The changes brought about by the World Wide Web together with the dramatic growth of digital media have called into question many key assumptions on which national bibliography was founded. Accurate guidance on current best practice is therefore needed to assist those seeking information in this area.

This web resource builds on the original printed Guidelines for National Bibliographies in the Electronic Age (2009) created by the IFLA Working Group on Guidelines for National Bibliographies. The Working Group was originally established in 2002 to develop guidelines:

  • To help national bibliographic agencies start or improve bibliographic services
  • For publishing bibliographies in electronic form
  • On the inclusion and presentation of electronic resources in national bibliographies.

Following publication of the printed text in 2009, work began on a new edition. However due to the rapidly changing nature of the subject matter and the information landscape the decision was subsequently made to channel future efforts into the creation of a new web based resource and this was announced at the Standing Committee's Warsaw satellite meeting to the IFLA 2012 Congress.

The intended audience for this resource includes:

  • Those managing existing national bibliographic services
  • Those implementing new national bibliographies
  • Staff of national bibliographic agencies (NBAs) wishing to respond to the opportunities and challenges posed by new technologies and media


This resource is not intended to be prescriptive since bibliographic control varies widely from country to country and local requirements may be influenced by financial, legal or practical constraints. A number of potential options are therefore presented to enable their application to be tailored according to circumstances, with examples and use cases given to illustrate the possible range of approaches.

The site consists of five sections addressing the different issues facing NBAs. Considering that the environment is evolving rapidly, this web resource is expected to be continually by the Bibliography Section to reflect changes in best practice.