OCLC

  • Discovery vs discoverability ... January 02, 2013 – I have been interested in the different dynamics of the inside-out and outside-in library for a while (see here for example). One especially interesting characteristic is the quite different approach to discovery in each case, even though this distinction has not yet crystallized in clear service categories. I was struck...read full entry...
  • Making things of interest Discoverable, Referencable, Relatable, ...June 10, 2012 – I came across the Ernest Hemingway phrase 'gradually, then suddenly' in an online discussion recently. Here is the context on the useful Goodreads quotable quote page. It seemed a statement appropriate to our times, and especially apt to a recent phenomenon: the growing importance of large-scale knowledge bases which collect...read full entry...
  • Big data .. big trendFebruary 04, 2012 – [I spoke at the Lita Top Technology Trends at Dallas. I had a trend in reserve - big data - but did not use it. Here is something along the lines of what I might have said ...] Big Data is a big trend, but as with expressions for other...read full entry...
  • Worldcat Identities Network: a 'mashup'July 30, 2011 – There has been some nice reaction to the Worldcat Identities Network. The initial motivation for this was to put a graphic display of related Identities into an Identities page. This did not work out and we decided to make it available as a standalone app. The aim is to show...read full entry...
  • Advocacy: public library as amenity and necessityApril 29, 2011 – Downward pressure on the cost of public services creates issues for public libraries. A growth in advocacy is a natural response, and this in turn creates pressing questions about value, and in particular about how different stakeholders potentially perceive value differently. Who one is addressing, and with what message, has...read full entry...
  • The library network and the scholarly recordFebruary 13, 2011 – The library community is a highly interconnected one. Networks are motivated both by library mission and effective management of resources. This trend will accelerate as the Internet favors shared services, and libraries will see more benefit in building such shared services. The Hathi Trust is an important example. The growth...read full entry...
  • Managing down collections ...January 21, 2011 – I was interested to read this from Karen Schneider a while ago: "Centralized mass storage for legacy print materials (paper-based books and journals) is by far the most under-observed trend in libraries today". I agree, with the friendly qualification that the trend is about managing the relationship between local, mass...read full entry...
  • Emerging network level management of the collective print collectionSeptember 12, 2010 – One of the recurrent themes in these pages is that systemwide coordination of print materials is necessary as libraries begin to retire collections - to offsite storage or removing them altogether. There are various drivers here: the demands on space, the emergence of a digital corpus, the cost of managing...read full entry...
  • In the Twitter flow ..July 17, 2010 – One of the recurrent themes of this blog has been the work done by libraries to put more of their services in the flow of their users' working, learning and research behaviors. In this context, I was pleased to see the work by my colleagues on implementing Worldcat searches in...read full entry...
  • Discovery layers - Top Tech Trends 2July 04, 2010 – [No 2 of 3. No 1 here.] I was pleased to participate in LITA's Top Tech Trends panel at ALA this year (see the video and live coverage). We were each asked to talk about three trends: current, a bit further out, and a bit further out again. In thinking...read full entry...
  • Beyond records .. genresJune 26, 2010 – We tend to have a very record-based view of bibliographic systems. Searches in a resource result in lists of record-based displays for items. All fields may not be indexed. This means that the data works less hard than it might, given the variety of ways in which it could be...read full entry...
  • The cloud is currently a question, not an answerJune 23, 2010 – I will be on the LITA Top Technology Trends panel on Sunday. I have yet to finalize my thoughts, but I am sure that mobile and cloud will figure. We are increasingly familiar with the twin discussions about mobilization and the cloud, and about how each trend supports the other....read full entry...
  • More on VuFindJune 06, 2010 – I wrote an entry on yufind the other day, noting its use of xISBN to cluster editions in results. yufind is an implementation of VuFind. Here is another example of the clustering: Villanova. As Till Kinstler points out in a comment, and as William Denton notes in a discussion of...read full entry...
  • A web-siting at Yale: other editions and xISBNMay 31, 2010 – I was looking at the Vufind implementation of the Yale University Library catalog - yufind - and was interested to see that it implements a link to OCLC's xISBN service to pull together other editions of a displayed result. Here is an example where several versions of Krapp's Last Tape...read full entry...
  • Reading ...April 12, 2010 – We have produced or been involved in a variety of reports recently. I thought it would be interesting to do a list of some ... Godby, Carol Jean. 2010. Mapping ONIX to MARC. Report and crosswalk produced by OCLC Research. Available online at http://www.oclc.org/research/publications/library/2010/2010-14.pdf (report) and http://www.oclc.org/research/publications/library/2010/2010-14a.xls (crosswalk). (A welcome...read full entry...
  • An all-through system? From Onix to MARCApril 11, 2010 – One of the recommendations of the LC Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control encouraged greater reliance on an 'all-through' system for bibliographic data, where data created upstream by publishers and others could be mobilized downstream by libraries. I was reminded of these words at the time. Records serve...read full entry...
  • Data wells: one big indexMarch 14, 2010 – I was interested to hear the concept of a 'data well' discussed when I was in Sweden the other week. It seems to be used in the sense of an infrastructure to ingest, normalise and provide integrated access to multiple streams of data. In this way, library services can be...read full entry...
  • Dublin core: the first fifteen years ...March 14, 2010 – The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative celebrated fifteen years of existence on March 1st. The initiative began at a workshop in Dublin, Ohio, jointly organized by OCLC and NCSA. The second workshop inaugurated the series which has continued to this day morphing into the annual conference along the way. It was...read full entry...
  • Name, rank and serial numberFebruary 26, 2010 – As authors are recognised as resources to be discovered, managed, ranked, and tracked, an interest in names and identifiers will continue to grow. A focus on research evaluation, reputation management, publication management drive this, as well as general information management issues in a web environment. Historically, national libraries have managed...read full entry...
  • Sourcing and scalingFebruary 21, 2010 – One of the major issues facing libraries as the network reconfigures processes is how appropriately to source and scale activities. What does it make sense to do at institutional level, what does it make sense to source elsewhere (repository services in the cloud, for example, or insitutional email services from...read full entry...
  • EuropeanaJanuary 03, 2010 – My colleague Ricky Erway bravely accepted the challenge to talk as an outsider on the challenges faced by Europeana to a European conference on digitization last year. Her remarks are recorded in an article in the LIBER Quarterly. The organisers of the second LIBER/EBLIDA workshop on digitisation (The Hague, October...read full entry...
