WorldCat Discovery Services

WorldCat Discovery helps you:

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Deliver a consolidated discovery experience

Person using WorldCat.org on tablet computer

Provide access to WorldCat

Student using computer in busy library

Connect to more than 2.7 billion content items in WorldCat and a central index  

Man using smartphone

Support users where they are with mobile-ready views

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Integrate with other library services

Male student on computer

Gain local control to customize the user experience

Deliver a consolidated discovery experience

WorldCat Discovery provides single search box access to your electronic, physical and digital collections. Facets and objective, non-biased relevancy rankings retrieve the most relevant content from WorldCat and your local collections. Command-line search functionality and the ability to limit to individual databases support the needs of library staff and other expert searchers. Specialized staff views show a MARC record display, ILL request integration, OCLC numbers and holdings by symbol.

Discovery icon

Provide access to WorldCat

WorldCat is the world's most comprehensive library database and represents a global network of data about library collections and services. With more than 388 million records—more than half of which are for non-English content—WorldCat represents the collections of libraries worldwide and has particular strength in print materials.

Woman using WorldCat.org on tablet computer

Connect to more than 2.7 billion content items in WorldCat and a central index

Using WorldCat Discovery ensures comprehensive resource coverage and content access for your users. The central index enables searching of 2,430 collections, representing 285 of the world's top publishers, such as ProQuest, EBSCO, Gale and Elsevier. Full text for more than 8+ million open-access content items from HathiTrust, OAIster and Google Books are available, along with 21 million e-books from Overdrive, ebrary, MyiLibrary and others to provide the broadest e-book coverage available to libraries.

Student using laptop in busy library

Support users where they are with mobile-ready views

Users benefit from a responsive design interface that automatically adjusts for desktops, tablets and mobile. Data enhancements, such as clustering similar editions and formats of a single work together, along with user-friendly features, such as cover art, Google Books previews, citations and the ability to export to RefWorks, EndNote and Zotero, mark and share items through temporary lists and email, help keep results sets manageable but still provide comprehensive views of what's available.

Man using a smartphone

Integrate with other library services

WorldCat Discovery integrates with interlibrary loan services such as WorldShare Interlibrary Loan, virtual reference services such as QuestionPoint, digital collection management software, campus research portals—even with alternate discovery services via the WorldCat Discovery API. CONTENTdm "quick start" software is included in your subscription. This way, you can create digital collections, integrate them into local search results via the WorldCat Digital Collection Gateway and make them visible for searchers worldwide to discover.

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Gain local control to customize the user experience

Your library receives a unique URL for WorldCat Discovery with a customized interface you control to add local branding, colors and logos. Or you can build your own interface, using the WorldCat Discovery API. Fifteen interface languages support searches in Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Maori, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Swedish, Spanish and Thai. You configure the search interface to meet your needs knowing the IP-based system is stable and secure to protect sensitive patron records. Materials usage reports and statistics available through Google Analytics help provide insight into your users' evolving needs.


Tailor the service with fee-based options

For a small additional investment, you can add a large amount of additional functionality to your WorldCat Discovery experience:

  • Item location and real-time availability. Show users what's available in your local library collections (branches, departments, etc.) plus availability status from a local OPAC by adding the item location and real-time availability option.
  • Group views. Maximize and reinforce the value of your library's group affiliations by adding group views.
  • Course reserves/reading lists. Build temporary collections of resources organized by course, subject or readers' advisory list with course reserves.
  • Remote database search. Include your collections that are not available in the central index through remote database search.
  • Custom reporting. Gain insight into user behavior through customized reports from Adobe® Analytics®.

Other than the remote database search option, all of the WorldCat Discovery Services options require up-to-date holdings in WorldCat.
NOTE: Access to EBSCO content in the central index requires the availability and remote database options.


Take the next step. When you're ready, we'll help you start the transition to WorldCat Discovery.Get started

Service availability

  • WorldCat Discovery service

    Available everywhere (features differ by locale)

Learn more

WorldCat Discovery brochure

Download the WorldCat Discovery brochure
Download the brochure (US Letter)
Download the brochure (A4)

Upcoming events

23 February 2017

Expanding discovery and visibility of all your library’s collections: A demonstration of the WMS Discovery interface