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The copyright duration rules for different material types may require the publication or creation date for a work. The following rules are used to extract these dates from a catalogue record.

The following rules show how we determine the creation and publication dates from a MARC record. To understand these rules, you will need to have a basic understanding of the MARC standard for bibliographic records. If you don't know MARC, you could try this tutorial.

Use 008 field character positions 7-10 (date one) and 11-14 (date two) to determine creation/publication dates. The type of date represented by date one and date two depends on the code in 008 field character position 6, which represents the type of date/publication status.

008 character position 6

use of dates

b - No dates given; B.C. date involved

copyright status = out of copyright

c - Continuing resource currently published

copyright status = undetermined, because the catalogue record represents a series of items with a range of publication dates

d - Continuing resource ceased publication

use date two (008/11-14) as creation/publication year, because it represents the most recent date of publication

e - Detailed date

use date one (008/7-10) as creation/publication year

i - Inclusive dates of collection

use date two (008/11-14) as creation/publication year, because it represents the most recent date of publication

k - Range of years of bulk of collection

copyright status = undetermined, because the catalogue record represents a series of items with a range of publication dates 

m - Multiple dates

use date two (008/11-14) as creation/publication year, because it represents the most recent date of publication

n - Dates unknown

copyright status = undetermined, because no creation/publication date is recorded

p - Date of distribution/release/issue and production/recording session when different

use date two (008/11-14) as creation/original publication date and date one (008/7-10) as later edition date

q - Questionable date

use date two (008/11-14) as creation/publication year, because it represents the most recent date of publication 

r - Reprint/reissue date and original date

use date two (008/11-14) as creation/publication year (original date) and date one (008/7-10) as later edition date


s - Single known date/probable date

use date one (008/7-10) as creation/publication date

t - Publication date and copyright date

use date two (008/11-14) as creation/publication year, because it represents the most recent date of publication

u - Continuing resource status unknown

copyright status = undetermined, because the end date is unknown

| - No attempt to code

copyright status = undetermined, because no creation/publication date is recorded

N.B. Uncertain date: For any of the above, if 008/7-14 contain "u", date is uncertain. If an expected date in 008/11-14 is missing (blank), use the date in 008/07-10, but if both are blank (unlikely), date is uncertain. If date in 008/11-14 is "9999", this signifies an uncertain date or a range of dates with an open end date (e.g. continuing serial publication) - in this case display the message Created/published date is uncertain, there may be multiple dates.

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