StaffGuide: Receiving & Processing

Basic Claims Information

Claiming includes:

  • Claiming issues not yet received
  • Claiming damaged/defective issues
  • Locating back volumes as necessary
  • Investigating necessary information regarding frequencies, supplements, etc…

Claiming becomes necessary as a result of human as well as mechanical errors in the processing of orders and payment, incorrect address information, missed mail, check-in errors, etc….

How & When to Claim

Claim lists should be made every week. Gift Claims are separated out into lists for Gift Exchange, Paid Exchange, or just Gift.

When processing a gift claim one of 3 methods is preferred:

  • Calling
  • Email
  • Special Letter

Always check a company’s website first for updated contact information and to make sure the site is still functioning. There is a chance that some of them will have the ability to contact them through their website, or request an annual report online.

Calling is the preferred method if you need or want an immediate response.

  • It is ok to leave a message requesting them to call back if no one is available.
  • If no one has contacted you back within 3 days, try calling again, possibly at a different time, or send an email.

Email would be another option, if there is no great hurry, or for any international claims,

  • Emails are often good ways to get a reply, as people can answer them at their leisure
  • As with calling, send an email and wait. However, wait at least a 5 days before emailing again unless something is urgent.
  • If an email is returned undeliverable, check the company’s website for an alternate email, or move on to a special letter.

Special Letters are also an excellent choice, and there is a template letter stored on the serials drive.

  • These are very effective for first claims on annual reports.
  • These can also be faxed for a faster response time, if there has been no response to calls or emails.
  • Customize these to your liking or to reflect urgency if something has been claimed multiple times.

Once a claim has been made, it should be filed alphabetically in the claims drawer to await further action. It should be stapled together with any previous claims for that issue.

Entering Responses for Claims

Claim responses (or reports) arrive in many forms. Often, because it’s the most efficient and common method to claim, you will receive email responses to your claims. If you claimed electronically, you may receive generalized email responses or you will receive claim acknowledgements and claim checkers in the mail. Or, you may receive a phone call from the publisher, etc….


**It is important to document and keep track not only of the action you take on a claim, but the responses/correspondence you receive as well. Standardized notes assist in this process.



Claim notes should be organized in order by issue, and then by date (most recent date on top). Email notes are entered with the abbreviation EML followed by an abbreviation for the publisher or vendor. Next, enter the date followed by a colon and then the information provided in the response – as concise as possible (try to keep it on 1-2 lines).



CLAIM Abbreviations:

EML/CLM = for email claims. Should specify contact when necessary.

CLM/RVW = indicates research on an expected issue not resulting in a claim. Should include the source of review, such as “per World Cat, Ebsconet” etc.     

PH/CALL = phone call

SPECLTR = Special letter. Good for claiming historical society titles.

FAX/PUB = for a fax (make sure to include fax number)

CLMSLIP = for claim slip that is mailed

WEBSITE = for info gleaned directly from the publication web site.

FOLLOWUP = to follow-up on a claim


RESPONSE Abbreviations:

CLM/RPT = claim report. Should specify the source when necessary, such as when info is from a new contact, or phone vs. email response, etc.

PUB/RPT = info received from pub not in response to claim, but possibly to preclude one.

EML/RPT = info received from pub via email in response to claim. Please include email address of sender on unresolved claims.

FAX/RPT = info received from pub via fax in response to claim. Please include fax number of sender on unresolved claims


If you discover new information while trying to contact a publisher, add/update the information in the edit screen as a note before any claim notes:

Contact: name (date)

PUB EMAIL: email address (date)

PUB PHONE: phone number (date)

 PUB ADDR: address (date) – also give this info to Maintenance


After you enter the notes, you may need to update the record as well.

For example, if the response is that the issue is “not yet published”, you need to add a reclaim note (i.e. ** RECLM 01 MAY) so that you can check on it again at a later date. Generally, you need to wait three months the first time the publisher tells you the issue is not yet published. After that claim, if the publisher informs you that they still have not published then set the reclaim for 6 months. Then, until the publisher tells you different, reclaim once a year. For K3 titles follow the same rules of thumb, but they can vary more often than the regular titles.

However, if information is provided indicating when the expected date of publication is, you should set the reclaim note to reflect the new information. For example, if you are told that the issue is due out in September (and it is a domestic publication) the reclaim note should be set to check at the end of November; this way you have given them time to send the issue before reclaiming (unless you are told otherwise).

If the response indicates that the issue is “not available,” “out of stock,” or “out of print,” after entering this information in the record, you should gather all the information you have (including claim slips and correspondence from the drawers) and give it to the LS2 Supervisor to review and decide whether or not to put the issue(s) in the replacement process. At this time, put a note in the edit screen to indicate you have given that person the information (info to LS2, MMM, etc.). Leave the box as claimed, so that this issue will appear on your claim list. This allows you to check up on the status of the decision. If several months have past and a decision has not been made yet, then the information needs to be resent to LS2. Once you receive an answer this note will either be changed or deleted.     

Claims Received

When claims are received the claims slips and correspondence are pulled from the drawer and filed in their respective fiscal year drawers with the date of receipt written on them. See filing for more info.