Class numbers on works

Classify is a protoype service which provides a snapshot of what class numbers (DDC, LCC, NLM) have been assigned to works in Worldcat.

The records are grouped using the OCLC FRBR Work-Set algorithm resulting in a work-level summary of the class numbers assigned a title. You can retrieve a classification summary by ISBN, ISSN, UPC, OCLC number, or author/title. [About Classify [OCLC]]

Here are the LCC numbers assigned to The Consequences of Modernity by Anthony Giddens:

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Comments: 3

Jul 14, 2008
Ed Jones

I'm not sure I understand the purpose of this tool. It seems to just point up the extent to which call numbers have become surrogates for true classification in the library context (and the extent to which catalogers accept call numbers already assigned to a work). What might be interesting would be a tool that converted the subject headings assigned to a work into DDC classifications that could then be translated into other subject heading schemes and thesauri. (Of course that presupposes that such translations exist.)

Jul 18, 2008
Chris Keene

This could make a great web service, a bit like xISBN

I could see, as an example, an academic entering an article in to an Institutional Repository, once they have typed in the ISSN the IR software grabs the most popular classmark to store behind the scenes. This would allow each article in an IR to have a basic classification provided for it without requiring academics having to try and do this themselves. The end result may not be perfect (especially for journals which cover a broad subject area) but probably better than nothing.

Aug 04, 2008
Harry Wagner

Chris,
Thanks for the feedback. Our intent has always been to offer Classify as a web service. In fact it could be used as such now, given the XML output (click view source on any results page). We are planning a more concise output for machine consumption - probably just the summary recommendations. Any suggestions you have along these lines would be welcome. Thanks again for your feedback.

Best Regards,
Harry Wagner