Skip to main content
OCLC Support

Enhance training outline


Designed to cover the essential points of training for new Enhance libraries, the Enhance Training Outline serves three purposes:

  1. It takes the place of costly face-to-face instruction.
  2. It serves as an internal educational tool for Enhance institutions to train staff new to the Enhance process.
  3. It is a reference tool, documenting policies and procedures for Enhance institutions.

As a fairly general document, it is adaptable to the needs of individual libraries and is applicable to specific bibliographic formats or to other limited projects.

Basic documentation on Enhance is found in Bibliographic Formats and Standards:

When appropriate, specific documents will be referred to; however, this outline is meant to be a supplement to, not a substitute for, other OCLC documentation.

The Enhance Training Outline may be reproduced and distributed by authorized Enhance participants.


In 1983, OCLC established the Enhance function (announced in Technical Bulletin number 142) in an attempt to decentralize quality control responsibility for WorldCat ®, the OCLC Online Union Catalog. Until that time, most quality control activity was centered in what is now known as the WorldCat Content Management Division at OCLC. The sole exception to this had been the CONSER Program, the mechanism for updating and correcting Serial records. Enhance was modeled after the CONSER Program, but without the record authentication portion.

Enhance and CONSER authorizations have similar capabilities, restricted by the bibliographic format of records. Until the implementation of Enhance, the only mechanism for non-Serial changes was reporting by paper Change Requests sent to OCLC for correction via Master Mode authorization. OCLC's "Principles of Cooperation" (formerly "Code of Responsible Use") mandates concern for quality cataloging by all members, more formal decentralization of quality control was desirable. Allowing the library cataloging an item with piece in hand to correct or augment a bibliographic record is quicker and more efficient than either filling out a paper Change Request or submitting a Change Request via any of the available electronic means. Since the announcement of the initial group of 20 libraries in May 1984, the Enhance program has had a positive impact on the quality of records in WorldCat.

Late in 1985, responsibility for WorldCat quality control was further decentralized with the implementation of the Minimal-Level Upgrade capability. This allowed cataloging Full mode authorizations and higher to lock, edit, and replace Encoding Levels K, 7, and (in 1987) M records. In 1991, the Database Enrichment capability was implemented, allowing Full mode and higher authorizations to add subject headings and call numbers to records. The ability to add 505 contents notes became part of Database Enrichment in August 1992. Also in 1992, it became possible for Full and higher authorizations to add 300 physical description fields to CIP records. CIP Enhance, allowing Enhance participants to upgrade any CIP record except for its Encoding Level value of 8, was introduced in 1993. Database Enrichment was expanded again in March 1996 when fields 006 and 007 were added, and yet again in August 2002 with the addition of over two dozen 0XX, 5XX, and 6XX fields.

National Level Enhance became a reality in September 1994. This allowed selected Library of Congress (LC) cataloging staff and Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) participants to lock, edit, and replace any record with an Encoding Level of blank, 1, or 8.

In the early years of Enhance, libraries were chosen through a series of application rounds or as special projects. In September 1989, the Regular Enhance application process was opened year round, regardless of format. At the same time, OCLC ceased face-to-face training of Enhance libraries in favor of using the Enhance Training Outline as the major instructional tool. National Level Enhance authorizations are granted by invitation only, in consultation with the Library of Congress.

In evaluating an Enhance application, an OCLC staff member reviews ten records input by the applicant in the appropriate bibliographic format, preferably within the previous year. These records are chosen chiefly from the list submitted with the application, but may be supplemented by other records at the discretion of OCLC staff. Each applicant begins with 100 points from which points are subtracted for errors according to their severity. A single serious error (input of a duplicate, violation of input standards or cataloging rules, negligence in use of the authority file) will almost certainly eliminate a library from contention, if only because there are other applicants who do not exhibit these errors. Applicants scoring between 80 and 100 points receive the most serious consideration; those scoring 50 to 79 are considered case-by-case. Applicants scoring below 50 are asked not to reapply for six months.

Although we have tried to choose libraries who will have a significant impact on WorldCat by Enhancing a large number of records, an absolute volume of changes is not strictly required. See the Enhance Participants List for a current list.

Mechanics and workflow

A. Authorizations

(see also OCLC Cataloging Authorization Levels (PDF))

  1. Use the Access and Authorization form (or in PDF). For Regular Enhance check ENH and for National Level Enhance check ENN under "Cataloging Mode." Indicate code(s) for appropriate bibliographic format(s) in the "Authorized Formats" box below "Cataloging Mode." In either case, if your library enhances in more than one format, be sure to indicate which formats apply to which staff members.
     Note: That separate authorizations are needed for CONSER and Enhance. Enhance and Recon cannot be done at the same time but must instead be done as a two-step process.
  2. You can use Enhance for most other normal cataloging activities, including card and electronic file production. Separate Full and Enhance authorizations are not needed.
  3. You will be able to replace records only in the format(s) specified; you may be authorized for more than one format with the same number.
  4. Control of authorizations is in the hands of each institution. The institution decides who has access to each Enhance authorization. The institution is responsible for guarding against unauthorized use. OCLC encourages each person to have his/her own authorization; this is really a safeguard for the institution. If OCLC needs to track transactions on a particular record, distinct authorizations are needed for identification of which staff member changed a record. Each institution is responsible for keeping its various authorizations straight and up-to-date.
  5. Likewise, Enhance institutions are responsible for keeping OCLC informed about staff changes that may affect Enhance status. The institution is responsible for training new Enhance personnel. Under certain circumstances, OCLC may wish to re-evaluate an institution's Enhance status. When responsible parties change, please let OCLC know and, again, make sure that your authorizations are kept current.

