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Tip for January 11th, 2016 | Updated September 13th, 2021

What are your back-to-school resolutions for your library? If ‘cleaning up’ or ‘organizing’ are on your list, I have just the tip for you—to help you clean up your subject tags!

If you have noticed a lot of odd or incorrect subject headings in your records, this tip will help you clean up those pesky entries. This will give you some good cataloging information—but further, your records will stand out when your patrons perform subject searches in Researcher and Search. Who doesn’t like good clean records? Let’s get started!

Changing Subjects through Authority Control
  1. From Tools in the sidenav, open Authority Control.
  2. Under Category/Type, expand the Subjects category, and you can see a list of all subject heading subtags.
  3. Decide which subtag you want to fix, then search for the term in the search box at the top (e.g. ‘Dystopian’).
  4. Click on the term in your results, then click Edit Term at the bottom.
  5. In the Edit window, enter the term you want to use (e.g. ‘Dystopias’).
  6. You will notice that it will inform you how many records you will be modifying. Make sure this is correct, as it will modify this term for ALL records that have this as a subject heading. Ready to make some changes? Click YES.
Each change spawns a utility in your operations queue; your changes will show when the utility operation is completed.

With a few easy steps, you can start getting your records nice and uniform. If you have further questions please contact Customer Support at 800-347-4942

v6 Authority Control

For v6 users:

  1. From Tools in the menu bar, open Authority Control.
  2. Change the MARC authority dropdown to Subject Headings.
  3. Click on the magnifying glass to search for the subject heading you want to clean up (e.g. ‘Dystopian’).
  4. Highlight the heading, and simply click the minus (-) button.

It’s as simple as that—it will remove that subject from your authority control list. For more information on v6 Authority Control, watch the v6 video and read the article here. 

Did you know? The word ‘authority’ comes from the Latin ‘auctor’, meaning ‘originator, promoter’—the same root as ‘author’.

How else can you improve searching for your patrons?

Check out our article on Researcher Best Practices, which contains a bunch of tips on making searching easier. We have a bunch of other resources you may find helpful as well:

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