H 203 Citation of Sources
BACKGROUND: Subject authority records include 670 (Sources found) and 675 (Sources not found) fields. Because these records are distributed to bibliographic utilities and other subscribers, the sources in these fields should be cited in a style that is brief, but clear and understandable to users of the authority records. This instruction sheet describes a suggested method of citing sources. However, as long as the appropriate data elements are present, the exact style of the citation is optional.
1. General rule for citing sources. Provide the main entry, title, and date of publication. In order to keep citations brief, authors' initials instead of their full forenames may be cited, titles may be abridged, and words in titles may be abbreviated to the extent that this can be done without sacrificing clarity. The following format and punctuation style are suggested:
670 ## $a Doe, J. The book I wrote, c1986
670 ## $a
When creating online subject authority records, it is equally acceptable to cut-and-paste the full main entry and title statement from a bibliographic record to a 670 field in an authority record.
2. When to omit volume and page numbers. As a general rule, omit the volume and page number where information relevant to the proposal was found, if (a) the source being cited is alphabetically arranged, and (b) the heading being proposed, or a reference to it, is found in its normal alphabetical location in the source. Examples:
If the heading Clinical trials is proposed, and MESH is cited as a source, the page number in MESH may be omitted, since MESH is an alphabetically arranged list of medical subject headings and the term Clinical trials is found in MESH under the letter C.
Also omit volume and page numbers when citing as a source a publication that has the proposed heading within its title. Example:
If the heading Privatization is proposed, no page number is required when citing the following as a source: Goldman, H. The privatization book, 1984.
Note: When citing a work such as this in order to justify variant forms that are found in the text and that have been provided as UFs, cite the page number(s) where the variants are found.
3. When to include volume and page numbers. As a general rule, include the volume and page number where relevant information was found if either (a) the source is not an alphabetically arranged work, and it is necessary to browse or use the table of contents and/or index to locate information that supports the proposal or (b) the source is alphabetically arranged, but the information that supports the proposal being made appears in a place other than the alphabetical position of the proposed heading. Example:
If the heading Coit Memorial Tower (San Francisco, Calif.) is proposed and Americana is cited as a source, the volume and page number are required because this term appears only in the article about San Francisco, and there is no entry or reference to it under the letter C.
When including a volume and/or page number, place them following the source citation in a $b subfield. Examples:
670 ## $a
670 ## $a Doe, J. The book I wrote, 1986: $b p. 20
4. Citing serial publications. When citing any serial as a source, provide the volume number (or date) of the issue(s) consulted, in addition to the other information specified above. Examples:
670 ## $a Biol. & agr. index: $b v. 38
670 ## $a NYT index, 1984
670 ## $a Educ. index, May 1984
670 ## $a Pharmaceutical trends, Jan. 1978: $b p. 2
5. Parenthetical information. Unless the proposed heading is found in the cited source in exactly the same form, provide the form and/or briefly quote the context in which it is found. If both the exact form and variants are found, provide both. Put this information in parentheses following the citation in a $b subfield. Examples:
Heading proposed: Abscam Bribery Scandal, 1980
670 ## $a NYT index, 1980 $b (Abscam, Operation; Abscam; Abscam investigation)
Heading proposed: Russia–History–Streltsy Revolt, 1698
670 ## $a
6. Model of citation form with content designation. The suggested form of citation is:
670 ## $a [author]. [title], [date]: $b [volume, page, etc.] ([data found])
Although not all citations include all of these elements, generally follow this order and style for those elements that are included. Examples:
670 ## $a World Book: $b v. 17, p. 86c (
670 ## $a Web. geog. $b (Hsiang; Siang)
670 ## $a Milberry, L. The Canadair North Star, 1982: $b pp. 23ff.
670 ## $a Evans, S. A short history of
7. Citing sources that are not publications.
a. BGN. In most cases, information is obtained from BGN via the World Wide Web, using the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) or GEOnet Names Server (GNS) (cf. H 690, sec. 1). Cite it in the following manner:
670 ## $a GNIS [or GEOnet], [date searched] $b ([approved form, including coordinates, if supplied]; variants: [variants provided])
670 ## $a GEOnet, Feb. 9, 2000 $b (Tokaji Hegy, mountain, 48°07'N 21°23'E; variants: Tokaj Hegy, Kopasz Hegy)
If the printouts of BGN's Geographic Names
Information System Alphabetical Finding List for
670 ## $a GNIS [name of state]$([data found])
b. Citing the Library of Congress database. Use the phrase LC database as a standard way of indicating that the term being proposed as a heading or reference was found in titles in bibliographic records in the LC Database. Use LC name authority file to cite the name authority file. If variations of the term were found in the database, provide these in parentheses in a $b subfield. Example:
Heading proposed: Environmental auditing
670 ## $a LC database, Sept. 9, 1984 $b (environmental audit; environmental compliance auditing; environmental auditing)
c. Citing telephone calls. In order to use information obtained by telephone to support a subject heading proposal, use the following citation form: Phone call to [name of person]. Include the date of the call only when adding a citation to an existing authority record to support a change of heading or reference. Also include, when pertinent and available, the person's title and the organization with which the person is affiliated. Provide in parentheses a brief summary of the relevant information provided by the person in a $b subfield. Example:
Heading proposed: Public history
670 ## $a Phone call to M. Cantelon, Natl. Council on Public History $b (term has not yet acquired a fixed meaning)
d. Citing the World Wide Web. Give the name of the Web site and the date it was consulted. In subfield $b, give a location, if appropriate, and the information found. Generally, do not include the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) since addresses often change. Example:
Heading proposed: DataTimes (Information retrieval system)
670 ## $a DataTimes WWW site, May 16, 1996 $b main menu (DataTimes information network)
e. Citing the Old Catalog heading. When proposing a heading for a named entity, geographic feature, chemical, biological organism, etc., for which an Old Catalog heading exists and has been found, cite it by the phrase Old catalog heading followed by the heading in parentheses in a $b subfield. Example:
Heading proposed: Marion Reservoir (
670 ## $a Old catalog heading $b (Marion Lake, Kan.)
8. Citing sources in which the heading was not found. Use the 675 field to cite sources that were consulted but do not use the term or any variation of it. The same style as that used for citing sources that support the proposal may be used. No further data should be provided. In the online record, the 675 field is not repeatable. Multiple sources appear in sequential $a subfields. Example:
675 ## $a Web. geog.; $a Lippincott