WorldCat Resource Sharing glossary

May appear at the end of a holdings display to indicate electronic full-text availability of an item. The code is followed by the OCLC symbols of those suppliers.
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ALA character set
American Library Association defined characters used in MARC records, including standard alphabetic characters, diacritics, special characters, 14 superscript characters and 14 subscript characters. These characters are valid in MARC records.

The noncurrent records of an organization, regardless of format, which are maintained and preserved because of their permanent legal, fiscal, regulatory, evidential, informational, or historical value to the institution. Materials that are archived are permanently retained.

authorization number
Number assigned by OCLC to authorize use of OCLC services. Usually used in conjunction with a password. See also password, default holding library code.

Indicates the institutions from which a library resource can be obtained.
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blank workform
A template for creating an interlibrary loan request or (in Connexion) a cataloging template for creating new records.

Books format
OCLC-MARC format used for cataloging books and book-like material. In WorldCat searches, use the Books index (label: bks) as a qualifier to limit results to records for this type of material.


In WorldCat Resource Sharing, the library requesting an item.

Any institution borrowing something from you. You are the borrowing library when you request and receive something from another library. See also Lender.

Borrowing record
In WorldCat Resource Sharing, the record for which a library participates as the Borrower.
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calendar days
WorldCat Resource Sharing sequential days, including weekends and holidays. See also system days.

A code provided by the Borrower that indicates a request conforms to the Commission on New Technological Uses of Copyright Works (CONTU) guidelines.

A code provided by the Borrower that indicates a request conforms to U.S. Copyright law.

character masking
Entering a question mark (?) or number sign (#) in a search in place of other characters to retrieve multiple words. Example: computer? retrieves records that contain computer, computerization, or computerized.

constant data record
A partial record that contains standardized content for reuse in creating or editing a record without having to retype each time the content is reused. Constant data records are created by and shared among librarians at a given institution for cataloging and resource sharing activities.

copyright compliance
Guidelines that relate directly to WorldCat Resource Sharing: Guidelines for the Proviso of Subsection 108 (g) (2). Borrower is responsible for ensuring that the request conforms with U.S. Copyright law; request must include code ccg (conforms to Copyright Guidelines) or ccl (conforms to Copyright Law).
See ccg; ccl.

corporate/conference name derived search
See derived search.

See OCLC Customer Services Division (CSD).

Custom Holdings
Customized groups of preferred lenders; you define the groups for sets of similar requests.

Custom Holdings Group record
A record that contains OCLC symbols of preferred lenders within a particular category (for example, Books or State).

Custom Holdings Path record
A record that contains one or more custom holdings group records sorted in order of borrowing preference.
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See Direct Consortial Borrowing (DCB).

Selections predetermined by the computer or an application on the computer in the absence of specific selections made by the user.

default holding library code
The holding library code that appears automatically in bibliographic field 049 (Local Holdings) when a user displays a bibliographic record in the Connexion client or browser cataloging interface. Each authorization number/password combination has a default holding library code. See also authorization number, password.

default WorldCat search results displays
System-determined displays of WorldCat search results as group, truncated or brief lists or as a full record. The default display type is based on the number of records the search retrieves.

A decision process that can happen multiple times within the life-cycle of a request using lending rules set up in the Policies Directory. Deflection is performed on the lender string.

derived search
A type of WorldCat search that uses a specific number of initial characters from the words in a name and/or title. A shortcut way to enter a search. The "derived" segments of the words are separated by commas. The number and pattern of letters and commas tells the system which index to search. The four types of derived searches (with the pattern that defines it in parentheses) are: Title (3,2,2,1); Personal name (4,3,1); Corporate/Conference name (=4,3,1); Name/Title (4,4).

detailed level information
Holdings statement at the most detailed level of enumeration and chronology. See also Level 4.

