WorldCat quality efforts to enhance millions more records


Our OCLC metadata quality team consistently improves WorldCat records to help libraries make their resources more accessible to users worldwide through discovery, research, and interlibrary loan services. Using a combination of automated systems and manual enrichments, we review, delete, merge, and enhance an average of 4 million WorldCat records per month. In addition, each month we add more than 280 collections to the WorldCat knowledge base and make more than 45,000 enhancements to the collections on average. This work helps ensure that information seekers can easily find the resources they need as soon as they’re available in libraries.

We’ve recently kicked off two efforts to improve WorldCat records in even more ways. We’ve started controlling and enriching subject headings in individual bibliographic records with the many authority files we’ve made available in WorldCat. And we’re adding more OCLC control numbers to WorldCat knowledge base records.

Since beginning these efforts in March 2022, we’ve already enhanced more than 40 million WorldCat bibliographic records and assigned OCLC control numbers to more than 3.5 million knowledge base records. We anticipate improving an additional 350 million records over the next several months, making them more valuable to libraries and information seekers worldwide.

To better incorporate authority files, we’re now controlling headings by linking subjects in existing bibliographic records to authority files. We’re also enriching records with headings that are mapped across authority files, such as from the French Canadian Répertoire de vedettes-matière (RVM) into English-language authority files. This makes it easier for you to maintain high-quality records, helps library users find resources regardless of what language they search in, and ensures that your records update when the authority headings change.

And by adding OCLC control numbers to WorldCat knowledge base records that currently lack them, we’re improving the discoverability and accessibility of your licensed electronic collections. You can now add your holdings to these records so they appear in WorldCat Discovery or are delivered to you as MARC records, saving you time. Users can find and access what they need from more complete e-resource collections, and you can be sure the titles you pay for are available to them.

If your library uses WorldShare Management Services (WMS), you get these benefits automatically, and your users will see the improvements as soon as they’re available. If you aren’t a WMS library, check your WorldCat updates settings in WorldShare Collection Manager to make sure you receive these enhanced bibliographic records. Your regular MARC record downloads will include any title from your knowledge base collections with a newly assigned OCLC number. If needed, request access to WorldShare Collection Manager (included with your OCLC Cataloging and Metadata Subscription).

If you have questions about any of our ongoing WorldCat quality improvements, please attend our semi-monthly AskQC office hours (oc.lc/askqc) to speak directly with OCLC’s metadata quality team.