B. Lock and replace

(See Bibliographic Formats and Standards, Chapter 5.2, Replacing Records).

  1. The lock and replace feature which became part of WorldCat users' work flow in December 1983 was designed to prevent simultaneous replaces that would overwrite one replace with another.
  2. Who can replace what records.
    1. Member can replace own record if no other holdings are attached.
    2. Full mode and above can replace minimal and lower level records (Encoding Levels K, M, 2, 3, 4 (no 042 = pcc), 5, and 7).
    3. Full mode and above can add 006 and 007 fields, call numbers, subject headings, and contents notes to most records and field 300 to CIP records.
    4. Full mode and above can replace full-level non-CONSER Serial records with ten or fewer holdings.
    5. CONSER participants can replace authenticated Serials.
    6. Regular Enhance participants can replace full-level member-input records (Encoding Levels I, J, and L) in the format(s) for which they are authorized, non-program Core level records (Encoding Level 4, no 042 = pcc), as well as all minimal and lower level records.
    7. Regular Enhance participants in the Books format can replace CIP records in their authorized format(s), where appropriate, but cannot change the Encoding Level value 8.
    8. National Level Enhance participants can replace most records in the format(s) for which they are authorized, regardless of Encoding Level.
    9. Master mode has unrestricted replace capabilities.
  3. Lock and Replace process.
    1. Details of the Lock and Replace process vary depending on the OCLC interface you are using. See the appropriate manual and/or help system for your interface.
    2. Lock only records you are authorized to replace.
    3. At least one field retained in the master record MUST be edited.
    4. Your symbol automatically appears in 040 ‡d after replace.
    5. "Used" date does not change after replace; "Replaced" date changes.
    6. A Replace transaction DOES NOT set your holdings.
  4. Message "Record locked by another user" means another library has locked the same record.
    1. Recheck later; if still locked, it may be in Save File.
    2. OCLC requests that work on locked records be completed as expeditiously as possible. This affords other users access to your improved record right away and allows OCLC automated database quality software to work more effectively. Locked records cannot be processed by Duplicate Detection and Resolution software, automated authority control software, or database scans.
    3. A record can remain in the Save File for 14 days, with extensions. If you find a record is locked longer than 14 days, you may call OCLC. Staff will contact the library and ask them to complete work on the record. In extreme cases, OCLC staff may "release" the record. If OCLC staff releases a record that you have locked and saved, your changes remain intact. OCLC staff will resave your record, which remains unlocked in your save file, although it will have a new save file number. You may produce or update the record or copy and paste your changes into another locked version of the record before completing the replace transaction.
    4. Message "Record locked by another user" may also mean that the record is in the process of being merged. Record is locked briefly after Merge Holdings command until system processes it.
  5. Error message "Lock failed" means some system problem.
    1. Try again shortly.
    2. If you continue to get message, contact Customer Services Division; this may be a sign of a system problem. This circumstance is rare.
  6. How a record becomes unlocked.
    1. Record is unlocked after a replace.
    2. "Cancel" command cancels everything, including the search.
    3. "Release" command unlocks a record that you are not going to replace; the system retains any modifications made to the working copy of the record.
    4. Logging off of, or being timed out from, the OCLC Cataloging service unlocks a displayed record.
    5. Save file purge after 14 days unlocks a locked record in the Save File.
    6. If your work session is interrupted by a system or telecommunications problem while a locked record is displayed, the record should be unlocked when the system comes back up. If the record remains locked, OCLC's daily file maintenance should unlock the record by the next day. If the record remains inaccessible at this point, call Customer Services Division.
  7. Regular Enhance authorization capabilities and limitations within authorized bibliographic format(s).
    1. The system will allow a Regular Enhance authorization to:
      1. Edit almost the entire record, excepting system-supplied data (Entered, Used, etc.)
      2. Change Type Code within a bibliographic format (i/j, g/k/o/r, etc.)
      3. Edit 040 subfields ‡a, ‡b, ‡e, and Fixed Field Source.
      4. Change Encoding Levels as outlined.
        unmodified record modified record
        2 2, 3, 4 (no 042 = pcc), I, K
        3 3, 4 (no 042 = pcc), I, K
        4 (no 042 = pcc) 4 (no 042 = pcc), I, K
        5 4 (no 042 = pcc), 5, I, K
        7 4 (no 042 = pcc), 7, I, K
        8 8
        I 4 (no 042 = pcc), I, K
        J 4 (no 042 = pcc), I, J, K
        K 4 (no 042 = pcc), I, K
        L 4 (no 042 = pcc), I, K, L
        M 4 (no 042 = pcc), I, K, M


      5. Change CIP records (Encoding Level 8) in authorized and appropriate formats, subject to certain restrictions.
    2. The system will not allow a Regular Enhance authorization to:
      1. Change Type Code between bibliographic formats (a to c, for instance), except locally on an unlocked record.
      2. Change Bibliographic Level to a value not valid in the specified format.
      3. Change system-supplied data (040 subfield ‡c, Entered, etc.)
      4. Change records with Encoding Level E.
      5. Change records with Encoding Levels blank or 1, except such additions as are allowed under Database Enrichment (NLM fields, contents notes, call numbers, subject headings, etc.).
      6. Change records containing CJK vernacular data (unless you are a CJK Enhance institution with OCLC CJK software
      7. Change records containing field 042 codes "lcnccp", "lccopycat", "lccopycat-nm", "lcnuc", or "pcc".
      8. Add, delete, or change fields 019, 029, 042 (except that, when upgrading an Encoding Level 3 record, you can remove field 042 with code "dc"), 066, 850, and 938.
      9. Delete a bibliographic record from WorldCat.
      10. Change the Encoding Level value 8.
    3. Outside of authorized bibliographic format(s), Full mode capabilities prevail.
  8. What should not be done with a Regular Enhance authorization.
    1. Do not use Regular Enhance for routine bibliographic file maintenance. You should not replace records for items you are not cataloging with piece in hand. (Remember that all replace transactions appear on your archive tapes). Enhance was designed to fit into a normal cataloging workflow. There are too many cases of what appear superficially to be "obvious" errors that turn out not to be errors at all. OCLC is very conservative in what it changes and requires supporting proof from the item before changing elements of the description.
    2. Do not leave local data (location or local copy data) in the master record.
    3. Do not remove information from a record unless the information is clearly in error and cannot be corrected.

