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Frequently asked questions

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Getting started

Do I have to have an OCLC cataloging subscription or be an OCLC member in order to use Collection Manager?

Libraries that are part of specific programs or are involved in a transition can be given access to WorldShare Collection Manager for the exclusive purpose of receiving WorldCat records. You can get access if you have providers that are in an agreement with OCLC’s Contract Cataloging. However, WorldCat knowledge base collections outside of the agreement or transition will not be available without a cataloging subscription.

I forgot the URL for my WorldShare Collection Manager account. How can I find it?

See Find a forgotten WorldShare URL. Contact OCLC Support if you do not have a cataloging subscription.

What if I already subscribe to Collection Manager but want to add a new collection type?

If your library already subscribes to Collection Manager, all that is needed is for you to create or select the collections you wish to receive.

If you need additional staff accounts, please note that we recommend that each staff member have his or her own credentials.

  • Libraries with an OCLC cataloging subscription should follow the instructions for using the OCLC Services account page to request an account. You will need your 9-digit cataloging or admin authorization.
  • If your institution doesn’t have an OCLC cataloging subscription, have the person at your library with administrative credentials use the Admin tab in Collection Manager to create you an account.
  • If you’re unsure, contact Order Services regarding access to WorldShare Collection Manager.

I have a CatExpress subscription. How will I be billed for records output via Collection Manager?

New records output via Collection Manager will count against your total record budget for your CatExpress subscription. Updated records for titles/OCLC numbers that were previously delivered will not be billed.

WorldCat knowledge base collections

Collections and data updates

Which collections are available and how many titles have OCLC numbers?

All collections currently available in the WorldCat knowledge base, the underlying database for Collection Manager, are listed in the spreadsheet found on the Release Notes page. It is updated monthly to reflect changes to the available collections.

See the spreadsheet of Collections in the WorldCat knowledge base (.xlsx).

The spreadsheet includes the percentage of items in each collection that contain an OCLC number. Items with OCLC numbers can have holdings set in WorldCat and/or can have MARC records output. Note that if a title does not have an OCLC number when you activate the title, you will automatically receive a record if an OCLC number is added at a later time.

The spreadsheet also includes:

  • Collection Name
  • Collection ID
  • Collection Provider
  • Number of Titles in the Collection
  • Customizable v. Non-Customizable
  • Open Access Status
  • Discontinued Status

If you previously looked at the spreadsheet and would like to know what collections were added or modified this month, see the Monthly Updates: Knowledge Base Data Updates on the Release Notes page.

How do I add OCLC numbers to titles missing OCLC numbers?

OCLC numbers can be added to any title contained in a customizable knowledge base collection. The addition of new OCLC numbers can be done one-by-one in the WorldShare interface, in bulk by using a file upload/download action, or by reporting the missing OCLC numbers to the knowledge base team. Additions using either of the first two methods will effect only your library’s collections, while reporting missing OCLC numbers to the knowledge base team ensures that they will be added to the global knowledge base collections and will be available for use by any member library.

To add OCLC numbers to individual titles, locate the title in the knowledge base and click the pencil icon beside its name. A menu will open that gives you the ability to edit title-level details. Located in this menu is the field "Override OCN." Add the new OCLC number here and click "Save." A record will then automatically be output for the title on the next weekday or later, depending on what you have chosen for the timing of record delivery.

To add OCLC numbers in bulk using file upload/download, locate the collection where you wish to add new OCLC numbers. In the "Titles" bar, find the dropdown menu labeled, "More Actions." Here, choose "Download Selected" to download a KBART-formatted title list for the collection.

Open the title list in a spreadsheet application of your choosing. Apply a filter to all columns and proceed to filter to blank/empty on the column "oclc_number." The resulting titles will be those in the collection that lack OCLC numbers. Isolate the filtered titles and create a new title list from this set. Add OCLC numbers to the titles, and the word "OVERLAY" to each corresponding "ACTION" column entry. The "OVERLAY" action tells the knowledge base system that one or more pieces of title level metadata have been altered, and instructs the system to modify the corresponding title entry accordingly. Save the filtered title list with the appropriate formatting as tab-delimited text and re-upload to the collection. Records will then automatically be output for the new OCLC numbers/modified titles on the next weekday or later, depending on what you have chosen for the timing of record delivery.

