Bibliographic Record Snapshot frequently asked questions

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What is the difference between unique records and transactions?

Unique records are those records which have your holdings attached. Number of transactions is the total count of the number of times your library retrieved an OCLC record and made changes to the record.

What is Bibliographic Record Snapshot?

Bibliographic Record Snapshot is a batch processing option used to obtain complete or partial archival records of your institution's cataloging activity for your local catalog.

Why are we seeing fewer holdings than archived records in the file?

Duplicate archived records are created when issuing a DELETE, REPLACE, PRODUCE or UPDATE command to a record. Archive records are never deleted; the file keeps growing.

How long does it take to produce a Bibliographic Record Snapshot?

Depending on the transaction cut-off date, OCLC can process the Bibliographic Record Snapshot overnight, once your regional service provider has approved your order. The file can then be retrieved using EDX/FTP or OCLC Product Services Web (PSWeb).

What is the first step to getting our records?

Contact your OCLC regional service provider for pricing information, then request your file by completing the online Bibliographic Record Snapshot Request form.

Can my library receive a selection of our records, instead of all of them?

Yes. You can select a subset of your records within a given date range or by specific holding library code(s). However, we cannot offer a selection by record type (for example, serials, visual material, maps, etc.)

My local system lost all my library's records. Can Bibliographic Record Snapshot restore them?

Yes, Bibliographic Record Snapshot can restore your records. The records will look like they did when they were cataloged. Changes made locally, or changes made to the OCLC master record since your last produce or update transaction will not be represented.

Why would my library need to request a Bibliographic Record Snapshot?

A Bibliographic Record Snapshot can be requested to consolidate the bibliographic records you've created or edited through OCLC cataloging and batch processing options. Then the resulting records can be used to create your new local catalog, or update and synchronize your current catalog. Your  OCLC regional service provider can discuss options with you.

Can my library obtain records that we cataloged under a different symbol?

Yes. The way to get records cataloged under a different symbol is to request a separate Bibliographic Record Snapshot.


What is a BARS transaction?

Batchload Archive Record Selection (BARS) transactions are created as the result of using one or more of OCLC's offline products, such as Batch Services, WorldCat Collection Sets, GovDoc, PromptCat and Bibliographic Notification.

What is a CARS transaction?

Cataloging Archive Record System (CARS) includes records created as a result of various commands (e.g. PRODUCE, UPDATE, REPLACE RECORD TRANSACTION, and CANCEL HOLDINGS TRANSACTION). For example, if a library has one copy of The Wizard of Oz, and an update command is issued, and then weeks later a produce command is issued, this would result in 2 CARS transactions.

Which edits on a record will appear in my library's transaction?

There are no restrictions on edits made to records. If a PRODUCE or UPDATE transaction is made, the file will include the records with those edits. If consolidation is requested and you want certain local tags, only the edits made in those particular fields will be retained.

What happens to the original records when my library deletes transactions online?

All transactions are archived. After the cancel transaction is made, the local data would not be present from the original transaction.

If my library uses a processing center, how are records archived?

The records cataloged by the processing center would be archived as online activity (CARS) and would be archived using the holding library code located in the 049 field. The records processed through batch processing would be archived as offline activity (BARS) and would be archived under the OCLC symbol updated through the batchload process.

Holding library

What is an OCLC holding library code?

A holding library code is different from an OCLC symbol. A holding library code identifies a collection or campus under an OCLC symbol.

What is an OCLC symbol?

A unique identifier assigned by OCLC to member and participating institutions. OCLC symbols attached to bibliographic records identify libraries that have the item that the record describes in their collection and, have entered and/or used them for cataloging.

Will holding library codes not currently in use be included in the Bibliographic Record Snapshot file?

Yes, if the Bibliographic Record Snapshot request is at the OCLC symbol level and the request does not include specific holding library codes.

How do I identify which codes are available for use by my library?

The Bibliographic Record Snapshot Request displays all the library holding codes for your library. For more information contact your OCLC regional service provider.


If my library doesn't request consolidation, will OCLC uphold our warranty?

OCLC's warranty is 90 days and will replace the file if records are corrupt or unusable, even if a problem occurs with a third-party vendor's processing.

What is record consolidation and when would my library use it?

Record consolidation merges duplicate records into the last transaction record. By choosing consolidation, you can choose to consolidate online (CARS) transactions only, offline (BARS) transactions only, or both (all transactions), as well as choosing what local tags should be retained.

After consolidation, what will my library's final record look like?

When requesting record consolidation, your final record will look like your last transaction record with local tags retained from all previous transactions.

What will happen if my library doesn't request record consolidation?

You will receive every occurrence of the record.

If my library chooses record consolidation, which records are kept?

The last transaction record.

Are there any instances in which my library would receive more than one copy of some of my records?

If you choose one of the full consolidation options, you should only get one copy of some of our records. If you did not choose to consolidate your records, you will receive each archived transaction involving each record falling into the selection criteria.

Will delete transactions be included if I request consolidation?

No. Delete transactions are dropped in the consolidation process, and if the last transaction is a delete, that record will not appear in your Bibliographic Record Snapshot file. Delete transactions will only be included in cases where consolidation is NOT selected.


How does my library get the records after OCLC has completed the Bibliographic Record Snapshot?

There are two options for retrieving your file, Electronic Data Exchange (EDX)/File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or OCLC Product Services Web (PSWeb). Once the Bibliographic Record Snapshot has been processed, you will get an e-mail notification of the file name to retrieve. When your EDX account is created, you will receive notification and instructions on how to retrieve your file. For more information about EDX and PSWeb, see Electronic Data Exchange (EDX) below.

Can my vendor or my consortium retrieve my records for me?

Yes, as long as they have completed an EDX Assessment form and Third-Party Licensee Agreement form

How can the records be retrieved and, where does my library get support?

Records can be retrieved via EDX/FTP or via OCLC Product Services Web (PSWeb). The LDC online order process will provide you with instructions for establishing an EDX/FTP account. Steps are also available for retrieving your file via PSWeb. Contact your OCLC regional service provider, or contact OCLC support for more information.

What is an Electronic Data Exchange (EDX) account?

EDX is a file delivery method for the transfer of data by standard File Transfer Protocol (FTP) whereby OCLC provides an Electronic Data Exchange account into which OCLC posts bibliographic records and reports. The institution retrieves files from the account via the Internet.

What is OCLC PSWeb?

OCLC PSWeb is the OCLC Product Services Web. OCLC Product Services Web is used to download records and reports, download sample records and reports, upload files, download macros and scripts, download software, find product support and product information.


How much does Bibliographic Record Snapshot cost?

Costs are based on the number of records stored at OCLC, plus one setup fee. Ask your OCLC regional service provider for detailed pricing.

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