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OCLC Support

Default Databases and Licensed Content

Learn  how to select your default databases and licensed content for WorldCat Discovery.

To access this screen, sign in Service Configuration, open the Metasearch Content left navigation, select Default Databases and Licensed Content.

Users may search any selected database from Advanced Search in WorldCat Discovery.

  • Please select at least one database. Errors occur in WorldCat Discovery if no databases are selected.
  • We recommend selecting from OCLC Licensed Database if you are unsure about your subscriptions.
  • Apply your selections by clicking the save button at the bottom of this page.
  • Refer to the Available collections and database list.

For information about searching default databases and licensed content, see Searching the Central Index and Remote Databases in WorldCat Discovery.

Configure Databases to Search

Users will be able to search any of the selected databases by using Advanced Search in If no databases are selected, WorldCat Local/Discovery will automatically be the database a user can search. A message appears with a link to add databases.

Searchable databases on Selected databases appear in the list.

Change your settings

All selected databases appear in the first Selected Databases tab. Databases are organized under the following database types:

  • OCLC Licensed Databases
  • Central Index Databases
  • Remote Databases
  1. Select either the OCLC Licensed Databases, Central Index Databases, or Remote Databases tabs. Refer to the Available collections and database list for additional information.
  2. Click the check box next to each database to be included. To limit the database list display, type the name of the database into the Name field.
    Note: If your institution does not have an unlimited subscription to a database, a warning message will appear. If you would like to continue and make this database searchable, enter your authorization and password and click Continue. If you click Cancel, the database will not be added.
    If you wish to select non-OCLC licensed databases, you may be asked to provide the username and password supplied by the database company for each. Databases with a double asterisk (**) require credentials.
     Note: If you are enabling Remote Databases, you must provide a Proxy base URL for remote database searching and recommendations.
  3. When you select a database, it will appear in the Selected Databases tab.
  4. (Optional) To treat the items in the database as held, you can toggle the Not Held/Held option in the Treat as Held column when applicable. If set to Held, items from this database will display as held by your library in WorldCat Discovery and WorldCat Local. It is recommended that Treat as held is only selected for databases where the vendor provides full text access for every citation.
     Note: It is not recommended that you set OCLC Licensed Databases as held if you are using WorldShare Collection Manager to set holdings on individual titles or entire collections. For more information on setting holdings via WorldShare Collection Manager, see WorldCat Holdings.
  5. Click Save. A Warning message appears: This message does not currently apply to WorldCat Local customers. This message reflects our development efforts to begin allowing API access to the central index and data available for search through an API. We continue to work on this type of access to improve your ability to use WorldCat Local data in your library. We will inform you when this functionality is available to you.
  6. Click Cancel and Continue without saving to start over.

Group Configured Databases

Select the default database or database group from the Default Database / Group drop-down. This selection will be the default database(s) in a basic search in your WorldCat Local or WorldCat Discovery.

Organize your databases (optional)

You can create, name, and modify custom groups of databases to assist users in selecting the appropriate resources to search.

A database may appear in more than one group. In order for a database to appear in a group, you must have selected it to appear on in the Configure Databases to search section.

You must have at least two databases selected to create a group. If no groups have been created, a message will display.

If you have two or more databases selected, you may create a new group.

Create a group

  1. Click Create Database Group. The Database Group Name and Selected Database lists appear.
  2. Type a Database Group Name in the space provided. Database group names must be unique.
  3. Click the check box next to each database to be included.
  4. Click Save .

If you have created groups, you may edit a group from this screen.

Edit a group

From an existing Database Group:

  1. Change the Database Group Name, if desired.
  2. Click the check box next to each database to be included or excluded.
  3. Click Save.

To remove an entire group, click on the Remove option in the group's section.

Group display order

If you have two or more groups, you can define a display order. Use the arrows to order the custom groups based on how you would like them displayed to the user on the Advanced Search screen in WorldCat Discovery. Users will be able to see all databases ordered alphabetically in the All Databases accordion on their Advanced Search screen in WorldCat Discovery.

Watch a video 

Configure default databases and licensed content (5:09)

This video demonstrates how to configure default databases and licensed content for use in WorldCat Discovery.


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