Please note: This experimental research project has concluded.
The research prototype application is no longer supported or maintained by OCLC services, and information on this page is provided for historical purposes only. Some portion of this content may be out-of-date and include broken links. Please visit the OCLC Research website to learn more about our current research.

FictionFinder: A FRBR-based Prototype for Fiction in WorldCat

FictionFinder was a FRBR-based prototype that provided access to over 2.9 million bibliographic records for fiction books, eBooks, and audio materials described in OCLC WorldCat.


This project applied principles of the FRBR model to aggregate bibliographic information above the manifestation level. Records were clustered into works using the OCLC FRBR Work-Set Algorithm. The algorithm collects bibliographic records into groups based on author and title information from bibliographic and authority records. Author names and titles are normalized to construct a key. All records with the same key are grouped together in a work set.

Data elements from records within a given work set are aggregated at the work level. For example, summaries, subject headings, and genre terms are selected from individual bibliographic records and presented at the work level. The resulting descriptions are often richer and more complete than the descriptions in individual bibliographic records. With the exception of cover art and literary award information, FictionFinder records are built exclusively from data elements in bibliographic and authority records.


Records in FictionFinder were extensively indexed. You could search by author, title, ISBN, subject heading and the words in summaries. You could also search and browse by genres, characters (real & fictional), settings (real & imaginary) and literary awards.

Search results were organized by works and ranked by holdings making results sets briefer and easier to navigate. Both work and manifestation records were linked to to enable users to find items of interest.


FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) is a conceptual reference model developed by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). The model provides "a reference point for testing the validity and robustness of extant data models and data structures. It can therefore be used to improve extant formats as well as to provide guidance for the process of developing new formats" (FRBR – Frequently Asked Questions).

This project was one of several OCLC Research projects that addressed organizing bibliographic data according to the FRBR data model. More information about FRBR and related OCLC Research projects is available on the main FRBR activity page.




Diane Vizine-Goetz

Team Members

Carol Hickey

JD Shipengrover

Roger Thompson

Harry Wagner