded issues are being kept but archival issues are kept indefinitely. In this case there would be no barcoded issues to review but there may be barcoded issues to delete. Use the Call Number and Item Maintenance wizard in the Cataloging Toolbar to delete the unwanted issues.

If you have back issues and want to retain them, note the range still held in the stacks so that you can update the MARC holdings record and then delete the serials control record if you don’t need it any more for check in or claiming. If you have linked issues, they can remain on the bib record (unless the number exceeds the 60 issue limit). The MARC holdings record should accurately reflect what your library holds for any periodical title, even those for which you have only back issues.

The MARC holdings record would reflect the issues kept in storage …e.g.: 1924-1984 STORAGE Again, the serials control record would be deleted as there are no longer any current issues to be checked in.

** If you are deleting a serials control record, remember to delete the MARC holdings record first. The MARC holdings record has to be removed separately; it does not get deleted automatically when the serials control record is deleted.

If you forget to delete the MARC holdings record before you delete the serials control record, the holdings information will still display in the WULP. 

If there is no longer a serials control record, you will have to use the Modify Title wizard in the Cataloging Toolbar to remove the MARC holdings record because there is no longer any way to find it in the serials wizards.

Remember that if your MARC holdings statement specifies a certain range of holdings (3 years) there shouldn't be any barcoded issues linked to that record that exceeds that 3 years noted in the MARC holdings record.

IV. Current periodical titles being retained: determine how long you will be keeping issues. For instance if you keep only 2 years of a title, then the MARC holdings record should reflect that (in the 866 tag found in the MARC holdings record) … AND the number of barcoded issues linked to the bib record should match that retention stated in the MARC holdings record unless there are additional issues being retained that exceed the 60 issues limit per title. Those also would be noted in retention in the MARC holdings record as the issues in storage.

If titles on the report are in current stacks, note the latest issue received and compare that to the serials control record for that title. These would be periodicals you still receive and which you may still want to check in using the serials control record.

If you still receive the title, check the issues you have in the stacks against what issues are linked on that title’s bibliographic record. Unless you have more than 60 issues of a title, the issues you have in the stacks should match the issues linked as individual issues on the bib record.

Check the MARC holdings record for accuracy in what it indicates your library has for each title.

Use the report to clean up serials control records for those periodical titles your library still receives and on which issues are still checked in.

Maintenance of serials control records on those titles still being checked in:

1) BASIC FOLDER: Make sure the Basic folder has a good base call number On the Basic tab (folder), be sure there is a BASE call number. It can be an actual call number or an abbreviation of the word PERIODICAL or MAGAZINE, or an abbreviation of the actual title. If this BASE call number is too long, it won’t be possible for the system to enter all the enumeration or chronology for each issue…particularly if there are combined issues. So…consider the BASE call number carefully. The BASE call number is important because it, combined with the CLASS SCHEME LCPER, tells the system where to automatically place the subfield z in the call number. (If any issues are linked manually it is important that those issues have the same class scheme as these issues generated through the serials control record. If the class scheme doesn’t match, the system doesn’t know where to place the |z (subfield z) and issues will display out of sequence) If you add a BASE call number or edit one, you may have to remove the predictions that are already on that serials control record and re-generate predictions. Existing predictions may not always pick up the changes made to the BASE call number area.

Make sure in the Basic folder that the Class scheme is LCPER This class scheme allows the system to sort issues in reverse order so more recent issues display before older issues.

Make sure in the Basic folder that the Status is ACTIVE. If you’ve been consistent about keeping the status accurate, the next time you run the Serials Control Record report in the Reports Toolbar of Workflows, you could limit the report to find only the records with a certain status. If you still have cancelled serials control records, you could find just those if you have consistently updated the status in the Basic folder. CEASED titles are those that are no longer published. CANCELLED titles are those that are still being published but for which your library has cancelled its subscription.

2) PATTERNS FOLDER: If the elements entered here are accurate, then generating predications should pose no problems. If an error message is generated when you try to create predictions, it will be because there is a problem with enumeration, chronology and/or publication cycle on the Patterns tab, or the information being entered for the new prediction is being entered incorrectly. The system provides default patterns based on what is given as the frequency in the bibliographic record. If there is a mismatch between the frequency in the bib record and the chronology or enumeration of the patterns tab, predictions won’t generate correctly or error messages will occur.