  • VIAF design patternJanuary 03, 2010 – A blog entry by Paul Walk - An infrastructure service anti-pattern - drew some attention a while ago. He argues against a model in which a service provider independently develops APIs and a user interface, and in which, accordingly, the APIs are developed in advance of actual use or explicit...read full entry...
  • Research assessment and the library ...December 27, 2009 – I am pleased to note the appearance of a new report on research assessment and the role of libraries. This has been prepared as part of our Research Information Management stream of work in support of the RLG Partnership. The study is a comparative review of formal assessment regimes in...read full entry...
  • QOTD: Spiders and flies and classicsDecember 13, 2009 – Reading Concerning E.M. Forster by Frank Kermode, I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes, Forster's response to Eliot's criticism of his remarks about D.H. Lawrence ... So they corresponded and respected one another, and after Lawrence died Forster wrote that the regarded him as 'one of the glories...read full entry...
  • Beyond bibliographic recordsDecember 06, 2009 – Our cataloging model revolves around the 'manifestation', the particular edition or version of a work that is to be added to the collection. This is also the unit of bibliographic exchange: we ship around MARC records which have data about 'manifestations'. These are the 'inputs' into our catalogs and bibliographic...read full entry...
  • Counting books ...November 29, 2009 – I have been careful in recent posts about numbers to note that the term 'book' has no precise referent. One person's book is another person's pamphlet, or ... Brian Lavoie and I have an article in the current issue of DLib Magazine which uses Worldcat to estimate the number of...read full entry...
  • Network as a service ...November 29, 2009 – We have entered the era of Everything-as-a-service, where lowering transaction costs mean that a growing range of capacities can be sourced from the cloud. It has become common to talk about a threefold model: Software or applications as a service. A particular application may be used in the cloud (for...read full entry...
  • Untangling the library systems environmentOctober 25, 2009 – NISO organized a meeting on library resource management a couple of weeks ago: I notice that the presentations are now available on the web. They make an interesting collection, and I return to them in a moment. I have written about the library systems environment in these pages from time...read full entry...
  • On books againAugust 23, 2009 – 'Book' is a big word. It has a lot of power as it is intimately bound up with our intellectual and imaginative histories. More parochially, the book is also strongly bound up with the professional practice and identity of the library and librarians. At a more prosaic (sic) level, the...read full entry...
  • Worldcat Local usability results and FRBRAugust 07, 2009 – I posted a while ago about the potential benefits of sharing usability results between libraries, and there was some interest in Worldcat usability testing at the time. In that context, some readers may be interested in the following report which OCLC prepared for distribution at ALA: Some Findings from WorldCat...read full entry...
  • Working around worksAugust 02, 2009 – There is a significant - if little read - literature of cataloging theory. A recurrent theme is the balance between gathering like items, and discriminating between them. Managing similarity and difference in this way, and making sensible user interface choices, is not straightforward. The FRBR model represents a recent approach...read full entry...
  • In English?July 02, 2009 – I thought I would post some numbers here which were prepared by my colleague Brian Lavoie for another purpose. The question was: how many of the books in US libraries are in English? First of all, what is a book? Deciding what a book is involves some choices (are theses...read full entry...
  • User symposium presentationsJune 21, 2009 – The presentations from the 2009 RLG Partnership Annual Symposium: Hearing voices: connecting with users, enhancing services, are now available. Here is how the event was described .. User studies have become a critical component in developing and improving services in our institutions. However, investigations into the needs of users and...read full entry...
  • Data flows in the book worldJune 14, 2009 – One of the recommendations of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control was that ways should be found of harnessing publisher data upstream of the cataloging process. The rationale was that this would make data about materials available earlier and reduce overall creation effort. OCLC...read full entry...
  • Audience levelJune 05, 2009 – I have written about the Audience Level measure in these pages a few times. In this initiative we are using the pattern of holdings across different types of libraries (school, research, etc) to give a 'hint' about the level of interest of an item (juvenile, research/specialist, ...). You can read...read full entry...
  • Metasearch reduxApril 28, 2009 – Here is something I said about metasearch in these pages some time ago .... The issue is that libraries have to manage a range of database resources whose legacy technical and business boundaries do not very well map user preferences or behaviors. The approach has been to try to move...read full entry...
  • Web scale library management servicesApril 23, 2009 – OCLC has just released a press-release about its Web scale library management services. For some context see Andrew's note: OCLC is extending the WorldCat Local platform to include circulation and delivery, print and electronic acquisitions, and license management components. A quick start version of WorldCat Local--available at no additional charge...read full entry...
  • QOTD: library catalogs and usersApril 21, 2009 – Karen Calhoun and other colleagues have produced a report on catalog data from user and library points of view. The findings suggest two traditions of information organization at work--one from librarianship and the other from the Web. Librarians' perspectives about data quality remain highly influenced by their profession's classical principles...read full entry...
  • Articles on structured data: matching, mining and mixingApril 19, 2009 – The current issue of Library Resources and Technical Services (not on the web) has a couple of interesting articles which touch on the complications of processing inconsistent data. Creating organization name authority within an ERM system Kristen Blake and Jackquie Samples LRTS 53(2) April 2009 p 94-107 This article looks...read full entry...
  • Virtual International Authority FileApril 03, 2009 – Thom discusses the updated viaf.org site ... The VIAF site has recently had a major overhaul. What you now search are records created from a merge of matching source authority records. Within this record you can see what source records were used to create it, along with cross references and...read full entry...
  • The Google research offerMarch 18, 2009 – I was interested to see this note on the home page of Google Book Search: It links through to a page of 'research tips' based on the use of Google Book Search. Can't remember where you found that quote? Did someone grab the last copy of the book you needed...read full entry...
  • A multiscale catalogMarch 06, 2009 – From the Worldcat Local implementation at the University of Washington: The user can telescope between institution, consortium and Worldcat. I am not sure that 'telescope' is the right word here ;-) Aside: As we know we have different access models for stuff in journals and stuff normally found in the...read full entry...
  • A Columbus triangleMarch 01, 2009 – I appear to live near the middle of a triangle whose corners are the offices of LibLime, OCLC and OhioLINK ;-)...read full entry...
