Jan 152019

Bethan Ruddock, the NBK Project Manager, has written a few words on how the SUNCAT libraries can contribute to the NBK. I hope that you find this useful, and that it encourages you to contact the NBK team, if you haven’t done so already!

I would like to reiterate – as I’m sure that I will be doing a lot over the next few months – that we really appreciate the work that our Contributing Libraries have put into sending us data over the years. SUNCAT would be nothing without the libraries, and their enthusiasm. May this carry on with contributions to the NBK!

Bethan says:

The Jisc National Bibliographic Knowledgebase (NBK) is a project to aggregate bibliographic data at scale and link with a number of other data sources to inform library collection management decisions and to help users more effective find, access and use print and digital scholarly resources.

The NBK data will support 3 main services: resource discovery, collection management, and catalogue record download. The resource discovery service with take over from the current Copac and SUNCAT services at the end of July 2019.

To ensure continued excellent coverage of UK serials holdings as established by SUNCAT, we would like to invite and encourage all current SUNCAT contributors to contribute their data to the NBK. This invitation isn’t limited to serial holdings: we’d be very pleased to get full catalogues from you. For SUNCAT contributors, we are offering the option of sending an initial contribution of serial holdings, allowing you time to consider sending your full holdings later.

More information on contributing can be found at (login with Shibboleth / Open Athens, or contact to request access). If you have any questions about the NBK, or would like to arrange to contribute, we’d be very pleased to hear from you at



 January 15, 2019  Posted by at 4:26 pm News No Responses »
Nov 122018

The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is SUNCAT’s newest Contributing Library. We invited Becky Howell, the Librarian at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, to say a few words.


The library at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery is one of the three libraries held across the National Galleries of Scotland. The library holdings, including our journal collections, cover a large range of topics, including portraiture, art history, Scottish history and biography, and photography. Our collection is used primarily by our curatorial staff, but we also welcome visitors to use our resources in our reading room. We are open to anyone wanting to do research at any level, and have archive material and a large collection of prints, drawings and photographs that can also be consulted.

The library is a Victorian balcony library, and was moved during the Portrait Gallery’s renovations during 2008-2011. It was previously located on the opposite side of the building, but the library in its entirety, including the shelves and cupboards, was dismantled and then rebuilt in its current location. The reading room is located within the library, but there is also a public area where visitors can look at some of our object collection while enjoying the space.

A photograph of the interior of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery Library

Scottish National Portrait Gallery Library


 November 12, 2018  Posted by at 4:41 pm Contributing Libraries No Responses »
Nov 022018

We would like to invite members of our Contributing Libraries to a joint webinar hosted by SUNCAT and the NBK (National Bibliographic Knowledgebase). This webinar will take place on the 20th November, 2018, at 2:30 pm for an hour.

We will cover the impending retirement of SUNCAT, and the service until then. Bethan Ruddock, the NBK Project Manager, will introduce the National Bibliographic Knowledgebase, and inform the SUNCAT Contributing Libraries on joining the NBK. We expect that half of the webinar will be open to the floor for any questions that you might have regarding SUNCAT and the NBK.

If you wish to have any background information regarding the SUNCAT retirement, we have a blog post on the subject.

If you wish to join the webinar, please register at this link.

We would suggest that at least one member of the SUNCAT Contributing Libraries register for this event, in order to receive the most current information regarding the SUNCAT retirement and the handover to the NBK.

Slides and notes will be reproduced in a SUNCAT blog post after the event, and a transcript of the questions and answers will be sent to attendees, and included as part of the blog post. If there is demand, we may re-run and update the webinar.

If you have any questions, please contact the SUNCAT team at We look forward to seeing you at the webinar.

 November 2, 2018  Posted by at 9:13 am News No Responses »
Nov 072014

SUNCAT has been updated.  Updates from the following libraries were loaded into the service over the past week.  The dates displayed indicate when files were received by SUNCAT.

  • Goldsmiths University of London (03 Nov 14)
  • ISSN (17 Oct 14)
  • Kent University (01 Nov 14)
  • London Business School (04 Nov 14)
  • London Metropolitan University (27 Oct 14)
  • National Library of Scotland (05 Nov 14)
  • Newcastle University (24 Oct 14)
  • Nottingham University (03 Nov 14)
  • Oxford University (22 Oct 14)
  • Robert Gordon University (03 Nov 14)
  • Royal Museums Greenwich Caird Library (31 Oct 14)
  • Southampton University (02 Nov 14)
  • University of the West of England (23 Oct 14)
  • Warwick University (03 Nov 14)
  • York University (15 Jul 14)

To check on the currency of other libraries on SUNCAT please check the updates page for further details.