Make sure the Enumeration is correct if you use it.

Make sure the Chronology is accurate.

Use the definitions below to help you determine if there is a Chronology already defined for your pattern.


Note that the system uses primarily three characters in abbreviations. An exception is the word FALL. If creating a custom Chronology for months and season, use the three character abbreviations shown above.

Make sure, in the Patterns folder, that the pattern is correct for the publication cycle If the publication cycle is not correct, use the gadget at the end of that entry to make corrections for omissions (for combined issues or for months when there are no issues published)

3) OPAC FOLDER: Make sure in the OPAC Display folder that the option to “Automatically update MARC holdings” does NOT have a check mark next to it.

Make sure in the OPAC Display folder that the form of name to display matches the options selected in the Patterns folder. If you selected only the Chronology in the Patterns folder, don’t select to display BOTH in the OPAC Display folder. This will cause the Chronology to display twice in WYLDCAT. This double display of Chronology might be useful if you can’t get the system to sort issues correctly in titles that have a frequency that combines monthly and bi-monthly issues. The system tends to sort those alphabetically so if you retain more than a single year of issues, the system will sort all APR issues together, followed by all AUG issues, etc. for all the years your library retains.

4) MARC HOLDINGS FOLDER: Make sure the summary statement in the 866 tag of the MARC holdings record is accurate for what your library retains for each title.

The 866 tag of the MARC holdings record creates the summary holdings statement that displays in WYLDCAT between the brief item information/catalog record and the individually barcoded item holdings. This 866 tag also displays in the WULP (Wyoming Union List of Periodicals). It is important for both displays that the information in the 866 tag is accurate/current. The WULP is updated monthly through an extract of the 866 tag of the MARC holdings record. The display of this summary statement in WYLDCAT is updated quickly if the 866 tag is changed. This 866 tag should not be so specific in holding information that it would need to be updated constantly but if linked issues are remove, the MARC holdings statement should reflect that. If a title ceases publication (or your library stops receiving it) but your library will retain older issues, the MARC holdings record should reflect that. If you no longer receive a title and no issues will be retained, the MARC holdings record should be deleted.

If the serials control record is deleted before the MARC holdings record is removed, it can still be deleted using the Modify Title wizard in the group of Cataloging wizards. The bib record contains a MARC holdings folder as well, and clicking on that folder will enable you to find your MARC holdings record and delete it. 

Make sure in the MARC Holdings folder, that your MARC holdings record is linked to your serials control record There is a little helper with a padlock on it in the upper left corner of the MARC holdings tab that displays the text “Link to Serials Holdings Record.” Use this helper.

5) DISTRIBUTION FOLDER: If you weren’t barcoding issues and decide you want to now barcode issues, make sure the “copies to add to catalog” is set to a number greater than zero. 

6) EXPECTED FOLDER: Make sure in the Expected folder, that there are predictions generated that don’t result in error messages and do match the pattern of the Patterns folder Determine what the next expected issue is and if you need to generate more predictions. If you’re checking in a daily newspaper, you probably don’t want to generate predictions for all 365 days; that’s too many. Break it down into a month at a time. Same for weekly publications. Keep the number of issues for which you create predictions to something manageable. Note how issues in the expected folder are listed so that you can match the entry for your new predictions to the entries for the existing expected issues (unless the existing issues are totally wrong, of course)

If the Chronology in the Patterns tab uses the abbreviations for months/seasons and you try to spell out those words in your predictions, you will get an error message.

7) RECEIVED FOLDER: If there are no issues in the Expected folder, it would be helpful to note any received issues to see how they were entered so that you can match that format when you generate new predictions. 

Make sure there are no issues displaying in the Received folder that are also displaying in the Expected folder. Example: V. 56 NO. 3 MAR 2011 should display in only one of those folders.

