Step 1.2

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Step 1.2: File Download & Final Format


UTF-8 vs MARC-8 format

The MARC-8 character set uses 8-bit characters. Due to the limitation of characters that this allows, MARC-8 also includes methods to extend the displayable characters: spacing based characters (for cursor movement) and non-spacing characters (diacritics).

MARC-8 also employs the use of alternate character sets in order to tackle the diacritic display issue. This is done by using escape sequences, which are special codes to indicate which character set is being selected for display: subscripts, superscripts, CJK characters, etc.

While these methods allow for many additional characters to be used, it is still limited and somewhat burdensome.

UTF-8 is a standard based on 16-bit characters. It is a method of encoding characters into sequences of from 1 to 3 bytes. Unicode has definitions for nonspacing characters like MARC-8, except these characters are handled differently for UTF-8.

UTF-8 also includes many precomposed characters. These are spacing characters that are equivalent to one or more diacritic characters and a spacing character. To handle the various ways a composite character could be displayed, normalization forms have been defined.

Normalization Form Decomposed (NFD) and Normalization Form Composed (NFC) are standardized forms for handling composite characters.

In NFD, every character that can be decomposed is converted to its most decomposed form following rules for canonical decomposition.

In NFC, the characters are first decomposed as in NFD, then composed into precomposed (composite) forms following canonical rules. This may result in the sequence of characters for a given character changing into an alternate, equivalent form.

Many ILS operate in Unicode. Most can port their MARC records in Unicode (UTF-8) or standard MARC format (MARC-8). Currently the Library of Congress delivers their MARC authority records in UTF-8 format.

 If the Leader, byte 9 contains a then the record is considered UTF-8:
 01254nam a2200253
 However, if a is missing from byte 9, then the record is considered MARC-8:
 01252nam _2200253

Our Authority Control process has the capability of converting both your incoming and your outgoing bibliographic and authority records into UTF-8 format. Also, if you prefer, we can convert to and from either UTF-8 or MARC-8, whichever is most convenient for you and your ILS.

Please indicate on Step 1.2 what format you will be sending your MARC records in by marking MARC-8 for standard or UTF-8 for Unicode.

MARS 2.0 now has the capability of accepting MARCXML files. If you would like to explore this option, please speak with your project manager.

Website Portal
Our customers can login to the site listed above at anytime in order to view or edit their profile settings, upload new files for processing, or retrieve files.

As our team continues to refine the user experience for navigating our website portal, including screen shots in this guide will be kept to a minimum to avoid inconsistencies.

Profile options

Each of the 6 steps in the online profile has an option to fill in the defaults listed within this guide. The defaults are intended as guideposts only. Every part of the profile can be customized according to your preference.

Multiple staff members can fill out the online profile at the same time, as long as they are in different steps when they do so. This allows our customers to assign certain steps based on priority without worrying about the need to exit the profile while doing so.

Each step can be saved at anytime, whether the step has been completely filled out or is only partially finished. This ensures that should any questions arise during the profile, those can be addressed with the assistance of your MARS 2.0 project manager.

Profiles can also be printed, either one step at a time or in their entirety. Multiple profiles can be established, depending on processing criteria desired.

Profile questions

Every question has an associated Wiki link next to it. The link corresponds to the printed information contained in this guide, but in online format. This is especially useful when more information is necessary in order to choose the appropriate option for each question.

The default for each question will be highlighted or offset from the other options in order to make it easier to discern.

Steps should be saved before navigating to other parts of the online profile, otherwise any changes made will be lost. However, profile steps can be saved multiple times in case many different changes need to be made to the same step.

Jobs Options

Backstage refers to any file that has been uploaded or delivered to our customers as a job.

A job is tracked separately from any other job or file that is processed. Uploading files using our website is made to be as intuitive as attaching documents to an email.

Adding jobs

After you choose to add a job from the main menu, you will be taken to a page that lists various options. The first option is asking what kind of job this is, with the default choice being Current Cataloging. You can change this to the type of file you are uploading.

From there, you just need to choose the file to upload. If you are uploading multiple files, you will need to upload each file one at a time as a security precaution on our side.

Navigate to the location of your file(s), whether they are on your computer desktop, a network directory, or on some other media. Then, if you have all of the files necessary for that job, just click on Send.

Tracking jobs

Many kinds of jobs are processed on a daily basis at Backstage. In order to keep track of all of these different kinds of jobs, we created a tool on our website for this purpose.

After a job is created, it is put into a queue based on the type of job. It might be awaiting processing, or currently in processing, or part of our finished jobs queue.

Current Cataloging jobs have a progress bar that updates in real-time based on where in the process the file currently is. Start and finish times are listed, as is the type of job and job number. Each tracked job can also be viewed or edited at anytime. Finished jobs will remain online a minimum of one year after processing.

Both original files uploaded and processed files delivered are available within the same tracked job. This is useful when it is necessary to view the original file, by either Backstage or the customer, in order to resolve potential concerns.

FTP options

Please see your MARS 2.0 project manager for more details on using traditional FTP methods for uploading or retrieving your files.


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