Direct Consortial Borrowing (DCB)
An arrangement allowing users of one agency to request and borrow items from another agency within a consortium. As a DCB agency, OCLC uses NCIP (NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol) to facilitate the transfer of user identification and item information between different circulation systems, allowing OCLC to manage traffic for non-local patrons and/or provide local control for items belonging to another agency.

direct delivery
An OCLC Resource Sharing option that allows a lending library to send an item directly to the requestor/patron rather than to the borrowing library.

Direct Request
An OCLC ISO-10161-based service that provides a means to send patron-generated requests automatically to WorldCat Resource Sharing. See also ISO 10160/10161.

display holdings
A command to view the list of institution symbols that hold an item. In WorldCat Resource Sharing, used to select potential lenders.

Document Supplier
Major national resource centers and other document suppliers such as the British Library Document Supply Center.
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electronic document supplier
Document supplier that accepts WorldCat Resource Sharing requests and delivers full-text documents through messages to your library's e-mail system.

See enter-my-symbol-twice institution.

enter-my-symbol-twice institution
A potential Lender participating in resource sharing that requires more than four system days to respond to an ILL request.

The nonchronological scheme used by publishers to identify an individual serial and to show the relationship of the individual unit of the serial to the series as a whole. For example, Volume 235 and Volume X are indicators of enumeration.
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In a record, a marked area in which the same kind of information is consistently entered.

file structure
See record structure.

FirstSearch/ILL Direct Request link
A link between OCLC Direct Request and the OCLC FirstSearch service that allows patrons to generate requests for materials cited in FirstSearch databases.

free-text field
A field in which subfields are loosely defined to permit text (rather than coded) data entry.

full record
A display of an entire record on one or more screens.

full text option
See electronic document supplier.

function keys
Keys and key combinations on the keyboard that transmit signals not associated with printable or displayable characters (examples: F1, F2, etc). In specific applications, such as OCLC Connexion, function keys are programmed to initiate commands.
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Group Access Capability. A group of institutions that use the OCLC system for resource sharing and interlibrary lending. A GAC has full and selective members. A selective user has access to only abbreviated bibliographic records, and only to records for its own group. Groups are composed of at least one Full member and may include Selective members who use WorldCat Resource Sharing only. GAC can also refer to the group itself.

general retention policy
Denotes the period for which the serial is retained or held by the location, for example, Permanently retained, Retained for a limited period, and Not retained.

government document number
Government-assigned number for materials printed at the expense of and by the authority of any office of the government, for example, United States Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) numbers. Other government numbers may be used such as Canadian government numbers from the Outline of Classification. The form of these numbers varies.
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heading on a list
On the first line of each list or bibliographic record is a heading that describes the search and indicates the number of records retrieved. Depending on the search, the description may include database name, index labels, title phrases, keywords, numeric derived search, qualifier labels and qualifiers.

The number of records or the number of times a record or word is found as a result of searching the system.

holding library
The library or collection within an institution represented by the holding library code. See OCLC holding library code.

holding library code
See OCLC holding library code.

holdings display
A list of OCLC symbols of institutions that hold the item. A holdings display accompanies each bibliographic record in WorldCat. See also Custom Holdings Locations record.

holdings information
The location, status and/or copies associated with a single bibliographic item of a specific publication held by a particular institution.

holdings levels
See also ANSI/NISO Standards for Holdings Data; See also Level 1; Level 2; Level 3; Level 4.

holdings symbol
See OCLC holding library code.
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ILL cycle
Interaction between Borrower and Lender during an interlibrary loan transaction.

ILL Fee Management service (IFM)
A service that provides a means to pay and be paid for interlibrary loan requests through your OCLC invoice.

ILL Reasons for NO report
Monthly data about Borrower and Lender activity furnished electronically at no charge. This report records the ISO-specific reason a Lender was unable to lend a requested item.

ILL record
A record with an identification number created when a Borrower produces a workform, that is, sends the request to the first potential lender.

OCLC ILLiad Resource Sharing Management Software automates routine interlibrary loan functions, which increases productivity and reduces paperwork. The client/server software helps ILL staff manage a library's borrowing, lending and document delivery activities through a single Windows-based interface, and allows library users to submit and track their own requests via the Web, email and RSS feeds.

index label
A two- or three-character code followed by a colon or equal sign that indicates to the system the index against which to match a search term.

institution symbol
See OCLC symbol.

