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Controlling more headings in WorldCat


In addition to cataloger-initiated controlling, OCLC is using new stand-alone controlling software to evaluate bibliographic records in WorldCat and control headings.

In the research that led to the publication of Online Catalogs: What End Users and Librarians Want library staff who use WorldCat ranked the need for increased accuracy in name and subject headings as a highly desired improvement. The report on WorldCat quality issued in September 2011 identified a project to control more headings in WorldCat as a priority during OCLC’s fiscal year 2012. The following describes this new controlling effort which will provide benefit to all users of WorldCat, regardless of which interface they use.

Current controlling functionality in Connexion. The controlling functionality currently available in the Connexion applications enables users to link authority records to headings in master WorldCat bibliographic records. Cataloger-initiated controlling functions facilitate automatic updating of headings in bibliographic records.

  • Connexion users initiate matching headings in bibliographic records to established authority records.
  • The system normalizes the headings in bibliographic records, matches them with authority records, and inserts the linked heading in the bibliographic record.

New stand-alone controlling software. OCLC is extending the Control All functionality by developing a stand-alone batch service that runs independently. The software evaluates all bibliographic records in WorldCat and controls headings as detailed below.

Records evaluated for processing. The software will evaluate the following bibliographic records in WorldCat for processing according to different time schedules:

  • Master bibliographic records newly added to WorldCat contributed either through online applications or through batchload will be evaluated daily.
  • Master bibliographic records changed and replaced in WorldCat will be evaluated on a pre-determined schedule.
  • Existing master bibliographic records in WorldCat will be evaluated on a to-be-determined schedule and as capacity allows.

Currently, OCLC is processing 75,000 bibliographic records on a daily basis; these are selected from newly added master records to WorldCat, or bibliographic records that have been changed and replaced in WorldCat.

As of 31 August, 4,351,391 bibliographic records have been processed.  Of those, 2,022,916 have been updated (46.49%). A total of 5,522,525 headings have been fully-controlled in WorldCat.

Criteria for record selection. The software will select candidate bibliographic records for processing that contain the following:

  • An 040 field with no ‡b present and at least one of the following controllable fields:
    • 100, 110, 111, 130
    • 600, 610, 611, 630, 650, 651, second indicator 0
    • 655, second indicator 7, ‡2 lcgft
    • 700, 710, 711, 730
    • 800, 810, 811, 830
  • An 040 field with ‡b present containing the value eng and at least one of the following controllable fields:
    • 100, 110, 111, 130
    • 600, 610, 611, 630, 650, 651, second indicator 0
    • 655, second indicator 7, ‡2 lcgft
    • 700, 710, 711, 730
    • 800, 810, 811, 830
  • An 040 field with ‡b present but containing a value not equal to eng and at least one of the following controllable fields:
    • 600, 610, 611, 630, 650, 651, second indicator 0
    • 655, second indicator 7, ‡2 lcgft
  • A partially or fully controlled heading.

How the software works.
The software will not:

  • Attempt to control unqualified personal names (personal name only that does not include ‡b, ‡c, ‡d, and/or ‡q).
  • Control a heading to an undifferentiated authority record.
  • Cause automated tag flips of any type.

The software will:

  • Automatically expand dates for candidate personal name headings.
  • Partially control series fields and automatically append ‡v.
  • Maintain the links between non-Latin script headings and their Latin-script equivalents.

The software will also make the following adjustments as needed:

  • Apply any appropriate punctuation changes.
  • Attempt to control partially controlled headings.
  • Uncontrol descriptive heading fields (1XX, 7XX and 8XX) if the value in field 040 in the bibliographic record is other than eng.
  • Delete a geographic subdivision from a subject heading if the heading can be completely controlled and no element of the heading can be subdivided geographically.

The symbol “OCLCO” will be appended in ‡d of the 040 field in bibliographic records that are modified by the software.
If a bibliographic record is locked, the software will skip it and reevaluate it when the lock has been removed.
The new software supplements individual cataloging activity. As with the “Control All” headings function in Connexion, some circumstances prevent the software from controlling all headings in WorldCat records. The software cannot do the manual “Single Control” headings functions that catalogers can do in Connexion. The software cannot control non-qualified personal names, headings that have no exact match or that match only partially, headings that are mis-tagged, headings that contain typographical errors or other errors that require correction.

OCLC encourages catalogers working in WorldCat to continue using the control headings functions in Connexion when adding or upgrading records as you continue to share your cataloging expertise with the cooperative.

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.