Instructions and Guidelines for Reporting WorldCat Bibliographic and Authority Record Changes or Duplicates

OCLC offers several options that allow you to report changes, corrections, additions and duplicates. You may use any or all of these methods depending on your preference and the types of errors. Please include your name and e-mail address in case questions arise.

Most corrections and changes on bibliographic records that do not contain field 042 can be made with a full-level or higher authorization (Bibliographic Formats & Standards Ch. 5). Libraries that do not want to replace master records can report them to OCLC for correction. Your efforts in identifying and reporting these corrections help to maintain the quality of the WorldCat database.

Libraries that do not participate in NACO (PCC's Name Authority Cooperative Program) may request changes to authority records, or report duplicates. OCLC creates new name authority records to resolve conflicts, rectify errors, or clarify heading relationships in the database. OCLC does not act as a cataloging agency for routine creation of headings.  Note: OCLC cannot make changes to subject or genre/form authority records, that is, any record with LCCN prefix sh, sj, or gf. (Authorities: Format and Indexes "Authority record change requests.")

Changes that do not require proof

Changes in fixed-field elements, subfield coding, tagging and obvious typographical errors in non-descriptive elements are examples of changes that do not require proof. Generally, duplicate record reports for bibliographic records do not require proof. For more information on when proof is required, see Bibliographic Formats and Standards 5.6 "Reporting Errors."

Reporting methods available:

Changes requiring proof

The authority to change a record is the same as the authority needed to catalog the item originally. Photocopies from the chief source of information for the format of the bibliographic record are required for OCLC to change a record. For example, the title page of a book is the sole authority for changing the transcription of the title proper (field 245).

Proving a change is valid includes verifying that the item in hand is the exact item being described in the bibliographic record. If proof from the item is required, send clearly labeled photocopies with the change request. Mark the pages as:

  • Title page
  • Title page verso
  • Cover, spine, etc., if change involves these areas
  • Publication information pages
  • Other pages from the item depending on the request, e.g., bibliography pages differ on the item from what is on the bibliographic record

To request changes that require proof:

Complete the WorldCat and Authority Record Quality Control Request form, print the Summary, then together with the supporting documentation (proof) either

  1. Scan the completed form and proof and email to
  2. Fax the completed form and proof toll-free to: 1-866-709-6252 (US and Canada only) or
  3. Mail the completed form and proof to:

    Quality Control Section MC139
    6565 Kilgour Place
    Dublin, OH 43017-3395

Note: OCLC reserves the right to process requested changes at its discretion.