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)
A unique identification number assigned to a work by its publisher. OCLC has converted the existing 10-character ISBN to the new 13-character format. The thirteenth character is a check character that may be a number or the letter x. In printed form, the ISBN has three hyphens. Hyphens are omitted in online records. ISBNs are stored in field 020 in bibliographic records.

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
A unique identification number assigned to a serial through the ISSN Network. Each ISSN has eight characters. The eighth character is a check character that may be a number or the letter x. A hyphen follows the fourth character.

ISO 10160/10161
International communications standards that permit the exchange of ILL messages among ILL systems even if they use different hardware and software. The standards also control ILL transactions for both lending and borrowing activities. See also Direct Request.
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A word in a bibliographic record that is indexed. It often conveys subject content in a search for library resources. Keywords are found in titles, notes, abstracts, summaries, descriptions, and subjects. Keywords are also names of people and places that are the subjects of a library resource or a listing in a directory.

keyword search
A type of search that uses a complete word, usually combined with other keywords.
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Data elements that provide information for the processing of the record. The data elements contain numbers or coded values and are identified by relative character position. The leader is fixed in length at 24 character positions and is the first field of a MARC record.


The library supplying the item.

Any institution lending something to you. You are the lending library when you supply something to another library. See also Borrower.

Lender policies
Information about potential Lenders available from Find an OCLC Library and the OCLC Policies Directory.

lender string
OCLC symbols of up to five potential lenders.

See local holdings record (LHR).

local holdings format
The communications format for representation and exchange of holdings data created at a library. It is often MARC 21 Holdings format that conforms to the ANSI/NISO standard with variations for local purposes. See also MARC 21 Format for Holdings Data ; local holdings record (LHR).

local holdings information
The information taken from OCLC Local Holdings Records that makes up other Local Holdings displays. For example, group displays and institution displays contain local holdings information. See local holdings format, local holdings record (LHR).

local holdings record (LHR)
The OCLC record used to contain and exchange holdings data for WorldCat records. Local holdings records form the basis for local holdings displays. The records are based on the MARC 21 Holdings format.

An institution, library within an institution, a library within a group of libraries or collection within an institution or library.

location record
A display of the OCLC symbols of all libraries that have used a bibliographic record in WorldCat for cataloging and have attached their OCLC symbol.
See holdings display.

log off
The process of disconnecting from a local or remote system.

log on
The process of connecting to a local or remote system.
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Message File
A searchable file that groups your current ILL records according to status; a subset of the ILL Transaction File.
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name/title derived search
See derived search.

See NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol (NCIP).

NCIP Unique User ID
Patron login credentials (i.e., library card number + pin) that are used to authenticate a patron via NCIP
  • Borrower NCIP User ID: NCIP ID assigned to the borrowing library itself, used as the borrower when the patron ID or the lending library's ID is not available. For example, an item can be checked out to the borrowing library's ILL Department rather than to an individual or to the lending library's ILL Department.
  • Lender NCIP User ID: NCIP ID assigned to the lending library itself, used to check items out of their collection when the patron ID or the borrowing library's ID is not available. For example, an item can be checked out to the lending library's ILL Department rather than to an individual or that individual's library.
NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol (NCIP)
NISO standard defining messaging between circulation systems, Ill systems or broker applications. This protocol is limited to the exchange of messages between and among computer-based applications enabling them to:
  • perform functions necessary to lend and borrow items
  • provide controlled access to electronic resources
  • facilitate co-operative management of these functions
Non-referral days
See system days.

Institution that does not respond to interlibrary loan requests through OCLC; OCLC symbols of nonsuppliers display in lowercase letters.

Supply significant additional information about an item described in a bibliographic record.

numeric search
A type of WorldCat search that allows you to search for records by number, such as ISBN or OCLC control number.
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Previously called Online Computer Library Center, Inc. and Ohio College Library Center. Nonprofit membership organization serving libraries around the world to further access to the world's information and reduce library costs by offering services for libraries and their users.

