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OCLC Expert Cataloging Community Sharing Session minutes, January 2016

Minutes of the OCLC Enhance and Expert Community Sharing Session
ALA Midwinter Conference
Friday, 2016 January 8
10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Boston, Massachusetts


The Midwinter 2016 edition of Breaking Through: What’s New and Next from OCLC and the compilation of News From OCLC were distributed. Two items from the latter were mentioned: (1) the OCLC Annual Report for FY 2015 is now available at, and, (2) the last OCLC catalog cards were printed on 2015 October 1, marking the end of an era. The floor was then opened the floor for questions and answers. Questions answered by Jenny Johnson (Executive Director, Marketing, Branding and Creative Services), Laura Ramsey (Section Manager, Quality Control), Jay Weitz (Senior Consulting Database Specialist, WorldCat Quality), and Cynthia Whitacre (Manager, WorldCat Quality).

Has a date been set for the end of Connexion?

There is currently no end-of-life date set for Connexion. Record Manager and its related software must have capabilities at least equal to or better than Connexion before support for Connexion can be ended. That remains a long way off.

Will there be more updates to Connexion?

Updates to the Connexion client are made regularly, particularly related to OCLC-MARC Updates each year. There is expected to be a new version of the Connexion client to accommodate Unicode in the not-too-distant future.

Will the entire Unicode universe be included in this new version? This is very important for CJK cataloging.


Anything new with member-merged records?

Since ALA in San Francisco, a fifth library has joined the pilot group. As has been said before, the training process proved to be extremely labor-intensive and the pilot participants realized that correctly identifying duplicates was much more difficult that it might seem at first glance. We are still looking for ways to expand the pilot program. Adolfo Tarango (University of California, San Diego) reported that the merge process at UCSD has been completely integrated into the workflow and has been so successful that it is being expanded to include music records.

Is OCLC doing more to prevent duplicates from happening in the first place?

We work on improvements to Duplicate Detection and Resolution (DDR) every day. Please report any duplicates and incorrect merges that you find so that we can correct them and learn from them. At this ALA Midwinter conference, Jay is presenting “Cataloging Maps Defensively: ‘When to Input a New Record’ in the Age of DDR” to the Map and Geospatial Information Round Table (MAGIRT) Committee on Cataloging and Classification (CCC). The presentation attempts to explain a bit about how DDR works, to list a few of the map-specific and more general MARC elements DDR considers, to outline some of the ways DDR tries to take into account both past and current map cataloging practices, and to suggest ways in which catalogers can use the power of both AACR2 and RDA to try to avoid bad merges on DDR’s part. After the conference, MAGIRT will be making this presentation available on its Web site, as will OCLC. Furthermore, Jay is planning to present similar format-specific presentations on cataloging defensively for scores, sound recordings, videorecordings, and possibly other types of materials. Proposals have already been made to the Music OCLC Users Group (MOUG) and the Online Audiovisual Catalogers (OLAC) about this.

Are you working on differentiating CIA maps with subtle differences?

There are currently several routines within DDR that try to deal specifically with the differences found on CIA maps. In many cases, DDR even tries to parse information in note fields to find the distinctions, but it is difficult to create algorithms that will always deal accurately with the free text information found in the 5XX fields.

If I report one duplicate, do you fix only that one or do you look for more, for example, with the batch-loaded MARCIVE records?

Each of us who works with manual merging of duplicates works a little differently when it comes to looking for additional duplicates or sticking solely with the records reported. All of us tend to be more willing to merge such sparse records as those from MARCIVE.

Do you treat French records for chapters of books as duplicates to be merged?

In the increasingly global environment of WorldCat, different communities apply different descriptive conventions, employing practices that may look strange to us working within what has called been the Anglo-American cataloging community. Unless there are multiple records in the same Language of Cataloging (field 040 subfield $b) for the same chapter we will tend to leave such records as they are.

When can we move records from WorldCat to the KB?

That would be a good question to ask at the OCLC booth.

Any plans for adding more fields to Local Bibliographic Data?

There are no plans to add more fields to LBDs right now, but the need is recognized. Remember that LBDs are in their relative infancy. If they don’t currently meet your needs, you are encouraged to let OCLC know how the capabilities can be expanded and made more useful. Please send your comments and suggestions to

Can the macro for generating an authority record be updated to take advantage of the many recently added fields?


There are still too many fields in DLC records that we are not allowed to update when they are wrong. We can’t update CIP records. The system needs to tell us in advance which fields we can update so that we don’t lose all our updates because we have included a few that are not allowed.

Actually you can update anything in a CIP record, with the exception of the Encoding Level value “8” itself. There is an extensive chart in Bibliographic Formats and Standards 5.3 ( that details the dozens of fields in full-level LC and PCC records that you may add and/or edit with a full-level authorization. Please report the errors that you are not authorized to change. Thanks to the help of the Expert Community, our response time for bibliographic change requests is very minimal, at just a few days. We would encourage users to report errors on LC records rather than just fixing them in their local catalog. That allows us not only to make the correction in WorldCat but also pass on the needed correction to LC. Adolfo Tarango urged members of the cooperative to please update whatever may be updated. His institution processes about 200 updated records per week and finds these member updates very helpful.

When I find one particular error and correct it in our local record I also correct it in OCLC, but I don’t review the entire record for other errors. Is this helpful or merely confusing?

Anything you do to correct an error is good. If you are correcting only one record but know that others are affected, please report that to OCLC ( so that we might update the others either manually or via automated tools.

It would be very good if OCLC could do an automated cleanup of outmoded genre/form terms in WorldCat. Changing them manually is difficult.

OCLC did an extensive conversion when the cartographic materials genre/form vocabulary and rules were implemented. We plan to do similar conversions, as feasible, when other vocabularies and rules for their implementation become available.

When I am doing NACO work and flip something on one record do I need to flip it on all the other affected records?

You may do so yourself, or you may report such bibliographic maintenance to OCLC. Remember that controlled headings will be corrected automatically.

The Family History Library uses very different cataloging rules. How can I convert these nonstandard records?

Please don’t create duplicate records. Convert the descriptive cataloging to AACR2 or RDA. Retain the nonstandard subject headings but add appropriate LC subject headings.

How will OCLC handle the new MeSH subject headings?

When NLM issues their new records we will overlay their existing records to the extent possible. Following the reload, we will convert MeSH headings in the records of other libraries.

What should we do if we find a record for an e-book that has been incorrectly changed from a print record?

A print record changed to a record for an e-book, or vice versa, should be reported to OCLC ( so that it may be fixed.

When we know that a given print title is in Google Books, why does the OCLC record still indicate that there is no online version available?

In most cases, such books remain under copyright, meaning that Google Books cannot put the full text online until the copyright expires and the book is in the public domain.

If the language of cataloging is English can we delete a note in a foreign language, Hebrew, for example?

If you can replace the note with its equivalent in English, yes. Otherwise, we prefer that you leave the record as it is. We would encourage you, however, to report these incorrect hybrid records in which the Language of Cataloging code in field 040 subfield $b misrepresents the actual language of the cataloging. This allows us to discover and correct patterns of miscoded records and may help to prevent more such hybrids from being created.

Respectfully submitted by
Doris Seely
University of Minnesota
2016 January 14

With edits by Laura Ramsey and Jay Weitz.

2016 January 20