Past Activities

OCLC Research is a busy place and from time to time we retire our projects and activities. This page lists activities that are no longer so active, just in case you want to dig into the past a little bit.


Python scripts that demonstrate how short compliant Open Archives Initiative-Protocol for Metadata Harvesting can be. Includes a harvester, a repository, and a readme file.

Analyze Archival Descriptive Practice

Data mining of the one million MARC records for archival materials in WorldCat will provide a systemwide overview of descriptive practice and enable recommendations for more effective description and discovery.

Analyze Evidence of Archival Discovery

Collect query logs, Web logs, and various web analytics; evaluate their usefulness for research about how researchers use archival cross-searching networks and other tools that archives use to publish their finding aids.

Article Exchange

A document-sharing site that provides a single, secure location where lending libraries can place requested PDF and TIFF articles and library users can retrieve articles or book chapters obtained for them via interlibrary loan. Article Exchange adds convenience, security and enhanced copyright compliance to online article sharing through interlibrary loan.

Audience Level

This research project explored using library holdings data in WorldCat to calculate audience-level indicators for books represented in the WorldCat database, based on the types of libraries that hold the titles.

Barriers to Using EAD

Identification of barriers to implementing Encoded Archival Description (EAD) and practical suggestions for getting around those obstacles.


Got a book title from an online bookseller?  Check whether your local library has it.

Books as Expressions of Global Cultural Diversity

This data mining project sought patterns in the worldwide book publishing industry, as reflective of different cultures’ literary heritage. It stemmed from UNESCO interest in statistical traces of cultural diversity.

Deaccession Materials Held in Print and Electronic Form

This work sought to establish best practice for the disposition of print journals available in electronic form – i.e. when it is most appropriate to retain print back files on campus, when to store offsite, and when to deaccession entirely.

Develop a Holistic Approach to Archival Collections Assessment

This activity looked at existing archival collections assessment activities across institutions, put them into context, and described the range of deliverables from these activities.


The DeweyBrowser was a prototype system for searching and browsing millions of WorldCat® records classified by the Dewey Decimal Classification® (DDC®) system.

Gather Evidence to Inform Changes Needed in MARC Metadata Practices

This activity conducted research to provide evidence to inform more efficient and effective MARC metadata practices.

Identify Requirements for a Cooperative "Identities Hub"

Develop use case scenarios for academic libraries and scholars, archivists and archival users, and institutional repositories describing their needs to uniquely identify and distinguish persons and organizations, then define the characteristics, functions, and data attributes of a cooperative "Identities Hub."

Influence Proposed EAC Standard

Facilitate refinement, publication and dissemination of EAC.

Introduce Balance in Rights Management

This project attempts to mitigate the risk aversion that is related to rights management and special collections, often interfering with our mission of providing access to those collections.

Library, Archive and Museum Collaboration

An investigation into the incentives and strategies for deep and transformative collaboration among libraries, archives and museums (or LAMs).

Missing Materials Beta Procedure

In order to centralize information about stolen and missing rare books and special collections, this working group developed a procedure to “tag” records in The tagged records are then automatically fed to a blog, Simultaneously, holdings are set in WorldCat, in order to alert prospective buyers and sellers.

Museum Data Exchange

This project created tools supporting standards-based data sharing in the museum community, and provided insights into the characteristics of large aggregations of museum descriptions.

The NDLTD Union Catalog

The NDLTD Union Catalog project focused on thesis metadata via the Open Archives Initiative's Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). This was a lightweight protocol for moving or sharing metadata that allowed synchronization of loosely coupled databases and mandates XML Dublin Core as the default metadata format.


OAIHarvester was an early attempt to write an OAI-PMH client application. It was replaced by the OAIHarvester2 project.


The OAIHarvester2 Open Source Software (OSS) project is a Java application that provides an OAI-PMH harvester framework.


OOMRef-J is a Java implementation of ANSI/NISO Z39.88 – The OpenURL Framework for Context-Sensitive Services.

OpenURL Registry

The ANSI/NISO Z39.88-2004 (OpenURL) Registry identifies and defines the set of approved components for use in the OpenURL Framework.

PREMIS Maintenance Activity and Editorial Committee

The PREMIS Maintenance Activity was set up by the Library of Congress to serve as a permanent Web home for the Data Dictionary, its associated XML schemas, and other resources. The PREMIS Data Dictionary is the international de facto standard for preservation metadata.

Publisher Name Server

An experimental service to provide authority control for publisher names in bibliographic catalogs.

Rapid Capture: Mass Digitization of Special Collections

An investigation into the digital capture methods of those who are making progress digitizing special formats at scale.

Research Information Management Roadmap

This project involves issuing a provocative call to action, urging academic libraries to take a more significant role in their institution's mission to support research.

Rough and Ready: Typescript Finding Aid Conversion

OCLC Research conducted a small scale experiment to explore the effectiveness of tools and techniques for bringing offline descriptions to the open Web.

Single Search for Library, Archive and Museum Collections

A project to create guidelines for the implementation of single search for local aggregations of LAM collections.

Streamlining Photography and Scanning

This working group addressed workflow and policy issues arising from digitizing (and copying) materials from special collections.

Survey of Current Practice in Research Assessment

A study of the role of research libraries in the higher education research assessment regimes in five countries.

Tag Cloud Builder

Create, print and save custom Tag Clouds for Web pages or other textual data.

Terminology Services

This project provided Web-based services for controlled vocabularies.

VIAF (The Virtual International Authority File)

VIAF explores virtually combining the name authority files of national level authority files into a single name authority service.

Web Site for Small Libraries (WSSL)

A cloud-based Library System for small libraries that includes Circulation, Cataloging, Online Patron Access Catalog (OPAC), and the Library Web Site.

WorldCat Publisher Pages

This activity produced a data visualization prototype that presented a graphical and interactive interface to three OCLC Research projects: OCLC WorldMap, OCLC Audience Level, and the Publisher Name Authority File.


View data relating to libraries and collections in a map-based visual interface.

From Previous OCLC Research Projects

From the RLG Programs Work Agenda

Earlier RLG Programs work