 November 7, 2014  Posted by at 9:47 am Updates No Responses »
Oct 312014

SUNCAT has been updated.  Updates from the following libraries were loaded into the service over the past week.  The dates displayed indicate when files were received by SUNCAT.

  • Bristol University (22 Oct 14)
  • CONSER (29 Oct 14)
  • The London Library (28 Oct 14)
  • Southampton University (26 Oct 14)

To check on the currency of other libraries on SUNCAT please check the updates page for further details.

 October 31, 2014  Posted by at 1:10 pm Updates No Responses »
Feb 272014

We are very pleased to announce that the records of London Metropolitan University have now been added to SUNCAT. This makes it our first new Contributing Library of 2014, and brings the total number to 93, plus CONSER database, the ISSN register and the Directory of Open Access Journals. Almost 36,000 of its serial records for both print and electronic titles have just been loaded into our service.

London Metropolitan University offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses, which range from design to life sciences; from business to computing; and law to theatre practice. It has three library sites: Commercial Road, the newly-refurbished Holloway Road, and Calcutta House. There are also serials held as part of the Trades Union Congress Library Collections. In the TUC Collections there are over 5000 periodical titles in runs ranging from one issue to eighty years.

For further information and news about SUNCAT please see our website, follow SUNCAT on Twitter (@suncatteam), or contact the EDINA helpdesk at

 February 27, 2014  Posted by at 3:22 pm Contributing Libraries Tagged with:  No Responses »
Oct 142013

We carried out a user satisfaction survey on the service between November 2012 and January 2013. A report of the results was published earlier this year, see our post from February 2013. Overall, the response was very positive with the vast majority of respondents finding SUNCAT not only easy or very easy to use (86%) but that it also saved them time (89%). Further, 97% indicated they would recommend the service to others. However, we did also ask for comments and suggestions on how SUNCAT could be improved. This information is particularly useful for us as we work on redeveloping the SUNCAT interface. We have now analysed and summarised these suggestions into in a Quality Improvement Report with tables detailing our responses and actions. They have been graded using the following formula:

  1. Done or due for release soon
  2. Do soon, requires little resource
  3. Already planned
  4. Put on to-do list, needs more effort
  5. Not achievable or beyond scope

We are pleased to report that a large number of suggestions have been graded with “1. Done or due for release soon”, as they have been incorporated into the first release of our redeveloped service – please watch out for imminent news on this!

Please contact us at if you have any other suggestions for further improvements or comments on this report.

 October 14, 2013  Posted by at 2:57 pm Developments, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »
Aug 082013


Today (8th August) is World Cat Day! (Honest, that’s what it says on the Internet…)  To celebrate, we have some weird and wonderful cat-orientated titles from SUNCAT.

The adventures of cat and girl.

The Adventures of Fat Freddy’s cat.

Arkansas Thomas cat.

Cat boarding.

Cat companion from Friskies.

Cat fanciers’ almanac.

The cat in the hat annual / Dr. Seuss.

Cat lovers diary.

Cat mews for a healthier cat.


Cat tales.

The Cat with future feet.

The Cat’s pause.

Cat’s yawn.

China-cat sunflower.

Cicero’s cat.

Cosmo the cosmic cat.

Fat cat monthly.

Felix the cat and friends.

Felix the Cat’s blockbuster movie bonanza.

Fur & feather.

International cat fancy magazine.

The library cat newsletter.


The miner’s cat.

The miniature cat collection : collect exquisite miniatures of the world’s best-loved cats.

The Progressive fancier : a high-class monthly journal devoted to the interests of rabbit, cat, mouse, cavy, and other fanciers.

Put the cat out.

Quasi-occasional kitty kat.


Top Cat.

Vanishing cat.

Whole cat journal.

Walt Disney’s jungle cat.

The whole cat : natural health and healing for your cat.

Kitten frenzy

Kitty in my pocket



Disclaimer: it is noted that not *all* titles may be 100% feline-orientated!


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 August 8, 2013  Posted by at 1:33 pm Weird titles Tagged with:  No Responses »
Aug 072013

This is the third in a series of blog posts highlighting some of the new or improved features which will be available in the redeveloped SUNCAT. In this post we are going to focus on the latest version of the exact title index.