OCLC-affiliated regional network
Centers organized by regions or library type in the United States. Regional networks serve their libraries and library networks and provide access and support to OCLC members and participating library organizations that contract for OCLC services.

OCLC control number
A unique accession number assigned by the OCLC system when a record is added to WorldCat. Used to search for records.

OCLC Customer Services Division (CSD)
OCLC's user assistance and support contact desk that provides support for telecommunications, hardware, and software. Formerly called OCLC User and Network Support (UNS).

OCLC distributor
An authorized agent for OCLC products and services for the international market. See also OCLC regional service provider.

OCLC header
In electronic files, identifies characteristics of the Data file and is included as part of the Data file.

OCLC holding library code
A unique code that identifies a holding library within an institution. See also OCLC symbol.

OCLC Policies Directory
Web-based repository of the copy and lending policies of libraries participating in WorldCat Resource Sharing. Information contained includes institution information (e.g., schedule, contacts, collections, web links), informational copy and lending policies, and deflection policies that allow requests to bypass an institution.

OCLC regional service provider
Centers organized by region or library type in the United States. Regional networks serve their libraries and library networks and provide access and support to OCLC members and participating library organizations that contract for OCLC services. See also OCLC distributor; OCLC-affiliated regional network.

OCLC symbol
A unique identifier assigned by OCLC to member libraries and other participants. OCLC symbols in records and in holdings displays identify libraries that have entered, modified, and used the bibliographic records for cataloging. See also OCLC holding library code.

OCLC Union List
Former name for local holdings maintenance service. See local holdings maintenance.

OCLC usage statistics
Reports available on the OCLC Web site on your library's use of OCLC services, including FirstSearch, Resource Sharing, and online cataloging using Connexion. Open from within the client (View > OCLC Usage Statistics).

OCLC User and Network Support (UNS)
See OCLC Customer Services Division (CSD).
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A sequence of characters required to gain access to a computer system. Usually used in conjunction with an authorization number. See also authorization number , default holding library code.

Portable Document Format. The Adobe Acrobat standard that enables the same graphic display of a document on different platforms. Because the graphical display preserves hard-copy features such as page numbers, logical page breaks, tables of contents, etc., printing a PDF document makes a better hard copy than printing HTML-formatted documents. Most OCLC user documentation is available in PDF as well as HTML.

pending request
A request produced by the Borrower that appears in the Message File of a potential lender.

personal name derived search

Policies Directory record
Record that contains name, address, interlibrary loan policy, and other communication information about an institution or unit of an institution. The OCLC Policies Directory replaced the Name-Address Directory as a repository for this type of information.

The person or company responsible for placing a book or other resource on the market. A publisher and printer may be the same person or company, although in modern publishing this is not usually the case.
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A means of limiting a WorldCat search to specific classes of records, for example: type of material (index label - mt:), years of publication (index label - yr:), microform or not microform (index label - mf:), cataloging source (index label - cs=). Qualifiers are elements from the bibliographic record that are used in combination with a search term to narrow a search.

qualify a search
A technique to make a search more precise by limiting results to specific classes of materials. Produces more manageable search results. See also qualifier.
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reasons for no
A means to provide an ISO-specific reason to a Borrower when unable to lend a requested item. See also ILL Reasons for NO report.

reciprocal agreement
A compact between libraries usually with respect to lending charges; most commonly "We won't charge you if you don't charge us."

Reciprocal Faculty Borrowing Program
A program developed by the Research Libraries Advisory Committee of OCLC to give faculty at RFBP institutions borrowing privileges and on-site access to the collections of other participating academic research libraries. It is not a part of WorldCat Resource Sharing. Program participation is restricted to those academic research institutions that meet specific measurable requirements.

A machine-readable record in a database that contains bibliographic information about a separately cataloged library item, set, or serial. A record can describe a book, journal article, or any other library resource, including electronic resources. It also contains coded information used to retrieve and work with data. In WorldCat, a bibliographic record is in OCLC-MARC format.

record standard
A standard for representating and exchanging data in machine-readable form. See also record structure.

renewal request
A request from a Borrower for a different due date. Appears in Lender's Message File.

