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WorldCat Entity

Discover the general guidelines and standards for WorldCat Entity Data.

WorldCat Entity

OCLC's WorldCat Entities environment contains WorldCat Person and WorldCat Work Entities.

WorldCat Person: An individual human (alive or dead).

WorldCat Work: The distinct artistic creation expressed through one or more content type(s) such as text, moving image, music, etc.

Each WorldCat Entity will contain a common set of descriptors:

  • Label. A label will appear at the top of the page. This label will be displayed in the preferred language, which can be changed at the bottom of the screen. For more information, see Set language.
  • Entity ID. An Entity ID is the unique identifier for the WorldCat Entity.
  • Entity Type. An Entity Type is the type or category of Entity that the WorldCat Entity is describing. For example, a WorldCat Person Entity would have an Entity Type, person.
  • Reference. Each claim within the WorldCat Entity can have one or more references that identify the source or provenance of the claim.
  • Rank. Each claim within the WorldCat Entity will include a rank. The ranks are normal, preferred, or depreciated. Normal ranking claims will not display unless you expand the claim. However, both preferred and depreciated will appear with the associated claim in both the display and when expanding the claim.


A property is the predicate in an RDF triple statement. W3C defines a predicate as a "middle term (the linkage, or 'verb') in an RDF statement." The property defines the relationship between the Entity, or Subject, and the thing, or Object, it relates to in a triples statement.

Properties used to make claims in a WorldCat Entity are listed in the WorldCat Person, WorldCat Place, and WorldCat Work pages. Under the Label for each property is the URI (Universal Resource Identifier), a definition, and a description.

  • URI (Universal Resource Identifier). A unique identifier for the property.
  • Definition. The definition within the WorldCat Ontology.
  • Description. A statement or statements that further describe the property along with its expected value.


OCLC acknowledges the efforts of all the people who participated in producing this documentation:

Amanda Brennan, Anne Washington, Becky Dean, Charlene Morrison, Laura Ramsey, Morgan Peters, Michael Phillips, Robin Six, Shanna Griffith