Authority Update Processing (AUP)

As the content of the national authority file changes daily, if a library wants to keep its headings consistent with LC, it needs to be informed of new and revised LC authority records that affect previously authorized headings.

Changes may be made to a heading due to:

  • The adoption of a new set of cataloging rules. In 2013, Resource Description and Access (RDA) was implemented as the national cataloging code, mandating changes in tens of thousands of headings.
  • Other changes or corrections in LC/LTI authority records.
  • Matches to new LC/LTI authority records.
  • Changes in LC cataloging practice incorporated into LTI software.
  • Changes in "floating" headings used in LC subject headings.
  • Improvements in LTI's software for automatic heading matching and correction.

Each week LC distributes over 10,000 name authority records and an average of 100 subject authority records. Some subset of them will affect headings present in almost every library's database. The authority record may be "new" to your database—i.e., either the authority record did not exist at the time the batch authority control was initially run or for some reason was not extracted—or it may represent a correction or deletion. Typically, about 30% of the LC weekly name authority records are revised [or deleted] headings and about 50% of the subject authority records are revised [or deleted] headings.

Libraries may use the AUP service quarterly, semi-annually or annually.

Following each AUP run, subscribers receive:

  • a file of their MARC format bibliographic records in which one or more headings have changed as a result of the processing
  • MARC format files of new and revised nationally distributed authority records, custom to each library
  • a file of deleted LC authority records in MARC format
  • an ASCII text report of headings affected by new and changed LC and LTI authority records
  • an ASCII text report of any new, revised, or deleted LC authority records that linked to the library's headings

Additional reports of changes to non-filing indicators or non-Latin fields may also be provided.
Further details about the files returned after an AUP run are available.
All files are available for pick-up from LTI's FTP server.

The great advantage of receiving the changed record file is that library staff do not have the burden of implementing the changes. Instead, libraries "overlay" the existing bibliographic record with a replacement record containing the corrected heading(s). Libraries that have received batch processing from LTI, and use both AEX and AUP will keep their files current and complete, never again requiring an expensive, batch authority control project.

Aren't all authority update services the same?

Not at all. Of the several reasons listed above why a heading may change, only changes or corrections in LC authority records are reported by services provided by local system vendors and other authority control providers. Most other notification services are based on the principle that if an LC authority record from a weekly update file has the same control number as a record in the library's authority files and the 005 transaction date is later, that LC authority record is pulled for the update report. These update services track only a static file of LC control numbers from authority records that existed at the time the job was processed and are unable to notify libraries of newly distributed LC authority records—i.e., those not available at the time the initial batch processing was completed. This approach disregards new LC authority records—usually 70% of the weekly LC name authority records and 50% of the subject authority records.

The important difference between AUP and other vendors' update notification services is that using LTI's service re-authorizes the library's entire database each processing run. In addition to an up-to-date database of LC authority records, LTI maintains a supplemental file of nearly 5 million added references that point from the incorrect form of the heading in the bibliographic record to the form used in the LC authority record. Headings can also be updated by linking with one of the 2.4 million LTI name and subject authority records.

When a library's batch authority control is processed, LTI retains files of the library's bibliographic and authority records, including records resulting from AEX jobs and from "gap" files, and adds them to the library's base file. In each AUP run, every heading in the library's database is checked against all current LC and LTI authority records, LC and LTI cross-references, and dozens of name and subject heading "fix" tables. If a controlled heading is changed in a bibliographic record, that record is pulled for return to the library. AUP's more comprehensive processing is the only update service that returns bibliographic records, thereby ensuring consistency between the controlled headings in a library’s bibliographic file and those in authority records.

Several ILS vendors offer an "authority control" component that promises to make needed global changes to bibliographic headings, based on updated nationally distributed authority records. The implication is that the library can rely on updated authority records to keep its controlled headings in sync with LC. This capability relies exclusively on the presence in the revised authority record of a 4XX field(s) linking back to the former heading. Without consideration of other problems – especially prevention of erroneous “flips” – summary LTI data demonstrate that reliance solely on this type of heading "flip" misses nearly two-thirds of the needed changes to controlled headings.

Obtaining New/Revised Authority and Corrected Bibliographic Records

AEX and AUP users are assigned a user-id and password to access LTI's FTP server download corrected bibliographic records, as well as new and revised LC authority records. Such files are made available at the same time as the reports. LTI provides a web interface here on its website. Popular browser software packages are supported to retrieve the files.

In addition to the report files described earlier, AUP returns to the library a file of updated (replacement) bibliographic records for "overlaying" the existing bibliographic record. Every bibliographic record in which one or more controlled headings is changed is returned. Because the fixes and updates have already been made at LTI, the amount of staff time needed for catalog maintenance is greatly reduced.

