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WEST Cycles 10 & 11 Call for Unarchived Holdings & Webinar

In the beginning of September, the WEST Project Team sent out a call for unarchived holdings data from WEST Full Members, which will inform the next round of collection analysis (cycles 10 & 11) that will determine what to archive next. On September 12th the WEST Project Team hosted a webinar to provide an overview of the reasons for why WEST requests unarchived holdings, a review of the overall collection analysis and archiving project cycle, and to introduce new user interfaces for uploading holdings files and reviewing holdings locations to identify those that should be excluded from analysis and/or proposal. A recording of the webinar is available on Vimeo, and the slides are available on the WEST website .

See below for the text of the email sent to WEST Technical Contacts with the call for unarchived holdings and basic instructions for file submission.


WEST is getting ready to identify the next round of archiving priorities for archiving Cycles 10 & 11!  We are therefore asking all WEST Full Members to provide MARC bibliographic and holdings data for your currently held, unarchived, print format journals. We use this data to compare and analyze journal collections across the WEST membership. If you’ve submitted files in the past, please send a refreshed file of unarchived holdings, rather than resending a file submitted for any previous analysis cycles. If you are a Full Member but are not planning to participate in this year’s collections analysis, please inform Anna Striker (

Please provide this data as soon as you are able, but if at all possible, by Tuesday, October 8.

Please note that WEST has implemented several changes and improvements to the data submission process this year.

General Steps

    • Step 1: WEST is now offering two options for uploading your unarchived data files –
    1. Upload files directly from your desktop
    2. Upload files from a remote server
    • Step 2: Once your files are uploaded, an automated file validation job checks the files for errors in MARC record formatting, which cause the file to fail any further processing. If errors are found in your submitted file, you will receive an automated email requesting that you correct the errors and resubmit your files as soon as possible. The email will include a report that identifies the specific errors in question so they will be easy to locate and correct.
    • Step 3: After initial file validation, your data goes through several other back-end steps before it is loaded to AGUA’s database. In the course of these additional steps, we may identify bibliographic/holdings data that could represent non-print or non-serial formals. We will notify you of these issues (as well as control number formatting issues), but will not request any immediate action. We do recommend that you investigate and seek to correct these issues (where appropriate) in time for the next analysis.
    • Step 4: Once your data has been loaded to the AGUA database, you will receive an email requesting that you review your local holdings locations for any necessary exclusions, as well as to identify storage locations. Your locations will be pre-populated into a web-form for this purpose. We will ask that you do this as soon as possible after receiving the email request.

If you have any questions about this new process, please email Anna Striker, WEST Collections Analyst, who will direct your inquiries to our technical or program staff as is appropriate.

WEST will host an informational webinar and follow up Q&A session on the unarchived data ingest over the coming weeks – invitations to follow! The recording for the webinar will be posted. Please consider dropping in on one of these sessions to pose questions and potentially hear not only from WEST staff, but also from peers at other WEST member institutions.

Finally, as part of developing new processes for unarchived data ingest, we were able to generate reports of potential non-print/non-serial formats and control number issues from files submitted by your institution during the last analysis in 2017. If you are able to review and correct the issues (where appropriate) before submitting your file this fall, that would be ideal. However, we understand that you may not have the bandwidth to do so at this time. To repeat, this report notifies you of possible issues that you may wish to correct in advance of this year’s submission, but you are not required to do so. Just to repeat, corrections (where appropriate) are optional.


Detailed Instructions for Data Submission


  • Create separate files for each OCLC holdings symbol used by your library.  If possible, prepare separate files for bibliographic and holdings data using MARC21 format.
  • Be sure to include records for holdings housed in a separate storage facility, if you have one.
  • If you have branch or affiliated libraries who do not wish to participate in WEST, do not include their holdings (if possible). If it is not possible to exclude holdings for these locations, please be sure to exclude these locations when you review your holdings locations as part of Step 4 (above).
  • If you are a WEST archive holder or builder, please do not include holdings records for volumes which have already been submitted to WEST as archived holdings.

Record Identification for Files

  • Bibliographic records should be limited to print journals:
    • Leader 06 (record type) = “a” (language material)
      • AND
      • Leader 07 (bibliographic level) = “s” (serial)
  • Exclude non-print description records, unless print holdings are attached:
      • 008 byte 23 (form of item) not equal to blank
  • Include all print journal titles, whether active or inactive, for which your library holds print.
  • Exclude government documents:
      • 008/28 not equal to blank, u, or fill character (|)
      • OR
      • Bibliographic record contains MARC 074 or 086
  • Where bibliographic records have met the criteria outlined above, identify and submit holdings records for print format holdings only; please exclude any holdings records for non-print formats, i.e., microform or e-resources.

Submitting Files

  • Please use the following file naming convention <OCLC symbol>.<ILS code>.<rec type>.<submission date>.<segment>.<extension> where:
      • <OCLC symbol> = your OCLC holdings symbol in UPPER CASE
      • <ILS code> = code identifying your ILS.  For example:
        • Aleph
        • ALMA
        • III
        • Sirsi
        • Symphony
        • Voyager
        • WMS
      • <record type> = Use “bib” or “holdings”, or “combined” where a file contains both bib and holdings data/records.
      • <submission date> = Date of file creation.  Use YYYYMMDD format, for example: 20151025
      • <file segment> = Use where providing more than one file per record type.  Append a, b, c, etc.
      • <file extension> = For example:
        • .mrc
        • .xml
      • File name examples:
        • AAA.alma.bib.20191001.mrc
        • ZZZ.iii.combined.20190930.mrc
  • Upload your files directly to AGUA
    • Log into AGUA (
      • If you are a first-time user, select “Create an account”
      • If you believe you already have an account, but need to reset your password, please select “Forgot/Reset Password.”
    • Under Bibliographic and Holdings Data Ingest, choose which upload method you prefer:
      • Upload file from your desktop” option: This option allows you to submit a file that is saved on your computer. This option is ideal for those members who do not have direct server access.
      • Upload file from remote server” option: This option allows you to use the command line to upload a file via a remote server. This option is appropriate for those members who have very large files and also have direct server access.

You may be wondering, what happened to FTP? WEST’s administrative host is no longer able to support FTP, so we are no longer able to accept files via that method. In light of this change and several requests for a more user friendly way to submit files, WEST is offering these new options.

Again, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Anna Striker.