  • Copyright evidence registryFebruary 26, 2009 – I was talking to my colleague Bill Carney earlier, who manages the Copyright Evidence Registry initiative, as well as our work to synchronize Worldcat with Google and other digitization initiatives. OCLC has launched a pilot to explore the feasibility of building a cooperatively created and maintained repository of copyright evidence....read full entry...
  • Books about universitiesFebruary 16, 2009 – Many of the pages in Worldcat Identities are for corporate authors, Ohio State University, for example. It is interesting in these cases to see what the most widely held items about the institution in question are. Here are some examples from universities ..... So, the list of most widely held...read full entry...
  • QOTD: "the occasional young adult Christmas paranormal love story mystery"February 10, 2009 – The Public Lending Right is a mechanism for distributing funds to authors based on circulation of their books in UK public libraries. It provides an interesting measure of popularity. The PLR has just released the list [pdf] of the highest circulating authors in 2007/2008. James Patterson is now the most...read full entry...
  • Looking at DarwinFebruary 02, 2009 – I was interested to look at Charles Darwin's Worldcat Identity given his bicentenary next week. The event is being widely marked and there is a long list of celebratory activities at Darwin Online, the site of his digitized papers. The year 2009 is the 150th anniversary of the publication of...read full entry...
  • A referenceable listJanuary 19, 2009 – My colleague Constance Malpas has created an interesting Worldcat List in support of ongoing work: Selected print-only, refereed scholarly journals in the humanities with fewer than 50 aggregate library holdings. Holdings count limited to recs containing ISSN and English-language cataloging. [RLG Prospective Journals Preservation Project - sample titles] This is...read full entry...
  • Holiday greetingDecember 09, 2008 – It's time for the OCLC Research holiday card. Check it out here, and make sure to click on the reindeer for holiday reading/listening/viewing suggestions....read full entry...
  • Centering the decentralized identity ...December 08, 2008 – Andy Powell, network resident, has an interesting post about his 'fractured' network identity. How does he define identity? "Digital identity is the online representation of an individual within a community, as adopted by that individual and/or projected by others. An individual may have multiple digital identities in multiple communities." [Andy...read full entry...
  • Zotero and WC listsDecember 02, 2008 – I have been looking at Zotero again while on vacation, as one does. I was impressed earlier to be able to import WorldCat lists to Zotero courtesy of Coins. Go to the citations view for the list and click on the Zotero folder icon in the address bar (assuming you...read full entry...
  • A bright future ....November 19, 2008 – The Research Information Network, a national research and policy unit in the UK which looks at the information needs and practices of researchers, has produced what it calls a Guidance Booklet. The title is Ensuring a bright future for research libraries: a guide for vice-chancellors and senior institutional managers. The...read full entry...
  • LeVan on Yee on mashupsNovember 13, 2008 – I mentioned Raymond Yee's book on mashups a while ago and signaled that a fuller review would follow from my colleague Ralph LeVan. This has now appeared: Ralph reviews the book positively in the current issue of Ariadne. I can’t imagine a more comprehensive book on mashups. This book would...read full entry...
  • HackathonNovember 09, 2008 – Eric Lease Morgan has a nice note reporting on the Worldcat Hackathon held at the end of last week. A group came together to explore building applications against OCLC Grid Services. Taking place in the Science, Industry and Business Library (New York Public Library), the event began with an overview...read full entry...
  • QOTD: Entering the Midwest via ColumbusNovember 08, 2008 – I am en route back to Columbus, Ohio. I am now in Atlanta - nearly there! I have been reading Roads: driving America's great highways by Larry McMurtry on the plane. I was interested to read the following on page 80: Accordingly I pulled across the Ohio River at Wheeling...read full entry...
  • Google Book Search channellingOctober 30, 2008 – Regular readers will know that I follow the Hitwise blog. I was interested to see their note on Google Book Search the other day, prompted by the settlement which discussed which sites benefited from downstream traffic from that site. In other words, where do people go when they leave Google...read full entry...
  • Are you Asking ...October 24, 2008 – After a recent makeover, search engine Ask has a nice clean interface and some nice features. One that is foregrounded is the 'related searches' feature. I could not immediately see how they were generating this list, but it was often helpful. I was interested in what a search for Lorcan...read full entry...
  • djatoka, OpenURL and OOMRef-JOctober 10, 2008 – djatoka, "A Reuse Friendly, Open Source JPEG 2000 Image Server" developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Research Library, was released recently. An article in D-Lib Magazine by Ryan Chute and Herbert Van de Sompel introduces it. A particular feature of the approach is its use of the OpenURL as enabling...read full entry...
  • The silos of the LAMsSeptember 28, 2008 – Libraries, archives and museums have different curatorial traditions and professional outlooks. In the digital environment, correspondences grow, around both the management of surrogates and of born-digital materials. Based on workshops in five RLG partner institutions, my colleagues have released a report [PDF] on institutional collaboration between libraries, archives and museums....read full entry...
  • Worldcat on iPhoneSeptember 19, 2008 – Several colleagues have commented on the view of Worldcat optimized for the iPhone/iTouch created by our colleague Bruce Washburn. It is a nice use of the Worldcat Search API and it pulls data from Worldcat and Worldcat Identities. As I don't have a Safari browser or an iPhone to hand,...read full entry...
  • The flatpack wealth of nationsSeptember 19, 2008 – Robert Crawford's poem Digital Library, St Andrews, finishes with these lines .... Where laptops open like thick-leaved books The flatpack wealth of nations. I know this because I listened to him talk to John MacColl in the latest PARCast ... Robert Crawford, Professor of Modern scottish Literature at the University...read full entry...
  • HackathonSeptember 10, 2008 – Check out the Hackathon being sponsored by the OCLC Developers' Network and NYPL Labs .... It is on Nov 7-8 in New York. Join fellow coders, hackers and tech-enthusiasts for a two-day WorldCat Hackathon at the New York Public Library. Sponsored by the OCLC Developer’s Network and NYPL Labs of...read full entry...
  • Above the FoldSeptember 05, 2008 – I am pleased to point to Above the fold, a new awareness resource .... Above the Fold consists of a compendium of articles that relate to the work of the RLG Partnership and the information context in which we're all operating -- but readers might not see in the course...read full entry...
