Cataloguing Printed Dissertations

Cataloging Decisions

NCSU theses and dissertations are cataloged following a set of local procedures. The following outline gives an overview of the process:

  • Create an original record in OCLC Connextion, including name authority work and creating a call number
  • Update and export records from OCLC to Symphony
  • Import record(s) into Symphony using SmartPort or batch loading

Keep in mind there are different ways to do a record depending if it is a print thesis or dissertation, an ETD (Electronic Thesis/Dissertation), a microfiche, or a Design final project.

Procedures for Original Record Creation

Entering Bibliographic and Access Information into OCLC Connextion

The creation of original cataloging records for all materials at the NCSU Libraries is done with OCLC Connexion, our bibliographic utility software. All theses, dissertations, and Design special projects should be entered and uploaded onto WorldCat via Connexion and then loaded back into Unicorn, with the OCLC number as the title control number.

Here is the basic anatomy of a MARC record for a thesis:

  1. For the Leader

    Type of Record (Type):t(Manuscript language material): Currently ETDs are cataloged as unpublished manuscripts, and will continue to be cataloged as unpublished manuscripts until a policy decision is made to catalog ETDs otherwise.
    Bibliographic Level (BLvl):m(Monograph/Item)
    Descriptive Cataloging Form (Desc):i -- NCSU Libraries is currently using RDA cataloging rules; if AACR2 rules are used, use a for this fixed field
    Encoding Level (ELvl):K(Less-than-full input by OCLC participants) -- This level is because NCSU Libraries do not assign subject headings for theses and dissertations. The updated NCSU Digital Repository allows a full-text search of the document.
    Form of Item (Form):#(blank)-- if an ETD, o(Online)
    Nature of Contents (Cont):b(Bibliographies),m(Theses) -- Keep in note to remove b if there are no bibliographies present
    Illustrations (Ills):a(Illustrations),b(Maps)-- Only if these are present in the document; content should reflect300field (for more extended options, visit theMARC 21 guidelines)
    Cataloging Source (Srce):d(Other)
    Target Audience (Audn):#(blank)
    Type of Control(Ctrl):#(blank)
    Language Code (Lang):eng(English)--Content should reflect041field (for more language options, visitMARC language codes)
    Conference Publication (Conf):0(Not a conference publication)
    Biography (Biog):#(No biographical material)
    Modified Record (MRec):#(blank)
    Country of Publication, etc. (Ctry):ncu(North Carolina)
    Government Publication (GPub):#(Not a government publication)
    Literary Form (LitF):0(Not fiction (Not further specified))--While not as common, works of fiction (1), novels (f), plays (d), short story collections (j),mixed forms (m),and poetry collections (p) may be submitted
    Index (Indx):0(No index)
    Festschrift (Fest):0(Not a festschrift)
    Type of Date/Publication Status (DtSt):s(Single date)
    Dates: Enter date of publication in first entry; leave second entry empty-- Content should reflect260c

  2. 007: If the record is an ETD, enter information for the physical characteristics of the electronic record:007 ## cb rd me n

    Subfield a(Type) is c (a computer file)

    Subfield b (Specific material designation) is r (remote)

    Subfieldd (Color) will change depending on the color content of the material:a(one color)orm(multi-colored).

    Subfield e (Dimensions) is n (not applicable)

  3. 040: If working with RDA rules, add subfield e rda to this field.

  4. 100/Authority work: A thesis or dissertation is the written result of original research. It is policy to use the form of a personal name based on the form found in the majority of the author's work. Because only a small percentage of thesis/dissertation authors have been previously (or will be subsequently) published, the name form is most often the same as that on the title page. Begin name authority work by searching in WorkFlows. If this author has been previously published, or has another NCSU thesis or dissertation, use the form found on the bibliographic and/or authority record in Unicorn. If no form is found, search OCLC Connexion or the Library of Congress Name Authority File. If this author has been previously published, or has another NCSU thesis or dissertation, use the form found on the bibliographic and/or authority record.

