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Discover how to define frequencies for Serial titles in OLIB.

►Serials Management Reference Data > Frequencies


Frequencies are used in conjunction with Citation Patterns to generate expected serial issues. Together they can produce a wide range of volume and issue numbering patterns and are used to determine the interval between issues. OLIB is supplied with a standard list of frequencies which will satisfy the requirements of the majority of journals, however you can supplement these with your own as required. There are 3 basic types of frequencies:

  • Regular: The issues are published with a regular calendar interval between issues and there are no supplements or indexes. Regular frequencies, e.g. Daily (7 per week) have only one page of information.
  • Regularly Irregular: The issues are published on a regular pattern - but do not match the calendar exactly and the interval between issues is not regular, or there are special or combined issues or indexes. Regularly Irregular frequencies have a second page of data, determined by the Type setting on the first page, e.g. Regularly Irregular - Weekly. For example the 1st and 15th of the month, twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays, on the first Tuesday of every month, etc.
  • Irregular: The pattern is not predictable within a calendar, but it is known.

Once the necessary Frequency record for a journal exists, you simply select that Frequency in the Serials Title record to generate the expected issues.

 Note: For Journals which are totally unpredictable (e.g. Hansard or the Official Journal) it is recommended that a frequency which will generate a single issue is chosen and the Create manual issue function is used to create all issue records as they arrive.

Standard Regular Frequency codes

Daily (7 Per Week) - Every day Weekly Fortnightly 4-Weekly Monthly
Bi-Monthly Quarterly 3 Per Annum - i.e. every 4 months Semi-Annual/Bi-Annual - every 6 months Annual
Biennial Triennial 4-Yearly 5-Yearly  

The frequency is determined by setting the Publication Interval in Days, Weeks, Months or Years.

Standard Regularly Irregular Frequency codes

  • Daily (5 Per Week) – i.e. every day except Saturdays and Sundays
  • Daily (6 Per Week) – i.e. every day except Sundays
  • 1st and 15th of the Month
  • 15th and Last of the Month – i.e. on the 15th and last day of every month
  • 3rd Monday of the Month
  • Monthly With Index – i.e. every month, with an index in December
  • Monthly 10pa – i.e. every month with combined May/June and November/December issues
  • Quarterly (Combined Months) – i.e. 4 issues per annum covering January/March, April/June, July/September and October/December

This type of frequency code is also used to define a publication cycle which includes combined issues, indexes and supplements. Standard regularly irregular frequency codes are only supplied as examples of this type of frequency code. You will probably need to set up many such frequency codes, some may be specific to an individual title.

Irregular Frequency codes

Irregular frequency codes are used for serials where the issues are published on a completely irregular basis and cannot therefore be predicted automatically. This type of frequency code can be used for serials where the publisher issues a publication schedule for forthcoming issues. Only one sample irregular frequency code is supplied (search using the description 'irregular'). When you create irregular frequency codes they are likely to be title specific.

  1. In Frequencies search using the description irregular for the Irregular frequency and display the record. When you click New Record to obtain a blank record, a second sheet is made available for the irregular details.
  2. Enter a Frequency Key, Short, and Long Description. The Type should be set to Irregular.
  3. On the second sheet in the Issue Pub. Date field, select the date that the first issue is expected.
  4. Enter the number of issues in the Value field and click the arrowhead button.
  5. Acknowledge the confirmatory message and the value will be populated into the list box.
  6. Repeat the process until all the values are entered and then save the record.
  7. If a mistake has been made, or when revising this for the following year, entries may be removed by selecting them and clicking on Delete.
  8. You can enter Indexes, supplements, and combined issues indicators as required. These are the same as those used in Regularly Irregular patterns.

 Note: As it will be necessary to revise this pattern on an annual basis for the dates in the succeeding year, you may prefer to use a pattern which generates a single issue and use the Create Manual Issue method for the other issues.

Create a new Frequency code

  1. Use new record in context.
  2. In Frequency Key enter the unique key ID for this frequency.
  3. Enter a meaningful Short and Long Description.
  4. In Type specify whether the new frequency is regular, regularly irregular, or irregular. The layout may change depending on the type you specify.
  5. You can enter free text notes, and for Claiming, you can select the sequence to use for overdue issues and incomplete (missing) issues.
  6. For the second page containing Frequency Type-specific fields, refer to these Type specific fields:

Type specific fields (second page)


This page is displayed if you select the Regularly Irregular - Weekly frequency type. The sheet includes 7 cells, one for each day of the week. You should enter a number representing the number of issues which are published on each of the relevant days.

