Sharing Metadata and Records

Note: This Best Practice uses the Good, Better, Best, Aspirational terminology

Shared Print programs rely on bibliographic and holdings metadata for decision-making within and across programs, and in collection analysis/management decisions. The availability of local, program level, and national bibliographic and holdings metadata is necessary to manage the collective collection. Best practices dictate that this metadata be recorded using MARC21 Format for Holdings Data Records according to shared print metadata guidelines and that it be widely shared. 

Each level presumes completion of the previous level.

Best Practice

Record your shared print commitments in your ILS. Register and maintain all monograph commitments in WorldCat or other system of record. Register all serials/journals commitments in the Center for Research Libraries’ Print Archives Preservation Registry (PAPR) and either allow syncing with other systems such as WorldCat or register them there also. 

Libraries are strongly encouraged to openly share their bibliographic and holdings metadata. 


Holdings level data for multi part titles is essential. This data should be shared in standard formats. 
Libraries should openly share bibliographic and holdings metadata when requested to do so.

Fields and Subfields for sharing holdings level data:
Use the 583 $3 to describe retained holdings in any shared data system beyond the local system

For multi-part monographs, the 583 $3 is used due to a lack of other holdings information when LHRs are absent. 
For serials, programs and libraries may be leveraging other summary holdings fields in the record (e.g. 86X fields), from which 583 $3 may be generated to support consistency across the formats in external systems. Also, the retention commitment may be for a different holdings range than reported elsewhere in the record. Data for this field may be generated from a variety of sources at the local level, but should be summarized at the shared system level, consistent with current MARC and ANSI/NISO standards for holdings statements. Any gaps notated in the 583 $z should also follow these standards.

In situations where retention information has changed, holdings data should be maintained both in local and shared systems. Establish a schedule of updates to maintain metadata consistency between local and national systems.


In addition to the above best practices, in order to fully operationalize collection management decisions and resource sharing in shared print it is optimal that shared print resources be discoverable at the point of need. The community is encouraged to think about ways in which all records which have retention commitments within a program, regardless of physical location, can be drawn into local and other discovery layers. 

Last Updated December 2020