Profile Guide Chapter 2

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MARS 2.0 makes changes in over 100 different MARC fields within your bibliographic record. Our Bibliographic Record Validation service updates many elements in MARC bibliographic records to conform with current MARC21 standards, providing increased consistency within your bibliographic files.

The level of MARC update is entirely configurable by you and your staff. By default, we perform all of the updates to your MARC bib records. Or, if you prefer, we can only perform the updates you specify. In the end, the update process is tailored to your expectations of what you’d like to see happen within your bibliographic records.

Standard MARC21 Validation

As soon as we receive your files, they are prepared for processing. The MARS 2.0 programs check all files of MARC records submitted to ensure they conform to the basic structural requirements of the MARC21 communications format. Our validation programs ensure that all records meet the following criteria:
  • Leader is present and correctly structured
  • Directory is present and correctly structured
  • No record exceeds 99,999 characters. Including bib records larger than 99,999 byte maximum size prevents successful processing of the input files. Records cannot be segmented (broken apart into multiple physical records) to reach the maximum size limit. These records will be output as potentially corrupt for the library to review
  • No field exceeds 9,999 characters (MARC21 directory limitation)
  • If a record exceeds the character or field size it is not processed. If there is a large number of rejected records our programmers will contact the library project manager to determine a course of action
  • All records contain the following standard MARC delimiters:
    • Record terminators (ASCII 1D16)
    • Field terminators (ASCII 1E16)
    • Subfield delimiters (ASCII 1F16)
  • All records contain valid characters (either in MARC8 or UTF8)
  • Any null characters (hex 00) are changed to spaces when records are loaded
  • MARS 2.0 will also delete empty fields or subfields as records are loaded

Note: MARS 2.0 programs can process MARC21 records that lack 001, 008 or other fields.


Chapter two is one of our most comprehensive documents, and as such is too large for a single page.

  • Step 2-1 - MARC Update Service Levels
  • Step 2-2 - Numeric Field Validation
  • Step 2-3 - Leader and Fixed Field Updates
  • Step 2-4 - Tag Updates and Field Deletes
  • Step 2-5 - Subfield Code Updates and Deletes
  • Step 2-6 - Indicator Updates
  • Step 2-7 - Special MARC21 Field Conversions and Additions
  • Step 2-8 - Initial Article and Filing Indicator Validation
  • Step 2-9 - GMD Standardization