C. Product and billing information

  1. All replaces appear in your archive files. Replaces are identified in Leader/05, Record Status. A replace transaction contains only those fields that would be retained in the master record on replace (e.g., 099 is not retained and would not be in your archive file; only your default 049 is included). To get local data you must reformat and update.
  2. Billable transactions are billed the same as in Full mode. It is expected that Enhance participants will use Regular Enhance only to upgrade records for items they are processing.
  3. The value of credits may change from year to year, so check with your regional service provider for the current credit. Credits are reported by the system to Finance each month, with the libraries being invoiced in the month after the transaction is performed. A Regular Enhance credit (Product Code 2571) is granted for each replace performed on an Encoding Level I, J, or L record. When a CIP record (Encoding Level 8) is Enhanced beyond the addition of call numbers, subject headings, contents notes, 006, 007, and/or 300, a Regular Enhance credit (Product Code 2571) is granted. If you replace the same record more than once, you will receive a credit only for the first Enhance, so you may correct errors you detect after an Enhance replace.
  4. A Minimal-Level Upgrade credit (Product Code 3491) is automatically generated for a Minimal-Level Upgrade replace when you change Encoding Levels K, M, 2, 3, 4 (no 042 = pcc), 5, or 7 to a higher level.
    1. Call numbers, subject headings, contents notes, and other fields may be added to any records by Full mode authorizations and higher under the Database Enrichment capability, subject to the conditions outlined in Bibliographic Formats and Standards, Chapter 5.3, Database Enrichment). If these are the only changes made to a record, the replace transaction does not count as a Regular Enhance replace but will receive a Database Enrichment credit (Product Code 2565).
  5. Fields 006 and 007 can be added to any records and field 300 can be added to CIP records (Encoding Level 8) by Full mode authorizations and higher, subject to the conditions outlined in Bibliographic Formats and Standards, Chapter 5.3, Database Enrichment). If these are the only changes made to a record, the replace transaction receives no credit. If other changes are made to the record at the same time, an appropriate credit may apply.

D. Generalized workflow

  1. Most general workflow issues are unique to an individual library and cannot be addressed here.
  2. One possible scenario: Lock and edit may be done at Full mode, then saved. Perform replace under Regular Enhance authorization. Reformat and add local data, produce or update.

Requirements, policies, and practices

A. Basic requirements for Regular Enhance

  1. For both Regular Enhance and Minimal-Level Upgrade activity, the fundamental rule of thumb is to create a record that meets Encoding Level I standards, both in terms of the amount of data and, to a certain extent, the correctness of the data. For details on the I-Level requirements for specific format(s), see Bibliographic Formats and Standards, Chapter 2.4, Full, Core, Minimal and Abbreviated-Level Cataloging).
    1. Do not replace a record solely to change an element that is a matter of cataloger's judgment, such as choice of entry in problematic areas, call numbers to change the emphasis of the class number, etc.
    2. One major reason you have been accepted into the Enhance program is that OCLC has confidence that your cataloging meets input standards. Have confidence in yourself, as well.
    3. You are expected to keep current with cataloging procedures and options. If you do a large volume of corrections to member-input current cataloging, you will have a sense of what is cataloger's judgment and what is specified by the cataloging rules.
    4. It is difficult for OCLC to mandate by strict rules all the possible permutations of these guidelines and impossible to monitor all replacements of records. We rely on catalogers to behave responsibly concerning each other's records.
    5. Each library that replaces a record input by another library appears, by virtue of the 040 field, to have some responsibility for the content of that record. Although we recognize that the level of responsibility varies greatly, we do expect that a replacement to change an Encoding Level truly represents an effort on the part of the replacing library to ensure that the record is indeed at I-Level standards. If questions or problems arise about a record that has an Enhance institution's symbol in field 040, OCLC is likely to query that institution first.
  2. You are encouraged to verify all data; however, you are not required to verify data that you have not supplied or that is not required for I-Level.
  3. Special areas to verify are field tagging, subfield coding, and filing indicators. Typographical errors in non-transcribed fields should be corrected.
  4. Verify forms of headings in the authority file. There is no requirement, however, to construct an AACR2 heading on a retrospective record when the heading is not represented in the authority file. For Enhance participants working in the Connexion® environment, of course, authority control can be accomplished via the Control feature, and if a heading has been controlled, you may assume that it is accurate.
  5. Please supply appropriate values in mandatory and required fixed field positions.
  6. You are not expected to review call numbers or subject headings in schemes that are not used in your library (e.g., Dewey class numbers or MeSH headings).
  7. Do not delete data unless it is clearly incorrect (such as a subject heading that does not apply to the work).
  8. There is no formal "threshold" of needed changes that makes a record worth Enhancing. OCLC hopes that once you have decided to Enhance a record, you will examine it and fix any obvious errors, using your good judgment. Please use your Enhance authorization responsibly.
  9. OCLC encourages (but does not require) you to fix Format Integration (FI) elements examining field choices 246/740 and 500/546, in particular but only if you are already working on a record. Generally, don't bother to Enhance an existing record if FI elements are all that need to be fixed. Format Integration was a multiphase process undertaken between 1991 and 1996, whereby all MARC 21 data elements were validated for all formats of material. Among many other things, it included the validation of field 006 for items with multiple characteristics.
  10. If you encounter a Minimal-Level or lower level record, verify all data including the appropriate required data elements for the format, and find that the record meets I-Level standards with no modifications, you may replace the record solely to raise its Encoding Level.
    1. The intellectual effort is the same regardless of whether the record needs to be modified. Many institutions handle different Encoding Levels in different work flows reviewed by different levels of staff.
    2. Be aware of the different requirements of I- and K-Level input, outlined very generally here. There are additional details in Bibliographic Formats and Standards, Chapter 2.4, Full, Core, Minimal and Abbreviated-Level Cataloging).
      tag i-level k-level
      007 Required (Optional: MAP) Optional
      020 Required Required
      028 Required Required
      034 Required Optional
      041 Required Optional
      240 Required Optional
      246 Required Optional
      300 ‡b & ‡c Required Optional
      4XX Required Required
      Most 5XX Required Optional
      6XX Required Optional


