What is the Prepublication Data Service?

The Prepublication Data Service (PDS) is a free service offered by the National Library of Australia. This service is for Australian music publishers and self-publishing composers who want the details of their upcoming publications made available to over 1,000 Australian libraries, library suppliers, and other members of the book industry for acquisition purposes. Information about your upcoming publication will be made available around Australia via Libraries Australia and Trove, creating greater exposure for your works and increasing the potential for sales.

What types of notated music publications are eligible for the PDS?

Most publications of notated music, whether available for sale, hire, or gratis, are eligible for the PDS. These include:

  • scores (including full, short, miniature, vocal and so on)
  • sets of parts or individual parts if they are available separately
  • song books and anthologies
  • braille music publications
  • electronic publications of notated music
  • song texts/lyrics
  • any of the above forms with accompanying electronic files that are issued as a set.

What happens when I submit my application?

Once your application is submitted, a brief prepublication catalogue record for your upcoming work will be automatically generated. This prepublication catalogue record will be uploaded to Libraries Australia and Trove within 48 hours. You will receive a PDS statement that you may include in your publication.

The prepublication record created will be upgraded to full cataloguing standards once the National Library has processed the legal deposit copy of your published work. The full catalogue record will be uploaded to Libraries Australia and Trove, with the information that your work has been published.

Contact us if you need to make changes to your work details after you have submitted the application and before your work has been published.

How do I download and use the cataloguing statement?

NLA logo with cataloguing statement


  • Click the download button above
  • Open the zip file
  • Open your preferred cataloguing statement file. One file contains the statement with the National Library logo. One file contains the statement without the National Library logo.
  • Select your preferred image format for the cataloguing statement. For your convenience, we provide the cataloguing statement in the following formats: JPG, TIF, PNG and EPS.

Where should I print the PDS statement in my work?

You should print the optional PDS statement on the imprint page of your publication. This is usually located on the reverse side of the title page. We recommend that you include your publisher details, the publication date, copyright information, and the ISMN (if you have one) on your imprint page. You can obtain the zip file containing alternate formats of the PDS cataloguing statement by following the link in your application acknowledgement email or use the download link above.

What should I do after my notated music is published?

You are legally required to deposit a copy of your book with the National Library of Australia and the relevant state deposit library or libraries. If you publish your work electronically, you can submit your legal deposit copy via the National edeposit (NED) website.

Further information on your legal deposit responsibilities can be found on the legal deposit web page.

In Australia, copyright is automatically granted upon creation of a work. There is no direct relationship between the PDS and copyright. However, registration of an ISMN (if you have one), an application for the PDS, and Legal Deposit may assist with proving copyright.

In Australia, communication and mechanical copyright of songwriters, composers and music publishers, as well as performance rights, are controlled by APRA AMCOS.

General information on copyright can also be obtained from the Australian Copyright Council and the Copyright Agency.

Filling out the Music PDS form

You only need to fill out the fields with a blue tick in the application form, although we encourage you to fill out as many other fields as possible as they contain useful information for libraries and library suppliers.

Publisher details (mandatory section)

Your details are collected so we can contact you about your application, if necessary. Basic name and location details are also used in the record we create which will be useful for those looking to acquire your work.

If you are a self-publishing composer, you are considered to be the publisher. Fill out this section with your own details, not those of the printer or the self-publishing service that you used.

We do not disclose personal information contained in your Prepublication Data Service application to any external third party. See our Privacy Policy.

Publication details

Use this section to record the title, subtitle, standard number (ISMN), edition, publication format and expected date of your publication. You can also tell us about the type of score/s and/or part/s that are included. Optionally, you can also record any appropriate subjects.

Title – what is the title of your work (mandatory field)

Subtitle – what is the subtitle of your work, where applicable (optional)

ISMN – what ISMN have you allocated to this work (optional)

You do not have to have an ISMN to use the Music PDS but if you want to sell your work, or make it easier to find, we do recommended that you get an ISMN. These are available for free from the Australian ISMN Agency which is run by the National Library of Australia. Apply for your ISMNs on the Services for music publishers web page.

Edition – what edition is the work (optional; this may be a numbered or named statement)

Publication format – is your work available as a score, score and parts, or parts only? If there are parts, are they instrumental and vocal, instrumental or vocal? (optional)

Expected year and date of publication (mandatory)

Please select the predicted year and month of publication of your work. If your work is due to be published at a date later than those provided in the PDS form, please fill out the form closer to publication date.

Format of music (i.e. component parts)

Is your work available as a score, score and parts or parts only? Select the appropriate option from the drop down list.

Component parts

If your item has parts, please tell us if they are instrumental and vocal, instrumental or vocal, by selecting from the drop down list.


The Music PDS form includes a defined selection of music specific Thema subjects. The subject fields Music style/genre and Content are optional, so you may leave these blank if you choose or if you don’t feel they are appropriate for your work.

Once your work is published, and the legal deposit copy has been processed, the catalogue record is upgraded. At this point, the cataloguer will perform subject analysis, and may add more detailed Library of Congress Subject Headings if appropriate.

Music style/genre (optional; select up to 2)

  • Art music, orchestral & formal music
  • Choral music
  • Opera
  • Sacred & religious music
  • Music of film & stage
  • Popular music
  • Traditional & folk music
  • World music & regional styles
  • Electronic music.

Content (optional; select the most appropriate)

  • Theory of music & musicology
  • Musical scores, lyrics & libretti
  • Songbooks
  • Techniques of music/music tutorials/teaching of music (This includes learning an instrument, self study tutorials and books for or about the teaching of music).

Creator details

The creator is the person or organisation who is primarily responsible for the content of the publication. Use the additional name fields to add other people or organisations who also created the publication's content.

You may list up to four creators in the Prepublication Data Service application form. These creators will be listed in the prepublication catalogue record. If your work has more than four creators, we will add them to the catalogue record once your work is published and the legal deposit copy has been processed.

Life dates (optional)

We use life dates to distinguish between creators with the same, or similar names. You can also provide middle names to help with this. For example, there are hundreds of creators named John Smith, but there is only one creator named John Hazel Smith, who was born in 1928. By adding this information, we can help library users find works of a specific creator if they only know the creator's name.

Role (optional)

Choose the most appropriate role of the creator/s of the work from the following list:

  • Composer
  • Lyricist
  • Arranger of music
  • Librettist
  • Editor
  • Writer of supplementary textual content
  • Compiler
  • Translator
  • Illustrator

If the creator of your work does not fall into any of the given categories, do not select a role.

Australian creators (optional)

If one or more of the creators of the work is Australian, please select Yes from the drop down menu. This information may be used for acquisition purposes.

Alternate formats (optional)

If your work is available in multiple formats, please let us know about the other format/s available. You can give details of up to two additional formats, whether in print, electronic or physical electronic (CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, etc.) format, along with the relevant standard number if applicable.

I need help with my application. Who can I contact?

Please contact us using our online enquiry form. The Agency can no longer be contacted directly by telephone. You will receive a response within 10 working days.