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Report requests are submitted via the Aleph RX system. One specific type of report is the shelflist report, which provides you with a list of items meeting specific criteria.

A shelflist report has various uses. It can be used to perform an inventory, to make decisions about weeding/transfers/other collection development activities, etc.  The content of your shelflist report depends upon what you are planning to do with it.  Here are some steps which may help make the final report more useful for you.

1. define the purpose or ultimate use of the report

2. define the selection criteria (scope) of the report

Sample selection criteria:

  • SUB-LIBRARY: SU-SU
  • COLLECTION: REF, REFAC (it's preferable to use the specific Aleph code for the collection, not "Reference" for example)
  • CALL NUMBER: Q-QC
  • IPS [inclusion or exclusion]:   Exclude IPS: WI, PP
  • MATERIAL TYPE:  BOOK (if you don't specify, we assume "all")  

If you need a shelflist for a collection management/development purpose -- such as weeding, transfer to storage, or collection evaluation -- you may wish to limit the "set" by adding filters.

For instance:

  • CPMCK STACK PN1900-1999 PUBLISHED BEFORE 2005 or
  • CPMCK STACK PN1900-1999 WITH ZERO LOANS IN THE PAST 10 YEARS.
    • You could also say CPMCK STACK PN1900-1999 and ask to have the number of loans listed (total, or for a particular time span), so you can see the use count of all the items.

Other filters/limiters can be applied, such as:

  • CPMCK STACK ITEMS WITH "MAKING OF MODERN LAW" IN THE SERIES FIELD or
  • CPMCK STACK ITEMS WITH AN ITEM STATUS OF 04 (an "invalid" SCMI combination, if you want to fix these items)

If you need a Shelflist for another purpose -- such as searching all "Lost/Missing" items -- you can have your "set" created very specifically. For example:

  • ALL CPMCK ITEMS WITH AN IPS OF RM OR MI or
  • ALL CPMCK ITEMS WITH AN IPS OF RM OR MI OR A CIRC STATUS OF "LOST"

3. choose the data elements you will need to see in the report in order to accomplish your goal

For example, a shelflist for inventory --  a list of each item in a particular range; data elements should include call number (and description, which is where the volume numbers and such appear), barcode, item process status (so you'll know which items are already missing or in the bindery, etc.), and circulation status (which indicates which items are currently charged out or lost).

Do you need the title? Perhaps. Do you need the author, publication date, item status? These are not necessarily useful in performing an inventory, but if there are data elements you feel you need, be sure to request them.  However, if you ask for information you are not going to use in your project, decision-making, etc., your report will be larger and possibly more difficult to use.

Shelflist reports may be retrieved in Task Manager.  Reports containing too many items may be too large to open in the Aleph client, and would also probably be too large for you to use easily. 

Depending upon how much information is requested per item, one page = approximately 55 items (at most -- figuring at one line per item; many reports require more than one line per item, depending upon how many data elements you request).  At 50 items per page, 1,000 items = 200 printed pages.  If you don't plan to print the whole report, you can probably request reports with up to 15,000-20,000 items and open them in Task Manager.  Beyond that, Task Manager may "freeze" if you attempt to open the report. 

How do you know how many items will be in a report before you ask for it?  It's not always possible, but there are some ways to minimise the possibility that the requested report is too large to open and use.

If you are asking for a report for inventory, for example, you can get a rough idea of the number of volumes in a particular collection, material type, item status or call number range, using the reports online (catalog.umd.edu/reports).  You know your collections, and this will help you guess the size of a report.

If you have added a number of filters into your RX (items marked "Lost," items with more than 3 loans since 2000, etc.), you won't be able to know exactly how big the final report will be.  If you are worried about this, you might want to tweak your request (for example, make it "more than 5 loans" since 2000) but if we run your report and it's too big, we will get back to you and help you revise your parameters to make the report usable (or run multiple reports by splitting the parameters: inside of a report of all items A-Z, we could do A-L and M-Z, for example). 

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EDU-GR-AC-XG-DSS-089