Sep 162015

You may have noticed that records from the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) found in SUNCAT have changed recently. Since the July 2015 update we have received a lot more information on each of the DOAJ titles.

SUNCAT has been downloading records from the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) since November 2008, when we received data for 3736 titles. The number of DOAJ titles has risen and fallen over the years, but now stands at one of the highest numbers ever – 10551 in September 2015. DOAJ records form an important part of our database, giving our users information and access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals.

Extra Information
The DOAJ journal metadata is downloaded in CSV format. We assign each field (or column heading) to a MARC tag and then “marcify” the data using a specially written script. Before the July update we were receiving 17 different fields which we transferred into MARC. Now we are receiving 54 fields! As stated on the DOAJ website, “the amount of information in the CSV will increase as each journal has their reapplication accepted to remain indexed in DOAJ. There are currently 510 journals with the new information completed.”

It was felt that as we receive all of this valuable data we should make this available to users of SUNCAT. At the moment, we are not using every single field, as some information is very specific to the DOAJ, such as whether the title was accepted after March 2014. This information is important for them to record as all journals that were accepted into DOAJ before March 2014 are now required to reapply.

The new and improved journal metadata we are using includes information on:

  • APCs (Article Processing Charges);
  • Journal article submission fees;
  • Archiving;
  • Review process;
  • Copyright;
  • Publishing rights.

If you take a look at their catalogue you will see how they present this information. The challenge for us was to convert this information into a MARC format.

Mapping to MARC
It has been a very interesting process to map this extra information into MARC. Here are the steps which we took.

  1. Looked to see if other SUNCAT Contributing Libraries have incorporated this information into their bibliographic records.
  2. Looked at the MARC Standards (
  3. Consulted with colleagues.

MARC does not really cater for data which is not strictly bibliographic. This is one issue which needs to be addressed in the age of electronic resources. As a result, much of the metadata is being placed in 500$a tags. This tag does not have a $u, which is normally used to indicate an URL, so we are just including this in the 500$a. We have tried to group together information to put in the same 500 tag where possible.

Example metadata for the journal Current Therapeutic Research:

APC information URL:

APC amount:

USD – US Dollar

500 _aThere are journal Article Processing Charges (APCs). 1200 USD – US Dollar.

Some of the data obtained from the DOAJ can be directly inputted into a MARC tag, including the full text formats available, full text language and keywords. However, in most cases we need to add some text of explanation to the metadata, especially for URLs, or replace the metadata with text when the only metadata given is ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘True’, ‘False’.


Journal full-text crawl permission
If there is a ‘yes’ in this field then create 500 ## $aJournal full-text crawl permitted.

URL for journal’s Open Access statement:
If there are contents in this field create a 500 ## $aJournal’s Open Access statement: and add the contents preceded by a space.

The resulting work on marcifying the DOAJ metadata was tricky. but ultimately very rewarding. It was wonderful to see this new metadata in SUNCAT. All the notes fields (5XX tags) can be clearly seen on the full record display of a DOAJ record, as well as in the actual MARC record.

A screen shot of the full record display for the DOAJ record for Nukleonika. Captured on 15th September 2015.

Full-display DOAJ record for Nukleonika as found in SUNCAT. Screen shot captured 15th September 2015.

We hope you find this improved metadata really useful. Any comments would be very welcome. Just contact the EDINA helpdesk at

 September 16, 2015  Posted by at 3:03 pm Contributing Libraries Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »
Aug 142008

SUNCAT has just released a second parallel downloading service to complement the initial pilot service introduced last year. Contributing Libraries can continue to access the CONSER only records with their existing connection and configuration, but may now replace this, or add a second connection to the new service, which contains both CONSER and ISSN records and will gradually expand to include Contributing Libraries’ MARC records. The CONSER only database will be maintained to provide libraries with quick and easy access to these high quality records, with the second service providing a more comprehensive coverage of records.

There is no charge for these services, Contributing Libraries can simply visit for details on how to set up the Z39.50 connection and start downloading records.

CONSER is the cooperative online serials cataloguing programme coordinated by the US Library of Congress. There are over one million high quality CONSER records on SUNCAT, with particularly strong coverage in current STM titles.

Each ISSN assigned to a serial publication is registered in the ISSN Register and with over one million ISSN numbers assigned, this database is one of the most comprehensive and authoritative sources for the identification of serial publications world-wide.

The facility is only available to SUNCAT Contributing Libraries and therefore a username and password is required to set up the connection. These details remain the same as for the pilot service and have already been sent to the primary SUNCAT contacts at each Contributing Library.

Contributing Libraries should contact the EDINA helpdesk at if they need a reminder of their username/password, experience any problems setting up or using the service or have comments about the service.

SUNCAT is the Serials Union Catalogue for the UK. Visit the service at
 August 14, 2008  Posted by at 11:07 am Developments Tagged with: , , , , ,  No Responses »
Jan 112008

Last month we released a pilot downloading facility for SUNCAT Contributing Libraries. The pilot service enables our Contributing Libraries to download a subset of SUNCAT records in MARC format via Z39.50. The records are from CONSER, the Library of Congress Cooperative Online Serials programme.

There are over one million CONSER records available and these are of very high bibliographic quality and are particularly strong in their coverage of current Scientific, Technical and Medical (STM) titles. The records are free of charge to SUNCAT Contributing Libraries, enabling them to download records for newly purchased serials or to upgrade their existing serials records.

We are currently unable to offer the entire SUNCAT database of records in MARC format due to IPR restrictions imposed by a commercial supplier on records supplied to our Contributing Libraries. However, the SUNCAT team are investigating methods of filtering out these records so that we can offer a greater proportion of the SUNCAT database for download.

Details of how to set up and configure the Z39.50 connection are available at

Please contact the EDINA helpdesk with any comments or queries about the pilot service.

SUNCAT is the Serials Union Catalogue for the UK. Visit the service at
 January 11, 2008  Posted by at 11:11 am Developments Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »