John Stevenson recently left a comment here on the Lost Docs blog that seems to provide a straightforward way of deducing whether GPO intends to distribute a document acquired by their acquisitions dept to Federal Depository Libraries. We thought his comment deserved wider exposure:


The presence of a title with a SuDocs classification number in CGP doesn’t mean that it will be distributed to FDLP libraries, so the “False Positive” category may need some tweaking to make sure we’re all on the same page.

As I understand it, GPO now produces brief, format-specific CGP records for titles it’s working with. These constitute acquisition records and titles which are accepted into the program receive full cataloging at a later point in time. This process allows people outside GPO to see that’s in the hopper to be cataloged and the titles that will not be distributed. It’s a wonderful tool which allows librarians to preview titles and make acquisitions decisions for their own libraries without the need to ask GPO.

When people see records with SuDocs classification numbers, the titles have undergone Acquisitions review and the FDLP decision is recorded in the record. When their decision is to distribute a title, the record receives an item number recorded in field 074. These records will be replaced with full cataloging later on. Titles which will not be distributed have that decision recorded in field 500 notes.  The records for non-distributed titles are essentially place holders and will not be upgraded by GPO staff as they do not represent titles in the program.

There are cases where GPO Acquisitions staff recorded the classification of a title which will not be distributed in tangible format but have no record for the online version. If an online version became available after their decision, it’s hoped that the online version might be accepted into the FDLP as a fugitive with the same SuDocs classification number as assigned by GPO staff when they reviewed the non-distributed print edition.

The presence of brief records created by FDLP Acquisitions staff is really very helpful. Electronic resource records displaying URLs instead of PURLs are essentially future “New Electronic Titles”.

We will try to keep these guidelines in mind as we evaluate future reports we receive.