Archive for the ‘Worldcat’ category

Authorities Futures – Thom Hickey presentation

December 5, 2008

Thom Hickey gave a presentation entitled Authorities Futures at the Libraries Australia Forum 2008.  He blogs about his experience here.  One of the attendees, Paul Hagon, gives his impressions here.  The powerpoint for the talk is available here.  When I was looking at the slides, the one that caught my eye illustrated a function called Worldcat Identities Merge.  I contacted Thom to find out availability and who will be authorized to merge, and received the following response:

The merge function isn’t available yet.  What we will probably do is bring it up on the parallel Identities site we run out of research.  No schedule yet, but probably early 2009.  We are also working on a ‘split’ function, but that has more challenges for the user interface.
To merge you will have to be logged in (we will be using the WebJunction login, which is shared with  Anyone can obtain an account, but this will help us track changes.

I definitely plan on using this function when it is available!


Project to control headings in WorldCat

August 22, 2008

Back in the spring OCLC began a project to control headings in Worldcat.  In his blog Outgoing Thom Hickey described this project here.  Among the reasons behind the project:

Getting more of WorldCat’s headings linked to authority records has a number of benefits.  It gives us a chance to merge some variant forms of headings and makes it easier to update the database when names change.  This has become a substantial problem for us since LC changed their policy on adding death dates to headings.  Right now we are working our way through the a set of fairly easy 26 million headings, personal names that match an authority record on multiple subfields.  If this works, we will look at controlling names that are harder to match.

The project was on hiatus for part of the summer, but as Glenn Patton reports to OCLC-CAT in a post on Aug 22, 2008 [permission to quote]

On August 4, 2008, OCLC restarted the project to control headings in WorldCat.  As of yesterday, almost 1.3 million headings have been controlled since the project was restarted, bringing the total number of newly controlled headings to just under 17 million.

I think this is an excellent use of resources, and am glad to see that the project has resumed.

UPDATE:  On September 5, OCLC completed the first phase of the project to control more headings in WorldCat.  A total of about 25.5 million new personal name headings were controlled during this first phase. — from post by Glenn Patton to OCLC-CAT on Sept. 9, 2008.

Fiscal Year 2008 Recap of OCLC Quality Control and CIP Upgrading Activities

July 24, 2008

Over the next few days, I want  to go back and post on some things that occurred just as I was contemplating or launching this blog.  On July 9, Glenn Patton, Director, WorldCat Quality Management, reported to OCLC-CAT [permission to quote]

For the fiscal year just concluded (July 2007 through June 2008), OCLC staff have:
– corrected 2,137,903 bibliographic records
– performed 207,742 merges resulting in the deletion of 317,022 bibliographic records
– added 165 new authority records
– updated 395,817 authority records
– referred 765 authority records (name and subject) to the Library of Congress for resolution
Many of the changes resulted from the processing of 182,348 change requests, an increase of 21% over the same period of fiscal year 2007.
During the same time period, OCLC CIP Upgrade Unit staff have:
– upgraded 20,501 CIP records
– added 1,006 new authority records
– updated 857 authority records
These figures for authority records include 450 new series authority records and updates to 247 existing series authority records.  This activity with series authorities continues to grow as a result of OCLC’s adapting to the Library of Congress’s stopping series authority work.

I’m interested in the increase in change requests and wondering if it has to do with the increased use of Worldcat as a front end.  I know that as my institution taught more students to access our holdings through Worldcat for various reasons, I sent in more change requests for corrections I couldn’t make myself, particularly if they affected access.