Resource Sharing
See OCLC WorldCat Resource Sharing.

Review File
A file that acts as a "holding tank" for patron-generated ILL requests forwarded through external systems or set aside by you for further consideration.
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Standard Address Number. A unique seven-digit identifier used to signify a specific address of an organization in (or served by) the publishing industry. Initiated by R. R. Bowker, the SAN is an American National Standard. For more information, see

The process of retrieving records from a database.

One part of a derived search. See derived search.

Time between logon and logoff when an OCLC library is logged on to the OCLC system to use a production or service.

sets on Search History screen
An entry on the Search History screen that indicates a previous search.

special message
A message that alerts Lender and Borrower to potential problems; Lender and Borrower have different categories of special messages.

status values
The status of a request prompts the Borrower or Lender to take action on an ILL request; each status can appear only at a particular point in the cycle.

Words to be omitted from a search because they are so common that they have no informational value. Stopwords are not indexed and are therefore ignored by the system if entered in a search. See stopword lists in the Help for Connexion or the Help for FirstSearch/Resource Sharing. Examples: a, an, and, or, and the.

subfield delimiter
See delimiter.

Appears in records as part of the title proper or as the subtitle in a separate subfield.

summary-level holdings
Holdings information about serials at the first (highest) level of enumeration and/or chronology. Summary-holdings information includes copy-specific information. See also Level 3.

An institution that supplies items requested via OCLC WorldCat Resource Sharing. The institution's interlibrary loan polices may determine what items the institution supplies via WorldCat Resource Sharing.

suppressed fields
Fields that do not appear initially in the ILL workform.

system days
In OCLC WorldCat Resource Sharing, days that exclude Saturdays, Sundays, OCLC-observed holidays, or other days when interlibrary loan is unavailable; also known as "Non-referral days." OCLC does not count Saturdays, Sundays and the following as working days for aging requests:
  • New Year's Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Day after Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Eve
  • Christmas Day
  • New Year's Eve

See also calendar days.

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title phrase
The exact term(s) used to name a library resource such as a book, article, transcript, video, recording, song, score, or software. Tip: Use the exact terms that appear in the title. For example, type THX-1138 to search for the videotape with this title.

title phrase index list
A display of titles resulting from a title phrase search.

title derived search
See derived search.

title statement
The title proper that may also include the general material designation and remainder of the title.

Transaction History
Notations appended to a request when it is forwarded to more than one Lender during its lifecycle.

truncation (*)
Truncation allows you to search for a term and its variations by entering only the root of the term or phrase followed by an asterisk *. Use the truncation symbol only at the end of a term. See also wildcard (# or ?).

Type of material (format) qualifier (ft)
Qualifier that limits search results to specific formats: books (bks), computer files (com), maps (map), mixed materials (mix), continuing resources (cnr), scores (sco), sound recordings (rec), or visual materials (vis).

Type of Record (Type)
The element in the fixed field that differentiates records created for various types of machine-readable information and specific types of material. Codes used in Type of Record are also used in field 006.
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Union List group
A network of libraries sharing holdings information with one another, usually for the purpose of gaining wider access to information.

See OCLC Customer Services Division (CSD).

updating requests
Actions taken by a Borrower or Lender to record the status of the request at each point in the ILL cycle.
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A database of tens of millions of online records built from the bibliographic and ownership information of contributing libraries. The WorldCat database is the largest and most comprehensive of its kind. OCLC members use WorldCat for a full array of technical library services, including cataloging, interlibrary loan, reference, union listing, local holdings, and many more.WorldCat is the foundation of many OCLC services that let your library process, manage and share information resources. And with its records now opened to Web search, bookselling and bibliography sites, holdings in your collection are even more easily located and obtained by both your local patrons and a broad-based Internet usership.

WorldCat Resource Sharing
See OCLC WorldCat Resource Sharing.