Enhancement suggestion process
OCLC currently accepts enhancement suggestions through the Community Center for a select set of products and services. Submitting an enhancement suggestion through this site ensures the opportunity for the larger community of product users to provide their feedback on the suggestion as OCLC considers it for future development.
- For OCLC product users: Enhancement suggestions in the Community Center allow anyone who uses a given OCLC product or service to contribute their feedback and experience to the product development process.
- For OCLC product development teams: This feedback provides an aggregation of the user’s voice and helps determine the broader impact a feature will have on our community of users, so this impact can be considered in the product development process.
The questions and answers below provide an overview of the process and define the different statuses used to communicate the current progress on a given suggestion.
Submitting, voting, and subscribing for notifications
- Who can submit ideas?
Anyone who works for an institution that has a current subscription to an OCLC product may submit enhancement ideas for their institution’s product subscriptions. Staff at these institutions must have a Community Center account to sign in, submit an idea, and track its progress.
- How do I sign in to submit?
Use your existing WorldShare or WorldCat Discovery credentials to sign in to the OCLC Community Center. Visit your product’s community, and click the Enhancements tab. Then fill out the required and any optional fields to provide the product team with details about your idea. For more information about obtaining credentials and signing in, see Sign in to the OCLC Community Center.
- How do I find out more about suggestions submitted by my peers?
Sign in to the Community Center, and visit the Enhancements page for your product. You can filter results by status (Installed, Planned, Future Consideration, Not Planned). You can use a keyword search to find ideas and then limit those results by status and product.
- How do I show my support for ideas submitted by others?
Community members may rate ideas for products their institution has a current subscription to. Users may also add comments to other community members’ ideas to clarify use cases and details they would like (or would not like) to see implemented as part of the feature. See Idea prioritization below for more information about how your votes and comments impact the review and implementation of ideas.
- I just submitted an enhancement suggestion. Why isn’t it showing on the My Enhancements page?
New enhancement suggestions may not appear on your My Enhancements page immediately. It can take up to 15 minutes for new enhancements to appear.
- How do I stay informed about an idea submitted for my institution’s product(s)?
Sign in to the Community Center, visit the Enhancements page for your product, and click My Enhancements or My Ratings and Reviews to view ideas you have submitted or rated. You can sort these ideas by product and/or status.
Note: It may take up to 15 minutes for new submissions to appear on your My Enhancements page.
- What if I have an idea to improve the OCLC Community Center, rather than an OCLC Product or WorldShare module?
We accept suggestions for improvements to Community Center functionality through the use of a dedicated Community Center tag. When you submit your enhancement suggestion, enter Community Center in the OCLC Product or WS Module required field on the enhancement suggestion form. We appreciate your suggestions for ways to improve the Community Center and look forward to hearing and implementing more of your ideas identified with the Community Center tag.
- How does OCLC decide which ideas to respond to?
Because the number of subscribers varies by product and product development and release cycles vary, we do not define a threshold number of ratings or reviews that moves an idea into the queue for review. Instead, the product teams regularly review ideas that have been in an Open status for 90–120 days. This open period is set to allow the community time to review and provide feedback on ideas submitted by all product users, so the product team has a more complete picture of the impact of a suggestion on the broader user community.
In addition, product teams also regularly review ideas that align with current development priorities or work in progress. If a particular feature has already been added to a roadmap, community-submitted ideas may help the product team better define that feature. Similarly, if a feature relates to work already defined by the product team, certain features may be included in this already planned work as it progresses.
- How does OCLC decide which ideas to implement?
Very popular, community-submitted ideas will be reviewed, but popularity and review do not guarantee an idea will be implemented. When the product teams evaluate ideas for inclusion in product roadmaps, they must balance community interest with additional factors like broader market need, technical requirements to implement the idea, and already-scheduled work.
- How often does OCLC review community-submitted ideas?
