StaffGuide: Serials Receiving & Processing

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Errata, Corrections, & Retractions (Blue Flag Procedures)

Normal Errata, Corrections, and Retractions Processing:

Sometimes an issue includes erratum/errata or corrigendum/corrigenda, (error/errors or correction/corrections), and/or retractions that we may or may not need to further process. Please read the Serials Receiving Specialist instructions below and please note that the instructions on how to photocopy, how to add errata notes in Sierra, and how to file the photocopies can be found in the StaffGuide: Serials Work Study & Hourly Employees guide.

So which errata/erratum/corrigendum/corrections/retractions do we process?

The only errata/erratum/corrigendum/corrections/retractions that need to be processed are:

  • Corrections from journals of a scholarly nature, like peer-reviewed research journals, that are destined to be bound, and that we only have in print.
  • Also, the errata processed should be substantive in nature. Misspelled words, incorrect URLs, misidentified titles, etc. should not be processed.

Errata/erratum/corrigendum/corrections/retractions that do NOT need to be processed are:

  • Errata/erratum/corrigendum/corrections/retractions found in limited retention titles, unbound journals (for example, boxed titles), and journals of a non-scholarly nature.
    • For example, news magazines like Time.
  • Errata/erratum/corrigendum/corrections/retractions do NOT need to be processed for print plus online titles UNLESS:
    • (EXCEPTION): The URL is in a 856 MARC field in the bibliographic record instead of an ERM holdings (check-in) record (aggregator).  Errata/erratum/corrigendum/corrections/retractions should be processed if the only online format is accessed through the URL in the bibliographic record since the content tends to be less established.

Where can Errata/erratum/corrigendum/corrections/retractions be found?

Errata and/or corrections can most often be found in the table of contents, letters section, issued as a loose insert, or at the back of the issue. Occasionally errata is found further into the issue, at the bottom of a page below the article. Pay particular attention for corrections or retractions in peer reviewed research journals. In some journals, the errata will be listed under an unorthodox title; for example, New Scientist entitles their errata section "for the record."

I found it, now what?

  • Find where in the issue the errata, corrigenda, or retractions are printed and mark it with a blue bookmark, letting the marker stick out from the bottom of the issue.
    • If the errata spans two pages, use two bookmarks to clarify each page.
    • For any errata more than two pages, see procedures for multiple-page corrections below. 
  • On the check in card, open the box for the issue which contains the errata. In the public note box type: "Incl erratum/errata", or "Incl corrigendum/corrigenda", or "Incl retraction/retractions" based on the specific case.

Public Note: Includes Corrections

  • When the issue has been checked in, labeled, and the erratum noted both in the checkin card and the physical copy of the issue via the blue bookmark, put the copy in the errata section on the errata/claims cart closest to the Serials processing table. 

Procedures for multiple-page corrections:

Occasionally – most likely in a math journal – you will have an errata section that spans multiple pages. For example, a math journal may have a short article entitled “Corrigendum to… [title of an article from a previous issue].” Any errata over two pages (counting both front and back) should not be photocopied and placed in the binding basket in the usual manner. The reason we will not photocopy more than two pages is because Binding can only tip in two pages.

For multiple-page corrections, follow this procedure:

  • Place a white flag in the issue, on the page where the errata starts, with a note that reads “multi-page correction (d/i)”.
  • In the check-in box, enter the notes “@serials:binding (d/i)” and “Incl correction” (or whatever it’s called in the issue) in the public note area and “multi-page correction” in the staff note area.
  • Give the issue with the flag and note visible to Binding personnel.
  • Binding will then tip a note into the older article directing patrons to the new issue with the corrigenda to that article.
  • After binding processes the multi-page correction and returns the issue, delete the “@serials:binding (d/i)” note, edit the staff note to say “multi-page correction done (d/i)”, and place the issue on the processing table for stamping & stripping.


Replacement Pages and Stickers

Occasionally still, in situations involving past issues, the publisher may opt to simply reprint the page or pages that need to be replaced, or provide stickers. Information on what to do with these when received can be found under the Publisher-Provided Replacements section.

Photocopying errata, adding errata notes in Sierra, and how to file errata photocopies:

Since the Serials work study and hourly employees are responsible for the next stage in processing, please check out the Instructions for how to photo copy errata, how to add errata notes in Sierra, and how to file the photocopies in the StaffGuide: Serials Work Study & Hourly Employees guide.