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The WorldCat Registry is a free Web service for information professionals and administrators at libraries and other knowledge-based institutions, both inside and outside the OCLC cooperative. The Registry gives you a single, centralized and Web-accessible location where you can view information related to your institutional identity, such as:

  • Institution type
  • Identifying codes issued by industry organizations
  • Physical and electronic (IP) locations
  • Time zone settings and open hours designations
  • Consortial memberships
  • Parent-child relationships (main and branch institutions)
  • Web-based services such as online catalog, "Ask-a" virtual reference and OpenURL servers
  • Vendors used
  • Budgetary, user population and service statistics
  • Administrative contacts

With thousands of libraries both inside and outside the OCLC cooperative already participating, the WorldCat Registry is a comprehensive and authoritative directory of libraries and library services.

Your data sharing and vendor transactions become more efficient

Institutions that purchase technology and content services from many different providers soon discover they're maintaining multiple identities. Each time a piece of data changes—such as a phone number, contact name or Internet IP address—staff must take the time to notify each vendor separately, and often by various means: Web interfaces, paper forms, faxes and phone calls.

WorldCat Registry lets you take a more efficient approach: you can update your Registry information once and share it with any technology vendors, electronic content or service providers, fellow consortial institutions, funding agencies and other organizations with which you regularly interact. You send them a special Web link that gives them instant, read-only access to your most current institutional data.

This access can add even more efficiencies, allowing you to automate routine tasks such as activation of a new subscription service or renewal of an existing one. You'll greatly reduces the administrative burden associated with such services and the chance that they will "go dark" when internal system parameters such as IP addresses change.

Web searchers link more quickly to your electronic content

When you manage data about your OpenURL resolver(s) in WorldCat Registry, this information allows Web users within and outside the library environment to discover authoritative electronic content at your library closer to the point of need. Resolver base URLs and other Registry data are utilized by OCLC's OpenURL Gateway, which gives end users a streamlined linking experience from an information source—such as a Web search-engine result that includes bibliographic data—to corresponding library resources such as full-text journals or abstracting, indexing and citation databases.

The Gateway routes OpenURL links to an appropriate resolver by matching the information seeker's IP address to IP addresses stored in WorldCat Registry. The user is then led directly to a link resolver maintained by their home library. If they are searching the Web from the library's public Internet access, the user can be transparently authenticated and immediately presented the full text of the article.

Web sites and Web-enabled tools that currently direct their OpenURL links to the Gateway include Google Scholar, ERIC and the Zotero online research extension for Firefox. Learn more about OpenURL Gateway on the OCLC Developer Network.

For WorldCat libraries: Web visibility for collections on major search engines

WorldCat Registry data also drives the deep links to OPACs and online services displayed on, the Web site that gives WorldCat-participating libraries greater Internet visibility. Institutions that contribute holdings to the WorldCat global catalog see those holdings and their Registry profile data syndicated across Google, Yahoo! and other popular Web sites where information seekers start to search.

Visit the WorldCat Registry >>