Archived projects

The research activities listed below have been completed. The descriptions and final results of these projects are provided as a historical record of the activities of OCLC Research.


Started 2001; Completed 2002

Advanced Collection Environment. ACE investigated centralized solutions to personal collection management and developed a prototype system.


Started 2000; Completed 2002

The goal of ALCME was to create a set of open-source tools to seamlessly integrate the components needed to build a distributed library collection management system. This project included some of the first software made availiable under the OCLC Office of Research Public License (PDF:130K/3pp.).

Centroids-based Collection Analysis

Started 2003; Ended 2004

This project investigated the creation of centroids from digital collections and evaluated their usefulness for creating automatic descriptions of the collections.


Completed 2004

One of the Metadata Switch activities, the goal of this project was to produce SRW/U and OAI tools for the COLIS project.

Cooperative Online Resource Catalog (CORC)

Started 1998; Completed (Transitioned) 1999

Building on numerous OCLC research projects, CORC was one of OCLC's most exciting and ambitious projects. CORC explored the cooperative creation by libraries of a database of Web resources. Features of the prototype system included: 1. Automation-assisted generation of metadata with DDC numbers, 2. Tools for pathfinder page generation and editing, 3. Automation-assisted URL maintenance, 4. Loading and output of several standard forms of metadata, and 5. A host of standard database and information system functions, including relevance-ranked retrieval and Unicode-support for searching and display. CORC transitioned from research project to OCLC service in 1999. (All features of the CORC service were incorporated into the new integrated cataloging service, OCLC Connexion, in 2002.)

CORE Electronic Library Project

Started 1988; Completed 1994

The CORE project was an electronic library prototype providing networked access to the full text and graphics content of the American Chemical Society journals and associated Chemical Abstracts Services indexing since 1980 (some 250 journal years of data).

Dublin Core Metadata Initiative

Started 1994; Completed 2008

The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative was an effort to develop and sustain a metadata schema optimized for interoperability in the Web environment. OCLC Research catalyzed community involvement through workshops and the DCMI organization, focused on developing the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set, which was published as an ISO standard in 2003. DCMI became an independent organization in 2008.

DCMI Registry

Started 2000; Completed 2005

The DCMI Metadata Registry was sponsored by the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative, and was the primary focus of the DCMI Registry Working Group . The goal of the Registry was to promote the discovery, reuse and extension of existing semantics, and to facilitate the creation of new vocabularies.


Completed 2005

The ePrints-UK project involved several organizations planning to develop a national service through which the United Kingdom's higher and further education community could access the collective output of e-print papers available from compliant Open Archive repositories provided by UK universities and colleges.

Extensible Repository Resource Locators (ERRoLs) for OAI Identifiers

Started 2003; Completed 2005

An ERRoL is a "Cool URL" to metadata, content, and services related to registered Open Archive Initiative (OAI) repositories. Anyone can create or use an ERRoL to any metadata record or web resource related to supported OAI repositories.

Grammar Builder

Started 1992/93; Completed 2000

Studies the manipulation of tagged text ( SGML). As a service to the community, OCLC has made parts of the project available via the Web including automatic DTD creation and simple text translation.

Harvesting Metadata via the Web

Completed 2005

The goal of the Metadata Switch Harvesting project was to harvest over the Web, metadata that complies with the Open Archives Initiative's Protocol for Metadata Harvesting ( OAI-PMH) and produce an integrated catalog from the harvested metadata. This project was one component of the OCLC Research Metadata Switch project.


Started 1996; Completed 2000

A general Internet harvester with full text databases and metadata databases of Internet resources. Kilroy is used in many research projects to provide harvesting and metadata extraction services.

Information Visualization  

Started 1993; Completed 1996

OCLC Research investigation into the nature and extent of Internet resources and their potential impact on library operations.


Started 1998; Completed 2000

Builds systems to organize and access electronic resources. Mantis explores the use and integration of Dublin Core, RDF, XML, MARC, Scorpion, and Kilroy.

Metadata Switch

Completed 2004

The Metadata Switch was an umbrella activity for a set of projects which constructed experimental modular services to add value to metadata.

Reference in Context  
Recombinant Catalog Metadata

Completed 2005

One of the Metadata Switch activities, this project sought to identify recombinant pieces of metadata (e.g. personal names) across bibliographic databases, and to create Web services to expose these pieces and their relationships.



Started 1996; Completed 2000

Explores the indexing and cataloging of electronic resources. Since subject information is key to advanced retrieval, browsing, and clustering, the primary focus of Scorpion is building tools for automatic subject recognition based on well known schemes like the Dewey Decimal System.


The OCLC SiteSearch software provides a comprehensive solution for managing distributed library information resources in a World Wide Web environment. It offers tools that integrate electronic resources under one web interface, provide flexible access to resources, and build text and image databases locally. The SiteSearch code is now available through the OpenSiteSearch group on the SourceForge open-source software development site. All the original source code and documentation are freely available for any use.

Special Collections  
Terminology Services

Completed 2005

One of the Metadata Switch activities, this project explored techniques for offering accessible, modular, web-based terminology services.

W3C's Resource Description Framework ( RDF) Working Group

Started 1996/97

OCLC Research has supported the Resource Description Framework ( RDF), which is designed to provide an infrastructure for supporting metadata across many web-based activities. RDF is the result of a number of metadata communities bringing together their needs to provide a robust and flexible architecture for supporting metadata on the Internet and WWW.

Web Characterization

Started 1997; Completed 2002

The Web Characterization Project conducted an annual Web sample to analyze trends in the size and content of the Web. A pilot study was conducted in 1997, and five successive annual studies were conducted from 1998 through 2002.


Started 1996; Completed 2000

Accessing electronic information requires the sophisticated treatment of words or word-like phrases. A small number of important words, phrases, or names reveals the content of a document. WordSmith improved user access to collections of electronic text by developing effective ways to identify and organize these important clues to content.

xISBN (a FRBR-related project)

Started 2003; Transitioned to production 15 February 2007

The experimental xISBN Web service prototype was a library Web service that supplied International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs) associated with individual intellectual works represented in the OCLC WorldCat database. Given an ISBN, it returned a list of associated ISBNs.