StaffGuide: Serials Receiving & Processing

Serials Receiving & Processing StaffGuide Home Page

Damaged/Defective Items and Routine Journal Maintenance

A damaged or defective issue has arrived.

If the issue is a standing order, please also keep in mind the guidelines for damaged and defective standing orders.

If you have a question about whether an issue might or might not be damaged or defective, consult with binding to determine if a claim should be filed. Many minor damages can be repaired in-house. You will frequently receive issues that have minimal, minor tears that can be easily taped. Through experience and accumulation of examples, you will gain a good understanding of which issues can be repaired by the Serials Receiving Specialist or whomever is doing the check-in, which issues are questionable and could use a Binding consultation, and which issues definitely need to be checked in as damaged and claimed for a free replacement without needing a consultation. Below are some guidelines for commonly encountered situations when receiving journals in less-than-perfect condition or having any maintenance requirements.

Routine Journal Maintenance

For incoming journals, Serials will handle:

  • Repairing minor tears with archival tape.
    • Tape is needed only on one side of the page, unless both sides need to be taped to secure the tear on thicker material (i.e. thicker front covers).
    • If it can be avoided, tape no more than 3 consecutive pages (the cover being the most important page to tape) to avoid creating a bulge in the journal. However, there is some flexibility here.
    • Limited retention items (journals and publications that we do not hold for long-term preservation and get discarded after a specified time period) do not need archival tape. These can be repaired by Serials staff using regular Scotch tape.
    • Damages along the spine of an issue destined to be bound can also be taped using Scotch tape, since that area will be removed from the issue during the binding process.
  • Removing glued-in supplements/inserts.
  • Cut out scented strips.
  • Request replacements for any journals that are damaged beyond minor repairs (e.g., bent or torn spines, misprinted pages, excessive creasing, several torn pages, etc.).
    • Add note to record to document damage and replacement request (see procedures below).
    • Sometimes Binding can scan, print, and tip in a page with a large tear.
  • Requesting replacements for journals that have misprinted pages or printing errors (pages being out of order, blurred text, ink splotches making text illegible, etc.): be sure to specify what the printing errors are, to help determine whether or not the entire run of the journal has been misprinted and if perhaps the publisher will have it re-printed, or if it's just an error with the copy we received.
    • If obtaining a replacement is not possible, let Binding know and they will look online or request the journal from ILL, print/photocopy the problem page, and tip-in to the issue.
    • If an entire run of a journal has printing errors and a perfect copy is unavailable, Binding will put notes in the record or mark the issue as online only if an online version is available.

Journals with the following should be placed in the Binding basket next to their office:

  • Pages needing to be tipped in
  • Creased pages (Severely bent magazines and journals that can be smoothed out in the Binding press for a period of 1-4 weeks.)
  • Loose pages
  • Major torn pages
  • Stapled-in inserts (most of these can be left in the issue but there is the occasional stapled-in sup that needs to be removed, like Soybean South).

For any issues sent to Binding for minor repairs:

  • Do not label the issue. 
  • Process any errata, pull any claim slips, remove any glued-in items, or any other required processing before sending the item to binding for minor damage repair. 
  • Check the issue in, put the labels on waxy paper, and attach the waxy paper to the issue with a paper clip. 
  • Include a note explaining the situation (i.e. the issue is bent, does it need to be pressed?).
  • Card maintenance: If the damaged item is being kept at Binding for repair, include a public note in the issue check-in box: @serials:binding (d/i).  Add a staff note explaining why it was sent to Binding (i.e. if it's in the press, being reviewed to see if the damage is enough that we should claim for a replacement, etc.). When the item returns from Binding, delete these notes and finish the check-in process for the item. 
    • If the check-in process requires you to create an item record, set the item record status to "a AT SERIALS" until it is returned to you from Binding.

Keep in mind that the minimum threshold for amount of damage needed to claim can vary by location. ARKCO and Fine Arts (FALPE, FAL) materials need to be thoroughly inspected for damage. Any questions should be directed to Binding. More information about location-specific check-in procedures can be found in the Special Check-In Procedures by Location section.

Claiming for Damage Replacements

If the item is damaged and needs to be claimed, proceed to the following steps:

  • Check in the issue – DO NOT LABEL IT; preserve labels on waxy paper, write “damaged recd (d/i)” and paper clip to issue.  Count the issue as you normally would on the tally sheet.
  • Add appropriate check-in record and box notes: Public box note = @serials:damaged (or) @serials:defective (today’s date/initials).
    • "Damaged" refers to issues that have severe water damage, large tears, are badly torn or wrinkled, have pages detached from the spine, etc.
    • "Defective" refers to issues with missing pages or printing errors, such as pages being out of order, blurred text, ink splotches making text illegible, etc.
  • Different types of claiming workflow:
    • If the vendor is HARR or EBSCO: the Serials Receiving Specialist will claim for the replacement (see the vendor claims section of the Serials Access & Claiming Staffguide for more information on claiming).
    • If it is a gift, exchange item, or from a miscellaneous vendor: place the damaged item in the Serials Access Specialist's damaged issues basket along with any packaging that accompanied the item. See also the damaged issues section of the Serials Access & Claiming Staffguide for steps on claiming damaged issues in general.

