Scope and purpose of AUTOCAT

AUTOCAT is a semi-moderated international electronic discussion list running on LISTSERV(R) software. he software is run by University of Syracuse and we thank them for the service. The list serves as an electronic forum for the discussion of all questions relating to cataloging and authority control in libraries. The range of topics discussed extends from the very broad to the very specific, from the very theoretical to the most pragmatic.

Autocat list traffic is 60 - 80 plus messages a day; fewer on weekends; sometimes more, depending on subject.
Subscriber statistics as of November 8, 2010: more than 6,200 subscribers in 40+ countries

Questions on interpretation of AACR2, RDA, the organization of technical services units, appropriate MARC coding, formulation of subject or name or title headings, announcements of job openings, etc. are all appropriate topics. Results of discussions, or just their having taken place, have also become subject matter for articles in the profession.

The following are outside of AUTOCAT's scope and should be referred to more appropriate lists:

  • How to perform certain actions on the various bibliographic utilities or vendor systems.

  • Commercial Advertising. While it is acceptable to announce that your firm has a product or offers a service that would fill a particular cataloging need, such announcements should be limited to the bare essentials. If in doubt about the suitability of a posting, please send it the listowners to preview. We prefer that you use the general emamil address for such questions, which is as this will be more efficient for all of us, listowners and subscribers. Just for your information, though, the listowner addresses are available at: listowner page

  • SPAM, i.e.: mass mailings to multiple lists with no connection to the focus of AUTOCAT
  • Personal attacks of any kind.
  • Messages asking to be subscribed or unsubscribed. If you are in doubt as to how to do so, send a message to
  • Test messages asking subscribers to acknowledge receipt. It is better to send a real message to the list, introducing yourself if nothing else.

    Subscribers who send inappropriate messages to AUTOCAT will be contacted by one of the listowners and asked to stop doing so.

    Archive availability: See How to Search the Autocat Archives
    For further information contact

    This page has been accessed < > < times since 8 August 1997.

    Last revised November 8, 2010

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