    3. Standards for Core level records can be found on the Program for Cooperative Cataloging's BIBCO home page.
  11. For retrospective conversion, review Bibliographic Formats and Standards, Chapter 2.2, Transcribing Pre-AACR2 Copy), especially in regard to old LC copy. Note which areas can be modernized and which should not.
    1. If you code as LC copy, be sure all applicable LC data elements are present: Source, 010, 040 subfield ‡a, 050, 082, etc. If you cannot make the record totally LC-copy, do not code it as such. It is preferable to code it as member input than to make it half LC because many libraries treat LC-based cataloging differently than member input.
    2. Do not assume that the LC microform shelflist is always accurate on corrected call numbers. If the call number has the notation "bettered," it may not be complete or correct. You should research to complete it and then input it as 090 rather than 050.
  12. Enhancing a Cataloging-in-Publication (CIP) record is similar to Enhancing a Minimal Level record, although a CIP Enhance receives a Regular Enhance credit.
    1. When Enhancing CIP, exercise considerable caution where data conflict. Pay special attention to:
      1. Paperback vs. hard cover.
      2. Standard print vs. large print
      3. Differences in publication dates, subtitles, place of publication, publisher, and/or series statements.
    2. Do not change and/or delete:
      1. Encoding Level (the system will not allow a Regular Enhance authorization to change the value "8").
      2. Field 010 (LC card number) to match the item in hand. If the item in hand has a different LCCN, add it to the 010 as a subfield ‡z.
      3. Field 263.
    3. Follow LC/PCC policy on changing dates in call numbers on CIP records. Generally, do not change field 050 or any other national-level classification numbers, except for adjustments to the date as outlined in Cataloging Service Bulletin no. 59 (Winter 1993) p. 71. You may change the date in the 050 field to agree with that in the 260 ‡c subfield except in the special cases when there may be no one-to-one correlation between the imprint date and the date used in the 050. Those cases are as follows (citations to the Shelflisting Manual are provided for reference purposes):
      1. Classification subarranged by specific date (G 140)
      2. Collected set for which the date in the call number usually matches the first item in the set, not the imprint date of the analytic being cataloged (G 910)
      3. Commentaries on a specific conference (G 230)
      4. Commentaries on a specific corporate body's work (G 220)
      5. Congress or conference publications (G 230)
      6. Multiple editions of a work, with the same imprint date (G 140)
      7. Supplementary works cataloged separately (G 1400)
    4. All other Enhance procedures generally apply to CIP.
      1. Correct fixed field values to correspond with variable fields.
      2. Add pagination, as appropriate, to 504 bibliography notes.
      3. Correct typographical errors, except those in fields 010, 050, and 263, which should be reported to OCLC.
      4. Check series and personal/corporate name headings in the OCLC Authority File. If name/series headings are established differently than the form found in the item in hand: follow NACO procedures if you are a NACO participant; or report the discrepancy to OCLC on an authority file change request form with the appropriate documentation, if you are not a NACO participant.
      5. In UKMARC CIP records from the British Library, the 300 fields are pre-publication estimates and should not be taken as actual paginations and sizes. We encourage Enhance participants to upgrade UKM CIP records and change the 300 field when possible, and not to input duplicates.
  13. Non-English Language Catalog Records.
    1. Background

      OCLC staff have discussed issues connected with non-English language catalog records many times over the past several years. A non-English language catalog record is a record in which elements of the description (e.g., the general material designation, the physical description, cataloger-constructed notes, some name headings, etc.) are not expressed in English. This is not the same as English language catalog records which happen to describe items where the text of the item is in a language other than English.

      With increasing international use of WorldCat, OCLC staff have considered the needs of users in both English-speaking and non-English-speaking countries. WorldCat is still primarily based on a single master record approach.  As part of OCLC becoming the leading global library cooperative, however, it has long been envisioned that WorldCat would need a parallel record structure to display records by language of cataloging.

      Effective October 2003, OCLC policy has changed to allow for parallel records within WorldCat by language of cataloging. This policy applies only to online cataloging and not to records contributed via WorldCat data sync collections. OCLC will address data sync collections in the future with the Oracle implementation. OCLC Members Council's Cataloging and Metadata Interest Group approved this interim policy at its May 2003 meeting. This change in policy allowing parallel records anticipates the implementation of the relational database capabilities that will be possible once Oracle has been fully implemented. Because that implementation is still a few years away, this change is being introduced as an interim solution.
    2. Policy
      Previously, records for the same title, but cataloged in different languages, such as English, Spanish, and French, were considered duplicate records. OCLC will no longer consider these records duplicates, but will consider them parallel records. Note: Only one record per language of descriptive cataloging will be allowed for each title.