  • Meet the candidatesSeptember 02, 2008 – Here is the Worldcat Identity for each of the Democrat and Republican candidates .... Joe Biden John McCain Barack Obama Sarah Palin I will leave it to others to offer any commentary ;-) And here are some others to review .... George Bush George W Bush Bill Clinton Hillary Rodham...read full entry...
  • RLG PartnershipAugust 20, 2008 – We have just released a highlights report [pdf] about our work over the last year in support of the RLG Partnership. It is a very nice record of achievement and has a range of useful pointers to documents and intiatives....read full entry...
  • Worldcat APIAugust 18, 2008 – The Worldcat API was released beyond the original trial group while I was away.The WorldCat Search API provides access to WorldCat bibliographic records and holdings using the FRBR concepts to pull together various editions of the same work. The API provides access to the WorldCat databases from clients that can...read full entry...
  • Stuck in the middle ....August 03, 2008 – Much of our current model of network information and communication behavior is in the middle ground, it is based on the personal computer (desk- or lap-top) as a consumption target and the organizational website as the delivery target. In other words, the library website is the front door to network...read full entry...
  • Selecting snippetsAugust 02, 2008 – Her Worldcat Identities page currently appears on the first page of results in a search for Eavan Boland Thom Hickey mentioned steps that his group is taking to make Identities more crawler-friendly in a recent post. Looking through various results with him the other day, the Boland snippet caught our...read full entry...
  • Metadata crosswalk web serviceJuly 27, 2008 – Metadata crosswalks are becoming more important as more data flows from application to application. We have been working on this issue and the approach was described a while ago in the Code4Lib Journal. This paper discusses an approach and set of tools for translating bibliographic metadata from one format to...read full entry...
  • The future of bibliographic control and the OCLC/ALISE research grantsJuly 16, 2008 – Each year we collaborate with ALISE to award several research grants. Check out the details page: Full-time academic faculty (or equivalent) in schools of library and information science are eligible to apply. OCLC and ALISE encourage international proposals and collaborative projects under this program. To aid new researchers, priority will...read full entry...
  • Name authoritiesJuly 14, 2008 – Libraries have invested significantly in name authority work over the years, and have created extensive infrastructure to help manage names of people and organizations. The relationship between this work and broader interest in this topic is something that will need to be addressed in coming years if this work is...read full entry...
  • Class numbers on worksJuly 09, 2008 – 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...read full entry...
  • Linking to IdentitiesJune 30, 2008 – Thom has a note about linking to Worldcat Identities. The current API has various aspects ..... here is a list with examples for the two simpler approaches. See Thom's post for fuller detail. 1. Direct linking using an LCCN. Here is the link for Van Morrison: http://worldcat.org/identities/lccn-n85-148183. 2. OpenURL See...read full entry...
  • xISSN and Title History ToolJune 23, 2008 – xISBN is now well established. xOCLCNUM was introduced a while ago, as an aspect of the xISBN service. xISBN is now being joined by xISSN, a new Web service. With this service you can supply an ISSN, and find out about any predecessor, successor, and alternate ISSNs and titles, and...read full entry...
  • CiteMeAppJune 22, 2008 – A new Worldcat Facebook application is now available: CiteMe. Get formatted citations in APA, Chicago, Harvard, MLA, or Turabian style. Start by searching for an item in WorldCat, the world's largest network of library content and services. Find your title in the results, click the Get citations links, and you're...read full entry...
  • Harvesting metadata for electronic theses and dissertationsJune 18, 2008 – Thom has a nice note on ETD 2008, held at The Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. (ETD - Electronic Theses and Dissertations.) He notes our ongoing involvement in NDLTD: As part of OCLC's support to NDLTD we harvest metadata about ETDs, and make a union catalog (which includes metadata from...read full entry...
  • MetalogueJune 18, 2008 – I am pleased to be able to report that my colleague Karen Calhoun has launched a blog: I'm Karen Calhoun, Vice President of WorldCat and Metadata Services at OCLC. Some OCLC colleagues and I have joined together to launch Metalogue, a new blog devoted to cataloguing and metadata topics around...read full entry...
  • Institutional discovery systemsJune 06, 2008 – The University of Wisconsin - Madison has made available its report about institutional discovery services [pdf]. Compare Google searching to the many steps and decisions one must make in order to locate a scholarly article on the UW-Madison Libraries Web site and you get a sense of the problem. [Resource...read full entry...
  • Some readingMay 07, 2008 – Here are links to several unrelated publications ..... Reconfiguring the Library Systems Environment portal: Libraries and the Academy, Vol. 8, No. 2, April 2008. http://www.oclc.org/research/publications/archive/2008/dempsey-portal.pdf (.pdf: 195K/18 pp.) [Lorcan Dempsey: Selected publications [OCLC]] This is a short piece adapted from an earlier blog entry. Lavoie, Brian, and Günter Waibel. An...read full entry...
  • A gallimaufrey of itemsMay 02, 2008 – Some items of possible interest which were in a little email pile waiting for attention ...... Arrow An Australian colleague alerted me to the redesign of the Arrow Discovery Service. Arrow aggregates access to Australian research repositories. Welcome to the ARROW Discovery Service - where you can search 143,582 Australian...read full entry...
  • Platforming a library network: destination and switchApril 18, 2008 – I recently came across xignite, a financial web services company. Here is their blurb .... Financial events around the world impact not only finance professionals but every business. This is why successful businesses integrate key financial information into the processes and applications their employees or clients use every day. Until...read full entry...
  • Digital preservationApril 11, 2008 – The New York Times carries an article this week about the economics of digital preservation. The context is the NSF Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access co-chaired by my colleague Brian Lavoie. All that work is going on, Dr. Lavoie said, but “that misses the point”...read full entry...
  • The network levelApril 07, 2008 – Jeremy Frumkin of Oregon State University talks to Merrilee Proffitt about library services and moving to the network level in the second Parcast [file is here]. This is in response to the question "what keeps you awake at night?". What is a Parcast? Welcome to the OCLC Programs and Research...read full entry...
  • The big switchApril 01, 2008 – I have just finished Nicholas Carr's The Big Switch. Here is a sample: The complexity and inefficiency of the client-server model have fed on themselves over the last quarter century. As companies continue to add more applications, they have to expand their data centers, install new machines, reprogram old ones,...read full entry...