Each of the library's bibliographic records must have a unique control number so that replacement records containing updated headings have a single match point for overlay. The control number for overlaying may be from the 001 field or from another field in the bibliographic record, whether a 9XX field, a local system control number (035 field), or some other unique control number present in the record.

Libraries must understand that if a record has been enhanced by the addition of local notes, secondary added entries, or subject headings following the record’s initial authority control, those notes or headings will not appear in the replacement record, unless the edited record has been sent to LTI using Authority Express. Some local systems allow the library to protect certain tag groups (5XX fields) or specific fields (e.g., 590 notes), when overlaying bibliographic records. Alternatively libraries have the option of submitting updated "base" files of their complete bibliographic database, an option especially useful for libraries whose collections are regularly weeded.

Establishing a Base File of Bibliographic Records for AUP

Before LTI can run Authority Update Processing, a "base file" of records needs to be created. When batch processing has been completed recently, the final file from that project may be used. Otherwise, there are two options for establishing this base file.

1. Library exports a new base file of bibliographic records previously authorized by LTI. The library exports its entire database and uploads it to LTI. This file of records then becomes the base file for future AUP runs. After each AUP run, only records containing one or more changed headings are returned.

There is no fee for creating the base file if the service is initiated within 12 months of LTI batch processing on main file. After 12 months, the charge rises to a minimum fee of 1¢ / record, depending on the amount of time since that batch processing, with a minimum fee of $500.

At the time the new base file is established, the number of records present in the new database is compared with the number of records previously processed by LTI (total of batch, “gaps”, AEX). Records exceeding the number previously authorized by LTI are billed as "extra records" at 10¢ per record – the same as the Authority Express (AEX) per record fee.

2. LTI reruns authority control on library's entire database. The library exports its entire database and sends it to LTI. LTI runs authority control on the replacement database and returns all bibliographic records, along with all referenced authority records, to the library. The new file of bibliographic records becomes the "base file" for future AUP runs, and the new authority files entirely replace the old ones. This is the preferred option for libraries whose database was processed several years ago. The cost is discounted 20% for the same number of records previously processed with standard charges on records over that number.

Establishing New Base Files

Libraries using Authority Update Processing may, from time to time, wish to establish a new base file of bibliographic and/or authority records. Most frequently, AUP users wish to replace the bibliographic file used by LTI for the AUP run. A library may replace either file at any time for a charge of $500. Replacement of both base bibliographic and base authority files would, therefore, be billed at $1,000. If the number of bibliographic records in a base file exceeds the number previously processed by LTI, the additional records are charged at LTI's Authority Express (AEX) per record rate (10¢). Rather than set up a new base authority file, a library may prefer to delete its existing authority files and replace them with a comprehensive set of new authority records after an AUP run. Replacement of the entire authority file through AUP is charged the same fee as a new file set-up—i.e., $500.

AUP For Databases Not Previously Authorized by LTI

For a library to use the AUP services described above, LTI must have performed authority control on the database. For libraries that had their authority control performed by a vendor other than LTI, and that want to avoid the expense of re-authorizing their records, LTI offers a special AUP variation. In practice, most libraries using this special AUP variation have also submitted large batch files of bibliographic records for authority control and use AEX for authorizing new bibliographic records. The limitation on this service is that the updates on bibliographic records are limited to the part of the library’s database that has been authorized by LTI either in AEX or as “gap” files.
On initiation of the AUP service, the library sends its existing files of nationally distributed authority records to LTI. During the scheduled AUP run (quarterly, semiannually or annually), the authority record control number and transaction date (001 and 005 fields respectively) are checked against LTI's up-to-date copies of nationally distributed authority records. Nationally distributed authority records that match on control number but have different transaction dates are pulled and made available for retrieval by the library. Bibliographic records that were processed by LTI are also re-authorized, with any changed records provided for the library to pick up and reload.

Costs, Invoicing, and Ordering

AUP prices vary with the number of the library's records maintained at LTI and the frequency of the processing runs. The Rate Schedule shows pricing based on these factors.

Completion and submission of the AUP Initiation Form creates a "standing order". LTI will process the database and invoice the customer until written notification is received to cancel the service. All pricing is per processing run. For example, a library having fewer than 200,000 bibliographic records and selecting semiannual processing would be invoiced $800 twice each year. Each processing run is invoiced when the run is completed.

Libraries wishing to initiate participation in the AUP service should complete the AUP Initiation Form. A staff member will respond to make arrangements to begin using the service. When everything is in place and an account has been assigned, the designated contact is sent an email providing a user name, password, and use instructions.