Current Credit Program

From Anita Clary:
How many $$ in credit does OCLC issue annually and what geographical and demographic data is available about the libraries that use this program?

From Karen Schneider: On Anita's first question, that's in the annual reports. Here's the last ten years [Karen corrected in a later post to 7 years], at least as I gleaned it:

  • 2012: $22.4 million credits
  • 2011: $19.8
  • 2010: $19.6
  • 2009: $17.6
  • 2008: $18.9
  • 2007: $16.1
  • 2006: $15.7

From Keri Cascio:
Was it 60% of all members who do not participate, or 60% of eligible libraries (e.g., North American libraries) that do not participate?

From Jennifer Howard:
Then the 60% number is very misleading. What is the percentage of eligible libraries that participate?

Response: 60% of all members, regardless of participation. The relatively low rate of participation across the total membership is one of the factors considered when the Global Council asked that the program be reviewed.

From Keri Cascio:
With this cap, are IFM credits included? That's a transaction between libraries and in my opinion should not be held by OCLC.

Response: No, IFM transactions are not included in the Credits Program cap.

From Jeff Siemon:
Are credits given for records added via batchload, or only via Connexion? What about bib national library batchloads, are the national libraries paid?

Response: Credits are given for original records added via batchload, but at a lower rate than for records added via Connexion. Arrangements with national libraries vary. For example, in some cases a national library may offer a record distribution for its bibliographic records, and OCLC may contract to license those records. In other cases, loading data from a national library is one component of a broad agreement with OCLC.

From Jeff Siemon:
Why have non-US libraries not been included?

From Keri Cascio: Why did credits not transfer to the global participants? Why did OCLC restrict that to North America?

From Darmae Brown:
Why weren't the international members included in the incentive program?

Response: The program, originally called the Financial Credits Program, was established in 1985. At that time, the majority of member libraries were located in North America. Since the program’s inception, the services and programs offered by OCLC have ranged from cataloging and resource sharing services to, more recently, Integrated Library Systems. The Credits Program was extended to few libraries beyond the North American geography over the past 27 years. But in many cases, libraries outside North America use WorldCat records differently, for example, to supplement national bibliography records used for their local catalogs. Many do not tend to access WorldCat through Connexion. Increasing the footprint of the program to include more geographies would likely require additional funding from the membership. The Global Council Advisory Group on Incentives includes members from multiple geographies. They are addressing geographic coverage considerations among the factors they are reviewing.

From Karen Schneider:
Do those percentages hold up historically as well (e.g., approx 80% cataloging credits)?

Response: The amount of credits earned by type of credit (cataloging or resource sharing) fluctuates modestly from year to year.

From Karen Schneider:
Is that the number of credits or the cash out? [OCLC note: She is referring to the split of 78% cataloging, 20% ILL and 2% library schools.]

Response: The 2012 Financial Credits Program information reviewed in the webinar, and outlined in the 2011/2012 OCLC Annual Report, is the financial value of the credits received by members.

From Stacy Pober:
How many institutions were earning credits in excess of their total OCLC bill? Does that number include book vendor and book publishers earning cataloging credits for their records?

Response: Less than 0.5% of organizations participating in the Financial Credits Program were earning credits in excess of their total OCLC bill in FY12. This included all organizations earning credits for their records.

From Diana Allard:
How does the incentive program work for WMS libraries since WorldCat is the local catalog?

Response: Libraries that license WorldShare Management Services (WMS) also subscribe to OCLC cataloging services and can receive credits for original records and enhancements. As the workflow processes are modified and streamlined for WMS libraries, cataloging holdings deletions performed within WMS Circulation and WMS Acquisitions do not generate credits.

From Darmae Brown:
Do vendors get credits for Level 3 records? (They shouldn't.)

Response: Loading of cataloging records from vendors is managed and governed by separate agreements with the vendor. These agreements do not follow the same cost-sharing models that apply to member libraries.

From Annie Wu:
We submit records of our digital library items via WorldCat Gateway. Do we get credit for those records?