For example, the standard Daily (5 Per Week) frequency has a '1' in each of the cells for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The Saturday and Sunday cells are blank.

If you were setting up a new frequency to represent published on Mondays and Thursdays, you would enter a '1' in the cells for Monday and Thursday.

It is possible that more than one issue is published on the same day. This can be defined by entering the relevant number in the respective cell. For example, entering '2' in the Tuesday cell will cause the system to generate 2 issues every Tuesday. Each issue will have the same cover date but different issue numbers.


This page is displayed when you select the Regularly Irregular - Monthly frequency type. The sheet includes 29 cells, one for each day of the month up to the 28th day, and an extra cell to represent the last day of the month. Enter a number in the relevant cell to represent the number of issues published on the relevant days of the month.

For example, the standard 1st and 15th of the Month frequency has a '1' in the 1st and 15th cells. If an issue is published on the 15th of each month, you would set up a new regularly irregular (monthly) frequency with just a '1' in the 15th cell. 

Note that the sheet does not include cells for the 29th, 30th and 31st day of the month, because every month does not have a 29th, 30th or 31st day. Thus, for example, if a serial is published on the 30th of the month, except for February when it is published on the 28th, except in a leap year when it is published on the 29th, it is not possible to set up a regularly irregular frequency to represent this. You will need to set up an irregular frequency for this publication pattern.


This page is displayed when you select the Regularly Irregular - Day-Monthly frequency type. It includes 28 cells in seven columns of four rows. The cells in the 1st column represent the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Monday of the month, the cells in the 2nd column represent the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Tuesday of the month, and so on. 

The standard 3rd Monday of the Month frequency has a '1' in the cell representing the 3rd Monday of the month. When generating issues for titles with this frequency, the system will calculate the exact date of the 3rd Monday of the month (e.g. in July 2002, it is the 15th July, whereas in August 2002, it is 19th August), and add this as the issue cover date.


This page is displayed when you select the Regularly Irregular - Year-Weekly frequency type. It includes 53 cells, one for each week of the year, plus an extra cell representing the 53rd week, which can be used when there are 53 weeks in the year.

There are no standard frequencies supplied with this frequency type.


This page is displayed when you select the Regularly Irregular - Year-Monthly frequency type. It includes 12 cells, one for each month of the year.

There are two standard frequencies provided with this frequency type:

The Monthly With Index frequency has a '1' in each of the cells plus a 'I' in the December cell. This means that issues are published every month (as with the regular Monthly frequency), but there is also an index published in December. The system will therefore automatically generate an index in December, which can be checked in - the same way as normal issues.

The Monthly 10pa frequency includes combined issue settings. Indexes, supplements, and combined Issues.


This sheet is displayed when you select the Irregular frequency type. For this frequency type, you enter the dates on which issues are published (taken from an irregular serial’s publication schedule, for example) and the number of issues published on those days. OLIB will then generate expected issues in accordance with this manually entered publication schedule.

To enter a new irregular publication date, choose the relevant date for the Issue Pub. Date field, enter the number of issues to be published on that day (normally 1) in the Value field, and click the fast forward button to the right of the Value field. This adds an entry to the irregular frequency list box immediately below the Value field, which will cause OLIB to generate the relevant number of expected issues on that day when the issue generation process is next run.

To edit existing irregular frequency list box entries enter the date of the entry to be edited in Issue Pub. Date, enter the new value for that day in the Value field and click the fast forward button. The existing entry is then revised.

You can remove existing entries by selecting the entry and choosing Delete from the Actions box.


For serial issues the claims sequences should be defined in the Frequencies domain. On the Main page enter Overdue Claim Sequence and Incomplete Claim Sequence. Search and select the correct sequence(s) previously defined. See About Serials claiming for more information.

Indexes, supplements, and combined issues

To configure these in with the expected issues you also use the Frequencies domain. See Indexes, supplements, and combined issues for more information.