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OCLC to provide new national cataloging platform for libraries in Japan

DUBLIN, Ohio, 17 June 2021—The National Institute of Informatics (NII) in Japan has selected OCLC to replace NII's current library metadata infrastructure. OCLC will provide a cataloging environment for more than 1,300 libraries in Japan with a union catalog that replaces the existing system, NACSIS-CAT/ILL.

The NACSIS-CAT/ILL, launched in 1985, has been widely used among Japanese university libraries and other institutions, bringing together 13 million bibliographic records and 147 million holdings records. A versatile metadata platform developed by OCLC will serve as the foundation for the new NACSIS-CAT/ILL system.

The project has begun with the start of a two-year implementation period and the system is scheduled to go live in the first quarter of 2023. OCLC will enable the new system to accommodate multiple metadata types, including MARC21 and CAT-P, a unique format used in Japan, which will pave the way to exchange metadata with international communities. The new system will also facilitate the import and export of data for a new interlibrary loan service in Japan.

"As globalization and digitization of science information accelerates, it is important that NII's metadata service modernizes to better serve Japanese library communities and their patrons," said Professor Kento Aida, who oversees this project for the Information Systems Architecture Science Research Division at NII. "We are confident that the new system will greatly enhance discovery and access."

Kinokuniya Company, OCLC's distributing partner in Japan, is working closely with OCLC and NII to move this project forward.

"OCLC is honored to work with NII to create a new, modern cataloging infrastructure that will be able to accommodate different and emerging forms of metadata," said Skip Prichard, OCLC President and CEO. "We have been at the forefront of library metadata initiatives for over 50 years. This project will make it possible for these 1,300 libraries to easily share knowledge within Japan, and with the rest of the world. We are delighted to partner with NII on this critically important project."

The cataloging project comes at a critical time in the evolution of metadata systems. Last year, OCLC Research published Transitioning to the Next Generation of Metadata, which traced how metadata services are transitioning into the "next generation of metadata." Opening Japanese library collections through this new cataloging infrastructure will present more opportunities for cooperation on a global scale.

About NII

The National Institute of Informatics (NII), under the Inter-University Research Institute Corporation/Research Organization of Information and Systems, is the only academic research institute in Japan dedicated to creating future value in informatics, a new academic field. From the basic theory of informatics to cutting-edge fields such as artificial intelligence, big data, internet of things, and information security, NII carries out long-term basic research as well as practical studies that attempt to address current social issues.

In parallel, NII develops and operates services of the essential academic information infrastructures used by the entire academic research community in Japan for research and education; it builds and operates the Science Information NETwork (SINET5) on one hand, and provides academic content and service platforms on the other hand. The bilateral feedback cycle between the findings gained from the service operations and from the academic research generates cutting-edge technologies, which are utilized in the service.

About OCLC

OCLC is a nonprofit global library cooperative providing shared technology services, original research and community programs so that libraries can better fuel learning, research and innovation. Through OCLC, member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the most comprehensive global network of data about library collections and services. Libraries gain efficiencies through OCLC’s WorldShare, a complete set of library management applications and services built on an open, cloud-based platform. It is through collaboration and sharing of the world’s collected knowledge that libraries can help people find answers they need to solve problems. Together as OCLC, member libraries, staff and partners make breakthroughs possible.

OCLC, WorldCat, WorldCat.org and WorldShare are trademarks and/or service marks of OCLC, Inc. Third-party product, service and business names are trademarks and/or service marks of their respective owners.


  • Bob Murphy

    Manager, Media Relations

    O: +1-614-761-5136

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