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Publisher notification procedure - frequently asked questions (FAQ)

How are VLB title notifications put into the catalogue of the German National Library?

Within 2 days after you report new titles to the German Books in Print (VLB), the data is incorporated into the German National Library (DNB) data pool. It will automatically be enriched with Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC - internationally the most widespread universal classification system) subject classes based on product group or topic classification. Finally the data is released for display in the DNB catalogue and included in the New Release Service.

What are the benefits of notifying the VLB, and therefore also the DNB, in time before the release of your new publications?

Once the new title has been reported to the VLB, the data is incorporated into the DNB data pool, resulting in its inclusion in the weekly New Release Service of the DNB. This information is used by many libraries for placing orders. The German National Library offers the New Release Service in the form of an online journal as one of its data services, and also via the Data Shop.

The links to all publishing information and cover pictures contained in the VLB notifications represent an important source of orientation for potential customers. An early announcement to the VLB ensures that this additional information can be found in the relevant DNB data record. If deposit copies were to be sent to the DNB before the title is reported to the VLB, then the media would not be included in the New Release Service and no additional information could be incorporated into the catalogue.

Once you have notified the VLB and this information has been forwarded to the DNB, you may insert the following bibliographic note in your publication: "The German National Library lists this publication in the German National Bibliography; detailed bibliographic data can be found on the website at"

Why is the quality of the VLB data so important for libraries?

The quality of the VLB notifications is of special importance to libraries, as this data can be viewed by the general public and retrieved immediately after its input into the DNB data pool in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie. Once the corresponding media has been received by the Library, the DNB checks these data records for compliance with bibliographic standards and corrects them where necessary. The entries are given "New release notified by publisher, publication not yet received" status. The more precise and detailed the information you enter into the data masks is, and the ONIX details you provide for the VLB notification are, the greater the informational value of the entry in the catalogue of the DNB and in the New Release Service will be. And the better it can be used as the basis for purchasing decisions.

Why is it important for the DNB that the VLB data be up-to-date?

Publishers should update their VLB data even after the initial report. This includes, in particular, the update of the expected release date, as any changes to this are forwarded to the DNB. The expected release date serves as a basis for the DNB's legal deposit reminder processes. In the future, additional updated information will be forwarded to DNB.

Which further information is important for the DNB?

The date of issue is important, as are all details which could help the DNB determine whether the work falls under the collection mandate. These include e.g. information on whether the work concerned is a modified or unmodified edition, a digital reprint, a retail product, a backlist product or the result of a publisher takeover. If it is apparent from the metadata that the media does not fall under the collection mandate, no reminder process is initiated by the DNB (further information on the reminder process can be found under "Why does the DNB issue requests for submission of legal deposit copies?").

Are new release notifications for foreign media publications also evaluated?

At its Leipzig site, the German National Library collects all media in German, translations from German and foreign publications about Germany ("Germanica") published abroad. The VLB data constitutes the basis for new acquisitions of foreign media by the German National Library. A large number of foreign publishers, especially those from Austria and Switzerland, announce their new releases in the VLB and also submit copies.

Why does the DNB issue requests for submission of legal deposit copies?

The German National Library has been given the legally defined task of implementing its collection mandate in full. The legal deposit obligation for publications is a result of this collection mandate and allows the Library to ensure that its collections are complete. The scheduled release date given in the VLB new release notification serves as a basis for the automatic reminder to submit deposit copies. If this deadline passes without the DNB having received the deposit copy, a reminder is automatically issued for this work to the supplier - by e-mail if possible. If the DNB receives neither the requested legal deposit nor a response explaining the circumstances, a second reminder is issued.
In all cases, the DNB will request an explanation from the supplier in order to avoid a legal dunning.

Where can I obtain information on the collection and legal deposit obligation?

You may obtain further information using the following links:

Acquisitions (collection mandate of the German National Library)
Collection guidelines of the German National Library urn:nbn:de:101-2012022707 (available only in German)
New Release Service (ND)
Standard bibliographic note
Frequently Asked Questions regarding Acquisitions (FAQ)

Last update: 28.09.2015


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