Editing Bibliographic Records

Editing bibliographic records in Polaris is very similar to editing in a Word document.

  • Edit within a field by typing or deleting characters.

  • To add a new field, click at the end of the line above and hit the return key.

  • You can select and drag a field to a different location in the record.

  • You can copy and paste text from other Polaris records and third-party records, such as LC subject headings. Highlight the text you want to copy then press Control-C to copy. Put the cursor where you want to field to go and press Control-V to paste.

  • To add a subfield delimiter, press Control-Q or right-click and pick “Insert Delimiter.” Do NOT use Ctrl-D which will delete the record. For other shortcut key combinations see Keyboard Shortcuts for Catalogers.

  • To adjust text size:

    • Change your screen resolution size to 125%

    • Hold down the Control key while using a mouse scroll up/down.

    • Hold down the Control key and press plus or minus key

    • Try using Windows Magnifier to see the contents of the fields.

  • When you save the record, the fields will sort in numerical order with the exception of the notes fields.

  • Field information for the MARC field that your cursor is in will appear at the very bottom of the window. If you don’t see the field information, press Control-L or take the window out of full screen mode.

  • To enter diacritics go to the Tools menu and select Diacritics or press Alt+D. Select Latin1 Supplement for most Spanish and French characters. Pick the character you want to add and click on Insert. If you would like to enter characters without going to this menu, you can note the alt+number combinations to use which appear at the bottom of the Character Picker window. If you frequently enter text in languages other than English, you can change your keyboard settings in Windows to add an international keyboard.

  • You can record and play Macros for frequently used text, such as adding a 099 PRELIMINARY DATA RECORD field. You can also record command sequences such as adding “alt+0191” to insert a Spanish inverted question mark. For more step by step instructions, see Bibliographic Record Macros in Polaris.

  • Double-click on the tag column to edit the LDR, 006, 007 and 008 fields. A window will open up with all of the positions labelled.

Specific Fields Important for PAC Display

Within the 008 field there are two very important fields that need to be filled out correctly because they affect searching in the PAC. These are the Audience field and the Literary Form field. Please see the separate documents about these fields.

It is also important to make sure the correct Type of Material (TOM) is displaying in the PAC. Use the PAC view of the bibliographic record to see this. This is the second view available on the bibliographic record. When you hover your mouse over the icon on the left, it will tell you the TOM. Use the Type of Material Codes chart to make any needed corrections to the leader, 006, 007, and 008 in order to get the correct TOM.

When you Save a Record:

  1. MARC format Check – This lets you know if there are any tags that are not valid. If you get a message, delete the field in the error message.

  2. Authority Check – This compares the headings to the authority records in our Polaris system. You should make sure subject headings are spelled correctly. There aren’t authority records for every subject and subheading combination so these will often display. For name and series headings, check the heading and make corrections if needed.

  3. Duplicate Record Check – The system will let you know if there are any records that have matching fields such as the ISBN number. For more information, please see Merging Bibliographic Records in Polaris.

  4. MARC tags are Resorted – The tags will sort in numeric order except for the 5XX fields. See Sort Order of MARC Fields for more information.

  5. For new records, a record number is assigned.

  6. The record is indexed for the Keyword and Browse indexes.

Overview of Views


The first view is the MARC21 Editor. This is where you can edit the record.

The second view is the PAC view. This gives you a view of the record in the PAC so you can check the Type of Material (TOM).

The third view is Statistics. The statistics here refer to all of the items attached to the bibliographic record.

The fourth view is Resources. This is where the information about electronic resources is stored. It includes the vendor and the URL for the resource.

The fifth view is Bound-with. When cataloging pamphlets or other materials that have individual titles and individual bibliographic records, but are bound together in physical volumes, libraries can group bibliographic records together by creating special linking entry fields. Only one item is created but the multiple bibliographic records are linked together.


Information About the Record

At the top of the Bibliographic Workform, there are some fields to note.

  • The Control number is a unique number assigned to the record. The records are numbered sequentially as they are added to the system so the newest records will have the largest numbers.

  • The Owner of the record should always be Cooperative Computer Services.

  • The number of items attached to the record is shown here.

  • The Record status should be Final in most cases. A Provisional record does not display in the PAC. A Deleted record also does not display in the PAC.

  • Display in PAC should normally be checked unless all of the attached items are one of the following statuses: Claim Missing Parts, Claim Never Had, Claim Returned, Lost, Missing, Unavailable, and/or Withdrawn. (There may also be some records used for acquisitions purposes that are not displayed in the PAC.)

  • The Properties button (picture of paper with a hand over it) will display information about the record such as the creator, creation date, last modifier and last modification date as well as the First Available Date.

Kathy Schmidt