Authorities in Polaris

ODIN uses a weekly load of ZMARC authority files to keep headings current. ZMARC authority files are Library of Congress authorities optimized for Polaris.

What are authority files?

Authority files are records for authorized name headings, subject headings, genre headings, corporate name headings, and geographic name headings. These headings are located in the 1XX, 6XX, and 7XX fields of a bibliographic record. The purpose of authorized headings is to have a standard way of recording information.

Here is an example of a bibliographic record with authorized headings highlighted: 

Having a standard way of entering information helps librarians and users to differentiate between authors, or subjects, or places with similar names. So for example: 

The queen of England's authorized name heading is: 

Elizabeth II, Queen of Great Britain, 1926-

The ship, also called Queen Elizabeth is: 

Queen Elizabeth (Ship)

A city: 

Elizabeth (N.J.)

Also, there are other Queen Elizabeths to distinguish her from, like her mother: 

Elizabeth, Queen, consort of George VI, King of Great Britain, 1900-2002.

Times you encounter authority records in Polaris

You will see that Polaris is linking the headings in a bibliographic record to authority headings when you save a bibliographic record: 

When you save a record, the Check Headings Assistant pops up: 

You may wonder, why are these headings unlinked?

  • The field must have 0 as the second indicator
  • Polaris does not match up with long strings/floating subdivisions ($aApples$xGrowth$vJuvenile literature.)

When this box pops up, click Continue Saving.

You will also see authority records being created in your import profile reports: 

These headings are added to ODIN's authority file. If they need to be updated, they will be updated by the weekly authority file load. In turn, the heading will be updated in all the bibliographic records that have that heading.

You will also see errors on these import profile reports: 

That is for the same reasons mentioned above: 

  • The field must have 0 as the second indicator
  • Polaris does not match up with long strings/floating subdivisions

If you'd like to know more about authorities in Polaris, contact the ODIN Office.

 

(5/21/21)