Michigan State University

Serials: Serial Claim Guidelines


When the Libraries have not received standing order issues after a designated time we must request that the items be sent. In general, our first attempt to remedy the situation will be to send a paper claim slip using the guidelines below. This is not a procedure for how to claim but a framework for decision-making while claiming.


What is the purpose of claiming and claim maintenance?

The main goal is to assure that we receive all of the items that we have paid for in a timely manner. A secondary goal is to keep the records well maintained and accurate for the benefit of patrons and staff. Maintenance helps keep the number of records that must be reviewed for claiming to a minimum.

How are issues to be claimed detected?

Claims are generated automatically based on the claim cycles set up in Magic for materials of a specific publication pattern. For example, a weekly magazine needs a different claim cycle than a quarterly journal. The system has defaults, which are generally acceptable for notifying us of when the first claim should be generated. These defaults can be used when creating new records unless there are extenuating circumstances.

How do I know if it is ok to claim?

For a first claim, it is generally ok to claim the item after reviewing the order record for a current payment and any notes that would explain why the issue is late. Please, include a reason for the claim on each claim. If the payment is not current or the missing issues seem to be a part of a bigger problem, refer the purchase order number and title to the Problem Resolution Assistant.

What do I do if one claim doesn’t suffice?

One claim is often sufficient to get the late issue sent. When multiple claims are required, limitations of Magic and the speed of mail delivery affect what we should do.

Magic only allows one claim cycle. In general, this works but for weekly and possibly for monthly journals, it means that little time has elapsed since the first (or previous) claim. It is not realistic to expect the publisher to be able to get a replacement to us ten days after our request was sent, especially if the request went to a vendor first. For subsequent claims, set the expected date of that box ahead 30 days from the date the item was claimed the time before. Do not increment the dates on boxes for other issues.

What about irregular items?

Some of the most problematic claims are items that come irregularly. For sets, set annals, and cat sep series, do not claim unless more than the average time between previous items has passed and no meaningful update from the vendor has been received. Set the date on the next expected box to reflect the more realistic expected date. Check the card parameters to see if the claim cycle is set to “Custom” and set the number of days between claims to more closely match the expected time frame and reset the dates of future boxes using the “Increment transaction dates” choice. This will keep the card from continually appearing in the claim program when we won’t be claiming.

The reason we can be less stringent about sets, etc. is that they are monographs. Monographs work under different constraints. They go out of print much more slowly and bibliographers get notification about new volumes to sets in the form of advertisements and various bibliographies. We don’t have to be as concerned about missing them.

What if the item doesn’t come after 3 claims (or 2 if it is more than one year old)?

Provided that the claim appears to be a simple claim, mark the box “UC, [date]” and fill out a goldenrod colored Unhonored Claim Form. This form is sent to: Bindery Prep (for Main Library locations) or the Branch (or if you know it, the branch clerk). Branches located in Main, such as Fine Arts, are treated as branches.

The Unhonored Claim Form is a signal to the units that they should decide whether to bind incomplete or order a replacement.

If there are a number of issues that have not arrived or if the missing issue is part of a bigger problem, give the purchase order number and title to the Problem Resolutions Clerk for further investigation.

What are the normal claim cycles?

Weekly   10 days
3 x’s month   15 days
Semiweekly   21 days
Semimonthly   22 days
Monthly   45 days
Irregular   45 days - NOTE: This is the default. See note below.
Bimonthly   90 days
Quarterly   136 days
3 x’s year   181 days
Semiannual   273 days
Biennial   1095 days
Triennial   1642 days

If the order is for a set and we know it will not come out often, we would adjust the claim cycle to a longer period. We do not want something to appear in the potential claims list more than is needed.