For those who catalog eBooks, this is an important policy. More than likely, an eBook can be part of several packages and be made available from several different vendors: NetLibrary, Wilely, Ebrary, and so on. To stem the tide of duplicate records for these eBooks, the Provider Neutral Cataloging Policy was issued on August 1, 2009. This policy has recently been updated.
Here’s the OCLC announcement:
The provider-neutral cataloging policy, originally implemented on August 1, 2009 by the Program for Cooperative Cataloging, changed the cataloging of eBook resources resulting in fewer bibliographic records.
Provider-neutral records are the same as Aggregator-neutral records. They are bibliographic records which contain information common to all equivalent manifestations of an eBook. Information specific to any one provider is generally omitted except for the 856 field.
Provider-neutral records are base records available in the shared cataloging environment of WorldCat to which libraries can add information locally as needed. OCLC staff have been working to neutralize existing eBook records. Some examples of records which are provider-neutral and where Duplicate Detection and Resolution has merged the other versions are: #71425188, #191943299, #228168934, #568747838.
Catalogers are encouraged to create only one record to represent equivalent manifestations of an eBook. Duplicates can be reported to OCLC Quality Control by sending email to email@example.com or while viewing a bibliographic record in Connexion go to the Action menu and choose Report Error. This opens a window with an area for free-text, and upon sending includes a copy of the record as it appeared at the time the window was opened.
Please see: http://www.oclc.org/worldcat/catalog/quality/expert/websessions.htm for a recording of a Provider-Neutral Webinar, as well as a PowerPoint presentation. Also, the Provider-neutral e-monograph MARC record guide (including June 2011 revisions) can be accessed here: http://www.loc.gov/catdir/pcc/pn_guideDraftRev20110621rev.pdf
This policy currently applies only to eBooks, and not to other monographic formats such as eAudio, streaming video, etc. The eBooks may be issued as born-digital resources, current simultaneously-issued-with-print editions, or scanned reproductions of previous existing materials. Create a provider-neutral record for eBooks even if no equivalent manifestations exist at the point of cataloging.
Provider-Neutral guidelines for formats others than textual are in the works and are expected to be announced in the coming months.
If you have questions, please send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org