OCLC takes seriously its stewardship of WorldCat: More than 16,737 libraries around the world depend on the quality of its records.
OCLC ensures quality by fostering and adopting international standards; conducting our own programs here and at member institutions; and participating in other quality programs.
OCLC quality programs
These efforts make WorldCat a precise reference by eliminating duplicate records and correcting errors through manual and automated means.
WorldCat change requests
All cataloging member libraries help improve record quality by requesting changes to WorldCat and authority records through the.
Minimal Level Upgrades and Database Enrichment
All cataloging member libraries are able to assist in ensuring quality of WorldCat master records. Minimal-level upgrade capabilities allow these libraries to add and modify all editable fields of less-than-full-level master records, and upgrade them to full-level or less-than-full level status. Database enrichment capabilities let these libraries enhance master records by adding call numbers and subject headings in schemes not already present in a record; adding fields 006 (Fixed-length Data Elements—Additional Material Characteristics) and 007 (Physical Description Fixed Field); adding field 300 (Physical Description) to CIP records; and adding or editing field 505 (Contents notes).
The Enhance program, established in 1983, allows designated libraries to correct or add information to bibliographic records in WorldCat. The program now includes more than 180 institutions. Requirements for participation, an application, guidelines and training are available in WorldCat documentation.
Cataloging-in-publication (CIP) upgrading
CIP records are bibliographic information supplied to book publishers prior to publication for inclusion in the book. Loaded into WorldCat at the same time, the records must have their bibliographic data updated after publication. OCLC's CIP upgrading program makes certain these records are ultimately complete.
Duplicate Detection and Resolution
Duplicate Detection and Resolution is an automated process that matches WorldCat records to themselves in order to find duplicate records. The process then merges the duplicates into one record.