  • Copyright investigation practicesMarch 31, 2008 – My Programs colleagues have released an interesting review [pdf] of copyright investigation practices across several RLG Partners. In this project, staff from eight partner institutions participated in copyright investigation interviews between August and September 2007 to share the ways in which their institutions currently obtain copyright permission to provide users...read full entry...
  • SSEO for librariesMarch 24, 2008 – Well, another very fine issue of the Code4Lib Journal has appeared. Jody L DeRidder has an interesting piece describing how they used browsable link pages (by subject, name, ..) and sitemaps to improve the visibility of a particular resource to search engines. The discussion gets into some of the issues...read full entry...
  • Columbus - tech cityMarch 24, 2008 – A little off topic .. but I was interested to see Columbus, Ohio, listed as number one in a Forbes.com report of a list of Top 10 Up-and-Coming Tech Cities. This is the result of work done by Philip Auerswald, professor of public policy at George Mason University. The brief...read full entry...
  • Audience levelMarch 13, 2008 – We have updated the audience level experimental service pages. In this initiative we are using the pattern of holdings across different types of libraries (school, research, etc) to give a 'hint' about the level of interest of an item (juvenile, research/specialist, ...). You can read more about how we calculate...read full entry...
  • Small notes on variably sized conferencesMarch 13, 2008 – I withdrew from a commitment to the BCLA conference a couple of months ago. This is not something I did lightly or do often and I apologize to Penny Swanson who nominated me and to the organizers. A clash with some other events emerged. I am pleased that my colleague...read full entry...
  • Blog rollMarch 12, 2008 – Here are some blogs of potential interest, two from OCLC and one from JISC. From OCLC: The Developers' Network blog This provide updates about services which allow applications integrate OCLC services and data. And Andrew Pace reappears in a new location: Hectic Pace JISC now has a blog from the...read full entry...
  • Worldcat blogFebruary 19, 2008 – Follow Worldcat.org and related developments at the new Worldcat blog....read full entry...
  • Data exchange and museumsFebruary 15, 2008 – My colleague Günter Waibel writes about a new RLG Programs project looking at the exchange of metadata between museum systems. Go to the entry for more detail. With the generous support of a $145,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, RLG Programs will gather a select group of museum...read full entry...
  • CardsFebruary 11, 2008 – OCLC distributed around 2 million printed catalog cards last year. They are still being used .......read full entry...
  • Registries, referrals, resolutionsJanuary 30, 2008 – I have written before about how registries provide 'intelligence' in the network. Scalable loose coupling between library services will benefit from good ways to discover those services. The Worldcat Registry includes data for library services (resolver, catalog, virtual reference) which drives Worldcat Local and Worldcat.org. Worldcat.org's 'understanding' of the library...read full entry...
  • Library process automation: the ecology of providersJanuary 20, 2008 – Just as I began to see messages about the publication of Marshall Breeding's report on his survey of library perceptions of their system vendor I was reading The new economics of the BI market by Jerry Held on The Database Column blog. He talks about consolidation within the BI (Business...read full entry...
  • Worldcat in FacebookDecember 22, 2007 – It is nice to see the Worldcat application for Facebook. Look out for additional features over time....read full entry...
  • Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic ControlDecember 15, 2007 – I am one of the two 'at large' members of the LC Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control. A draft final report for comment was released a while ago and today is the final day for responses. Karen Calhoun submitted a comment [PDF] on behalf of OCLC yesterday....read full entry...
  • Deweybrowser IIDecember 12, 2007 – A new version of the Deweybrowser has appeared. This is a prototype system with some nice features. It is built using Solr and highlights the use of a classification system in retrieval: The DeweyBrowser, beta version 2.0, has a new interface and updated database. You can search for a topic...read full entry...
  • Bibliographic holiday greetingsDecember 11, 2007 – We are pleased to bring you once again the OCLC Programs and Research Holiday Card. Best bibliographic wishes to all over the holiday period and into the new year ... Click on piechart segments to see the various underlying bibliographic systems: worldcat.org, worldcat identities, and the Deweybrowser ......read full entry...
  • Small worldsDecember 09, 2007 – I spent a couple of days at Kansas University in congenial Lawrence during the week. I flew back to Columbus from Kansas City airport on Thursday evening. However, I did not see my soon-to-be colleague Andrew Pace who was apparently in the airport at the same time ..... When travelling...read full entry...
  • The union catalogue and collaborative sourcingDecember 03, 2007 – The National Library of Australia has released an interesting document about the value of union catalogues in general, and Libraries Australia in particular. Here is the concluding paragraph: As Australian library collections move from managing print-based materials to managing digital and licensed resources, the National Union Catalogue provides a significant...read full entry...
  • Metadata creation againNovember 28, 2007 – Reading the report [PDF] of the RLG Programs metadata practice survey, this quote from a respondent jumped out at me: We use a variety of tools to produce a variety of records. Mature and established systems (such as our ILS) are generally effective. Tools for creation of XML are not...read full entry...
  • Logistics and synchronization: making data work harderNovember 20, 2007 – Updated: 11/21/07 I have spoken about library logistics before. Logistics is about moving information, materials and services through a network cost-effectively. Resource sharing is supported by a library logistics apparatus. The emerging e-resource discovery to delivery chain, tied together with resolution services, is a logistics challenge. Many of the e-resource...read full entry...
  • Worldcat Identities againNovember 14, 2007 – Thom has some more details about Worldcat Identities. What is returned is really XML with a reference to an XSL stylesheet to transform the XML into the HTML displayed by the browser. [Outgoing: Links to WorldCat Identities] He talks about how links from Worldcat work and also describes direct linking...read full entry...
  • Worldcat IdentitiesNovember 12, 2007 – Worldcat Identities went into production as part of Worldcat.org over the weekend. It is currently linked to from under the 'details' tab. We will be interested to see how it is used and review other integration options over time. One nice feature is that the Tag Cloud (these are FAST...read full entry...
  • Webified DeweyNovember 06, 2007 – My colleague Michael Panzer discusses issues involved in the 'webification' of Dewey in a recent presentation [ppt]. The presentation will briefly introduce a series of major principles for bringing subject terminology to the network level. A closer look at one KOS in particular, the Dewey Decimal Classification, should help to...read full entry...