Detailed instructions on modifying collections are available in the documentation.

Note: Using the "OVERLAY" action to modify title-level metadata also prevents any changes made to the global knowledge base collection from being applied to the fields you altered. When OCLC updates the collection with new data from the provider, any field that had been modified using the "OVERLAY" action will be excluded from these updates. Exercise caution when modifying fields with the "OVERLAY" action. Inadvertent changes to fields other than the OCLC number column will be removed from any future global knowledge base updates.

To have OCLC numbers added to a global collection by the knowledge base team, complete the OCLC number correction form with as much detail as possible for each title. Submit the form as a support request to OCLC Support, indicating that you'd like the knowledge base team to add the OCLC numbers to the attached titles. The knowledge base team will review and schedule the addition of these OCLC numbers in 1-3 months.

Note: OCLC numbers added by reports made to the knowledge base team will be included in an update to the global knowledge base collection. All libraries who have selected this collection will thus benefit from these additions. Reporting OCLC numbers to the knowledge base can be done as a supplement to the other options listed above for those wishing to improve the experience of all member libraries using the WorldCat knowledge base.

How do I request that a collection be added to the knowledge base?

Email OCLC Support with information about the collection missing from the knowledge base. If possible the knowledge base data team will reach out to the provider to have the collection added. We work at continually expanding the knowledge base to create the most comprehensive representation of e-resources we can.

To request additions to the WC knowledge base, such as additional collections, additional providers or the addition of titles to existing collections, we need:

  • Name of the collection to be added
  • Name of provider to be added
  • Name of additional titles to be added to existing collections, along with OCN (if available), ISSN/ISBN, the collection name and the provider name

How frequently is collection data updated?

Collection data is refreshed on a rolling basis.  The frequency of the data updates varies by provider and how often they send their data to the knowledge base team. Once the knowledge base team receives the data we aim to load it as soon as possible.

New collection being added to the knowledge base are documented in our monthly data updates. You can find the most recent Knowledge Base Data Updates on the Release Notes page.

What option should I choose to add knowledge base collections in Collection Manager?

There different options to choose from as you begin to add knowledge base collections in Collection Manager. We recommend using a combination of methods based on the needs of your institution. 

Use a combination of these methods:

  • Populate your knowledge base using PubGet
  • Search for and select a collection
  • Modify an existing Standard Collection using a KBART upload
  • Auto-load collections from EBL, ebrary, and Elsevier 
  • Create a custom collection
  • Map a holdings file from SFX, EBSCO, or Serial Solutions
Find instructions to add your collection data as knowledge base collections in Collection Manager.

My library does NOT want library-specific feeds to create collections in Collection Manager. How can we disable them?

If you do not want OCLC to load feeds in your knowledge base:

  • Change the collection-level setting "Data sources."
  • Then, contact OCLC Support to let us know you do not what the automated feed.

Find more information on settings that control data sources.


Why isn't a view now link displaying for this title?

Here are the required conditions for a view now link to appear:

  • The content type on the WorldCat record must match the content type of the title in Collection Manager.
  • The date range of the record in WorldCat must fall inside the date range of the Collection.

Note: View now links will only be returned for these content types: ebook, audio, image, video and fulltext journals. If the title is indexed, abstract, or selectFT it will not return a view now link.

To report a missing link contact OCLC Support with the URL of the record, your OCLC symbol, and your institution's proxy credentials to use when troubleshooting the link.

Can I request that OCLC create a link scheme for my collection?

To request that OCLC create a link scheme for your collection send the following information to OCLC Support:

  1. Provider Name and Collection Name
  2. Collection Id (from the properties tab of the collection)
  3. A sample search from your current provider that resolves to full text
  4. A user name and password that will allow OCLC to proxy through to the full text

Please Note: It may take OCLC approximately 2 months to create your link schemes.

Holdings in WorldCat

My e-resource holdings in WorldCat were set by a different OCLC service. These holdings are no longer up to date with my current subscriptions. Will Collection Manager be able to correct this?

Collection Manager is OCLC's recommended method for setting holdings on e-resources because it makes it possible to dynamically represent your subscription access as it changes over time.

