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Cataloging Manual


Catalog Record Loading

Under normal circumstances, batches of records for OA ebook collections are not loaded into the catalog. Records are only loaded for specific collections when there is universal agreement to add the collection; loading a given collection is only considered if all libraries in OPAL (100%) consent to having these records scoped to their library.  The process for submitting records for consideration and for voting on inclusion in the catalog is outlined below.

Record Loading Submission and Selection Process:

1.    Library staff will forward details about the collection, such as the provider, a description, the number of included titles, to
2.    OhioNet staff will review the submission, identify whether cataloging records are available and, if records are available, assess the records for overall quality.
3.    OhioNet staff will send an email to the OPAL Directors email list that:

  • Identifies the collection and includes relevant details (provider, description, number of titles, data quality)
  • Provides a two-week window for each director to approve loading the records.

4.    If all libraries approve loading the collection, OhioNet staff will:

  • Convene an ad hoc group of catalogers to remediate data quality issues, if necessary.
  • Load the records and notify OPAL via the OSHARE email list.

5.    If the collection is not approved, OhioNet staff will communicate the outcome to the both OPAL Directors email list and the individual originally submitting the collection for consideration.

It is important to note that this recommendation only applies to the wholesale loading of batches of OA records. Libraries are still permitted to import individual records for OA titles to be included in their scope of the catalog (see Electronic Resources Task Force Final Report, page 2, item 2).  Some particular examples of permissible OA records include theses or dissertations, as well as textbooks for a given course.

PLEASE NOTE: Any library desiring to load non-OCLC Open Access records needs to contact OhioNet/OPAL staff first.


Exception for OhioLINK OA Packages:

When OhioLINK makes OA records available for loading, the process is handled differently and does not require universal consent. Once we are aware that the records are available:

1.     OhioNet staff reach out to member libraries with collection information and an option to add the collection(s) to their scope.

2.     Member libraries respond with their decision to add or decline the collection.

3.     The collection(s) are added to the catalog and scoped only for the member libraries that have selected the collection. For those who
        declined, the collections(s) are not visible.


Selection Criteria:

In general, the selection criteria for OA materials are the same as for any resource under consideration.  Libraries should consult their existing collection development policy to determine whether to add a specific OA ebook collection.  However, there are additional considerations (e.g. what qualifies a resource as OA).  The Task Force highlights the following resources to assist in evaluating OA content:

Additional Open Access Collections and Resources:

Directory of Open Access Books -
Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition -
No Shelf Required (blog): Open Access -
Open Access Publishing in European Networks -
Springer OA Collection -
Knowledge Unlatched -
Oxford -
Digital Commons Network -
Open Access Spectrum Evaluation Tool -