  • WorldmapNovember 03, 2007 – Future reading: digitization and its discontents, an article by Anthony Grafton in the New Yorker, was widely noticed this week. It was nice to see him mention the Worldmap. This was a project we undertook in the context of the Changing Global Book Collection Patterns in ARL Libraries study. Coincidentally,...read full entry...
  • xISSNOctober 31, 2007 – Our Openly colleagues have added a new service, xISSN, alongside xISBN. The xISSN Web service supplies ISSNs and other information associated with serial publications represented in WorldCat. Submit an ISSN to this service, and it returns a list of related ISSNs and selected metadata. The service is based on WorldCat,...read full entry...
  • OpenURL ReferrerOctober 25, 2007 – My Openly colleagues have added an IE version of the OpenURL Referrer extension. The Firefox version is already available. OpenURL Referrer is a browser extension that can take certain kinds of citations on the web and convert them to direct links to one of your local library's databases. This can...read full entry...
  • Jon Udell interviews Stu WeibelOctober 23, 2007 – Jon Udell interviews my colleague Stu Weibel about Dublin Core, Worldcat, and related issues. On this episode of Interviews with Innovators, host Jon Udell invites Stuart Weibel to reflect on his leading role in the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative. They also discuss how databases like the Online Computer Library Center's...read full entry...
  • Sharing, privacy and trust in our networked worldOctober 23, 2007 – The latest OCLC report to the membership, Sharing, privacy and trust in our networked world, is now available. The report is based on a survey (by Harris Interactive on behalf of OCLC) of the general public from six countries—Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States—and of...read full entry...
  • QOTD: URI patternsSeptember 28, 2007 – A quote about URIs: I propose that a resource and its URI ought to have an intuitive correspondence. …. URIs should have a structure. They should vary in predictable ways: you should not go to /search/Jellyfish for jellyfish and /i-want-to-know-about/Mice for mice. If a client knows the structure of the...read full entry...
  • RLG and OCLC union catalogsSeptember 27, 2007 – I am occasionally asked what was the impact on Worldcat of the addition of the RLG Union Catalog. 52M records were processed as part of the load. 41.7M records were matched to existing Worldcat records. There was a net add to Worldcat of 8M records....read full entry...
  • Tablet and powerpointSeptember 22, 2007 – Mike Eisenberg, Professor and Dean Emeritus at the Information School, University of Washington, gave a presentation in OCLC during the week. The topic was education and the emergence of the iSchool movement. There was good and engaged discussion afterwards. I was struck by the mode of presentation. As we all...read full entry...
  • Subject and genre cloudsSeptember 16, 2007 – Worldcat Identities now has subject clouds. These are based on FAST headings in records associated with the identity. Here is the cloud on the page for Conor Cruise O'Brien. Click on the image to get through to the Identity page. Then click on one of the headings in the cloud...read full entry...
  • Knowing about libraries and services in the networkSeptember 13, 2007 – I bought the following book in the congenial City Newstand in Cheyenne this afternoon. The back cover tells me that it was the Wyoming Historical Society Book of the year ... I like the 'get it', 'save it', 'add to it', and 'share it' features. Because I am sitting at...read full entry...
  • My home pageSeptember 04, 2007 – Here is a cloud view of words on the 'front' page of this blog. I thought 'interested' and 'interesting' might be bigger, as, despite my best intentions, I always seem to end up saying 'it is interesting that ....' or 'I was interested to see ...' ;-) See here for...read full entry...
  • Rareness is commonSeptember 04, 2007 – One of the findings of the custom collection overlap studies we have done is that rareness is common: there are low overlap levels between collections. The comparison of collections has become a topic of stronger interest as libraries look at mass digitization and shared storage facilities, and pressure on space...read full entry...
  • Give us a subject heading ...September 02, 2007 – I was interested to read the following in Susan Gibbons' The academic library and the Net Gen student. As gaming becomes a more mainstream pastime and an important element in popular culture, academic libraries should begin to develop collections of books and journals about gaming. To find some recent monographs,...read full entry...
  • Early stuffJuly 03, 2007 – Thom has a nice post pointing to the materials with the earliest dates in Worldcat. Jars. Early records. Tablets. And ..... a fragment of mummy cloth. Thom has also done a Worldcat List of the ten oldest items he found....read full entry...
  • Systemic change: CIC and GoogleJune 06, 2007 – Today Google and CIC announce an agreement to digitize ten million volumes across the CIC libraries. Google has been adding new partners since the first announcement was made about the Google 5. Some folks have wondered what rationale has governed selection of partner opportunities. We do not know, but they...read full entry...
  • Day-Lewis stockMay 13, 2007 – Andrew Motion, current UK poet laureate reviews the biography of one of his predecessors in that role, Cecil Day-Lewis:Various attempts have been made to lift the reputation of Cecil Day-Lewis since his death 35 years ago, but none of them has met with much success. The poet, who was esteemed...read full entry...
  • A small note on the catalogApril 30, 2007 – I visited the University of Virginia last week where I spoke about the future of the catalog. This was more topical than I had realized when I agreed the subject with my hosts! When I arrived, the first thing that people wanted to talk about was Roy Tennant! The second...read full entry...
  • RLG DigiNewsApril 25, 2007 – One of the characteristics of the digital library phase has been the emergence of several web-based journals and magazines focusing on the digital turn in libraries and related institutions. Of course, there has been DLib Magazine, and, in the UK, Ariadne. RLG DigiNews has been an important part of this...read full entry...
  • Roy Tennant joins OCLC Programs and ResearchApril 24, 2007 – News is spreading that Roy will be joining RLG Programs in Mid-May. We are delighted and Programs and Research colleagues look forward to working with Roy on many interesting things! Roy talks about his move on his website:Any way you look at it, these are amazing times for libraries. In...read full entry...
  • Worldcat.org and articlesApril 23, 2007 – A couple of folks asked me about article level metadata in worldcat.org as in, for example: Manuel CastellsSeamus DeaneJames Gleick Details are available on the OCLC website: OCLC has added article-level citation records to WorldCat.org search results from four FirstSearch base package databases: GPO, ArticleFirst, Medline and ERIC. [Article-level citation...read full entry...