Basic and advanced search along with browsing will provide users with an exact title index.  The index will be available from a pull down menu on each of the pages.

Searching by Exact Title

We have spent a lot of time and effort to decide exactly how ‘exact’ the index should be. Our first consideration was whether we should actually include a separate index or if the title keywords index would prove sufficient. However, we believe that an exact title search is very useful for “known” item searches, so that when users know precisely which title they are interested in, they can quickly and efficiently focus in on finding where that particular title is held in the UK.

After several false starts, the first of which some of you may have seen when the service was previewed in April/May, we have defined the following rules for the exact title search (for now at least!):

1) It is case insensitive e.g. searches on NEW YORK TIMES, new york times and NeW YoRk TiMeS will all return the same matches.
2) Special characters are ignored, we are currently defining special characters as !”#$%&'()*+,-./:;<=>?@[\]^_`{|}~ after further testing and feedback these may be tweaked.
3) Diacritics are ignored e.g. search terms containing an e will find ê and so on.
4) If a title has a skip in filing defined it matches with and without the skip in filing value e.g. a serial that has a MARC 21 245a tag of

245 04$aThe journal of Hellenic studies /$cthe Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies.

will get a match for either The journal of Hellenic studies or journal of Hellenic studies.

5) No partial matching, e.g. a search on New York Times will only match serials titled New York Times not New York Times Supplement.
6) It will only find matches if all the words in a search entry are in the correct order e.g. a search on New York Times will match New York Times but not York New Times.
7) Trailing whitespace at the beginning and end of an index value will be ignored.

The actual MARC 21 tags/subfields we build the exact title index from in the redeveloped SUNCAT are as follows:

1) 245 abnp (Title Statement)
2) 246 abnp (Varying Form of Title)
3) 210 a (Abbreviated Title)
4) 222 a (Key Title)

This is a significant decrease from the number of tags/subfields that the existing SUNCAT service uses for this index so we hope that this should result in directing users quickly and easily to information about specific titles of interest without the distraction of also seeing similar or related titles.

The default title keywords search will remain as a much more inclusive index, enabling users to search across MARC fields concerned with not only the main title entry but also uniform titles, related titles, continuing titles, series titles etc. – in total indexing around 30 MARC tags. As the default search this will continue to allow users to find information when they are less sure of or less specific about the titles they want to retrieve.

 August 7, 2013  Posted by at 2:15 pm Developments Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »
Aug 012013

Today (the 1st of August) is Yorkshire Day. To help celebrate this lovely part of the world we have compiled a list of weird and wonderful titles relating to Yorkshire. We hope you enjoy them!

  • Ale talk : magazine of the Heavy Woollen branch of CAMRA.
  • The Bairnsla foaks’ annual an Pogmoor Olmenack / be Tom Treddlehoyle.
  • The bar : Barnsley ale report / Barnsley CAMRA.
  • Bob Stubbs’ original comic Yorksher awmynack.
  • Burnt toast magazine.
  • The Chalk aquifer of Yorkshire.
  • Dalesteam.
  • The Dewsbre back at mooin olmenac, an t’ West Ridin’ historical calendar.
  • Keels and cuckoos : the South Yorkshire and Dukeries Branch newsletter.
  • Poetic enlightenment from Yorkshire.
  • Pub mirror.
  • Push and pull : Magazine of the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway.
  • Regional r£wards for Yorkshire and the North East.
  • Yorkshire swine monthly.
  • The bacon hog quarterly.
  • Early Yorkshire charters : being a collection of documents anterior to the thirteenth century … / edited by William Farrer [then] C.T. Clay …
  • His Majesties Letter to the Gentry of Yorkshire.
  • The Leeds Express Morning Tissue.
  • The Leeds Express Mid-day Tissue : The Yorkshire Sporting Pink.
  • Tum & tipple : the good life of Yorkshire.
  • Wool city rocker : Yorkshire’s rock magazine.
  • Yorkshire Chat : A weekly journal for Yorkshiremen.
  • Yorkshire cactus journal.
  • Yorkshire Pud : The daily newspaper of the 7th Bn. The Duke of Wellington’s Regt.
  • Yorkshire relish.
  • Yorkshire surnames series.
  • The Yorkshire Tramper.

For more Yorkshire-themed titles and other weird and wonderful serials take a look in SUNCAT.

 August 1, 2013  Posted by at 10:16 am Weird titles Tagged with:  No Responses »