This term refers to two information standards:
- the International Standard, ISO 23950: "Information Retrieval (Z39.50): Application Service Definition and Protocol Specification"
- the American standard, ANSI/NISO Z39.50.
The Library of Congress is the Maintenance Agency and Registration Authority for both standards, which are essentially the same.
Z39.50 is a computer-to-computer communications protocol designed to support searching and retrieval of information in a distributed network environment.
The Z39.50 standard continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of information creators, providers, and users.
The goal of this work is twofold:
- to continue the advancement of the standard
- to provide consultation on the standard to OCLC and the LIS community.
Why OCLC is conducting this research and how it helps libraries
- Z39.50 provides the database searching infrastructure for all our products
- Z39.50 supports the discovery and exchange of MARC-21 records between library systems
- Z39.50 is one of the protocols used to search digital repositories
- Maintenance agency page
- Online "brochure" about Z39.50 by Bill Moen
- Ralph LeVan (Principal researcher)