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OCLC Expert Cataloging Community Sharing Session minutes, June 2016

Minutes of the OCLC Enhance and Expert Community Sharing Session
ALA Annual Conference
Friday, 2016 June 24
10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Hyatt Regency Hotel, Orlando, Florida


The ALA Annual 2016 edition of Breaking Through: What’s New and Next From OCLC and the compilation of News From OCLC were distributed. The floor was opened for questions and answers. Questions were answered by Robert Bremer (Senior Consulting Database Specialist, WorldCat Quality), Laura Ramsey (Section Manager, Quality Control), Roy Tennant (Senior Program Officer, OCLC Research Library Partnership), Jay Weitz (Senior Consulting Database Specialist, WorldCat Quality), and Cynthia Whitacre (Manager, WorldCat Quality).

Why can we enhance LC copy but not PCC copy?

This is a misconception. In reality, the capabilities for editing most PCC records and most LC records are basically the same and have been since about 2002 as part of OCLC’s Database Enrichment ( Database Enrichment allows you to make any of the changes in that BFAS chart in the same replace transaction, as long as you limit changes to those that are allowed. As BFAS notes, “Make all Database Enrichments in one editing session. For example, add a call number in the same lock-and-replace session as a contents note.” OCLC’s Expert Community (, which has subsumed essentially all the capabilities of Database Enrichment, Minimal-Level Upgrade, and Regular Enhance since 2009, has been intended to further the ideals of cooperative cataloging within WorldCat without diluting the very definition of a PCC record. In order to maintain the integrity of PCC records, in the sense of having access points backed up by authority records, changing existing 6XX/0, 1XX, and 7XX had to be off limits, in agreement with the PCC. We certainly understand the frustration of seeing errors that may be off-limits, but encourage users to report them to

Why does OCLC allow the loading of TOH records, which are of very bad quality and include many duplicates?

OCLC is a cooperative, so we receive contributions of data at all levels of quality. We need to help each other out by improving records in WorldCat whenever feasible. If there appears to be a library consistently sending seriously poor quality data, please bring them to the attention of Quality Control at And if there are egregious situations of a pattern of such data, feel free to contact our Executive Director of Metadata Operations, Global Product Management, Ms. Marti Heyman at with your concerns. In the meantime, we are constantly adjusting the matching algorithms to address the problems presented by such records as best we can. But we also have to be careful to strike a balance between being too lenient in our matching and being not lenient enough. Every change to these complex algorithms has some impact somewhere else that may be unintended.

What is happening with the deletion of GMDs?

The process of removing GMDs began in April 2016 and is ongoing. Records for electronic books were our first specific target because of their prominence. The process includes adding the appropriate 336, 337, and 338 fields whenever we can safely determine them. It’s a slow and careful process that will be going on for quite a while.

We are seeing clusters of records with errors in the 6XX fields which affect other records in the database.

Please fix them if you can and/or report them to

Are FAST headings updated?

Yes, FAST headings are updated if the LC subject headings from which they are generated change. Members need not update FAST headings themselves because automated processes in WorldCat will take care of that. If you change some of the subject headings on a record, please delete all the old FAST headings so that they will all be regenerated to reflect your changes. When you derive a new record from an existing one, you may carry over the FAST headings if you don’t change any of the subject headings from which they were generated.

Where is there information about what FAST headings are good for?

You may find the OCLC Research page on FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology) at informative.

How long before FAST headings are added to a record?

It varies, but usually isn’t more than a few weeks.

How can we get information about what is happening when OCLC is down to such an extent that it can’t even issue its usual system alerts, as happened recently?

On the OCLC System Alerts page at, you can sign up to receive e-mail notifications about system outages.

I have seen a number of CJK records in OCLC which have Roman and CJK fields that don’t match at all.

Please correct them if you can or report them to

Can we use subfield $0 for ISNI and ORCID identifiers in the 700 fields?

Yes, some instructions on how to do this are in the new “Control Subfields” section of Bibliographic Formats and Standards at

If we use an LC subject heading in a 655 field, should the second indicator be 7 or 0?

When an LC Subject Heading is used in field 655, OCLC prefers that the Second Indicator be coded as “0” for LCSH. For strictly local genre/form terms in field 655, OCLC prefers that the Second Indicator be coded as “4” for “Source Not Specified.” Such preferences are now explicitly stated in BFAS.

Any date yet for the end of Connexion?

Later in 2016 there will actually be a new version of the Connexion client that is part of OCLC’s effort to expand WorldCat support for full Unicode characters and scripts to allow us to better represent international collections. That Connexion client release date isn’t yet set, nor is there any end-of-life for Connexion currently planned.

What is the function of the Community Center?

The OCLC Community Center ( is a place for the discussion of many things, but it is OCLC product oriented. Hence, it is a good place to ask about or to suggest particular product enhancements. The OCLC-CAT discussion list remains the place to discuss cataloging issues.

Incoming records don't overlay PCC records, right?


Our library is finding really bad matching of our local records and wants to delete some unwanted records from WorldCat.

The best course of action in cases such as this is to contact with the details of your situation and we’ll work with you on a solution.

Are we going to need to adjust our local Unicode capabilities to deal with the additional Unicode characters in OCLC?

There have been many questions about Unicode expansion but there are few clear answers yet. We have begun to discuss the development of some best practices regarding which characters to use in particular situations, particularly with an eye toward the potential impact on searching and indexing.

Why do the bibliographic records now support many more scripts while the authority records do not?

The LC/NACO Authority File is under the jurisdiction of the Library of Congress and is dependent on the coordinated capabilities of all of the NACO nodes. That is not the case for bibliographic records in WorldCat.

Might OCLC ever allow works that are coded as fiction in the Literary Form (BKS 008/33) fixed field also to be coded in the Biography (BKS 008/34) element as “a”, “b”, or “c” for Autobiography, Individual Biography, or Collective Biography? There are many items to which both apply, such as autobiographical novels and stories, critical editions of novels with substantial biographical information about the author, literary anthologies with biographical sketches for all the authors, and so on. But WorldCat won’t allow anything coded as fiction to be coded as biography of any kind.

This really isn’t up to OCLC, but is mandated by MARC 21. So it’s more of a question for the MARC Advisory Committee.

Respectfully submitted by
Doris Seely
University of Minnesota
2016 June 29

With edits by Marti Heyman, Laura Ramsey, Cynthia Whitacre, and Jay Weitz.

2016 July 7