Metadata Management

How will we evolve our metadata structures to work effectively in a semantically richer Web or to connect to network hubs? How can we make our data work harder, to release greater value in systems and services? We're working to make the future investment in descriptions of library materials less costly, more responsive to network-level discovery requirements, and more consistent with user expectations. We're making the accumulated investment in library metadata, terminologies and authorities yield new returns by recombining it to create new relationships and associations that are valued by a wider Web community.

For a complete overview of our approach to our work in this area and what we want to accomplish, see the Metadata Management full narrative. A list of current activities for this theme is available below.

Current Activities

Multilingual Bibliographic Structure

This activity is designed to leverage the multilingual content of WorldCat® so that bibliographic information can be presented in the preferred language and script of the user.

Getting Found: SEO for Digital Repositories

This activity is part of an IMLS-funded project to develop strategies for improving the visibility of library digital repositories in Internet search engines through developing an RDF model based on for the people, places, organizations, and objects associated with an institutional repository and its contents.

Cookbook Finder

Cookbook Finder is a works-based application that provides access to thousands of cookbooks and other works about food and nutrition described in library records. You can search by person, place, topic (e.g., course, ingredient, method, and more) and browse related works by author and topic (supplied by the Kindred Works/Recommender API). Results include links to full-text when available from HathiTrust and Project Gutenberg.

Registering Researchers in Authority Files

The Registering Researchers Task Force aims to create a concise report summarizing the benefits and trade-offs of emerging approaches to the problem of incomplete national authority files.

MARC Usage in WorldCat

This project will study the use of MARC tags and subfields in WorldCat and produce reports to inform decisions about where we go from here.

Europeana Innovation Pilots

This collaborative initiative aims to pilot the use of existing and newly developed OCLC Research methods and techniques for cleansing and enriching large aggregations of metadata to identify and create semantic links between heterogeneous objects that are connected.


A Web interface for FAST Subject selection, assignFAST explores automating the manual selection of the Authorized and Use For headings based on autosuggest technology.

Kindred Works

Kindred Works is a demonstration interface built upon an experimental content-based recommender service. Various characteristics associated with a sample resource, such as classification numbers, subject headings, and genre terms, are matched to WorldCat to provide a list of recommendations.

FAST Converter

The FAST Converter is a Web interface for the conversion of LCSH headings to FAST headings. Either single headings or small sets of bibliographic records can be converted. The intent of this Web site is to provide a learning tool to help familiarize users with FAST and the differences between FAST and LCSH.

Sharing and Aggregating Social Metadata

Identify the user contributions that would enrich the descriptive metadata created by libraries, archives, and museums and the issues that need to be resolved to communicate and share user contributions on the network level.

WorldCat Identities Network

The WorldCat Identities Network gives users the opportunity to visually explore the interconnectivity and relationships between WorldCat Identities.

Scholars' Contributions to VIAF

This activity explores the potential benefits of collaborating with scholars to enrich the Virtual International Authority File (VIAF) with new names and additional script forms for names already represented.  The experience and knowledge gained from working with diverse files may inform third parties’ development of authority tools used by scholars.

WorldCat Genres

Genre profiles allow users to browse genre terms for hundreds of titles, authors, subjects, characters, places, and more, ranked by popularity in WorldCat.


mapFAST is a Google Maps mashup prototype designed to provide map based access to bibliographic records using FAST geographic authorities.

Work Records in WorldCat

View rich descriptions for books and other library materials.


Classify is a FRBR-based prototype designed to support the assignment of classification numbers and subject headings for books, DVDs, CDs, and other types of materials.

Name Extraction

This project attempts to develop tools that advance the state of the art in extracting names from unstructured text and disambiguating them using authority files developed in the library community.

WorldCat Identities

WorldCat Identities has a summary page for every name in WorldCat.

Terminology Services

This project provides Web-based services for controlled vocabularies.

Metadata Schema Transformation Services

The goal of the Metadata Schema Transformation project is to develop a simple, web-accessible service that translates metadata records from one publicly defined format into another.

FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology)

FAST is an enumerative faceted subject heading schema derived from the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). FAST is easier to apply and can be successfully used by non-professionals.