      When searching within WorldCat, if the matching record is cataloged in a language other than that used by the inputting library, the library may enter a parallel record in its language of descriptive cataloging. When using an existing record for copy cataloging, however, do not change notes to English and do not change the language of cataloging if upgrading the Master Record. Records should never become hybrids of several languages of cataloging. For the treatment of vendor records, see the section "Vendor Records."

      Libraries may add call numbers and subjects headings not already represented on English and non-English records as allowed under their cataloging authorizations. The language of a particular subject heading scheme does not have a bearing on the language of the descriptive cataloging. Libraries should locally edit an existing record to meet their needs when changing the master record conflicts with the new policy
      • When a library with Spanish as the language of cataloging finds only an English record in WorldCat, it may enter a Spanish language record.
      • When a library with English as the language of cataloging finds only an Italian record in WorldCat, it may enter an English language record
    3. Coding of Field 040 Subfield ‡b

      Field 040 subfield ‡b contains the MARC language code of the language of the cataloging. If no 040 subfield ‡b is present, the language of the cataloging is assumed to be English. Non-English language catalog records should always contain the corresponding MARC language code for the language of the cataloging. It is not uncommon for this element to be missing or in error. Correcting or reporting such errors will likely help in the future reconfiguration of the database.

      You may include 040 subfield ‡b eng in catalog records if you wish, and it may become a requirement in bibliographic records in the future. In the infrequent cases (such as vendor records) where you are changing the language of the cataloging to English, you must either delete 040 subfield ‡b to remove the non-English language code or edit 040 subfield ‡b to change the code to eng.
    4. Use of Field 936

      In order for records to be clearly marked as parallel records, libraries inputting or editing records online who have identified their record as parallel to an existing record cataloged in another language are asked to add field 936, either to the new record being created or to the existing record being upgraded, in order to link the records. Addition of a 936 field, a locally defined OCLC field that has previously been used for last issue consulted information, will allow OCLC to group parallel records entered into WorldCat together more easily once the Oracle display solution is implemented.

      When entering a 936 field to indicate existence of a parallel record, use blank indicator values. Enter the OCLC control number of the parallel record in subfield $a preceded by the uppercase letters PR and a space.

      If you identify more than one parallel record (such as records in both Spanish and French, with your new record in English), you may enter the OCLC numbers for all the parallel records that you identify, with spaces between them. OCLC does not, however, require entry of more than one parallel record number in the 936 field.

      • One parallel record identified:

        936     PR 51191950
      • Two parallel record identified:

        936     PR 45570484 45825482
      Enhance participants do not need to add field 936 to every record in a parallel record set, but only to a newly-created record or a record being upgraded.
    5. Vendor Records

      Vendor records were first added to WorldCat in early 1996. Enhance participants are encouraged to upgrade vendor records contributed in non-English languages instead of considering them parallel records. Vendor records may be identified by the presence of field 938 (Vendor-Specific Ordering Data) and the presence of a vendor symbol in field 040 subfields $a and $c. See the Vendor Record Contribution Program Participants List ( for a current list of vendors and their symbols. Libraries may change the language of vendor records to the language of the upgrading library when upgrading vendor records to full level. Remember that field 938 cannot be changed, added, or deleted in a locked record, although it can be deleted from an unlocked record for local editing.
    6. Records with Vernacular Data

      In order to assure the creation of logically consistent records by language of cataloging, please follow these guidelines for records that include vernacular data. Linked fields are supposed to contain the same text: Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Arabic vernacular characters in an 880 field, and the transliteration of those vernacular characters in the corresponding romanized linked field.

      Example, Chinese-language cataloging of Chinese-language material:

           Code 040 ‡b chi.

           When the language of cataloging has been set to "chi," parallel notes in English are NOT appropriate.

           245     Pinyin transliterated title ‡h [pinyin transliterated Chinese-language GMD]

           880     Chinese vernacular title ‡h [vernacular Chinese-language GMD]

           5XX     Pinyin transliterated note (NOT an English translation of the note).

           880      Chinese vernacular parallel note.

      Example, English-language cataloging of Chinese-language material:

           Code 040 ‡b eng (or omit subfield ‡b, with "eng" understood).

           When the language of cataloging is English, parallel vernacular notes are appropriate ONLY for fields transcribed from the item.

           245     Pinyin transliterated title ‡h [roman alphabet English-language GMD]

           880     Chinese vernacular title ‡h [roman alphabet English-language GMD]

           5XX     English-language note.

           5XX     "Pinyin transliterated note transcribed from the item."

           880     Chinese vernacular parallel note.

      Remember that, as defined in MARC 21, linked 880 fields should contain an alternate vernacular script representing the exact same text as found in the field to which it is linked; linked fields should NOT contain translations of text into another language. Note also that the language of a GMD should correspond to the language of cataloging.

      Note that although OCLC generally prefers that vernacular data fields have corresponding parallel fields in roman characters, with OCLC Arabic cataloging software, the roman fields are not required. OCLC's Arabic software currently adds " <>." as a placeholder corresponding to any 880 field without a parallel roman character field, plus a 500 note that reads "Arabic record" when appropriate. The " <>" placeholder should NOT be used in CJK records, except in certain records loaded via data sync collections. In other CJK records, every vernacular field must have a corresponding roman character field.

