Recently I realized I’ve been making an error in determining when a given publication was first entered into the Catalog of Government Publications. I had been using the date in the 005 field of the MARC record in the CGP. Closer examination has revealed that the date given in the 005 field reflects the last change made to that record.

In point of fact, it is the 008 field that carries the unchanging date of when an item is first added to a library’s catalog. Sometimes the date is the same, but more often it is not. In those cases, a 005 date will make a record look younger and in the case of this blog, make it seem like GPO took longer to catalog the item than it actually did. None of us at FGI want anything more or less than accurate data on how long it is taking GPO to catalog fugitive documents that have been reported to it. We regret any errors.

For the time being we ask you not to use Catalog of Government Publications dates on items marked “Found Document” until we announce that all dates have been corrected. Blog entries where the 008 varies from the 005 date will be flagged.

Thank you for your patience.