    If no name authority is found, set up the name using the following guidelines:
    Transcribe the author's name as it appears on the title page of the thesis or dissertation. Include any subfields, such as fuller form of a name (‡q), qualifiers (‡c), or birth year (‡d) that are found in the abstract or biographical information. If working with RDA rules, include a relator term to identify the work's author (‡e author).

    Information in the thesis or dissertation:
    Title page: by John E. Rose
    Abstract: John Edward Rose
    Biography: ...born 1959

    MARC record:
    100 1# Rose, John E. ‡q (John Edward), ‡d 1959-‡e author

    Information in thesis or dissertation:
    Title page: by John R. Arnold, Jr. (or III, IV, etc)
    Abstract: Arnold, John Ray.
    Biography: ....born 1957

    MARC record:
    100 1# Arnold, John R.q (John Ray),d 1957-‡e author

    If the birthdate is not given but a numeration is, set up the name as it appears on the title page with the numbering in a ‡c subfield.

    MARC record:
    100 1# Arnold, John R.q (John Ray),c Jr.‡e author

  5. 245: Enter the title and author of the ETD as it appears on the title page, with ‡b for subtitle if necessary. Make sure that the second indicator corresponds with the number of non-filling characters.

  6. 260: Raleigh, North Carolina for place of publication and North Carolina State University for publishing institution is placed in brackets. Enter the date which appears on the title page. Date should match date in Leader.

    260 ## [Raleigh, North Carolina] :‡b [North Carolina State University],‡c 2011.

    If a copyright exists on the document include that (© 2011)

  7. 300: Enter here the pagination and other physical details of the ETD. Subfield‡bshould reflect what is present inIllsin theLeader.Examples:

    300 ## xvi, 141 pages :‡billustrations (some color), maps (some color)
    300 ## xxii, 89 pages :‡b color illustrations
    300 ## iii, 203 pages :‡b illustrations, maps

  8. 336, 337, 338: According to RDA procedures, a print thesis/dissertation has the content of text, media of unmediated, and carrier of volume.

    336 ## text‡b txt‡2 rdacontent
    337 ## unmediated‡bn‡2 rdamedia
    338 ## volume‡b nc‡2 rdacarrier

    For an ETD, the content is described as text, media of computer, and carrier of online resource.

    336 ## text‡b txt‡2 rdacontent
    337 ## computer‡b c‡2 rdamedia
    338 ## online resource‡b cr‡2 rdacarrier

    If done in AACR2 format, this will instead haveh [electronic resource] in the 245.

  9. 502: Consult the title page to determine the date of the thesis or dissertation and if it is an M.S., M.A., Ph.D., or Ed.D. Examples:

    502 ##‡b M.S.‡c North Carolina State University,‡d 2009.
    502 ##‡b Ph.D.‡c North Carolina State University,‡d 2011.

  10. 504:If the thesis/dissertation concludes withacomprehensive list of bibliographic references, supply page numbers in parenthesis. Example:

    504 ## Includes bibliographic references (pages 136-141).

    If the thesis/dissertation does not contain a comprehensive list but rather has lists of references throughout the book, do not supply page numbers. Example:

    504 ##Includes bibliographic references.

    Indexes are rarely included with theses/dissertations, but the presence of one would be note here.

  11. 500: If vita is included, add it as a note.

    500 ## Includes vita.

  12. 690: Usethis chartto determine what is the propername usage for thedepartment found on the title page; this will be placed in subfieldx. Subfieldsa and v are constants, whether it is a thesis or dissertation. Examples:

    690 ## North Carolina State University‡v Theses‡x Textiles.
    690 ## North Carolina State University‡v Theses‡x Materials Science and Engineering.

  13. 856: Used only for when an ETD exists. Put the ETD's URL in subfield‡u. Examples:

    856 40‡y Full text (pdf)‡u

Here is what a completed thesis record will look like in OCLC Connexion:

Here is what a completed dissertation record will look like in OCLC Connexion:

Uploading the ETD Export Script into OCLC Connexion

In the spring of 1997, the NCSU Libraries, the Graduate School, and the campus Information Technology Division began a pilot project that allowed graduate students to submit theses and dissertations electronically. Interest in the project steadily gained momentum and beginning in the Fall semester of 2002, NCSU required all University theses and dissertation to be submitted electronically. These ETDs (Electronic Theses and Dissertations) can be accessed from the NCSU Digital Repository.