Response: The WorldCat Gateway program is a free program, not part of a cataloging service, therefore it does not qualify as a current service under the Financial Credits Program.

From Mike Garabedian:
I do lots of enhancements in our ILS (e.g., contents notes in 505s, publisher's descriptions in 520s, subject headings, etc.); sometimes these are to older records, and sometimes they're to existing OCLC records my assistant downloads. It's just far easier to my workflow to make these changes in our ILS than in Connexion. Also, frankly, no one in OCLC has ever clearly explained to me how to change master records—I'm a newbie but I had been under the impression that OCLC had to grant special dispensation to me to make these kinds of changes.

Response: A full description of the kinds of changes that can be made to master records can be found in Chapter 5 of Bibliographic Formats and Standards, 4th ed. Training resources are available in the OCLC Training Portal to help you learn more about replacing records.

From Tim Murphy:
How about an easy to find list (on OCLC's website) of what the credit amounts are for each activity?

Response: The FY2013 OCLC Price List is available on the Online Service Center (OSC) for your convenience. Please visit and then log on to your OSC account to access the price list.

From Mark Bresnan:
I second Leslie Engelson's message about the importance of the original and enhance credits to smaller libraries. If only a small percentage of members participate doesn't that make it a minimal part of OCLC's financial picture?

Response: The current Credits Program funding totaled $22.4 million in FY12, or roughly 10% of OCLC’s annual revenues.

From Barbara Brownell:
I don't remember seeing credits for enhancements on our bill. Why don't we get one when we do so much enhancement Why do some libraries not get credits for enhancement?

Response: OCLC offers two programs for enhancing WorldCat records:

i. OCLC offers two programs for enhancing WorldCat records:

The Enhance program, established in 1983, allows designated libraries to correct or add information to bibliographic records in WorldCat. More than 180 institutions participate in the program. Requirements for participation, an application, guidelines and training are available at: WorldCat documentation.

OCLC Enhance institutions are specially authorized to lock, edit and replace records in WorldCat. Those participating at the Regular Enhance level can replace most member-input records. National-Level Enhance participants, chiefly selected Library of Congress (LC) cataloging staff and Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) participants, may additionally replace most national-level records (including Encoding Levels blank and 1).

The libraries in the Enhance program receive credits for their work.

ii. In response to requests from the cataloging community, OCLC introduced the Expert Community Experiment from February–August 2009. Members with full-level cataloging authorizations were given the ability to improve, upgrade and make more changes than previously to WorldCat master records. The experiment was a success and all libraries with full-level cataloging authorizations have continued to have this functionality available. Participants are able to correct, improve and upgrade all WorldCat master records, with the exception of PCC records (BIBCO and CONSER records).

Participants receive the same credits they received prior to the Expert Community Experiment, but they have not received any additional credits for this new enhancement activity. OCLC management and the Global Council Advisory Committee will consider this with other ideas for a future incentive program.

From Stella Tang:
Ironically, OCLC raised the dollar amount for credits so that more members would participate in the original cataloging and enhancements.

Response: Please note that this is not correct. In the past, the individual credit rates have been increased only in conjunction with any general OCLC cataloging or resource sharing price increases.

From Celia Davis: If Level 3 records weren't accepted, how much enhancement credits would be saved?

Response: OCLC does not currently collect data at this level of granularity to answer this question.

From Donna Gray-Williams:
What are non-incentive activities in cataloging?

Response: Two types of activities do not generate credits: CIP upgrade activities and any activities counted as Expert Community transactions.

From Julia Conlee:
Could you confirm that nonparticipating libraries are not receiving credits for holdings management in addition to not receiving credits for original and enhanced cataloging?

Response: Credits for holdings deletion (whether done online or by batchload) are recorded and tracked. Institutions that are maintaining their holdings are participating in this activity of the Financial Credits Program. They may or may not be actively participating in other program areas such as original cataloging or resource sharing included in the counts.