Schools with a current SCIS subscription to Authorities can choose to download and import the  ASCII SCIS subject authority file either in Full or Reference only format . Using the full import will import approximately 150,000 subject headings plus related see and see also references. The average school uses between 10,000 and 20,000 subject headings in their bibliographic catalogue records which means that if you import the SCIS subject authority file your subject authority file will contain 120,000+ unused subject headings. This does not cause any problems and is rather a statement of fact. 

SCIS recommend using the Reference only files for import as this imports the most used subject headings and is therefore more useful as well as being a substantially smaller number of headings.

By importing all headings, you may also create 'blind' see also references depending on the depth of your current catalogue records. A 'blind' See Also reference occurs when a subject heading has a See Also reference, which, when followed from and OPAC, results in no items being located because no items have been catalogued with that reference subject. If you have blind See Also references you can either remove them manually or assign them to items in your catalogue.

Import the SCIS Subject Authority File

  1. Use this link to download the Reference only (as advised by SCIS) subject authority file in ASCII format. Note: The SCIS subject authority file can currently only be imported in ASCII format.
  2. Save this file to your computer.
  3. Go to: Menu > Authorities > Subject
  4. Click  - a message reminds you to import the ASCII.dat file
  5. Browse and choose the saved Subject ASCII.dat file
  6. Click the  button.
  7. Infiniti will check your catalogue to ensure your current Subject authority is error free before importing. If errors are found you should email
  8. Import the file. Note: Import time is influenced by many variables but should take between 15 and 30 minutes and should be done out of normal high load times.

The import process will:
  • use your current subject authority file as its reference point
  • subjects in your current subject authority file that are not in the SCIS subject authority file will be maintained
  • subjects in your current authority file that are included in the SCIS subject authority file will be aligned to the format supplied by SCIS, i.e., case and punctuation will be aligned

Note: After importing the Full subject authority file you will see many tens of thousands of entries in your subject authority file display with "0" use. The Reference only file is a much smaller file and more useful for updating.
Note: It is not possible to reverse the import process.

Should you import the SCIS Subject Authority File?

This question is one of personal preference. Importing the Full file will assist in maintaining data integrity and consistency in cataloguing, by providing a 150,000+ bank of valid subject headings you can use when doing manual cataloguing. However, automatic cataloguing processes, using either Z3950 cataloguing or SCIS bulk cataloguing, automatically populate your subject authority file. Automatic cataloguing results in no instances of subject headings with "0" use. Automatic cataloguing does not maintain your see and see also references.