Starting in the fall of 2010, Metadata & Cataloging now receives the newly submitted theses and dissertations as an ETD Export Script, which is an e-mail containing MARC Files with stub records containing much of the core information automated. It is sent to the chief ETD cataloger(s) in Metadata & Cataloging, who imports the MARC file into OCLC, adds and edits information to the bibliographic record which cannot be automated, and uploads and updates the file to WorldCat and Sirsi WorkFlows.

Steps to follow:

  1. The technician(s) responsible for cataloging ETDs will receive a regular e-mail from the Digital Library Initiatives containing a MARC file which contains automated bibliographic records. You will need to import the MARC file into OCLC Connexion: Logging into Connexion, select File > Import Records... and select the .mrc file, choosing its Destination as Import to Local Save File.
  2. Open your Local Save File by selecting Cataloging > Search > Local Save File (then press OK). The newly imported records will be listed there with the Control # as NEW.
  3. Open the new record(s). Select the url in the 856 field, which will direct you to a link for the ETD as a .pdf file.
  4. Compare the data in the bibliographic record to what is present in the actual ETD. Pay attention to differences in the title, update personal name's to reflect what is on the title page for the 245 and edit the 100 to reflect fuller forms of the author's name with dates or previously existing personal names, check dates and copyright dates, updated the 300 field (and also update the Ills field in the leader and 007 ‡ d if appropriate), change "PHD" to "Ph.D." and "MS" to "M.S." in the 502 field, update the bibliographical references pagination in the 504 field, and change abbreviations of the department name in the 690.
  5. When finished, update the holdings by selecting Action > Holdings > Update Holdings. The record has now been uploaded onto World Cat.
  6. Now you will export this file to Sirsi WorkFlows by selecting Action > Export. (Make sure you're OCLC Export file is connected Sirsi's SmartPort.)
  7. In Sirsi, import your new bibliographic record and make sure that the Library is Online, and its Class Scheme should be ETD.
  8. For the Item information, the Home location should be NET, and if the Type should be THESIS for M.S. and M.A., and DISSERTN for Ph.D. and Ed.D.

(If your ETDs are going to be peer reviewed, put them in the Online Save File so your co-worker can look over them.)

When completed your Vol/Copy screen should appear in Sirsi WorkFlows as follows:

A dissertation's item level should look like this:

A thesis's item level should look like this:

Design Theses (Final Projects)

At the close of each semester, the Design Library receives print copies of masters theses in the subject areas of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Industrial Design, Graphic Design, and Art + Design.  Acquistions & Discovery creates original records for these theses.

Create Original Record in Connexion
  • Apply constant data entitled “masters projects” (all lower case).
  • Fill out the rest of the record.  Pay close attention to these fields:

-All of the theses will have the local call number (099): LD3921. Complete the call number by adding the designation for the major () and the author cutter.  Be sure to shelflist the call number in Sirsi to ensure they are in alphabetical order by last name.

-Author names do not need to be authorized.  Do not bother doing authority work on these.

-Fixed field Ills and 300 |b.  Many theses contain plans and/or maps.  Include the appropriate codes for these.

-There is usually an accompanying CD-ROM or DVD-ROM.  Remember to make a note of that in the |e of the 300 field and add the corresponding 33X fields.

-Enter the corresponding major in the 502 and 690 fields.

  • Reformat, validate, and upload to OCLC.
  • Note: local fields 099 and 690 will be stripped from the master record in OCLC.  They will export to Sirsi though.
  • Export to Sirsi.
Adding Item Records in Sirsi

There will at least 3 copies of each thesis. Copies go to Hill, Design and Special Collections:

General Instructions

1. Item type = THESIS or DISSERTN

2. Checkout all copies to INPROCESS

3. A&D staff enter 'completion date' in the Design Special Projects database. (In progress 5/20/13 -- cpa)

4. If there are fewer than 3 copies of an accompanying CD-ROM/DVD-ROM, include a note to Melvalee. Preservation will make additional copies.

