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OCLC Support

Report errant OCLC numbers

See how to view OCLC number coverage in a collection. Report missing or incorrect OCLC numbers to the knowledge base team. All knowledge base users benefit from your submissions.

About OCLC numbers (OCNs)

Title-level settings

OCLC numbers appear within knowledge base title-level settings such as:

View OCLC number coverage in a collection

The number of OCLC numbers in a collection can help you determine the percentage of records that will be output for a collection. There are 2 options for viewing gaps in OCLC number coverage.

Option 1: View the percentage of OCLC numbers in a collection is listed in the Collections available in the WorldCat knowledge base.

Option 2: View OCLC number coverage by downloading a KBART file of the collection:

  1. Sign in to the WorldShare interface. Navigate to Metadata > Collection Manager.
  2. Search for the collection and open it.
  3. Expand the Titles accordion. Download a KBART spreadsheet of titles in the collection.
  4. Review the oclc_number column.

Report missing or errant OCLC numbers

To have OCLC numbers added to a global collection by the knowledge base team:

  1. Complete the OCLC number correction form with as much detail as possible for each title.
  2. Submit the form to OCLC Support as a support ticket and indicate that you would like the knowledge base team to add the OCLC numbers to the titles you included in the form.
  3. The knowledge base team will review and schedule the addition of these OCLC numbers in 1-3 months.

Add or edit OCLC numbers

Reporting errant OCLC numbers to the knowledge base team will improve the experience of all member libraries that use knowledge base collections. However, if the title with an errant OCLC number is in a customizable collection, you can manually edit the field. If it is in a non-customizable collection, report the errant OCLC number to OCLC.

For libraries with MARC record output enabled: If an OCLC number is missing on a title and a matching OCLC number becomes available at a later date, the corresponding WorldCat record will be issued automatically. If you add an OCLC number manually, you will trigger the output of the corresponding record.

Edit an individual title

Use the Override OCN field within a collection:

  1. To add OCLC numbers to individual titles, locate the title in the knowledge base and click the pencil icon beside its name.
  2. In the Override OCN field, add the OCLC number and click Save.
  3. For libraries with MARC record output enabled: A record will be output for the title on the next weekday or later, depending on what you have chosen for the timing of record delivery.

Make bulk edits via a KBART file

To add OCLC numbers in bulk using file upload/download:

  1. Navigate to the collection where you wish to add new OCLC numbers. Open the collection and expand the Titles accordion.
  2. Use the More Actions drop-down list and choose Download Selected to download a KBART-formatted title list for the collection.
  3. Open the title list in a spreadsheet application. Apply a filter to all columns and proceed to filter to blank/empty on the column "oclc_number." The resulting titles will be those in the collection that lack OCLC numbers.
  4. Isolate the filtered titles and create a new title list from this set.
  5. Add OCLC numbers to the titles.
  6. Add the word "OVERLAY" to each corresponding ACTION column entry.***
  7. Save the filtered title list as a tab-delimited text file and re-upload it to the collection.
  8. For libraries with MARC record output enabled: Records will be output for the new OCLC numbers/modified titles on the next weekday or later, depending on what you have chosen for the timing of record delivery.

Find detailed instructions on the page Modify a collection to select your subset of titles.

***Note: Exercise caution when modifying fields with the "OVERLAY" action. Inadvertent changes to fields other than the OCLC number column will remove them from any future global knowledge base updates. See KBART values and formatting for more information.

Using the "OVERLAY" action:

  • Tells the knowledge base system that one or more pieces of title-level metadata have been altered and instructs the system to modify the corresponding title entry accordingly
  • Prevents any changes made to the global knowledge base collection from being applied to the fields you altered. When OCLC updates the collection with new data from the provider, any field that has been modified using the "OVERLAY" action will be excluded from these updates

Additional information

For information about Cooperative management of the WorldCat knowledge base, see Update title information for existing collections.