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WorldCat Discovery Services

WorldCat Discovery helps you:

Discovery icon

Deliver a consolidated discovery experience

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Provide access to WorldCat

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Connect to more than 1.9 billion content items in WorldCat and a central index  

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Support users where they are with mobile-ready views

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Integrate with other library services

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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 347 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.

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Connect to more than 1.9 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 provides access to more than 2,200 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 GoogleBooks are available, along with 16 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.

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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.
* Access to EBSCO content in the central index requires the availability and remote database options.

Future functionality for WorldCat Discovery

WorldCat Discovery has additional features planned, as suggested by the library community and the more than 650 beta participants who helped shape the service. We look for member feedback and will announce new functionality as it is available.

User experience

Feature Target Availability Date
Ratings and reviews * To be determined
Additional relevance sorting options * To be determined
Known title search and sort enhancements To be determined
"Did You Mean?" enhancements To be determined
Show citation "impact factor" To be determined

* Indicates features in WorldCat Discovery that were not available in FirstSearch.

Content and data

Feature Target Availability Date
Ability to search inside a journal * To be determined
Linked data exposure * To be determined
E-book availability and checkout * To be determined
Additional content for the central index Monthly

* Indicates features in WorldCat Discovery that were not available in FirstSearch.


Feature Target Availability Date
Citations in Turabian and Harvard formats To be determined
Permanent user lists for non-WMS libraries
To be determined
Support for EasyBib export   To be determined
Initial knowledge card display * To be determined
Call number index browse * To be determined
Ability to customize facets * To be determined
Ability to share on social media To be determined

* Indicates features in WorldCat Discovery that were not available in FirstSearch.

Recently added

Feature Date Added
Configuration selections for availability displays, for libraries with the availability option Added in November 2015
Direct links to individual databases or database groups Added in October 2015
Multiple instructors for course reserves for libraries with the course reserves option Added in October 2015
Temporary shelving locations for libraries with the availability option Added in October 2015
Personal lists for WMS library patrons and all WorldCat Discovery staff accounts Added in September 2015
Local holdings records displays Added in September 2015
Availability on brief results for libraries with the availability option Added in August 2015
Editions and formats on brief results Added in August 2015
Get it Now functionality * Added in August 2015
Citations in MLA, APA, Chicago formats Added in July 2015
Temporary shelving location for WMS libraries * Added in June 2015
Course reserves option * Added in May 2015
Subject facet * Added in May 2015
Author name links * Added in May 2015
Ability to group similar databases together * Added in May 2015
Display of snippets from full-text resources * Added in April 2015
Full-text searching * Added in April 2015
Improved editions and formats display Added in March 2015
Enhanced ability to print results sets from browser Added in March 2015
Print book facet Added in February 2015
Electronic resource notes Added in February 2015

* Indicates features in WorldCat Discovery that were not available in OCLC FirstSearch®.


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