  • Library collectionsApril 20, 2007 – On my way home through Hong Kong airport, I bought A case of two cities, one in a series of novels by Qiu Xiaolong about Shanghai poet and detective, Inspector Chen Cao. Chen ends up leading a delegation of Chinese poets to the US, an activity that criss-crosses with the...read full entry...
  • Corporate identitiesApril 17, 2007 – Thom has a post describing recent enhancements to the Worldcat Identities site. He talks about several nice features. A signficant one is the handling of 'corporate identities' alongside personal identities. So, for example looking at the entry for Alma Swan, one of the authors of the report I just noted,...read full entry...
  • Patterns of collecting of non-us books in ARL librariesMarch 21, 2007 – ARL has just released a report on patterns of collection of non-US books in member libraries based on an analysis of their holdings in Worldcat [pdf] The report “Changing Global Book Collection Patterns in ARL Libraries” was prepared for the Global Resources Network (GRN) by: Mary E. Jackson, Auto-Graphics, Inc....read full entry...
  • A book cloudMarch 15, 2007 – My marketing colleague Andy Havens suggested that we think about making the Top 1000 works in Worldcat list that we did a while ago visible in del.icio.us. My research colleague Andy Houghton looked into it and here is the result. The list is findable by ISBN, OCLC number, language, genre...read full entry...
  • GBS FRBRMarch 12, 2007 –  I mentioned Augustine of Hippo the other day, in the context of the interesting work that Google is doing to develop a contextual page for each book (resources about it, resources related to it, etc. See this Penguin Classic with the nice cover, for example). Searching for the 'City...read full entry...
  • The publication profile of the Divine BohemianMarch 06, 2007 –  From an article in Sunday's NYT:A FEW brush strokes have come to define the otherwise obscure 18th-century composer later known as Il Divino Boemo, or the Divine Bohemian: Josef Myslivecek. [Josef Myslivecek - Music - New York Times]The article discusses Myslivecek's influence on Mozart and his decline in popularity....read full entry...
  • The anxiety of influenceFebruary 18, 2007 – We are lucky to live a short walk from the Whetstone branch of Columbus Metropolitan Library. I was there a few months ago browsing in the literature section. I was interested to see the strong presence of Harold Bloom. There were both books by him, and collections of critical essays...read full entry...
  • Worldcat IdentitiesFebruary 13, 2007 – I have been looking forward to mentioning Worldcat Identities. Thom describes the background here. This is very nice work by Thom and his colleagues. This initiative mines Worldcat for individual identities and creates a page for each. There are a lot of nice features on each page. Here are some...read full entry...
  • OCLC ALISE awardsFebruary 03, 2007 – Each year, in association with ALISE, OCLC makes several grants to faculty at schools of library and information science to assist them with their research. Check out the successful candidates for this year, and see what work has been supported in previous years....read full entry...
  • ScapesFebruary 01, 2007 – Google announced a while ago that they were 'deprecating' their SOAP Search API in favour of an Ajax based search syndication strategy [as reported by Brady Forrest]. One motivation for this, it was speculated, was that the SOAP API-based syndication of search did not support their ad-based revenue model. Why?...read full entry...
  • Nelsonville catalogJanuary 13, 2007 – Mentioning Koha the other day reminded me that I have used the Nelsonville Public Library catalog in a couple of recent presentations. It serves Athens County in South East Ohio and uses Koha. See the entry for this title: The art of Richard Diebenkorn. They provide access to Amazon search...read full entry...
  • Emergent knowledge and intentional dataDecember 31, 2006 – I have written about 'intentional' data on and off, data recording user preferences or choices. Such data has a variety of uses in our domain: we are all familiar with Amazon's 'people who bought this also bought this' feature. One of the major lessons of Google is to show how...read full entry...
  • Holiday greetingsDecember 20, 2006 – Check out our holiday card. Make sure to click on something ........read full entry...
  • Finding fictionDecember 16, 2006 – FictionFinder has been available for quite a while. Check out the new version. This is a prototype which has several motivations. It takes fiction records from Worldcat and shows how the data can be made 'work harder' to create useful and interesting experience. It offers a 'frbresque' view of the...read full entry...
  • Distributing the catalog discovery experienceOctober 13, 2006 – In a recent article on the catalog, I discussed how 'discovery' of library materials was increasingly going to be 'disembedded' from the local library catalog, and 're-embedded' in a variety of other contexts. Those other contexts might need to link back to the library system, which is becomes more of...read full entry...
  • Ross Singer wins software contestSeptember 28, 2006 – Probably appropriate to do this as a haiku ;-) To: rsinger@gatech From: OCLC The check’s in the mail. I am pleased to announce that Ross wins our second software contest with Umlaut. Congratulations Ross ...! And Jesse Andrews was a very strong runner up with BookBurro. Thanks to judges Thom...read full entry...
  • D2D in OhioSeptember 20, 2006 – Our close neighbor, Peter Murray, of Ohiolink, has been posting about Service Oriented Architectures. He has just been elaborating with some examples of how one might organize an integrated discovery to delivery experience across a set of independently managed services. In his example, WorldCat, OhioLink, and local library systems are...read full entry...
  • Audience level in the service layerSeptember 15, 2006 – I notice that John Blyberg has implemented access to our Audience Level Web Service in PatRest:I’ve updated AADL’s PatREST interface to reflect an addition I’ve made to the PatREST specification (now 1.3). This addition takes advantage of OCLC’s Audience Level indicator. OCLC makes this information available via an XML web...read full entry...
  • Registries: the intelligence in the networkAugust 20, 2006 – Interaction between systems and services on the network requires intelligence. Intelligence about what is in the environment (search or resolution targets, for example), about how to interact with found entities (addresses or interface specifications, for example), about who is authorized to do what, and so on. Think of two parallels....read full entry...
  • Worldcat.org appearsAugust 06, 2006 – Worldcat.org has gone live. This is a major step: it consolidates access to the collections and services of thousands of libraries on the open web. 1.3 billion items in approximately 18,000 libraries worldwide, and growing. There is a downloadable search box to add to your own page. The syntax for...read full entry...