5. Send compeleted final projects to Melvalee for binding. She prefers several at a time, rather than just one.

Design Copy

1. Library = DESIGN

2. Home location = STACKS

3. If there is an accompanying CD-ROM or DVD-ROM, create a separate call number/item record:

4. Change number of pieces to 2

5. Use a piggyback barcodes for thesis and accompanying materials

Special Collections (SCRC) Copy

1. Library = BOOKBOT

2. Home location = SPEC-OD

3. If there is an accompanying CD-ROM or DVD-ROM, create separate call number/item record

4. Change number of pieces to 2

5. Use a piggyback barcodes for thesis and accompanying materials

Note: The SCRC copy is the archival copy. Acompanying material call number/item record and barcode are stored in Sirsi for inventory purposes but accompanying material are not checked in/out of bookBot. Only the print thesis is checked in/out of bookBot.

Hill Copy

1. If there is an accompanying CD-ROM or DVD-ROM:

  • No call number/item created
  • Number of pieces is set to 1

2. Use a piggyback barcode for thesis only (accompanying CD/DVD is not barcoded)

Additional/Extra Copies
  • If more than 3 copies are submitted for cataloging and processing, return extra copies to Karen Dewitt (Design Library). She will return them to the owner and/or recycle. (-rg 5/15/13)

(Design Final Project policy & procedure updated 2013-05-20 by cpascale. Change in how SCRC copies are marked per L. Sellars.)

Holdings for NCSU Theses and Dissertations


  • Valid locations for SCRC copies are:
    • BOOKBOT/SPEC-OD (print copies, all print copies are in bookBot)
    • SPECCOLL/MICROFORMS (non-circulating SCRC preservation microfiche copies. These are in the SCRC Vault.)
  • ETDs/online copies should say ONLINE/NET
  • The following are circulating/general collection copies:
    • SATELLITE/MICROFORMS (circulating microfiche copies)
  • Itemtype should be THESIS or DISSERTN in all of the above.
  • Class scheme should be MFTHESIS for the microfiche copies.

Print holdings

Print theses and dissertations holdings are generated in the same manner. Every print thesis or dissertation should have at least two copies: one for Special Collections coded BOOKBOT/SPEC-OD and one for D.H. Hill (DHHILL/STACKS). All Design Special Projects will have a third copy for the Design Library (DESIGN/STACKS). Check the document Departmental designations in call numbers and subject headings to determine how many copies and to which branch location any third copy should belong. In addition, there should also be microfiche copies for print dissertations and for all ETDs.

Holdings are created through WorkFlows' "Add Volumes and Call Numbers" wizard, or as a default call number record when batch loaded. Default call number/item information should be supplied as follows:

Class scheme: LC (except ETDs and Microfiche)
Home Location: STACKS, MICROFORMS, SPEC-OD (SCRC copies only)
Permanent: Y
Circulate: Y

Procedures for adding Microfiche reproduction of NCSU Theses and Dissertations

After an ETD is cataloged, the preservation copy of microfiche will be cataloged as an "add-on" to the record describing the original ETD. Up until the advent of ETDs, only Ph.D. dissertations were microfilmed. These were provided to us by University Microfilms (UMI) as part of their dissertation service. With ETDs, an archival print copy was also desired, and so a decision was made to have Master's theses microfilmed as well. All microfiche copies are now considered as archival copies and are stored off-site and shelved alphabetically. These should receive automatic (XX) call numbers with Class Scheme of MFTHESIS, Library SPECOLL, and home location MICROFORMS. This class scheme enables the display of a generic note in place of the call number in our public catalog ("Microform NCSU Thesis/Dissertation"). Please DO NOT add |z with a count of microfiches (e.g. "1-3 microfiches").

