BestMARC can be used to easily find already cataloged records and customize them to your needs, or create brand new records from scratch. BestMARC contains a database of pre-screened records of high quality to use or
search additional servers on the internet that someone else might have cataloged. If a record still cannot be found, enter the basic information into BestMARC and use the errors and warnings section to quickly and easily
create a base MARC record that can be used right away.
Click the button in the upper-right to Show or Hide the top pane, allowing more space to view Records. You can also resize the top and bottom panes
by clicking and dragging the resizer space between them.
Click the Create tab if it is not already selected, or select View > Create pane from the menu on the My Records tab.
Select the type of material you are looking for and enter as much information about your record as you know. At minimum, you must have an ISBN, Author, or Title. The more information you enter, the better
BestMARC can rank the records to match what you are looking for.
If you wish to search only within certain Reading Program ranges, set an Advanced Filter by clicking the button.
Click the Search button. The Search results tab appears below.
The Related search terms section updates to the right of the search criteria that display terms related to your search. Click on a term to add it to your search. If you change any search terms,
click Search again to perform your search.
To reset all the search criteria and start over, click on the Reset
After performing a search, the Search results tab appears:
If this was the first time performing a search, the Search More Servers section displays first. If a record cannot be found in the following list, click this button.
A list of search results displays with the following columns:
A cover image if available. Click on it to see a larger version.
The record's material type. If it matches the material type you searched for, it appears in bold.
The source of the record.
- BestMARC - a record in BestMARC's own database
- Z-server - a record from the current Search More Servers request
- Other database - a record from a previous customer's Search More Servers request
- Reading Programs
If reading program information is available for this record, it is displayed here. Use an Advanced Filter to find only records with scores. If your Profile
is set to use a reading program and its data is listed in this column, it will automatically be added to the record when clicking Edit and Save.
- Edit and Save
Search More Servers
Sometimes you have a unique or very new item that is not in BestMARC's database. When you cannot initially find the MARC record you are looking for, you can do a deeper, more comprehensive search for it on other servers on the internet.
After an initial search, the Search results screen shows a Search More Servers section:
Click the Search More Servers button to search the BestMARC databases as well as other
servers on the internet using the Z39.50 protocol. After searching, the results are combined with BestMARC's results and ranked with the highest Match and Quality at the top. The Info column will display Z-server
for each record coming from a different server:
The results from the Search More Servers request are added to another database that BestMARC uses for all future searches, displaying as Other database records.
Therefore, by searching for new or hard-to-find materials, you are improving the search results for all BestMARC users.
If you still cannot find your record, make sure you don't have any misspellings and that you've entered as much information about the item as you know and try again. If you still cannot find it,
you can turn your search criteria into a MARC record by Cataloging it.
If you've tried searching for your record and a Search More Servers request and still cannot find a MARC record, you can easily turn your search criteria into a ready-to-use MARC record.
Ensure you have filled out your Profile so the record will be created using your preferred cataloging rules.
Fill out all the bibliographic fields for the material. Here are some tips:
- Select the appropriate Material type. This will be the record template that is used to create your MARC.
- Author: use Last name, First name
- Title: if the material has a subtitle, add a colon followed by the subtitle
- Pages: enter just the numbers. p. or pages will get added automatically based on your cataloging standard. If you enter something other than numbers, it will be added exactly as you entered it.
- Click the Catalog button
A new MARC record is created and opened in the MARC editor based on the entered criteria and your Profile settings. All of the criteria is added automatically to their designated
fields and subfields.
Use the editor's Tips & Examples to verify that all of the information has been added correctly.
Use the editor's Errors & Warnings section to help fill out the rest of the suggested fields.
Click on an error or warning to take you directly to the field to fill out and use the Tips & Examples to determine what to enter.
For subject headings, use the Subject Explorer to help you find appropriate subjects to add. Try to add 3-5 subject headings.
- Click Save. The record will be saved into the My Records grid.
Advanced filters can be used to display only records that fall within a certain reading program range.
Click the button to open the Advanced Filters dialog.
Check the box next to the reading program you wish to filter on.
Drag the sliders to select the minimum and maximum score to include in your result.
Click the labels under the range slider to select only those record with the qualifiers you want selected. If none are selected, any are allowed.
A short description of the filters selected displays next to the edit button:
Click Search to perform the search.
If multiple reading programs are selected, a record must match all filters in order to be returned.
To reset all the search criteria and start over, click on the Reset
button in the Bibliographic fields section. To clear just the search filters, open the Advanced Filters dialog and uncheck the reading program checkboxes.
Your BestMARC Profile contains settings specific to your library such as the Library Automation System you use, whether you catalog using AACR2 or RDA, and what Reading Programs you use.
You can set up these preferences by clicking on Profile in the orange bar at the top of the BestMARC page.
Setting up your profile allows BestMARC to automatically create records that match your cataloging preferences or add information automatically. Here are a few options you can set:
- Library Automation System
- Allows you to create copy/holdings specific to your automatation system
- Cataloging standard (AACR2 or RDA)
- Ensures all the records downloaded from BestMARC are in your desired format and error checking is based on the correct cataloging rules
Advanced MARC editing
- Turning on this option allows you to see and directly edit the MARC leader and control fields
- By selecting the reading programs that you use, the selected reading program data is automatically added after finding an item with an associated reading program score