B. Reconciling LC/PCC practice and OCLC practice

  1. It is expected that Enhance participants will be familiar with all OCLC documentation relevant to their processes; with AACR2, 2002 Revision; and with Library of Congress Rule Interpretations (LCRIs) as promulgated in Cataloging Service Bulletin. It is essential to thoroughly review Bibliographic Formats and Standards, especially in regard to retrospective conversion (Chapter 2.2, Transcribing Pre-AACR2 Copy) and when to input a new record (Chapter 4, When to Input a New Record). Generally, Enhance libraries should follow LC/PCC practice when creating new or upgrading existing records; however, OCLC documentation and LC Rule Interpretations occasionally conflict. The conflicts fall into two broad areas: (1) criteria for the creation of separate records, and (2) use of some optional AACR2 rules. Most result from the different requirements of the OCLC cooperative multi-library environment. OCLC usually follows LC/PCC practice regarding descriptive content of catalog records; when OCLC and LC/PCC practices differ, OCLC users should follow OCLC documentation. This list includes most of the major conflicts:
    library of congress rule interpretation application
    LCRI 1.0 Disregard. Use BF&S Chapter 4, When to Input a New Record
    LCRI 1.1G2 Apply with one exception: For Sound Recordings, describe the item as a unit or make a description for each separately titled item
    LCRI 2.7B18 Apply with one exception: You may enter a contents note for a one-volume collection containing more than twelve titles
    LCRI 6.1G1 Disregard. Apply AACR2
    LCRI 6.1G4 Disregard. Apply the optional AACR2 rule
    LCRI 12.0 Apply with one exception: Separate Serial records may be created for cumulations in most cases
    LCRI 12.0A Apply with two exceptions: 1. You may catalog a publication of an ongoing named conference as a Serial without waiting for evidence from several issues that the name of the conference and title have remained constant; 2. You may catalog Serial supplements to monographs as separate Serials
    LCRI 13.5 Disregard. Apply AACR2


  2. Multiple call numbers
    1. Certain classification choices are recognized to be local decisions. For example, if one user has chosen to class together a monographic series and another library classes it separately, multiple call numbers in the master record may be appropriate. Multiple call numbers (090/090 fields in member input; 050 0/050 14 fields in member input of LC copy and LC minimal-level records) are allowed in these circumstances:
      1. Classed together vs. classed separately call numbers for monographic series.
      2. Literature numbers vs. PZ numbers for fiction.
      3. Bibliography number vs. subject.
      4. LC minimal number vs. member call number.
      5. Geographic classification vs. subject classification for maps and atlases.
      6. LAW vs. actual K class number.
    2. In most other cases, only one 090 or 050 should remain with the record. Leave the inputting library's number unless it is clearly incorrect, not merely a matter of judgment. When upgrading member-input LC copy (within the limits outlined) or an LC minimal-level record, add the second call number in a second 050 field so that both call numbers remain in the master record. Code the first indicator "1" and the second indicator "4." Remember that input of field 050 automatically deletes any 090.

C. Hints for responsible Enhance activity

  1. OCLC's experience has led us to be very conservative when correcting bibliographic records. Do not make assumptions about bibliographic records; it is better to ask a question than to jump to an incorrect conclusion. You always have the option of sending a change request. If at all possible, verify with piece in hand. This is not always possible with retrospective work, but if there is a serious question involving description, the piece is the ultimate source.
  2. Always look at the whole record, not just one isolated data element. If there is conflicting information in a record, such that you cannot be sure which of two possible versions is represented, please ask for verification instead of changing the record. For example, if the fixed field is coded for a microform, but there is not a reproduction note, or dates conflict between 260 and the fixed field, do not conclude which one is wrong without further evidence. OCLC's experience suggests that there is no easy way to tell without asking the inputting institution before changing.
  3. Please complete your "replace" transactions as expeditiously as possible. Try not to leave records locked in your Save File for a prolonged period. Only one institution at a time can lock a record, so OCLC staff regularly receive calls from users who can't lock a record because another user already has it locked. If you keep a record locked for more than two weeks, you may be contacted and asked to complete your work on the record. In extreme cases, OCLC staff may "release" the record. If OCLC staff releases a record that you have locked and saved, your changes remain intact. OCLC staff will resave your record, which remains unlocked in your save file, although it will have a new save file number. You may produce or update the record or copy and paste your changes into another locked version of the record before completing the replace transaction. Quick replacement of records allow:
    1. Other users to have access to your improved record right away, thus avoiding unnecessary duplication of effort;
    2. Other users who wish to lock and replace the same record to do so without repetitive attempts and inconvenience;
    3. OCLC automated database quality software to work more effectively, since locked records cannot be processed by Duplicate Detection and Resolution software, automated authority control software, or database scans.
  4. When in doubt, don't. Never remove data from a record unless it is clearly incorrect. Leave subject headings and call numbers in the record unless they are clearly wrong. Use judgment on the determination of predominant subject emphasis.
    1. In UKM records, 653 fields should be retained, but other 65X fields with second indicator "4" may be edited to agree with the LC subject authority file (changing second indicator to "0"). Fields 886 may be deleted except when they contain unique information not found elsewhere in the record (e.g., a variant name).
    2. LC Encoding Level 5 records are no longer being loaded into WorldCat, (except for some records processed from LC overseas offices), but for records already online, it is permissible to delete the "In process" 050 field and the priority number 500 field. In addition, libraries should do the necessary authority work and subject analysis to ensure that an upgraded record meets I-Level standards. If there is doubt that the item in hand truly matches the item described in the "in process" record, do not upgrade the record.
  5. Common quality control problems to stay alert for:
    1. Filing indicators. For details of current practices, see LC's "Change in Practice for Counting Non-Filing Characters in MARC 21."
    2. Fixed field dates.
    3. Failure to use the authorized forms of name, subject, and uniform title headings found in the authority file.
    4. Tagging of name headings (personal vs. corporate).
  6. If you detect a pattern of errors on recently cataloged work from a particular inputting library, please contact OCLC. We can do more research and forward data to the network for follow-up.

