Data sets & services

Most OCLC services are powered by WorldCat bibliographic data collected, improved and expanded on by the cooperative’s member libraries. Increasingly, OCLC is making that data available in the form of data services or downloadable data sets which allow programmers and linked data practitioners access to tools and data necessary to create and improve their own applications.


WorldCat Linked Data

In 2012, OCLC added experimental linked data to records in WorldCat.org. This was a first step toward adding linked data to the WorldCat database and we learned a lot as a library community. This pioneering Schema.org view in the Linked Data section of WorldCat.org not only informed numerous OCLC research and pilot programs over the past several years, it also laid the groundwork for OCLC to make a fundamental shift from linked data research to building a production-ready shared entity management infrastructure.

Our ability to learn from this experimental linked data on WorldCat.org has reached an end, and the quality of links has diminished over time, so we removed it on 17 February 2021. This allows us to focus our knowledge and resources to complete our work to build a linked data infrastructure that will provide a solid foundation for libraries, cultural heritage organizations and scholarly communications communities to create more efficient metadata workflows and ultimately make their materials more connected and discoverable on the web.

If you would like to learn more about this exciting new infrastructure, please visit oc.lc/sharedentitymgmt.


Download Data Sets

The following OCLC data is available in the form of a downloadable file: 

Data Set (download) Licenses More information
FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology) downloads available as single MARC XML and RDF (Linked Data Format N-Triples) .zip files and by facet ODC-By for FAST Research Works page
VIAF (Virtual International Authority File) data source
(6 data files available in .gz format)

 
ODC-By for VIAF Service information

OCLC Web Services

These tools deliver access to data and services on different platforms and through a variety of applications. OCLC’s Web services support functions such as OpenURL resolution and consolidated access to multiple versions of published works. Direct linking provides centralized access to library ownership information and a cooperatively built repository of data about library collections and services. OCLC’s collection of Web services currently include access to WorldCat Search, knowledge base and Metadata  APIs, and the WorldCat Registry. You can also view an application gallery of apps and mash-ups that OCLC Developer Network participants and others have created with these tools.

FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology)

The Library of Congress Subject Headings schema (LCSH) is by far the most commonly used and widely accepted subject vocabulary for general application. However, LCSH's complex syntax and rules for constructing headings restrict its application by requiring highly skilled personnel and limit the effectiveness of automated authority control. Recent trends, driven to a large extent by the rapid growth of the Web, are forcing changes in bibliographic control systems to make them easier to use, understand, and apply. The purpose of adapting the LCSH with a simplified syntax to create FAST is to retain the very rich vocabulary of LCSH while making the schema easier to understand, control, apply, and use. Read more about FAST here or access the FAST database. A user-friendly search interface is also available, as is user documentation.

The Virtual International Authority File (VIAF®)

VIAF is an international service designed to provide convenient access to the world's major name authority files. Its creators envision the VIAF as a building block for the Semantic Web to enable switching of the displayed form of names for persons to the preferred language and script of the Web user. Learn more about VIAF here, review the list of contributor organizations, or apply to become a contributor.

In most cases, the license information for data sets and services is referenced on the appropriate information pages