Transparent, inclusive, and comprehensive: Hallmarks of a first-rate discovery system

Jay Holloway, Senior Product Manager /

In June 2020, the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) approved revisions to its Recommended Practices for the Open Discovery Initiative (ODI). Key to this revision was our very own Noah Brubaker, PALNI Associate Director, who ensured WorldCat Discovery interests were prioritized and considered. Among other inputs, ODI conducted surveys to assess the content discovery environment from the perspective of content providers, service providers, and, of course, libraries. One result of this work was prioritizing seven key areas upon which ODI could frame the revision.

As a discovery service product manager for a non-publishing, content-neutral organization, my focus is on enabling information seekers to find resources from a broad range of providers in a single location. We do this through WorldCat Discovery, which provides access to a central index of more than 3,100 collections from leading content providers worldwide with comprehensive search results that do not favor specific topics or content collections.

We’ve made significant enhancements to the service over the years to improve the user experience and ensure we’re aligned to industry best practices such as ones set forth by the ODI—and additional projects are well underway that completely modernize the way users interact with the service and augment its technical infrastructure to support future innovations. 

In addition to the discovery of content licensed by your library, open content plays a vital role in your users’ search for information. I’m part of a working group within OCLC that works with governing bodies, publishers, aggregators, libraries, and the communities you serve to enhance the visibility and accessibility of open content. We are committed to privileging open content alongside licensed content to surface the most relevant resources in WorldCat Discovery, and forging partnerships with industry leaders (like Unpaywall) to offer users hassle-free access.

All of this is to say that we’re unwaveringly focused on delivering a search experience that connects users to resources at your library and libraries worldwide though intuitive discovery and smart fulfillment capabilities. We invite you to view our responses to the June 2020 updates in NISO RP-19-2020, Open Discovery Initiative: Promoting Transparency in Discovery.


View our responses to the ODI conformance checklist!


For our WorldCat Discovery libraries, we ask that you consider your own conformance by reviewing and completing a template provided by NISO. Additionally, we have a unique volunteer opportunity for a member library to engage further as part of the ODI Standing Committee. For more information about this opportunity, and to view the NISO library conformance checklist, please log in to the WorldCat Discovery Community.