Tip #187: Advanced Reader Copies

Advanced Reader Copies (or ARCs) are early versions of books produced by the publisher for marketing purposes. They are also sometimes called Advanced Reader Editions (AREs). Occasionally you may see Uncorrected Proofs or Galley Proofs, and these guidelines apply to those as well. The text of an Advanced Reader Copy can have minor or major variations from the final published edition of the book, because they have not gone through final edits. ARCs cannot be sold. They are produced so that reviewers and selectors can read the book before it comes out, so they can talk it up, promote it, and decide if they want to purchase it for their store or library.

Since an Advanced Reader Copy is not the final published version of a book, the Cataloging Committee recommends not adding one to your collection. Here is a good discussion of why not to catalog an ARC: But Can I Catalog It?

However, on December 8, 2009 the Executive Committee voted that this should be a local decision, so libraries ARE allowed to add Advanced Reader Copies to the Evergreen Indiana catalog.

If you do decide to catalog ARCs at your library, it important to follow the following guidelines from Chapter 3, Section 4.2 of the Evergreen Indiana Cataloging Procedure Guide:

Do not attach an advance reader copy (ARC) to the bib record for the finished version of a published work. If a bib record for the advance reader copy is not found in Evergreen, one must be imported or (most likely) an original record created using a MARC template.
The advance reader copy may have a different title, pagination, contents or references which must be reflected in the record. All records for advance reader copies should have the following 250 edition statement:
250 __ |a [Advance reader copy].
To prevent the record from merging with the published version, put the ISBNs in a 020 field under subfield ā€•zā€–.
020 __ |z 9781234567890
Any street date restriction for the published version of an item applies to the advance reader copy. No advance reader copy should be available in Evergreen prior to the release date of the published version.

Advanced Reader Copies usually have the same ISBN on them as the final published version, so it is important to put that ISBN in a subfield z to prevent the system from merging the record with the published edition during automated deduplications.

Please be aware that using the subfield z does not prevent catalogers from merging the records, so please watch carefully for the edition statement and subfield z when you are cataloging and merging. Do NOT merge records for Advanced Reader Copies with records for the published edition, and if you have the published edition of the book, do NOT add your holdings to a record for an Advanced Reader Copy.

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See Also


MARC Fields