Collection Manager can take over WorldCat holdings set by another process. If at any point you disable WorldCat holdings within the collection or a title falls out of your collection, Collection Manager will remove the WorldCat holding.

However, Collection Manager will NOT remove WorldCat holdings for titles on which you have an LHR attached. Collection Manager cannot remove LHRs and an LHR cannot be on a record if no holding is set on the record. You will need to remove both the LHR and the WorldCat holding via another process.

How long does it take to set holdings in WorldCat after my institution has selected a collection?

It takes 24-48 hours to set holdings on titles in WorldCat.


How are WorldCat knowledge base titles matched to records in WorldCat?

Cooperative management of knowledge base collections

Can I add a collection to the global knowledge base?

With the new Cooperative Management feature it is possible to create a collection locally and add your collection to the Global knowledge base. See Cooperative management of the global knowledge base for instructions.

What is the approval process for data and collection updates?

OCLC ingests data from a growing number of providers and manages the data. We normalize and properly format it in a way that it can be loaded into the system after it undergoes our quality assurance process. Since the March 16th 2014 install we have introduced the cooperative management feature making it so that before data updates are loaded to the knowledge base platform they must be approved by a threshold of 5% of libraries holding the collection before changes will be made. If libraries holding the collection deny the proposed update the KB data team works to correct the data, either by correcting it manually or by following up with the provider to get a corrected data feed to re-load.

Record delivery of knowledge base collections

Why weren’t records output for all of my titles? Will records be output for every title in my collection?

Will I receive the same number of records as on my provider's title list?

Though OCLC and its partners work closely together to ensure a record for every e-resource title, there may be variances in the number of records received because some partner delivery programs are tied to customer holdings rather than sales history. Also, records may be in OCLC's cataloging queue depending upon how partner metadata feeds coincide with titles' street dates. Lastly, past cataloging practices concerning multi-volume titles may have recommended a set record with multiple URLs being used for multi-volume titles.

Can I get a sample file of the records?

The record format is similar to what you can output from Connexion. Thus, if you are accustomed to Connexion, you should not have issues with your loader programs.

A sample file is unavailable because each library’s records will be unique to their configuration. Once you have access to the Metadata tab in the WorldShare interface, you can get a sample of records by enabling MARC Record Delivery for a small collection or for a few titles in a collection.

How to get sample MARC records from an open access collection: After you have requested OCLC WorldShare Metadata/WorldCat knowledge base, go to your library-specific URL and log into the WorldShare interface.

  1. Go to Metadata - Collection Manager - Settings - OCLC Symbol.
    Make sure your OCLC symbol is selected as desired.
  2. Expand MARC Records. Enable MARC Record Delivery.
    Consider the customization options that apply to all of your records. For example, under "Add Fields," you could choose a tag and add the Provider Name and Collection Name. You could add a tag and subfield and the value Collection Level Data - Public note. The elements would automatically be pulled from each collection for which you output records into your records.
  3. Next, search for and select a collection.
  4. Add collection-level information in the properties tab and turn on record delivery at the collection level. Tips:
    • You have the option to search for an Open Access collection and select titles in an Open Access collection. The titles must have OCLC numbers in order to get records. For example, you could select 5 titles in Biodiversity Heritage Library eBooks
    • Add a collection-level note if you customized your records to include Collection Level Data - Public Note.
  5. In about 48 hours, records will be available via FTP with your credentials. For FTP instructions, see the page on how to retrieve MARC records.

How do I know if a link will work as an 856 link for my library in a MARC record?

To verify that a knowledge base link will work as an 856 link for a corresponding MARC record, test the link in the WorldShare interface. The link labeled "Website" under the "Identifiers" column for the title is used as the 856 link. If clicking this link resolves to the resource, it will work correctly as an 856 link.

Please note that for links to work correctly, the corresponding knowledge base settings must be configured. For proxied access to resources, this means providing the proxy URL prefix in Settings. Some providers also require additional identifiers to create links to full-text. These can be supplied in the "Provider Settings" accordion of the Settings. For a complete explanation of knowledge base settings, see the settings guide.

What types of materials can output a record? Will I get records for indexed-only collections, etc?