Make sure the Received folder doesn’t still have really old issues listed in it. It is not necessary to retain, indefinitely, in the Received folder issues that have already been checked in. Those older issues have been received and dealt with. Remove those old issues from the received folder. Be sure those old issues you are removing don’t re-appear in the Expected folder. If they do, delete them from there as well. It’s much easier to determine if an issue was received if you don’t have to sort screen after screen of old issues. (If you unreceive an issue, it goes back into the Expected folder from which it will have to be deleted. If you remove an issue in the Received folder, it does not go back into the Expected folder. This is a property setting in Modify Control wizard.)

Removing issues from the Received folder does not remove issues linked to the bibliographic record. Those linked issues are maintained through the Call Number and Item Maintenance wizard in the Cataloging group of wizards.

Use the report to clean up barcoded holdings on periodical titles you receive

Use the report to find the titles on which you have holdings. In Workflows using the Call Number and Item Maintenance wizard, retrieve each title and check the barcoded items for your library. 

1) Check to be sure each entry has a base call number

2) Check to be sure each entry has an LCPER class scheme

3) Check to be sure each entry has a subfield z in the call number


4) Check to be sure the subfield z in the call number is in the correct place (after the base call number and right before the enumeration/chronology

Examples: MAGAZINE|zMAR 2011 or PERIODICAL|zV. 41 NO. 6 JUN/JUL 1996 or SI|zWIN 2006

5) Check to be sure there are no spaces immediately before or immediately after the subfield z

6) Check for consistency in the way issue information is entered. If issues were linked without being checked in through serials control, it is likely that the full month or season name was used. This inconsistency makes issues sort out of order.

7) Check for incorrect spelling that will make issues sort out of order. 

8) Check for extra spacing, missing spacing, incorrect or missing punctuation; all of these make issues sort out of order.

**Remember: If you made any changes to the serials control record, those changes won’t be reflected in the barcoded holdings for those issues already checked in. These barcoded issues are no longer within the serials control record so if you add a base call number to a serials control record that didn’t have a base call number before, those barcoded issues aren’t going to have a base call number. That new base call number will appear only on issues checked in AFTER you added the base call number to the serials control record. For example, old issues of a title would have a call number that looks something like this: V. 21 NO. 4|zAPR 2001 It would not sort correctly because it has no base call number AND because there is no base call number the system doesn’t know where to place the delimiter z (vertical bar z). You would have to manually correct this entry by typing in the base call number and moving the subfield z to the correct place within the call number so that it would match and sort correctly with new issues of this title that would be checked in after the base call number has been added to the serials control record. The new checked in issue would display as PERIODICAL|zV. 22 NO. 9 SEP 2002

** Remember that there is a limited number of spaces in a call number so if your volume information is really long, it might be desirable to shorten the base call number on that particular title to just MAG (or PER or an abbreviation of the title) so that all the enumeration information can display. For instance, on the title THE ECONOMIST, with the entire word MAGAZINE, not all of the issue information can be entered on some issues.

MAGAZINE|zV. 391 NO. 8637 JUN 27-JUL 3 2009 

The system cuts off the display of the year because this entire call number is too long (two numbers in the June date) 

So in this case, it would be better to abbreviate the base call number for all entries on this title so that all the issue information can be entered. This means then, that the base call number would need to be changed to match what is entered manually on these linked issues so that the new issues being checked in would sort correctly. Issues won't sort correctly if the base call number on new records is MAG and on older linked issues the base call number is MAGAZINE. 

It would be good to consider how the display has been set for each periodical (compare previously linked issues to serials control record (pattern tab, OPAC display tab, and predictions) to see which titles might need to have a shorter base call number.

Other options for serials clean up

1) You can run the list serials control record report (as described here) to find the periodical titles you have under serials control.

2) You can simply do a search in Workflows limited to your library and the record type SERIAL to find many periodical titles owned by your library.

If you limit the above search to item type PERIODICAL, you find those periodicals linked as PERIODICALS but not any that are not linked with that item type.

3) You can search the WULP for titles that have a MARC holdings statement attached to them. This can be done easily at: The resulting display will include the MARC holdings statement from the 866 tag of the MARC holdings record.

Was this article helpful?

That’s Great!

Thank you for your feedback

Sorry! We couldn't be helpful

Thank you for your feedback

Let us know how can we improve this article!

Select atleast one of the reasons

Feedback sent

We appreciate your effort and will try to fix the article