Processing preservation copy of microfiche

  1. Preservation Department orders a preservation copy of ETD on microfiche from ProQuest.
  2. Microfiche are sent from ProQuest to A&D.
  3. Because the collection is arranged by year of graduation, then alphabetically by author's last name, write the year on the fiche folder.
  4. A&D Monograph staff or Student the item record to the existing bibliographic record describing the original ETD by doing the following:
  •           Add Volume and Call Numbers
  •           Library for new call number: SPECCOLL
  •           Change class scheme to MFTHESIS
  •           Change type to DISSERTN or THESIS (this will follow the type of the ONLINE copy)
  •           Change home location to MICROFORMS
  •           Toggle CIRCULATE flag off
  •           Toggle SHADOW ITEM flag on
  •           Set "number of pieces" to actual fiche sheet count.
  •           Write the year on the fiche folder (from the date field on the bib record)

MARC Holdings  ETD record

  1. Create a MARC holdings for library: change to SPECCOLL
  2. Use the following Fixed Field values:
  • Rec_Type: x for single sheet; v for multiple sheets
  • Enc_lvl: 1 (minimal level)
  • Material: he (microfiche)
  • Acq_Meth: z (other method of acquisition, e.g. not deposit, exchange, purchase, etc.)
  • Gen_Retn: 8 (Permanently retained)
  • Copies: 001
  • Lending: b (will not lend, not a service copy)
  • Repr: s (original is electronic)
  • Holdings Entries: change 852 first indicator to "8" (other class scheme), then add |cARCHIVES|hArranged by year, then by author's surname
  • Create 843 field to record copy specific information: Preservation microfiche.|bAnn Arbor, MI :|cUMI,|d2003.|e2 microfiches ; 11 x 15 cm.

Completed screen looks like this:

Microfiche Reproduction Example (right click on image to view at higher resolution using "View Image", or double click on image to execute Endeca search)

Both ETD and MFTHESIS are used with an AUTO (XX) call number to suppress the display of the call number in the OPAC (not in the staff client) and to instead display a standardized text. Here is an OPAC display for an NCSU dissertation with a preservation microfiche, where the XX call number has been replaced for display purposes

Assigning Call Numbers

Parts of a call number:

LD3921 Classification number
Tex       Department abbreviation
B73       Cutter Number

All theses and dissertations are assigned the same classification number "LD3921."

The departmental abbreviation should be taken from the title page. Please be sure to use the standard forms of departmental abbreviations from the document Departmental designations in call numbers and subject headings.

The entire departmental abbreviation goes into the Unicorn call number. Note that migrated thesis call numbers contain an additional decimal point in front of the departmental abbreviation. An abbreviation taken from the table should take the form:

LD3921 .Tex. Eng., Chem. & Sci. .C455

Cutter numbers are used to arrange bibliographical material by main entry (author's last name for theses and dissertations). Cutters are composed of the initial letter of the main entry heading, followed by Arabic numerals representing the succeeding letters. To determine the appropriate Arabic numerals use the Cutter table taken from the Library of Congress Subject Cataloging Manual's section on shelflisting.

ETDs do not have call number assigned to them; it is fine to leave the automated call number as it is.

Hunt Theses & Dissertations Project

Hunt Theses & Dissertations Project

3.4.2 Descriptive Cataloging of Theses and Dissertations


This policy delineates cataloging practice for describing unpublished academic theses issued by BYU or other institutions. The term thesis here should be understood to designate all types of academic dissertations, field projects, research papers, honors theses and other papers written to fulfill requirements for a degree or other scholastic recognition. This policy does not apply to published editions of works originally presented as theses. For copies of theses and dissertations issued by a non-academic agency such as University Microfilms International, see also the policy on Facsimiles, Photocopies, and Other Reproductions (3.4.1).


AACR2 and LCRI, chapters 2 and 4 (specifically, 1.7B13, 2.7B13, 4.7B13, and 4.4B1)
USMARC Format for Bibliographic Data: Books, fields 06, 008/15-17, and 008/24-27
Maxwell, Robert L. Maxwell’s Handbook for AACR2R. Chicago: American Library Association, 1997. p. 102-103, p. 153-154.
CSB 118.8 (Summer 1976)


Academic theses are actually manuscript books. On the one hand, they are unique, unpublished materials; on the other, they are in the form of a book. Because of this dual nature, we need to apply cataloging rules pertaining to manuscripts (AACR2 chapter 4) and books (AACR2 chapter 2).