@serials;Damaged note

Flawless Replacement Copies for Damaged Issues

A flawless copy/replacement has arrived.

There should be two check-in boxes (a damaged issue box and a suppressed perfect copy box). Upon seeing these two boxes you will know that you have received the replacement copy. Examine the replacement to make sure it's in good condition and/or make any necessary repairs or consultations w/ binding.

To check in the perfect copy:

  • Check-in using the box labeled Perfect Copy Reqd (do not count on the stat sheet, as the damaged issue should have originally been counted).
  • Delete the public note and add Perfect Copy Recd (d/i) in staff box.
  • Un-suppress box.
  • DO NOT UPDATE EXPECTED DATES.
  • Pull the claim slip from the claim slip drawer, date/initial it, and place it in the pulled claim slips basket.

Perfect copy requestedPerfect copy received

Obtain the damaged copy from claims agent’s shelf and:

  • Change the status of the damaged/defective copy to REMOVED and suppress the box. 
  • Move the Damaged (or) Defective (d/i) note in the public box to the staff box of damaged/defective issue
  • Add a public box note: “Discarded (d/i)”
  • Suppress the box.
  • Discard the damaged issue.

Damaged and Discarded

No Replacement Available / In-House Repair

If you are unable to successfully claim for a free perfect replacement copy for a damaged issue:

  • Check the EBSCO Missing Copy Bank and the DEU e-mail listings to see if a free copy is available from those sources. If not:
  • If the item is severely damaged, pass it along to Preservation for review. They will make a decision as to if or how the issue will be repaired, to pursue a paid replacement, or to have the issue marked unavailable if not repaired and discarded.
  • You can use your judgment if you think it is OK to repair the issue yourself. For example, if several pages are torn but not too severely, you can repair them using archival tape. Keep in mind though that it is always best to consult with Preservation if you are unsure.
  • For any issues that are repaired in-house and sent to the collection because there is no other copy available:
    • Add a 5-dash note in the check-in record stating the volume/issue number and cover date of the repaired issue, followed by a brief explanation of the decision. Also add the brief explanation to the staff note of the check-in box. Example:
      • -----v.108:2 (Sum. 2018); Claimed multiple times but unable to receive a repl copy. Damaged copy repaired & sent to PER due to unsuccessful claims per Binding (2/14/2019cfs)/(02/14/19 anm)
    • Delete the check-in box for the replacement copy request (the one that says “perfect copy reqd,” see above).
    • Delete any other claim notes associated with the issue that are no longer needed.
    • Pull and discard all past claim slips.

Damaged / Defective Standing Orders

Damaged and Defective Standing Orders

For damaged and defective standing orders, you will follow the same procedures as above, although there are a few additional guidelines:

  • Before checking the item in, take the packaging, issue, and invoice to the Serials Acquisitions Manager. The Serials Acquisitions Manager will contact the publisher, consult with Preservation, and/or provide further instructions on how to handle the situation.
  • In some cases, if the situation is straightforward and the claiming procedure is simple (i.e. the item is clearly damaged and the vendor is HARR), you can go ahead and claim for a replacement without consulting with the Serials Acquisitions Manager. If there are any complicating variables (for example: if the item has minimal damage and may or may not be useable, or the package contained multiple items thus complicating invoice processing, or the item is not from one of the major vendors, etc.), it is best to consult.
  • Sometimes, the publisher will want the damaged/defective item returned. The Serials Acquisitions Manager will advise on how to proceed with this; i.e. if we need to request a return label from the publisher, if we need Shipping & Receiving to fill out a shipping notice for us, etc.
    • If the item is sent back to the publisher, make the following edits to the damaged copy check-in box:
      • Change the box status to “removed.”
      • Move the defective or damaged note from the public note box to the staff note box, deleting the “@serials.”
      • In the public note box, add a note that reads “(damaged)/(defective) copy returned to pub (d/i).”
      • Suppress the box.

See the Check In--Standing Orders page for more info on the procedure for checking in and processing standing orders.

Replacements Ordered by Serials Acquisitions Needed for Binding

Replacements ordered by Serials Acquisitions for lost or damaged issues needed for Binding:

Occasionally, when a free replacement of a journal is unavailable or an issue of a journal is lost, the Preservation, Conservation, and Teaching Coordinator might make a decision to have the Serials Acquisitions Manager purchase a replacement copy. The Serials Receiving Specialist assists with the handling of these items, for example, with labeling.


Check out the Replacements section in the Serials Access & Claiming StaffGuide for more details on this procedure and who does what