Thematic access

Tools for Libraries
Resources for PhD students
Standardization: templates and formats
Electronics documentation
Reuse data
Library management systems

Navigate the page

Standardization: templates and formats

Bibliographic norms and standards

Bibliographic norms and standards are used daily for the production of metadata. They provide practical rules for description, choice of information sources, transcription, punctuation, etc.

Follow the evolutions linked to the bibliographical transition

Bibliographic norms and standards are evolving in response to the need to adapt library catalogs and, consequently, cataloguing practices. This adaptation aims to fully integrate catalogs with the Web of data, making them more relevant and better structured for user convenience. This approach is in line with the objectives set out in the new International Cataloguing Principles (IFLA, 2009) and the IFLA LRM model (2017).

The AFNOR Z44-... standards are gradually being replaced by the RDA-FR cataloguing code, as part of the national Bibliographic Transition program co-sponsored byAbes and BnF.

The elements introduced by RDA-FR are intended to cohabit with the current AFNOR standards, pending final publication of all the French transitional rules.

The new features introduced by the RDA-FR code with reference to the AFNOR standards are the subject of numeroustraining courses and documentation that evolves as the work progresses:

consult the Transition bibliographique website, consult the dedicated website

Read more

Bibliographic description (Sudoc, archives, manuscripts, theses and authority records) 

Cataloguing of bibliographic records in the Sudoc

The references of the AFNOR standards in use in Sudoc can be consulted from the Methodological Guide of Sudoc for the description of the various types of catalogued resources:

  • printed monographs
  • sustained resources
  • electronic resources
  • component parts
  • videograms
  • sound recording
  • cartographic resources
  • printed music
  • iconographic resources

The AFNOR standards apply the ISBD (International Bibliographic Description) set of normative rules, developed by IFLA since 1971 (1st edition), and harmonised in 2007 under the French name ofintegrated ISBD(consolidated ISBD).

  • current version: ISBD - International standard bibliographic description: consolidated editionpublished in 2011.

For more information : consult the BnF website


Antiquarian book cataloguing in the Sudoc

The references of the national recommendation "Cataloguing of Early Monographs: Bibliographic Description and Copy Data" and its application manual in UNIMARC format, in use at Sudoc, can be found in the Methodology Guide at Sudoc.

The national recommendation was published in June 2016 under the aegis of the CG46 Information and documentation - AFNOR Group CG46 / CN 46-9 Identification and description / GE6 Evolution of the bibliographical description of published documents. It replaces the experimental standard AFNOR Z44-074 (1986), made obsolete by the technological evolution of library catalogues.


Archives and manuscripts

TheInternational Council on Archives (ICA) ISAD(G ) Content Description Standard, a general and international standard for archival description, defined for the description of holdings in archives, is the international reference standard for the archival community.

This standard is not directly used in libraries for dealing with archival material. For the treatment of archival holdings in libraries, the recommendation " Describing modern and contemporary manuscripts and archival holdings in libraries: DeMArch " was developed within the framework of AFNOR, based on a French translation of DACS(Describing Archives: a Content Standard), the manual for the application of ISAD(G) in the American context.

DeMArch allows for the harmonisation of practices in the context of the computerisation of manuscript catalogues while taking into account the specificities of the collections held in libraries. The encoding format used to describe archives and manuscripts is the XML-EAD language.

more information: see the EAD in libraries website



The description metadata of French electronic theses are modelled according to the national recommendation TEF (Thèses électroniques françaises, 2006), produced by the expert group CG46/CN357/GE5 within the framework of AFNOR.

The TEF recommendation is also an XML encoding format based on the METS schema.


Access points, authority notices

The references of the norms and standards in force can be consulted from the Methodological Guide of Sudoc for the following elements:

  • Choice of accesses
  • Names of persons and titles, classification headings, forged titles
  • Family Names
  • Names of foreign persons
  • Names of communities
  • Geographical names
  • Uniform titles (texts)
  • Musical titles

The choice and construction of access points (formerly called "headings"), as well as the drafting of authority notices, are governed by AFNOR standards, which are gradually being replaced by the RDA-FR code (see in particular section 2 on works and expressions, and section 3 on agents).

IFLA international standards and lists are also used: IFLA Names of Persons, IFLA Anonymous Classics

Read more

Educational Resources

The AFNOR LOM-FR standard (NF Z76-041-1, 2019) is used to model and describe educational resources, whether digital or not. It is the French normative version of the international recommendation LOM(Learning Object Metadata, 2002).

Bibliographical references

These international standards form the basis for the different methods of citing references in a bibliography.

ISO 690. Guidelines for writing bibliographic references and citations for information resources

  • NF ISO 690 (ISO 690:2010). ISO. Information and documentation - Guidelines for the preparation of bibliographic references and citations of information resources. 2010.

ISO 4. Rules for abbreviation of words in titles and titles of publications

  • ISO 4:1997. ISO. Information and documentation. Rules for the abbreviation of words in titles and titles of publications. 1997.

The International ISSN Agency, the maintenance agency for ISO 4, provides free access to the List of Title Word Abbreviations (LTWA) on its website.

ISO 832. Description and Bibliographic References - Rules for Abbreviation of Bibliographic Terms

Status: International Standard
1st edition: 1975
Current edition: 1994, November; December (en)

  • ISO 832:1994. ISO. Information and documentation - Description and bibliographic references - Rules for abbreviation of bibliographic terms. 1994.

ISO 12199. Alphabetical order of multilingual lexicographical and terminological data represented in the Latin alphabet

Status: International standard
Current edition: 2000, July; August (en)

  • ISO 12199:2000. ISO. Alphabetization of multilingual lexicographic and terminological data represented in the Latin alphabet. 2000.
Read more


ISO or AFNOR standards govern the transliteration into Latin characters of different scripts: Arabic, Persian, Armenian, Chinese, Korean, Cyrillic, Devanagari, Georgian, Greek, Hebrew, Japanese, Thai...

Note: the references of the AFNOR standards used in Sudoc can be found in the Methodological Guide of Sudoc.


Language Codes

The ISO 639-2 (1998) standard for the representation of language names, prescribed by the UNIMARC format, is used in the Sudoc. This standard is maintained by the Library of Congress.

Note: ISO 639-3 is not applied in Sudoc. It allows for a greater number of languages to be represented, and is intended to be comprehensive.


Posting codes

ISO 15924. Codes for the representation of posting names

Status: International standard
1st edition :
Current edition: 2004, February

  • ISO 15924:2004. ISO. Information and documentation - Codes for the representation of names of scripts. 2004.


Country codes

The ISO 3166 standard for the representation of country names, continuously updated and prescribed by the UNIMARC format, is used in the Sudoc.