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Tip for 11.12.18

Are your series sorting correctly in Researcher? If not, here are a few fixes you can make to your title records.

NEW See our article on Cataloging Series and Serials!

Standardize the series name

Search results are sorted first by series name and then by volume number. So if you have Magic Tree House and Magic Tree House Series, all of the Magic Tree House volumes will be listed before the Magic Tree House Series volumes. An easy fix here is to make the series the same for all titles. It's also a good idea to check that the series name is in the Series field. If, for example, it's been added to the Title, Subtitle, or Statement of Responsibility fields, Alexandria won't know how to sort it. 

If you need to change series names in bulk, you can use the Change a MARC Tag (v7) or Modify (v6) utility to change 830_a from, for example, from Magic Tree House Series to Magic Tree House

Standardize the volume field

If you have Magic Tree House vol 1 and Magic Tree House volume 2 and Magic Tree House 3, no matter what you do, "3" will sort before the other two. You can fix this by standardizing the volume field across all of the titles in the series. 

There's a utility for that

In Alexandria version 7, there is a new utility that can help you with the volume field. 

  1. Go to Tools > Utilities.
  2. In the Titles category, select Change Series Volume.
  3. Fill out selection criteria, such as Titles in the Series, to limit the changing titles to a manageable size. 
  4. Under the Options tab, fill in the volume prefix you prefer, such as Vol or #. Or, leave the field blank to have no prefix, which will show up as, for example, “Magic tree house; 001”. 
  5. Run the utility. 
  6. Download the information file from Operations Management to see if any volumes did not update. 

This utility takes the Series 830_v tag and gets rid of everything but the number, converts the number to at least a three digit number by padding with 0s, and adds the prefix you entered. Thus, volume “bk1” gets converted to “Prefix 001”, volume “two” to “Prefix 002” etcetera.

Here are a few examples of how the data would change (weird ones in pink, unchanged in blue):

OLD VOLUME (before utility)

NEW VOLUME  (using prefix = “Book”)

Book 1

Book 001

V. 1

Book 001


Book 012


Book 100


Book 001






Book 001

Vol. # twenty

Book 020

Vol 1234

Book 1234


Book 001

# 1

Book 001


Book 012


Book 012


Book 102

Pad your numbers

You'll also want to pad the volume numbers with zeros (i.e. 001, 002) so "volume 10" doesn't show up before "volume 2". Why? Because the series volume field is not a numeric field; it sorts alphabetically. For example:

With padded 0s, Alexandria can sort the series like this.






Without padded 0s, those series numbers would be sorted like this:






With these fixes, you'll have your series sorting correctly in no time!

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