Collection manager uses four pieces of information from the knowledge base to determine whether to output a record: Presence of an OCLC number, format value, coverage value, and presence of a title URL.

  • Presence of an OCLC number: An OCLC number is required for all titles. Any title that does not have an OCLC number with a corresponding record in WorldCat (and that has not been matched to an OCLC number by the system) will not output a record.

  • Format value: Titles in the knowledge base are designated by format with a specific coverage (coverage_depth in KBART) within some formats. Collection Manager uses these format designations to determine record output. Available formats are:
    • Journal
    • e-Book
    • Audio
    • Image
    • Video
    • Other

All formats could output records if they meet certain requirements around coverage value and presence of a title URL.

  • Coverage value: Titles that are of Journal format have an associated coverage value.
    • Titles that are of Journal format will output records if the titles have a coverage value of:
      • Full Text, or 
      • Print
    • Titles that are of Journal format will NOT output records if the titles have a coverage value of:
      • Selected Full Text
      • Abstracts
      • Indexed
  • Presence of a title URL: Some formats require a title URL to output a record.
    • Formats that require an OCLC number and a title URL to output a record:
      Journal (with a coverage value of Full Text), e-Book, Audio, Image, and Video formats
    • Formats that require an OCLC but will output a record even if there is no title URL:
      Journal (with a coverage value of Print) and Other formats


  • Database-only collections: Database-only collections do not have titles and will not output records.
  • Items without a URL: Full Text and Print are coverage values for titles of the Journal format. Libraries use the Journal format with Print coverage to designate print serial titles or any item without a URL.
  • The  "Other" format value: The format value "Other" is a placeholder for titles of a type that are not currently supported.
  • Creating collections with only OCLC numbers: Setting holdings in WorldCat and retrieving records can be supported simply by storing the OCLC number for:
    • Titles with the format value "Other," or for
    • Titles with the format value "Journal" with coverage value "Print"

Those formats allow you to manage titles without requiring you to populate all of the details of the KBART fields or fields in the interface.

For more information on Format and Coverage and where they appear in the WorldShare interface, see the help system.

Can I still receive my records through WorldCat Collection Sets?

As an older legacy system, WorldCat Collection Sets retired as of March 31, 2015. All of the WorldCat Collection Sets functionality is integrated in WorldShare Collection Manager. You can no longer receive records via the Collection Sets service.

To get started, follow steps to make sure the titles you want to receive records for are represented in Collection Manager as WorldCat knowledge base collections. Certain providers support an auto-loading process that allows OCLC to load your collection data for you. For other provider packages you’ll need to search for the collection and select it in Collection Manager. Once your collection is selected, follow the steps to configure settings, customize records, sign up for reports, and download your records from the WorldShare interface, Metadata tab.

WorldCat query collections

How do I enter selection criteria when I create a WorldCat query collection?

Search criteria for WorldCat query collections are entered using a combination of WorldCat Indexes and Boolean operators. Boolean operators must be entered in all capital letters (AND, OR, NOT).  For more detailed instructions on setting up a query collection see Create a query collection.

Additional instructions on using these indexes are available in the Searching WorldCat Indexes document. Please note that not all indexes are currently supported.

Can I query for just serials or e-serials?

Constructing queries for specific formats is best accomplished by using a WorldCat Search index that corresponds to the material type. See tips for and example of query strings.

Further instructions on using these indexes are available in the Searching WorldCat Indexes document. Note the section towards the end of the document called "Format and Material type values indexed."

Can I use a query collection to create a list of my holdings in WorldCat?

It is possible to create a list of your holdings in WorldCat by creating a WorldCat query collection.

For the WorldCat Selection Criteria, use the holding library search label (li:) with your OCLC symbol (for example: li:ocl). Enable record delivery for your collection. Select the option for one-time or ongoing delivery.

NOTE:  If you want updated records for master record changes on your holdings in WorldCat, you will also need to select the options under the WorldCat Updates tab.

The resulting file of MARC records can then be used to create a spreadsheet or report. This may require the use of a third-party tool like MarcEdit. For detailed instructions on creating this type of report see Create a spreadsheet of your WorldCat holdings using Collection Manager.

WorldCat cataloging partner collections

What criteria does OCLC use to decide which record to send for titles in my cataloging partner collection?

