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Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the Expert Community.
How does what I can do with my full-level Cataloging authorization in the Expert Community differ from what I could do before?

In the past with your full-level authorization, you could replace minimal and lower level records and add or edit or delete information in a specific list of fields in other records. Now, you can replace full level records and add or edit or delete in almost all fields in almost all records. Only PCC records (both BIBCO and CONSER) are excluded.

I have a Cataloging authorization that is higher than full. How is it affected?

Any Full-Level authorization or higher (including CONSER Regular, CONSER National, Regular Enhance, National Level Enhance, NACO Regular, NACO National, and Agent) will be able to participate. All existing Enhance, CONSER, and NACO authorizations will continue to work as they always have but will also have all of the additional capabilities allowed within the Expert Community.

Do I need to get a new authorization to do this? Is there an application process?

No, there is no application process. Your existing full-level authorization is all you need. Before you start, please read the Guidelines.

How do I know whether my Cataloging authorization is full-level?

When you log on to Connexion, the system displays a greeting:

Hello, [your user name]! You will be using the service in [name of level] mode.

If you see "FULL" as the "name of level", you have a full-level authorization. NACO-level authorizations are the equivalent of full-level authorizations in terms of bibliographic record functionality.

How does the Expert Community differ from the capabilities that OCLC Enhance Program participants have?

With the Expert Community, your full-level Cataloging authorization allows you to do much of what an Enhance Program participant can do. But that doesn't mean that the Enhance Program is going away. OCLC staff are talking with Enhance Program participants about ways in which the Enhance Program might be refocused in other ways that would continue to make use of the talents and expertise of current and future participants.

Are there some fields that I cannot edit?

Yes, there are some fields that are essential to the operation of OCLC's systems that you cannot edit or delete from the WorldCat record. See the Guidelines for a complete list.

Can I improve and update records in all formats?

Yes, you can.

What about CIP records?

Yes, you may edit and upgrade almost all fields in CIP records (unless it is a Library of Congress CIP record coded 'pcc'). However, you will not be able to change the encoding level from 8 to a higher level.

In the past, I've had mixed results with controlling headings and replacing records. Sometimes the replace did not work because controlling the heading caused the heading text to change. What will happen now?

Controlling headings should work regardless of whether the heading text changes so, if you correct a name or subject heading so that it matches the authority record for that heading, please control that heading before replacing the record.

Do I need to lock the WorldCat record before I replace it?

If you are using the Connexion client, you do not need lock it before editing.  If you are making a quick change to correct a non-filing indicator or a typo in an access point, it may be more efficient to make your edits and replace the record without locking it first.  If you are doing more extensive editing (to upgrade a minimal-level record, for example), it may be preferable to lock the record first.

How can I communicate with OCLC staff and share my experiences with other Expert Community participants?

OCLC encourages you to use the OCLC-CAT list to share your experiences. If you're not already subscribed to that list, you can subscribe using the Internet Subscription Request form. We are eager to have your input.

If you have a specific question for OCLC quality control staff, you can send your question to the email address:

How are the Expert Community replace transactions reported to member libraries?

These replace transactions are counted in the general category of WorldCat Replaces in the Online Cataloging section of Usage Statistics. In addition, specific counts for your institution are available in OCLC Product Code Detail Usage Report, which is made available each month in My Files (under the WorldShare Metadata tab).

If a record already contains a single subject heading from a particular scheme, can I add additional subject headings from that same scheme or can I add only subject headings from schemes that are not in the WorldCat record at all?

Yes, you can add additional headings from the same scheme. For example, if the WorldCat record contains one LCSH heading, you can add additional LCSH headings when appropriate and in accord with LC subject cataloging policy. You could also add subject headings from other schemes.

Can I add URLs to WorldCat records?

Yes, you can already do that as part of the Database Enrichment capability. See Bibliographic Formats and Standards, section 5.3, for more information.

Will there be a history of the WorldCat record so that we can see what information has been added or removed?

OCLC staff will have access to "before" and "after" images of each replace transaction but a history display (similar to what is available for authority records) will not be available to member libraries at this time.

If I make some changes that are allowed and some that are not allowed, will the system accept the allowed changes or will the whole replace transaction be rejected?

The system will reject the whole transaction as it has in the past.  The error message includes the change that was not allowed.

Are there any special considerations for records with both Latin and non-Latin scripts in linked fields?

If your institution does not have the expertise to work with the various non-Latin scripts that OCLC supports, you may wish to leave that activity to institutions with the appropriate language and script skills.

If you do work on records containing non-Latin scripts, please use the same care in your replace transaction as you would in creating a new full-level record. Make sure to maintain appropriate relationships between Latin and non-Latin scripts fields, especially when any of the following changes were made in the Latin field:

  • If personal name headings were controlled to an authority record with date qualifier, etc.
  • If a geographic name heading contains a Latin script qualifier
  • If a traced series (using 490 1 and 8XX fields) contains a Latin script qualifier, etc.

Remember also that Library of Congress topical subject terms and non-geographic subdivisions should not be linked to non-Latin script terms. Field 650 with 2nd indicator 0 can be linked to a non-Latin script counterpart with a second indicator coded 4 only to express a component place name in a non-Latin script. All LCSH terms are in English even if derived from native words or phrases in other languages, e.g., "Feng shui," "Origami," "Kabuki," "Bazaars," "Ummah," "Haskalah," etc.