WorldCat Quality

This paper describes OCLC's steps to make it easier to find items in WorldCat and get them from OCLC member libraries.

It begins with a review of WorldCat's unprecedented growth since 2008, largely from metadata contributed from national libraries and union catalogs from outside North America. This rapid growth has challenged OCLC's programs for managing duplicate entries and library location (holdings) information.

OCLC's 2010 implementation of new duplication detection and resolution (DDR) software helped to resolve the issue of true duplicates in WorldCat; however, WorldCat quality needs to be further strengthened.

The paper goes on to describe a special project—GLIMIR—and other WorldCat quality improvement projects scheduled for FY2012. GLIMIR's principal benefits will be to improve the clustering of WorldCat records and holdings for the same work, thus reducing the complexity of search result displays and supporting more reliable linking to local library catalogs.

The paper concludes that it is necessary to reinvent OCLC's long-standing and successful, but English-language-centric approaches to metadata creation and data quality management for the realities of the increasingly multilingual, multinational OCLC cooperative.

Suggested citation:

Calhoun, Karen, and Glenn Patton. 2011. WorldCat Quality. Dublin, OH: OCLC.