D. Authority work

  1. Every heading should be searched in the OCLC Authority File every time a record is input or modified. The Authority File is highly dynamic. Never assume that because a heading was verified last week (or month or year) that it has not since been revised. For Enhance participants working in the Connexion environment, of course, authority control can be accomplished via the Control feature, and if a heading has been controlled, you may assume that it is accurate.
  2. Series should also be verified, both for form of tracing and for tracing practice. OCLC follows LC/PCC practice. You should change member-input series to the form and practice found in the authority file. If there is no series authority record, you may change member-input records created prior to 1989 September 1 to trace the series, but you are not required to do so. Note that records created beginning 1989 September 1 should follow the default LC/PCC practice of tracing all series for which tracing practice was not previously established.
  3. Report errors, conflicts, disagreements, and duplicates within the OCLC Authority File on the Authority Record Change Request form. Use the heading from the Authority File (or in cases of conflict within the file, the heading most likely to be correct) on the catalog record. OCLC will correct all bibliographic records when the authority record is corrected.
  4. For current cataloging, please remember that AACR2 headings are required. For retrospective input, you must use AACR2 forms of headings that can be found in the Authority File, but those not in the file may either be modernized or left in pre-AACR2 form.

E. Bibliographic duplicates

  1. Bibliographic Formats and Standards, Chapter 4, When to Input a New Record contains most of the details you will need to determine when bibliographic records are duplicates. Note that judgment must be used in cases where options exist. Do not impose your library's practice on that of other libraries. Keep in mind the distinctions between what is local practice and what is called for by rules and standards.
  2. When data conflict between records, do not assume that the records are duplicates. Verify as carefully as possible to be sure they are duplicates. Note especially:
    1. Hard copy vs. microform (look at the whole record).
    2. Paperback vs. hardbound.
    3. Different microforms (publishers, size, polarity, etc.)
    4. Multipart work vs. single part (including record for one item vs. whole, one track or work on a sound recording vs. whole recording).
  3. OCLC tends to be conservative in our merging practices because of the implications for library holdings. If you cannot be certain, you may send a change request with appropriate proof and we can try to verify with the inputting institution. If you cannot supply appropriate proof for discrepancies, please do not report the records as duplicates.
  4. You are encouraged to report to OCLC duplicates in the non-Book formats that are encountered during Enhance work.
    1. Report duplicates either electronically, via an e-mail message sent to, or via the WorldCat Duplicate Record Merge Request form. Follow the procedures in Bibliographic Formats and Standards, Chapter 5, Quality Assurance.
    2. Fill out a separate sheet for each bibliographic format and note the format on the sheet.
    3. Send forms regularly and promptly. Don't let them age and don't let them accumulate.
    4. Please correct the record to be retained before reporting duplicates. That saves OCLC from having to do extensive editing before performing the merge.
  5. Enhance participants have been allowed to report Books duplicates in certain categories, but be aware that these reports may not be dealt with in a timely fashion. OCLC now relies chiefly on the Duplicate Detection and Resolution (DDR) software to deal with Books duplicates. You may report the following categories of Books duplicates:
    1. LC minimal and lower level records (Encoding Levels 2, 3, 5, and 7).
    2. Any NLM record.
    3. Any UKM record.
    4. Books Canada records for English language cataloging ("ce" or "cn" prefixes in the 010 and "eng" in the 040 subfield ‡b).
    5. Records in which the only difference is the appearance of "1st edition" or its foreign language equivalent on one record and its absence on the other. This does not apply to numbered edition vs. no edition or to explicitly differing edition statements.
    6. Records in which the only difference is the appearance of a series on one and its absence on the other. This does not apply to cases of explicitly differing series statements.
    7. Romance language "editions"/printings, especially when belles-lettres publications come out in frequent "editions"/printings within a relatively brief period of time, e.g. every year. Consider "editions" from the same publisher but with different cities in the same country to be duplicates. Do not report true editions, often indicated by amplified edition statements (e.g. "2. ed., corr.") on non-fiction materials.
    8. Older Books duplicates that have not previously been merged automatically by the Duplicate Detection and Resolution software.
  6. When OCLC performs a merge of duplicate bibliographic records, either manually or automatically via DDR, the Merge Holdings process transfers certain fields in all applicable bibliographic formats except Serials. No fields transfer except for 019, 029, and 069, when records of unlike formats are merged. In general, if the field tag is not present in the retained record and the field is not repeatable, the tag will transfer from the first deleted record in which it is encountered. When fields are repeatable, if the tag is not present in the retained record the fields will generally transfer from the deleted record with the most occurrences of the tag. The following tags will transfer under specific circumstances and conditions that are not detailed here:
    007 043 082/092
    010 045 086
    015 047 300/305
    016 048 306
    019 050/090 505
    020 055 520
    024 060/096 538
    028 069 6XX
    033 070 753
    037 072 856
    040 ‡c and ‡d (when other data transfer) 074 938
    041 080 981