We describe typescripts of academic theses and copies thereof according to the rules for manuscripts (AACR2 chapter 4). For theses, these rules result in similar descriptions as do the rules for books, with one notable exception – the publication area (260 field). Because theses are generally unpublished materials, they are given only the date of the manuscript, with place and publisher being omitted.

Correspondingly, the particular fixed field codes that reflect the description are as follows:

Leader 06:

Type of record: t (= manuscript language material)
Unicorn = Rec_Type

Leader 07:

Bibliographic level: m (= monograph)
Unicorn = Bib_Lvl


Place of publication, production, or execution: xx (= no place, unknown, or undetermined)
Unicorn = Ctry


Nature of contents: m (= Theses)
Unicorn = Cont

The 502 field is used to record the details of the thesis. This is done by using the term “Thesis”qualified by the type of degree (M.A., Ph. D., etc.), the name of the university (followed by the name of the department for all BYU theses), and the date the degree was granted. (See example below.)

Please note that Ph. D. is used with a space between the Ph. and the D. (LCRI 1.0C)

Please note also that in a thesis revised for publication, a 500 note is used rather than a 502, with somewhat different wording.

500: : Originally presented as the author’s thesis (Ph. D.–Indiana University, 1980).

500: : Originally presented as the author’s thesis (M.A.–University of Utah, 1995) under title: __________.

For theses to which conventional abbreviations do not apply, the term “doctoral” or “master’s” may be used.

502: : Thesis (doctoral)–Universität Heidelberg, 1998.

502: : Thesis (master’s)–Universidad de Madrid, 1990.

For BYU research papers (i.e., field projects, honors theses, marketing research projects, etc.), we will use a 502 field to indicate the type of research paper, qualified by the degree (if applicable), Brigham Young University, the specific department of the University (if applicable), and the date the paper was produced (date in 260 field).

Examples of currently used terminology:
502: : Honors Project–Brigham Young University, 2001.

502: : Marketing research project–Brigham Young University. Marriott School of Management, 2000.

502: : Closure Project (B.I.S.)–Brigham Young University. Dept. of Independent Study, 1999.

502: : Project (M.S.)–Brigham Young University. Dept. of Nursing, 2001.

Please be aware that older BYU records may have used different terminology, punctuation, spacing, and capitalization, as well as different tags to convey information of this type. Some records may have used a 500 field transcribing exact wording from the title page – e.g., “Submitted to Brigham Young University in partial fulfillment of graduation requirements for University Honors.” Others may have used various terms to denote a research paper for University Honors — e.g., Honors Project (B.A.); Thesis (Honors); Thesis (University Honors); University Honors; “A University Scholars Project.” Still other records may have omitted the date. For older records, we will attempt to standardize the tagging (using a formal 502 field) as time and resources allow.

For future records, the expectation is that catalogers apply the terminology and punctuation used in the examples above and that they follow the guidelines specified in this policy.


Rec_Type: t      Bib_Lvl: m               Enc_Lvl:          Desc: a
TypeCtrl:           Entrd: 920908       Dat_Tp: s         Date1: 1992
Date2:                 Ctry: xx                     Lang: eng          Mod_Rec:
Source: d            Illus: a                       Audience:         Repr:
Cont: bm             GovtPub: a              ConfPub: 0      Festchr: 0
Indx: 0                Fiction:                     Biog:

040: : UPB|cUPB
100:1 : Richards, Thomas D.
245:14: The bacterial ferritin of azotobacter vineland ii : |biron release kinetics and extended X-ray absorbance fine structure studies /|cby Thomas D. Richards.
260: : |c1992.
300: : vi, 90 leaves : |bill. ;|c28 cm.
502: : Thesis (M.S.)–Brigham Young University. Dept. of Chemistry, 1992.
504: : Includes bibliographical references (leaves 86-90).
650: 0: Ferritin.
650: 0: Azotobacter.
650: 0: Extended X-ray absorption fine structure.
655: 7: Dissertations, Academic.|2lcsh



3.4.17 Electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs)


3.4.3. Facsimiles, Photocopies, and Other Reproductions
4.6.0. Classification of BYU Theses and Dissertations

Maintained by: Chad Parker

Last Updated: August 2014

Last Modified: October 15, 2014

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