Product teams review community-submitted ideas on a rolling 90–120-day basis to allow the community time to provide feedback. In addition, ideas are considered alongside other priorities in the regular product development and road-mapping cycle.
- I submitted an idea, but OCLC has not updated the status or posted any response. Why not?
While OCLC staff read every idea, it’s not possible for us to provide a definite status for every submission. Most ideas with no response fall into one of three categories.
- Most ideas will not receive a response until at least 90 days after they have been posted. This allows time for the community to provide feedback that product teams can use to accurately prioritize and assess the value of an idea from a community need perspective.
- If an idea is not very popular, it may indicate that there’s less demand. In this case, we may leave that submission open until it generates enough interest to allow the product team to consider it in relation to impact on the broader community.
- If an idea relates to a feature or functionality not currently being developed or investigated, we may not have the development resources to adequately address it. This doesn’t mean we will never engage development in this area, and we may leave the submission open until related development is being evaluated.
- Why are some ideas with few ratings implemented over other ideas with many ratings?
Community support for ideas in the Community Center is an important factor in determining whether an idea is implemented, but it is not the only factor. OCLC product teams seek community feedback through multiple channels, including advisory groups, focus groups, industry research, and other mechanisms. All of this information together helps determine priority for a feature or functionality.
Suggestions with fewer ratings in the Community Center may have been identified through other channels as priorities for members, or they may lay the groundwork for more popular ideas to come.
To stay informed about opportunities to provide feedback, be sure to subscribe to News in your product communities and look for calls to volunteer for advisory and focus groups, complete product surveys, and participate in Product Insights webinars.
- Why should I continue to rate an idea that OCLC has already said is “Not Planned”?
While most ideas with a Not Planned status will not be implemented, there are cases where an idea moves from Not Planned to Planned and then Installed status. One factor in determining whether to move an idea from a not planned status into development is community feedback.
If community feedback shows the necessity of a particular feature, reprioritization may occur and technical or other barriers may be removed over time to allow a given feature to be implemented. However, it may take time for this move to occur, even with very popular ideas, and in some cases, barriers may prevent a specific change altogether. Still, your feedback helps OCLC understand workflows and use cases that may lead to other feature changes that will allow you to perform the necessary function and provide excellent service to your users.
Status tags on each individual enhancement suggestion provide community members with a quick reference regarding the idea’s status in the review and development process. In addition to viewing the status, each reviewed suggestion also includes a more detailed response from the product team. We encourage community members to open enhancement suggestion details to review the full response to better understand the status assigned the idea.
This status is automatically assigned to all newly submitted ideas. After 90 days, OCLC will begin review of ideas.
- Under Review
This status means the product team is currently reviewing the suggestion. This includes alignment with current development priorities and roadmap functionality, assessing the technical feasibility of an idea with the development teams, and conducting additional research into community need.
OCLC has either planned this feature for inclusion in a coming release (with a date), added it to a roadmap (with links to that roadmap), or identified the feature as work that will be done in the future but may not have a date for release. The detailed response to the suggestion will provide additional information about the state of planning.
- Recently Installed
Enhancements included in releases in the past six months will have a Recently Installed tag. You can view a snapshot of all recently installed features in the Recently Installed view within the Enhancements section of the Community Center. After six months, recently installed features will automatically move to an Installed status.
OCLC has included this feature in a release, it is ready to use, or it was included in a past release. Reading the detailed response will give you a link to the release notes where this feature was implemented and provide additional detail about how to configure and use it.
- Future Consideration
This status denotes a suggestion that OCLC will consider in future planning but is not actively investigating at the current time. As feedback from the community is collected and development continues, this suggestion will be re-evaluated for inclusion.
- Not Planned
OCLC is not currently planning to implement features with this status. However, we leave these suggestions open for continued feedback because your ratings and reviews help us to better assess the value of a certain feature. There are times when a feature may move from Not Planned to Planned status, and eventually Installed status. based on your feedback and additional developments, so we do not delete these suggestions.