Monitoring, feedback, and communication

  1. Once you have received your Enhance authorization and begin to replace records, OCLC needs to review your Enhance work. Quite often this is where problems or questions come up that could not be anticipated either by you or by OCLC. You must send "before and after" printouts of a sample of at least 10 records soon after you begin. We will review them and get in touch with you, requesting additional batches of records, if necessary. Once any questions or problems have been resolved, we will release you to Enhance without further review. Please feel free to call (800-848-5878, ext. 6156), write (MC 745 OCLC, 6565 Kilgour Place, Dublin, Ohio 43017-0702), fax (614-718-7195), or e-mail Jay Weitz before you Enhance if you are uncertain about areas of cataloging, tagging, or OCLC practice. We encourage you to contact OCLC with questions. This is how we learn about the issues that face Enhance libraries and what to include in training and other documentation.
  2. Aside from the monitoring we do and the questions we answer, you may not hear much from OCLC. We do see Enhance work constantly in other quality control activity. If we see anything we question or doubt, you will hear from us. Otherwise, we are confident in your abilities. Although we have no formal regular correspondence, memos of miscellaneous information arising from questions and other sources are disseminated irregularly to all Enhance libraries via the Enhance mailing list. These memos may include notices of changes to the MARC formats, changes in policy, news of additions to and withdrawals from the Enhance roster, etc.
  3. OCLC regularly hosts an Enhance session at both the Annual and Midwinter meetings of the American Library Association, as well as at the Music OCLC Users Group meeting held in conjunction with the Music Library Association annual meeting. These sessions can be useful for asking questions and sharing information and all Enhance participants are invited to attend.
  4. The OCLC Enhance Libraries mailing list is an open, unmoderated e-mail list for the dissemination of news and discussion of procedures, questions, and suggestions relating to Enhance activity in WorldCat. There are no restrictions to the number of subscribers at any participating Enhance institution. To subscribe to the Enhance List, please go to the OCLC Enhance Libraries mailing list page at and follow the instructions there. The Enhance Archive of past postings to the list may also be accessed from this location. The OCLC Enhance Libraries List is hosted by the University of Washington (WAU) and administered by list owners Kathleen Forsythe and Diana Brooking.
  1. Enhance Activity through January 2004.
    1. At the time of this Enhance Training Outline revision, there are over 175 OCLC symbols authorized to Enhance records in at least one bibliographic format. If symbols authorized in multiple formats are broken out, the count increases to over 250. In the past decade, they have averaged over 11,000 Enhance replaces per month, not including Minimal-Level Upgrade or Database Enrichment transactions. It is also interesting to note that Enhance participants have historically been responsible for large proportions of all Minimal-Level replaces. Since the Enhance Program began in 1983, nearly 1.9 million Enhance replaces have been performed. Clearly, Enhance libraries have a significant impact on WorldCat, with quality control activities being widely distributed.
    2. Enhance works, and all OCLC users see, and benefit from, the high quality improvements that Enhance participants make. An Enhance authorization is both a responsibility and a privilege. OCLC appreciates the fact that there are libraries concerned enough with the quality of the records in WorldCat to share the job of quality control.


Arnold, Judith M. "The OCLC Enhance Sharing Session." Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 13:2 (1991) p. 136-137.

Davis, Carol. "Enhance training completed; Libraries gear up for autumn." OCLC Newsletter 154 (September 1984) p. 8.

-----. "New Enhance libraries chosen." OCLC Newsletter 157 (April 1985) p. 12.

-----. "Enhance applications received; More libraries sought." OCLC Newsletter 159 (October 1985) p. 7.

-----. "Additional Enhance libraries chosen." OCLC Newsletter 160 (December 1985) p. 14.

Dean, Nita. "Enhance libraries improve database quality." OCLC Newsletter 187 (September/October 1990) p. 17-19.

Dwyer, Jim. "Bibliographic records Enhancement: From the drawing board to the catalog screen." Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 13:3/4 (1991) p. 29-51.

"Enhance libraries honored at reception at ALA in New Orleans." OCLC Newsletter 174 (July/August 1988) p. 22.

"Enhance libraries selected." Palinet News 42 (June 1988) p. 3.

Greene, Richard O. "Enhancement of records in the Online Union Catalog." OCLC Newsletter 153 (June 1984) p. 2.

Hanscom, Martha J.; White, Carol J.; Davis, Carol C. "The OCLC Enhance Program: some practical considerations." Technical Services Quarterly 42:2 (Winter 1986) p. 21-28.

High, Walter M. "The dilemma of Enhance." Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 9:1 (1988) p. 134-139.

Johnson, Judith J.; Josel, Clair S. "Quality control and the OCLC data base: A report on error reporting." Library Resources & Technical Services 25:1 (January/March 1981) p. 40-47.

"OCLC creates a national level category for Enhance Program." OCLC Newsletter 212 (November/December 1994) p. 8.

"OCLC expands Enhance program after CIP upgrade test." OCLC Newsletter 207 (January/February 1994) p. 8-9.

"OCLC now accepting Enhance Program applications any time." OCLC Newsletter 181 (September/October 1989) p. 33.

"OCLC to strengthen online quality control for database." OCLC Newsletter 153 (June 1984) p. 1, 3.

Roach, Mary K. "Report of the Cataloging Advisory Committee Meeting." Action for Libraries 6:12 (December 1981) p. 6-8.

Sherwood, Arlyn. "Enhancing in OCLC's Maps Format: A participant's view." Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 27:3/4 (1999) p. 429-441.

Smith, Barbara G. "Everything you always wanted to know about Enhance, but ..." Start of Message 33 (October 1984) p. 7-8.

Sluk, John M. "Enhancing a national database." Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 6:1 (Fall 1985) p. 33-38.

Storey, Tom. "New Enhance libraries chosen." OCLC Newsletter 173 (May/June 1988) p. 6-7.

Weitz, Jay. "Cooperative efforts enhance quality control." OCLC Newsletter 242 (November/December 1999) p. 46-47.

White, Carol; Hanscom, Martha. "OCLC Enhance: an experience." Action for Libraries 11:9 (September 1985) p. 1-2.


  • Was this article helpful?