assignFAST provides auto-suggest style searching of the FAST subject heading data set.

Operation Resource URL HTTP METHOD
Search[query]&queryIndex=[queryIndex]&queryReturn=[queryReturn]&suggest=autosuggest&rows=[numRows]&callback=[callbackFunction] GET

HTTP Accept Types

  • application/json - note that this response includes a callback to a method named testCall()


Below is a list of all the possible parameters that can be used as part of an assignFAST query:

Parameter Required? Description
query Yes The query to search
queryIndex Yes

The index corresponding to the FAST facet. These include

queryReturn Yes

Information requested list, comma separated. These include:

numRows Yes headings to return maximum restricted to 20 
callback Yes the callback function name for jsonp

Query Indices

name description
suggestall All facets
suggest00 Personal names
suggest10 Corporate names
suggest11 Event
suggest30 Uniform title
suggest50 Topical
suggest51 Geographic names
suggest55 Form/Genre

FAST Heading Response Fields

names description
idroot FAST Number
auth Authorized Heading, formatted for display with -- as subfield separator
type alt or auth - indicates whether the match on the queryIndex was to an Authorized or See Also heading
tag MARC Authority tag number for the heading - 100= Personal name, 150 = Topical, etc.
raw Authorized Heading, with subfield indicators. Blank if this is identical to auth (i.e. no subfields)
breaker Authorized Heading in marcbreaker format. Blank if this is identical to raw (i.e. no diacritics)
indicator Indicator 1 from the Authorized Heading

Example URLs

This example query will return the authorized heading and other information for the search term "hog":


assignFAST Autocomplete Example

This Web Service was developed to support a javascript based autocomplete, although other uses are possible. This working example provides the javascript code and an overview using the jQuery autocomplete.

More possible features are shown on the assignFAST page. Gadgets using this are also available for the OCLC WorldShare Platform or other OpenSocial portals.

Example Implementation

To view a live version of the implementation, please visit:

Required Scripts and Stylesheets

Search Form HTML

An existing search form would need to be modified by adding a <div class="ui-widget"> .. </div> around it. For the example on this page, this is:

<h4>Your Search Box</h4>

<span id="exampleXtra"></span>

<div class="ui-widget">

    <input id="examplebox"  type="text" size="60"></input>


The examplebox id can be an existing id in your interface.

The exampleXtra span was added to add additional output if needed. The assignFASTGadget.js also has a drop down list set up for facet selection, and a clear button function that might be useful.

Connecting assignFAST

The connecting javascript is in assignFASTExample.js. It is placed after assignFASTGadget.js to overwrite defaults.

The setUpPage() function is called from

//from assignFASTExample.js

function setUpPage() {

// connect the autoSubject to the input areas

    jQuery('#examplebox').autocomplete(   {

        source: autoSubjectExample,

        minLength: 1,

        select: function(event, ui) {

                    jQuery('#exampleXtra').html("FAST ID <b>" + ui.item.idroot + "</b> Facet

           <b>"+getTypeFromTag(ui.item.tag)+ "</b>");

        } //end select }

      ).data( "autocomplete" )._renderItem = function( ul, item ) { formatSuggest(ul,

      item);}; } 

//end setUpPage()

The source: autoSubjectExample tells the autocomplete function to get the data from the autoSubjectExample function, which in turns calls the assignFAST Web Service.

In the select: function, the exampleXtra text is rewritten with additional information returned with the selected heading. In this case, the fast number and facet are displayed.

The generic _renderItem of the jQuery.autocomplete function is overwritten to create a display that differentiates the See Also from the Authorized headings that are returned in the search. The version used for this example shows:

See Also Heading USE Authorized Heading when a See Also heading is returned, or simply the Authorized Heading otherwise.

Calling the assignFAST Web Service

The source: autoSubjectExample calls the following function, which in turn calls the autoSubject function. This function is found in assignFASTComplete.js, and is a fairly typical function to create the assignFAST Web Service url, and handle the output.

Here, we just select the default index, and write a new function to choose what gets put into the input box after a heading is selected. In this case, the default "--" subfield separator is replaced by a "/":

//from assignFASTExample.js

/* example style - simple reformatting */ 

function autoSubjectExample(request, response){currentSuggestIndex = currentSuggestIndexDefault; autoSubject(request, response, exampleStyle);}

/* For this example, replace the common subfield break of -- with / */

function exampleStyle(res) {return res["auth"].replace("--","/");}

Other Available Functionality

The assignFASTGadget.js has other functions that may be useful.

  • formatSuggest - reformats the autocomplete selection menu.
  • autoSubjectCommon - (for source:) using the authorized heading with no reformatting
  • autoSubjectBreaker - (for source:) for marcBreaker format, with the marc tag, indicators, and using {} diacritics
  • autoSubjectConnex -(for source:) for Connexion formatting, spaces surround the subfield indicators
  • getTypeFromTag - Translates the MARC tag to a Facet name
  • buildSelectLimitList- uses a table to make a drop down selection list for facets, relating them to the proper index