Variation among Copies of Titles Catalogued as Identical Should Inform Retention Decisions




A Review of:

Teper, J. H. (2019). Considering “sameness” of monographic holdings in shared print retention decisions. Library Resources & Technical Services, 63(1), 29-45.


Objective To investigate the degree to which books catalogued using the same bibliographic record differ and to consider the implications of these differences for cooperative monographic print retention programs.

Design Book condition survey.

Setting Academic library consortium in the United States of America.

Subjects 47 monographic titles, publication years 1851-1922, held by all consortium members and catalogued using the same respective OCLC record number. 625 out of a possible 705 circulating copies of these titles were available for item-level analysis via interlibrary loan.

Methods Book condition surveys were completed for all items and the resulting sets of assessment data points were analyzed to reveal trends.

Main Results 3.4% of items analyzed exhibited cataloguing errors (i.e., were catalogued using the wrong OCLC records), 56.8% retained their original bindings, 17.8% were marked to show previous ownership, 95.7% were complete with no missing content, 9.8% had no damage, and 18.9% had received identifiable preservation action.

Conclusion Books catalogued using the same OCLC record demonstrated many differences when compared at the item level. These differences are important in light of shared print retention programs and highlight a need for inquiry into the number of copies that should be retained to minimize the loss of uniqueness in print materials.


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Author Biography

Rachel Elizabeth Scott, University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee, United States of America

Interim Coordinator, Cataloguing, Collection Management, and Library Information Systems & Integrated Library Systems Librarian




How to Cite

Scott, R. E. (2020). Variation among Copies of Titles Catalogued as Identical Should Inform Retention Decisions. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, 15(1), 248–250.



Evidence Summaries