Modifcation to VIAF application/xml Response Title Location

Scheduled for August 27


OCLC's VIAF service returns many responses, including HTML, VIAF XML, JSON, RDF, MARC21 and UNIMARC records. Although we consider VIAF’s raw XML data primarily an internal format and do not believe many application outside of OCLC use this particular response, we wanted to notify users that we are refactoring the location of the title element to make the XML more useful.

This month we are planning a change to the <titles> section in a way that is not backward compatible.  We think the new XML is easier to work with and reflects the organization of VIAF better.  This should not affect the marc-21 exports.

The new VIAF XML format is available now at  We expect to introduce it into production at the end of this month on August 27.

The current VIAF XML has two sections where titles are associated with personal and corporate or geographic names:

    <data count=999>
        <text>Title goes here</text>


    <utName id=”VIAF|1234”>
        <text>Name goes here</text>
    <utWork id=”VIAF|4321”>
        <text>Title goes here</text>
    <utExpr id=”VIAF|2345”>
        <text>Title goes here</text>

As part of our work integrating uniform titles more closely to VIAF we have merged these into this:

    <work> <!-- this is an uncontrolled title-->
        <title>Title goes here</title>
    <work id=”VIAF|4321”> <!-- this is a controlled title-->
        <title>Title goes here</title>

Work and expression records will have an <author id=”VIAF|xxxx”><text/><sources/></author> section within the <titles> tag.


  • Shelley Hostetler

    Shelley Hostetler

    Community Manager, WorldShare Platform

    O: 847-701-8932

We are a worldwide library cooperative, owned, governed and sustained by members since 1967. Our public purpose is a statement of commitment to each other—that we will work together to improve access to the information held in libraries around the globe, and find ways to reduce costs for libraries through collaboration. Learn more »