WorldCat updates

How do I get updated records for my holdings in WorldCat?

Within Collection Manager, navigate to Settings > MARC Records > WorldCat Updates.

See About WorldCat updates through Collection Manager for more information and for step-by-step instructions, see Enable WorldCat updates through Collection Manager.  

General record delivery


What can I expect when using Collection Manager for record delivery?

Record customization and set up is self-service. You will need to set aside some time for your initial set up. Afterward, you only need to download records. If you want to make edits to your customizations, you have the option to do so at any time.

Setting and maintaining holdings in WorldCat is automated

Collection Manager provides the convenience of automatically maintaining holdings in WorldCat as titles are added, deleted or updated in your collections (for libraries with a cataloging subscription).

If this is the first time you are using Collection Manager to set holdings in WorldCat: You will need to turn on the setting that applies to all of your collections. Visit our Set and maintain holdings document for instructions.

If you have been using Collection Manager to set holdings in WorldCat: When OCLC adds your library-specific collections, the setting to maintain holdings in WorldCat will be activated automatically.

Note: If you have set holdings in WorldCat via another service (Connexion, batchload, etc.), Collection Manager will take over the holdings maintenance for all titles/OCLC numbers represented in Collection Manager. If at some point a title is added to or removed from the collection or you disable holdings maintenance, the changes will be reflected and your holdings in WorldCat will be maintained.

Record customizations

Collection Manager offers a variety of record output formats (Unicode UTF-8, MARCXML, Dublin Core and MODS) and the ability to output records in separate files with customizable names.

Record customizations are configured in Collection Manager, a browser-based application. You have the ability to add and delete fields, insert custom text, and more. See Customize Records.


Sign up for emailed reports in Collection Manager > Settings > Reports. These reports accurately depict what is on the server and are output around the time your files will be available for download.

For help to sign up for reports, see the Reports.

For information about the content of reports, see Details about each report.

Will Collection Manager re-deliver copies of records my library already has received?

By default Collection Manager will deliver a new record for every title in the collection. If you’d like to filter your first record delivery so you only receive records for the newly acquired titles you have not yet set holdings on in WorldCat, make sure you use the WorldCat Holdings filter.

The filter setting can be found inside the collection in the Holdings and MARC records accordion. Once Enable MARC Record Delivery is enabled for the collection, the WorldCat Holdings setting will shown. Change the filter setting to No if you want to filter your record delivery.

Holding filter

Retrieving files of records 

How do I retrieve my records?

Records will be retrieved from the WorldShare interface in Metadata > My Files. Click the Download button to the right of the file you wish to download.

For more information see our Retrieve files.

How long are files on the server?

Files are retained on the FTP server for 90 days.

How can I easily distinguish Delete records?

Delete records contain Record Status code “d” in the leader. Delete records are also output in a separate file.

How can I distinguish which collections my records are from?

File name

The file name can help you determine information about the contents of a file. See Files of records and file names.

Separate files

There are institution settings and collection-level settings that allow you to output files separately. In Settings > MARC Records > Record Delivery, you can set up separate delivery for all serials and/or for your WorldCat Holdings Collection. You will see the options listed as follows:

  • Deliver my serials in a separate file (.ser)
  • Deliver records for WorldCat holdings collection in a separate file (.wcholdings)

At the collection-level, you have options to set up separate delivery for specific collections. Files will be output to a separate file within the New, Updates and Deletes folders.

Notes and other information in the record

You can add map notes and/or custom text to your records and then add collection-specific notes and/or custom text within a collection.

The provider and collection name will be included in the 590 field by default (if you requested Collection Manager after August 2013):

  • 590 $a: Provider
  • 590 $b: Collection name

Delete records will have the record status code "d" in the leader  

Can I receive email notification when files are ready for me to retrieve?

Sign up for emailed reports in Collection Manager > Settings > Reports. These reports accurately depict what is on the server and are output around the time your files will be available for download.

For help to sign up for reports, see the Reports.


What kind of reports are available in Collection Manager?

Sign up for emailed reports in Collection Manager > Settings > Reports. These reports accurately depict what is on the server and are output around the time your files will be available for download.

For help to sign up for reports, see the Reports.

For information about the content of reports, see Details about each report.