Tip #9: Publication Dates

Whether or not the publication date in field 260 |c has a ‘c’ in front of it depends on whether or not you are using the copyright date.

If the item in hand has a publishing date, then that date should be used, without a ‘c’ in front of the date. If the only date you can find on the work is the copyright date, then that date should be in the 260 field with a ‘c’ in front.

Publishing dates can appear on the title page (William Morrow 2007), or part of the edition statement on the t.p. verso (1st edition 2009). If you can’t find a publishing date, then use the copyright date. Remember a printing date is not a publishing date or a copyright date.

If you have both a publishing date and a copyright date, you can just use the publishing date. If the dates are different and you want to use both dates, you can. Just be sure to include both dates in the fixed fields and use ‘t’ for the Date Type instead of ‘s’.

If the only date you can find is a printing date, then use that date, but put it in brackets.

Publishing date:

260 |aNew York : |bHarperCollins, |c2008.

Copyright date:

260 |aNew York : |bKensington Books, |cc2005.

Both dates (optional):

260 |aNew York : |bPenguin Books, |c2009, c2008.

Printing date:

260 |aNew York : |bBerkley Books, |c[2009].

There’s a handy table explaining what dates to use when on the 260 page of the OCLC Bib Formats and Standards at http://www.oclc.org/bibformats/en/2xx/260.shtm Among other things, it explains how to catalog a book with copyright renewal dates.
Originally published on October 23, 2009.

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MARC Fields