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Community norms

You've navigated to this page because you are interested in using a dataset that contains bibliographic data from the WorldCat database maintained by OCLC. Thank you for taking the time and making the effort to learn more about our community norms.

OCLC member institutions request that use of the bibliographic data be consistent with the community norms of the OCLC cooperative set forth in WorldCat Rights and Responsibilities for the OCLC Cooperative (the "Community Norms"). The more than 16,737 library members of the OCLC cooperative worked very hard over more than 40 years to create WorldCat. Following our Community Norms helps support OCLC and directly impacts our ability to continue providing data.

Because OCLC recommended, and many OCLC members have chosen to use, the Open Data Commons Attribution license (an open license) for their datasets with bibliographic information, we ask that you also comply with the Community Norms when using the bibliographic data in the database. The Community Norms are the result of a long, collaborative process with OCLC's member libraries, including many of the world's leading lending institutions, that considered how to keep OCLC's services sustainable and of high quality. OCLC provides important infrastructure and needed services to the global library community, and as a result we ask that if you are using the bibliographic data in the database other than for study or research that you review the Community Norms below and follow them when making such use of the bibliographic data.

The Community Norms allow users of bibliographic data in the database to:

  1. "Load or incorporate such data into their library catalogs, or their discovery or resource-sharing systems, and into other intra-institutional services.
  2. Use such data for purposes of supporting library collections' discovery and resource sharing; bibliographic verification; private study, learning, and teaching; and academic and scientific research.
  3. Transfer or make available such data to individual scholars for their personal academic or scientific research or study, to library consortia or public agencies working on behalf of libraries, or to other libraries and educational, cultural or scholarly institutions (e.g., museums, archives, historical societies, research institutes), whether these institutions are members or non-members of OCLC, for these organizations' institutional or collaborative re-use.

    In these cases, the transfer or making available of WorldCat data and its subsequent uses (including copying, displaying, publishing, modifying, reformating, and/or creating works or services from) should be carried out in keeping with OCLC member community norms, OCLC's public purpose, and this policy's intent.

  4. Transfer or make available WorldCat data representing their own holdings to agents they retain to perform services on their behalf that directly benefit the OCLC member (e.g., peer or consortial resource sharing, automated authority control, increased visibility of collections).
    1. In these cases, OCLC members should ensure that a written agreement exists with any such agent that limits the agent's use of WorldCat data to performance of the services contracted for by the OCLC member. Sample language for such agreements between members and their agents may be found in Appendix 1 of the WorldCat Rights and Responsibilities document.
    2. If they also benefit the OCLC cooperative, other uses, transfers, or aggregations of WorldCat data representing a member's own holdings that serve the business purposes of an OCLC member's agent are encouraged, subject to the terms and conditions of a mutually acceptable separate agreement between the agent and OCLC. A general description of the current terms and conditions of such agreements can be found in Appendix 2 of the WorldCat Rights and Responsibilities document.

OCLC has in place existing agreements with many agents and will continue to create them as member needs arise."