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Guidelines for ELN Serials Submissions

The ELN Serials Cat union database search resource/target will be retired in April 2021. 

  • Some background: The Media & Serials union databases were created for academic libraries, at a time when powerful search options were not available within SHAREit, to allow Media & ILL Staff to easily find & request desired materials. With the many search & filtering advances made in SHAREit V6, these databases have become low-use with most libraries requesting instead from the comprehensive BC Union Catalogue (BCUC) union database that includes all records. Many libraries also no longer update either the Media or Serials union databases and instead only submit regular record loads to the BCUC database.
  • Some statistics: In 2019, Illume libraries created less than 1% of requests in SHAREit from "ELN Media Cat" records (0.03%) or from "ELN Serials Cat" records (0.7%). The vast majority of requests are created instead from either BCUC records or Z39.50 target records (UBC, SFU, UVic or UNBC).
  • So how do you request from Media & Serial records without these resources? Most requests for Media & Serials are already created from "BC Union Catalogue" records or Z39.50 Targets (eg. SFU) by Filtering using "Format" on the Illume search results. New SHAREit search options allow patrons & staff to filter & group multiple formats (eg. serial, eserial, periodical etc) together. For more assistance with Searching please check-out our Search Tips guide or contact us for training.


Based on previous consultation processes with BC ELN libraries on this topic, following are Guidelines/FAQs for partner libraries submitting records to the ELN Serials Cat provincial union database.

What is the purpose of ELN Serials Cat?

ELN Serials Cat is used primarily to look up holdings at BC post-secondary libraries and Vancouver Public Library for items identified through citation indexes, whether by patrons, interlibrary loans staff, or Godot. Contributing records to ELN Serials Cat facilitates provincial sharing of both access and cataloguing.

Who contributes to ELN Serials Cat?

All BC ELN partner libraries participating in Resource Sharing submit records to ELN Serials Cat. Vancouver Public Library also contributes records. Record submissions are performed by libraries at least once a year, more frequently if possible to ensure currency. More information about submitting records is available in the Procedures for Uploading Records guide.

What should be included in my ELN Serials Cat records submission?

BC ELN recommends that libraries contribute records for all periodical holdings, in all formats, to ELN Serials Cat. Newsletters, newspapers, etc., are considered to be periodicals.

It is not essential that periodicals be indexed in order to be included. If there are more esoteric materials that can be found through ELN Serials Cat, that is very helpful for resource sharing purposes.

Should I include electronic journals in my ELN Serials Cat submission?

Any electronic journals included in a library's catalogue should be submitted. If a library has not included electronic journals in their catalogue, there is no requirement to do so.

It is important to identify all periodicals, regardless of format. Most electronic-only journals, for example, will be available for walk-in use and interlibrary loan. Consortia routinely request walk-in and ILL privileges when negotiating database licenses, as do many libraries when negotiating their own licenses. A growing number of electronic journals are freely available as well; by contributing records for these items to ELN Serials Cat, we facilitate sharing of both access and cataloguing.

What about other types of serials?

Ideally, other types of serials (Annual Reports, looseleaf, etc.) should not be submitted to ELN Serials Cat, but rather only to the BC Union Catalogue (formerly OutLook Online) provincial union database. Any library that does not have a means of identifying periodicals records for export should continue to send all serials holdings.

Identifying periodical records can be tricky, since MARC does not provide an easy means to distinguish periodicals from other types of serials. Depending on the library's system, it may be possible to use other means to pinpoint periodicals records. For example, classified vs. unclassified or by location code.


If you have any tips or suggestions for how to export periodicals records, comments, suggestions, or questions, please feel free to share them with everyone by posting to, or contact us directly to summarize for the group.