StaffGuide: Receiving & Processing



Some serials check-in records will include a URL. See the following example, with the URL highlighted in red and the description highlighted in yellow:

Highlighted URL

  • URLs should always appear directly above the parameters note. If it does not, put it in the correct position, by right clicking on the note and selecting which direction you wish to move the note.
  • To access a URL from Sierra, right click on the URL and select Open URL from the menu. The webpage should appear as a new tab in your default browser.

Opening a URL


URLs Not in Bib Records


  • Some URLs you find in check-in records are for serials staff use only, for informational purposes. They may be websites discovered via a Google search, or via examining an item, packaging, pub letter, etc., during the check-in process. They often have archives, publisher information, or other information that might prove useful for claiming, pub schedule verification, etc. See pic in next box for example.
  • Unlike the 856 URLs (URLs in bib records that are available to the public – more info below), these staff-only URLs only need to be checked on an as-needed basis or for check-in record cleanup. Unless it is a link designated for claims use, subscription renewal, or some other important function, they can be added, updated, or deleted at your discretion.

URLs in Bib Records


Many URLs in check-in record notes have been copied from the 856 field in the bib record. These links were originally added to the bib record by Cataloging and contain well-maintained archives or related resources beneficial to research, so having them in the 856 makes them available for public access through OneSearch. However, like any website, these URLs are subject to change, so they should be mentioned in the check-in record to remind the Serials Receiving Specialist (or whomever is doing the check-in) to check that the URL still works [note that as of December 2020, we only need to do this for Arkansas-related titles]. They should have the text “[in bib]” tacked onto the end of their note, before the date/initials, to clarify that they are public URLs (see pic below).

Adding 856 URL info to the check-in record:

If there is a URL in the 856 of the bib record, but the check-in record notes do not have that URL, please copy and paste it into a check-in record note. Detailed instructions are as follows. If the URL is already in both the bib and check-in records, you can skip this procedure and proceed to testing the URL’s functionality as described in the next procedure, below the image.

  • Click on the View Icon in the upper right hand portion of Sierra. This will open up the Bib record. From here, look for the MARC Tag 856. This will include a URL as well as any notes and descriptors regarding the URL.
  • With your mouse, select the entire 856 field and copy (Ctrl-C).
  • After copying, click the Summary Icon in the upper right section to return to the Check-in record.
  • Then, in the note directly above the ~~Parameters Note, click on the end of the note in the note field, hit enter, then N, then tab. This will create a new note field for you. (Alternatively, you can right click on the note above the ~~Parameters note, select Insert Field (Ctrl-I), select note from the drop down menu, and paste your text.)
  • Insert the new URL into the blank check-in record note (Ctrl-V). Separate the URL from the z delimiter by spacing before the solid vertical bar (see image below—otherwise, Sierra will not open the URL properly from the check-in record).
  • Add an “[in bib]” note before your date/initials to clarify that this URL is available to the public and not just there for Serials informational purposes.
  • Finally, before saving, right click on the URL and test it by using the Open URL function (details on this procedure below).

Examples of URL notes in check-in record

Checking the functionality of 856 URLs:

  • Check to see when the link was last updated or checked for usability by examining the date/initials. During the check-in process (depending on what type of link it is - see below), if the URL hasn’t been checked in a while (i.e. a month or more), open the URL to see if it is working and, if applicable, if the archives still match the description.
  • The level of detail needed for URL checking and maintenance depends on what type of publication it is.
    • If a URL is non-Arkansas related, you are not required to test it for functionality and can leave it as is.
    • For most Arkansas URLs, you only need to verify that the link works, and that the archives are still present. You are not required to verify the date/issue range of the archives.Some 856 links simply link to the website, which will be indicated in the description, and will not need to be checked specifically for archives.
    • For URLs in the domain (related to a University of Arkansas publication), you will need to conduct a more thorough investigation. Not only will you need to check the link's functionality, you will also need to check any descriptions accompanying the URL in the 856, which will specify the date/issue range included in the archives, and verify that the archives have what is in that description. This will involve more thoroughly examining the website and testing a few PDFs.
  • If the URL functions as described, update the d/i with today's date and your initials.
  • If the URL does not function or, for links, if the archives/content of the link has changed (for example, if the descriptor in the 856 says that the website contains 2010 - present, but now only has 2012 - present), you will need to report the URL via the eSerials Problem Reportings board on Trello. NOTE: It may not be necessary to report the URL if it appears to be undergoing short-term maintenance, website slowness, or something temporary.

Reporting Problem URLs


If a URL is not functioning and/or the holdings have changed (for example, if the descriptor in the 856 says that the website contains 2010 - present, but now only has 2012 - present), please report the problem to e-serials so that they can examine the link and make any necessary changes (i.e. deleting the link, finding an alternate link, updating the description, monitoring it, adding helpful instructions, etc.). Use the following procedure for reporting problem URLs:

Steps for reporting a problem URL using the eSerials Problem Reportings Trello board:

  • In Trello, open the "eSerials Problem Reportings" board.
  • Under the far-left “Reported Problem” column, click "add a card," then for the title of the card, enter the Serial's bib number, followed by a forward slash, then the Serial's title.
  • In the card as a comment, add a short description of the problem (i.e. "broken link," "articles for 2001 have been removed," or any other info e-serials should know) and click Save.
  • Make sure the "watch" option on the right menu of the card is selected (Trello should do this automatically when you create a card) so you can be notified if updates are made to the card.
  • Return to the check-in record of the publication and in the note field listing the URL, indicate that the URL has been reported (for example, "broken URL sent to eserials for review" (date/initials)).   

Broken URL

  • When e-serials staff resolves the issue, the card will be moved to that month’s "Problem Fixed" column to the right.
  • When the problem has been fixed, update the check-in record notes to include the new URL and/or any updated description notes about the holdings (or remove the URL if it is a broken/obsolete link). Test the URL to verify that it works and enter your date and initials.

If Trello is not functioning, you can e-mail the problem to