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2006 JULY–AUGUST; 351
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August 07, 2006 [posted]

W2 Serial Cutter Practice

Beginning August 1, 2006, NLM® will no longer recutter older serials in the W2 collection that contain cutters beginning with the letter "Z." In the past, when resources were not available to catalog serials upon receipt, a number of older serials in the W2 collection (government administrative reports or statistics) were assigned the "Z" cutter as a placeholder to allow them to be temporarily shelved before cataloging was completed and the correct main entry determined for these titles. These serials all have a Table G number assigned, so they have the appropriate geographic breakdown, and are shelved with other reports from that country.

Currently, when catalogers complete the cataloging on these titles, they have been removing the "Z" cutter and replacing it with a cutter that represents the main entry. This requires that the items then be relabeled and reshelved. Keeping the original cutter will save time in cataloging, labeling and reshelving, and reflects the fact that over the years, the cutter assigned to all serials in NLM's collection often signifies nothing more than a shelving location, as serial title changes keep the cutters of the previous titles.

This policy only applies to older titles in the backlog which already have assigned call numbers (approximately 700 titles). New serials in the W2 collection will continue to receive appropriate Table G numbers and cutters reflecting their main entry.

By Diane Boehr
Cataloging Section, Technical Services Division

Boehr D. W2 Serial Cutter Practice. NLM Tech Bull. 2006 Jul-Aug;(351):e5.

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