Bibliographic Resource

URLs and Supported Operations

The Bibliographic Resource supports four operations.

Operation Resource URL HTTP METHOD
OpenSearch http://www.worldcat.org/webservices/catalog/search/opensearch?q={keywords} GET
SRU http://www.worldcat.org/webservices/catalog/search/sru?query={CQLQuery} GET
Read http://www.worldcat.org/webservices/catalog/content/{OCLCNumber} GET
Lookup By ISBN
http://www.worldcat.org/webservices/catalog/content/isbn/{ISBN} GET
Lookup By ISSN
http://www.worldcat.org/webservices/catalog/content/issn/{ISSN} GET
Lookup By Standard Number
http://www.worldcat.org/webservices/catalog/content/sn/{StandardNumber} GET
Citation http://www.worldcat.org/webservices/catalog/content/citations/{OCLCNumber} GET

Response Formats

OpenSearch Responses

SRU Responses

Read/Lookup Single Record Response

Citation Response

Parameters

OpenSearch Parameters

Parameter Description Required? Possible Values
q query in the form of a keyword search required keywords searched for records where all are present

- OR - Use CQL 

format format of output optional

rss, atom

default is atom

start start position optional default is 1
count

maximum number of records to return

top limit is 100 records

optional

default is 10

cformat the citation format you want to return optional

apa, chicago, harvard, mla, turbian, all

default is mla

servicelevel Consult the Service Levels documentation to determine the differences in available indexes and displays between the two levels  optional for CQL queries only default, full
default is default 
frbrGrouping Whether or not to use FRBR grouping which groups together similar editions and present only the top held record as the representative record for that group. This is sometimes referred to as a "FRBRized" result set. To see separate records for editions, set this parameter to "off".  optional for CQL queries only

 on, off

default is on 

 wskey  Web Services Key  required  

SRU Parameters

Parameter Description Required? Possible Values
query query in the form of a CQL Search. For more information see the SRU Explain response required  
recordSchema determines the result format optional

info%3Asrw%2Fschema%2F1%2Fmarcxml


info%3Asrw%2Fschema%2F1%2Fdc

 

default is MARC XML

info%3Asrw%2Fschema%2F1%2Fmarcxml

startRecord the starting position of the result set optional default is 1
maximumRecords

the maximum number of records to return in a single request

top limit is 100 records per query

optional

default is 10

sortKeys specifies how the result is sorted optional

relevance, Title, Author, Date, Library Count, or Score

default sort key is relevance; relevance is only descending.

default sort direction is "ascending"; to switch to descending add ",,0" to the sortKey.

Separate combined sortKeys with a space; multiple values only works if frbrGrouping=off

frbrGrouping whether or not to use FRBR grouping which groups together similar editions and present only the top held record as the representative record for that group. This is sometimes referred to as a "FRBRized" result set. To see separate records for editions, set this parameter to "off". optional

on, off

default is on

servicelevel Consult the Service Levels documentation to determine the differences in available indexes and displays between the two levels optional default, full
default is default
wskey Web Services Key required  

Read Bibliographic Record Parameters

Parameter Description Required? Possible Values
servicelevel Consult the Service Levels documentation to determine the differences in available indexes and displays between the two levels optional default, full
default is default
recordSchema

 

determines the result format

optional info%3Asrw%2Fschema%2F1%2Fmarcxml
info%3Asrw%2Fschema%2F1%2Fdc
wskey Web Services Key required  

Citation Format Parameters

Parameter Description Required? Possible Values
cformat the citation format you want to return optional apa, chicago, harvard, mla, turabian, or all
default is MLA
wskey Web Services Key required  

Query Indices

Limits

Limits are only available for searching if it is included with a Boolean AND or NOT to another search term from a non-limit index. Limits can not be searched alone or combined with a Boolean OR.

For more detailed information on indexes see "Searching WorldCat Indexes"

Index Name Index Code Service Level Limit Only
Access Method srw.am Full No
Author srw.au Default No
Corporate/Conference Name srw.cn Full No
Dewey Classification Number srw.dd Default Yes
DLC Limit (searches "dlc" only) srw.pc Full Yes
Document Type (Primary) srw.dt Default Yes
Government Document Number srw.gn Full No
ISBN srw.bn Default No
ISSN srw.in Default No
Keyword srw.kw Default No
Language Code (Primary) srw.la Default Yes
Language srw.ln Full Yes
LC Classification Number srw.lc Full No
LCCN srw.dn Default No
Library Holdings Group srw.cg Full Yes
Library Holdings srw.li Default Yes
Material Type srw.mt Default Yes
Music/Publisher Number srw.mn Full No
Notes srw.nt Full No
OCLC Number srw.no Default No
Open Digital Limit srw.on Default Yes
Personal name srw.pn Full No
Place of publication srw.pl Full No
Publisher srw.pb Full No
Series srw.se Full No
Standard Number srw.sn Full No
Subject srw.su Default No
Title srw.ti Default No
Year srw.yr Default Yes

URL Examples

OpenSearch Examples

A search for civil war, returning a result with the default Atom format, starting position, and count:

http://www.worldcat.org/webservices/catalog/search/opensearch?q=civil%20war

A search for civil war, returning a result in the RSS format, starting at position 6, with a count of 5 records:

http://www.worldcat.org/webservices/catalog/search/opensearch?q=civil%20war&format=rss&start=6&count=5

A search for civil war, returning a result in the Atom format, including an MLA-formatted citation for each record:

http://www.worldcat.org/webservices/catalog/search/opensearch?q=civil%20war&format=atom&cformat=mla

OpenSearch CQL query of all scores wit the title including the words Jazz patterns:

http://www.worldcat.org/webservices/catalog/search/opensearch?q=srw.ti+all+%22jazz+patterns%22+and+srw.dt+any+%22sco%22

