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DDC in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie

DDC Subject Categories of the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie

As of the 2004 bibliographic year the German National Library has structured the different series of the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie and the New Release Service by DDC Subject Categories. The structure of these thematically grouped categories is based on the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system.

Issuing the DDC Subject Categories

The guide to issuing DDC Subject Categories in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie published in June 2014 replaced the "DDC-Sachgruppen der Deutschen Nationalbibliografie" guide from 2004.

  • DDC-Sachgruppen der deutschsprachigen Nationalbibliografien: Deutsche Nationalbibliografie, Das Schweizer Buch, Österreichische Bibliografie : Leitfaden zu ihrer Vergabe. - 2014, Version 1.1, Stand: 01. Juni 2014. - ISBN 978-3-941113-41-1


Further information

Subject Category changes

  • January 2013: Changes in the designation of categories 310, 740, 760 and 770 (further information)
  • 2011: Changes in the designation of categories 360 and 914.3, new Subject Categories 620, 621.3, 624 , 491.8, 891.8 (further information)
  • January 2010: New Subject Category 333.7 "Natural resources, energy and environment" and changes in the designation of categories 640 and 670 (further information)
  • May 2008: Changes in the designation of categories 300 and 390 (further information)

Full DDC number in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie

Since the 2007 bibliographic year, the publications of Series A, B and H of the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie have been catalogued using full Dewey number. In Series A, the DDC number is issued in addition to RSWK indexing. In contrast to the Series B and H practice up to the 2005 bibliographic year of only indexing individual parts (Series B: only humanities excluding theology, approx. 20%; Series H: without medical dissertations, which make up more than half the publications issued outside the book trade), there is now comprehensive DDC cataloguing.

The cataloguing is to the same depth and takes the number-building rules as practised by the Library of Congress (LoC) and the British Library (BL) fully into account. Excluded from DDC cataloguing in Series A and B are only fiction and poetry, children's and young people's literature, school text books and media works of less than 50 pages under a regulation based on Article 3 RSWK: Exklusion criteria (PDF, 46KB, Not barrier-free file.) downloadExclusion criteria (PDF, 46 KB, file not barrier-free). Series H is fully catalogued, with the exception of medical dissertations. Between 2005 and 2010, medical dissertations were issued approximately 140 specially selected DDC numbers on the middle tier of the DDC.

Thus, the objective of consistent subject cataloguing of relevant scientific literature using a cataloguing system has largely been achieved.


Roughly 50% of the university publications only listed in Series H of the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie are medical dissertations - i.e. university publications not issued via the book trade. These have not been catalogued using DDC since 2011. Between 2005 and 2010 (in contrast to the practice in the other disciplines) they were not given full DDC numbers, but were provided with approximately 140 specially selected DDC numbers on a middle tier of the DDC.

Last update: 05.10.2017

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