This activity is now closed. The information on this page is provided for historical purposes only.

The Curiouser project will produce a prototype system that provides a works-based view of Open WorldCat (OWC) content


The goal of this project is to enhance the utility of Open WorldCat by

  • Exploiting structured data of bibliographic, authority and holdings records
  • Exploring the potential usefulness of other available data, e.g. pathfinders and third-party web services

Project description

Curiouser is

  • an approach to making the best use of data available about items in WorldCat
  • a user interface for exploring and selecting works and items.

The project integrates previously developed and new techniques for display and navigation of records in a FRBR context.

Initial connections to Open WorldCat will be though bookmarklets, although as the prototype matures it may merit a link off one of the Find-it-in-a-library pages.

Initial work will concentrate on the most highly held works in WorldCat.

Why OCLC is conducting this research and how it helps libraries

The Curiouser project

  • makes Open WorldCat more attractive
  • leverages the value of the cooperative by exploiting WorldCat bibliographic & holdings data
  • enhances existing assets by exploiting the bibliographic data in member records in new ways
  • contributes to scholarship, especially regarding efforts to explore the influence of libraries in the open web environment
  • promotes collaboration / consensus by contributing toward an improved understanding of strengths and weaknesses of the Open WorldCat model.

In addition, the prototype system

  • employs the OCLC FRBR work-set algorithm and FictionFinder
  • is a unique contribution to the library community
  • contributes to the improved understanding of influence of libraries in the open Web environment.

Research Methodology

  • Requirements analysis
  • Prototyping
  • Usability testing
  • Analysis of public use


  • January 2005 to December 2005.

Team members

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.