Serials Control System
Serials represent a large portion of the stock in academic and special libraries. The subscription for many of the scientific, technical and research periodicals is very high and a large chunk of library budget is spent in academic and research libraries in the acquisition and management of serials. Hence, there is a great need for designing effective and efficient systems for the management and control of serials in such libraries.
Serials control consists of a number of elements, though all these revolve around the same basic set of data relating to a journal subscription. The library manager must consider not only recording of serials subscriptions, but also requires a system where by individual issues of a journal (periodical) can be recorded as they are received in the library. A policy for dealing with long-term retention and disposal (including binding), means of controlling and recording subscription rates and renewals and a means of referring.from previous titles to ensure that holdings records are complete is to he formulated. In addition, exploitation of serials holdings may require formal systems to ensure proper circulation of new issues of journals to interested users.
Though all these aspects may appear as disparate list of elements,'they need to be treated as components of single integrated serials recording system. Serials control systems generally have ,to handle less number of items as compared to other systems, but must record more details for each title and can expect a great number of transactions per title. For this reason, serials systems address themselves uniquely to the problems posed by the nature of serials.
An integrated serials control system has three sub-systems namely;