OpenSearch CQL query also limited to only records held by 5 or more libraries:

http://www.worldcat.org/webservices/catalog/search/opensearch?q=srw.ti+all+%22jazz+patterns%22+and+srw.dt+any+%22sco%22+and+srw.cg.+any+%2205%22&servicelevel=full

SRU Examples

A CQL keyword search for civil war with results returned in Dublin Core format:

http://www.worldcat.org/webservices/catalog/search/sru?query=srw.kw%3D%22civil%20war%22&recordSchema=info%3Asrw%2Fschema%2F1%2Fdc

A subject search for globalization with MARC XML results sorted in descending Date order:

http://www.worldcat.org/webservices/catalog/search/sru?query=srw.su%3D%22globalization%22&sortKeys=Date,,0&

A search for the author mann and title faustus

http://www.worldcat.org/webservices/catalog/search/sru?query=srw.au+%3D+%22mann%22+and+srw.ti+%3D+%22faustus%22&

A search for the keyword civil war and the subject antietam or sharpsburg

http://www.worldcat.org/webservices/catalog/search/sru?query=srw.kw+%3D+%22civil+war%22+and+%28srw.su+%3D+%22antietam%22+OR+srw.su+%3D+%22sharpsburg%22%29

Single Record Read/Lookup Examples

Retrieve a bibliographic Resource by OCLC Number 15550774:

http://www.worldcat.org/webservices/catalog/content/15550774

Retrieve a bibliographic Resource by ISBN 078946988X:

http://www.worldcat.org/webservices/catalog/content/isbn/078946988X

Retrieve a bibliographic Resource by ISSN 0000-0019:

http://www.worldcat.org/webservices/catalog/content/issn/0000-0019

Retrieve a bibliographic Resource in Dublin Core Format by OCLC Number 15550774:

http://www.worldcat.org/webservices/catalog/content/15550774?recordSchema=info%3Asrw%2Fschema%2F1%2Fdc

Retrieve a bibliographic Resource at "full" Service Level by OCLC Number 15550774:

http://www.worldcat.org/webservices/catalog/content/15550774?servicelevel=full

Notes

Usage Limits

Number of queries per day

There is a limit to the number of queries available within a single day set for each wskey. Initially all keys have a limit of 50,000 queries a day as a rolling 24 hour limit. This can be raised by any member with a key that needs to have more access for a particular use of the API. If your key needs to be increased please send a request to the OCLC support staff via our contact form.

Maximum number of records/libraries

For any query the maximum number of records or library locations that can be requested is 100. It is possible to page through the results by sending another query with the next start position and request the next set of records or library locations up to another 100.  If not specified, results default to 10 records per request.

Total maximum number of records for a single specific query –

For any specific query, it is possible to page through all the results up to the 10,000th record. After that point, the system will appear to continue to page, but the next result will be a repeat of an earlier record.

Building Queries

Two tools are available to assist with building search queries.

  • URI Evaluator
  • SRU Explain Screen - http://www.worldcat.org/webservices/catalog/search/sru?wskey={yourWSKey}

SRU Search Notes

SRU Relations included in the service

There are four valid SRU Relation options in the WorldCat Search API.

  • Exact
    provides a phrase search. The Exact phrase will start and end with the exact terms of the phrase. This is also called an anchored phrase search.
  • =
    provides a keyword proximity search. The Proximity search is using WITH between terms with no words separating the words. This is sometimes called an unanchored phrase search.
  • All
    provides a keyword search which gives results as if there was an AND between the search terms
  • Any
    provides a keyword search which gives results as if there was an OR between the search terms

Boolean operators

Terms can also be combined using the Boolean operators of AND, OR, and NOT. So for example the following is doing a search for civil war with different operators.

  • ?query=srw.ti+all+%22civil%22+or+srw.ti+all+%22war%22
  • ?query=srw.ti+all+%22civil%22+and+srw.ti+all+%22war%22
  • ?query=srw.ti+all+%22civil%22+not+srw.ti+all+%22war%22

Stopwords

There are no stop words for any of the indexes, except these two:

  • Access Method index does not include the “words” http or https
  • Title index doesn’t include the the words -- a, als, am, an, are, as, at, auf, aus, be, but, by, das, dass, de, der, des, dich, dir, du, er, es, for, from, had, have, he, her, his, how, ihr, ihre, ihres, im, in, is, ist, it, kein, la, le, les, mein, mich, mir, mit, of, on, sein, sie, that, the, this, to, un, une, von, was, wer, which, wie, wird, with, yousie, that, the, this, to, un, une, von, was, wer, which, wie, wird, with, you.

Phrase searches searching within subfields

The phrase index assumes that the search string matches the data being searched in its entirety. Further the data searched in the phrase index includes all the data within a single subfield of a Bibliographic MARC record.

So for example the subject phrase includes all the data in the marc subfields such as 650/a,x,y,z. So if there is an example record which includes [650 #a Nuclear Power Plants #x Safety Measures #z California] then the searches that would be entered to retrieve this record would be “nuclear power plants” and “safety measures” and “California”. Each portion of the data is handled as a distinct phrase search. The suggested strategy in searching for records that contain those subheadings is to AND those terms together.

Truncation

For right truncation use an asterisk - * There must be at least three characters before the * for the query to work. There is no left truncation.

To wildcard a single character wildcard use a number sign - #. So a query for wom#n provides results that include both woman and women in the results.

For a 0-9 number of characters as wildcard characters use ?n. So a query for colo?1r provides results of color and colour.

To wildcard characters within (or at the end) a term use the question mark - ?. So a query for colo?r provides results of color, colour, colonizer, and colorimeter

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