  • Fred KilgourAugust 02, 2006 – I met Fred Kilgour only once. This was earlier this year In Chapel Hill when I had lunch with Fred and his wife Eleanor. We talked about the past, but what most occupied Fred and Eleanor was what they were doing then and what they were going to do. There...read full entry...
  • WikiD and OpenURLJuly 24, 2006 – And while speaking of OpenURL .... ... my colleagues, Jeff Young and Thom Hickey, have an article in the current D-Lib Magazine about the WikiD repository framework which is an OpenURL 1.0 application. Here is the summary:WikiD demonstrates that OpenURL has potential far beyond its roots in citation linking. It...read full entry...
  • SW CompJuly 23, 2006 – While I was away, Thom announced the Second OCLC Research Software Contest. Details here....read full entry...
  • Retrospect: You can run but you can't hideJuly 10, 2006 – The video [wvx] of my presentation at the University of Edinburgh is now available. I have received several kind comments and enquiries - surely it wasn't two and a half hours long ;-) I still cannot get used to the fact that many presentations are often not 'private' to you...read full entry...
  • RLG ProgramsJuly 10, 2006 – On July 1st we were excited to welcome our RLG colleagues to OCLC. We now look forward to building on the joint work of RLG's programmatic staff and OCLC Research, and working with partners, to create a significant capacity for change within the library, archives and museum communities. Check out...read full entry...
  • Small pieces ....July 10, 2006 – We have been interested in the great interest expressed in xISBN. It receives heavy traffic and seems to show how useful an easily recombinable web service can be. Thom compares the newer thingISBN service on LibraryThing with xISBN. Richard Wallis shows xISBN and thingISBN working with a couple more web...read full entry...
  • ISBNs: an interesting data pointJune 07, 2006 – About a third of the print books in WorldCat have ISBNs. Brian Lavoie provided me with this number based on the data extracted from WorldCat to support his joint work with Roger Schonfeld of Ithaka on the systemwide view of library collections. (Their presentation to CNI is available [ppt]; an...read full entry...
  • RLG and OCLCMay 30, 2006 – Many years ago, my wife Ann worked as a cataloguer on the small team at The British Library creating the Eighteenth Century Short Title Catalogue (ESTC). It was a good project to work on as people knew that they were making something special. It was also interesting in that the...read full entry...
  • A great radio voiceMay 25, 2006 – A nice interview with Thom. Thom Hickey discusses OCLC Research, projects, technology, and licensing with Educause's Matt Pasiewicz In a 23-minute interview, OCLC's chief scientist covers such topics as OCLC's Open Source Software offerings and licenses, FRBR and other projects, grid computing and Ajax. [Research [OCLC]]...read full entry...
  • Lifting out the catalog discovery experienceMay 14, 2006 – I have been talking to a variety of groups in recent weeks, and the future of the catalog has risen to the top of the list in discussion and questions. The catalog is a topic of major debate. However, this discussion is really raising a set of broader issues about...read full entry...
  • Know your audienceMarch 23, 2006 – We have made an 'audience level' service available as a prototype. This is available as a human interface, a web service, and as greasemonkey scripts which insert an audience level in an Amazon or Open WorldCat page based on interaction with the web service. This service is based on the...read full entry...
  • FRBR presentationsMarch 22, 2006 – In preparing the first presentation below, I linked to a variety of colleagues' presentations which touch on some aspect of FRBR. Lorcan Dempsey On the discrimination of Huck Finns: a short presentation on FRBR (PPT) Reading 2.0, 16 March 2006, San Francisco, California (USA) Diane Vizine-Goetz FictionFinder: Don Quixote to...read full entry...
  • URLs and the 'p' wordsJanuary 31, 2006 – Identifiers are a topic of ongoing investigation in a variety of contexts, and as more of our activities are driven by network workflows, supply chains and other data flows, they become more important. There are multiple active identifier discussions underway in our community as we speak. It is this topic...read full entry...
  • xISBN and compositionJanuary 27, 2006 – We have been pleasantly surprised at the uses people have made of xISBN. This is a web service which on input of an ISBN returns ISBNs in the same work set. It is an outgrowth of our work on FRBR. A partial list of people who have looked at it...read full entry...
  • Linking to OpenWorldCatJanuary 19, 2006 – I get asked about linking to entries in OpenWorldCat from time to time. Here is an update based on information from my colleague Mike Teets, who has overall responsibility for application development at OCLC. There is now a link at the top right of each OWC page that allows direct...read full entry...
  • Further FRBR applicationsJanuary 04, 2006 – University of Chicago law professor Randy Picker recounts some experiences with Google Book Search. He talks about looking for The Wealth of Nations. Of course, the publication of Smith's work was the second great event of 1776 (or was it the first?), so it would be surprising if the work...read full entry...
  • Cool searchDecember 10, 2005 – Thom has a note about some really nice search systems on his blog. Check there for the details of how these work. The search systems are based on an index of phrases, and suggest results as you type. These, combined with speed of response, give a very good serach experience....read full entry...
  • IdentifiersDecember 07, 2005 – A couple of things come together ... I was going to do a short post on the renaissance of interest in identifiers based on the approval by the IESG of the Info-URI, and on the growing awareness that we need to consistently identify the entities in our environment (institutions for...read full entry...
  • Link-addressible artifactsDecember 07, 2005 – I mentioned the other day that a part of the value of Flickr was that it made images citable, or, in the term suggested by Jon Udell in a nice post about media, 'link-addressible'. Jon's last sentence below (my emphasis) is a nice statement of the importance of 'citability'.In my...read full entry...
  • A handful of presentationsNovember 30, 2005 – I just noticed how out-and-about my OR colleagues have been in the last few months. Here is a note about presentations since September, pulling in a variety of things in passing. System and service architectures David Bigwood asked recently about the Microsoft Research Pane. We have been using it as...read full entry...
  • Circulating intentional dataNovember 27, 2005 – I have posted a couple of times recently about intentional data, data that records choices and behaviors. I mentioned holdings data, ILL records, circulation records, and database usage records. One could extend this list to any data which records an interaction or choice. We are used to looking at transaction...read full entry...
  • Country collectionsNovember 08, 2005 – Check out the WorldMap where we have collected and presented a range of data about the country of publication of titles in the aggregate collection represented by WorldCat. We also show how the ARL aggregate collection breaks down by country of publication. Alongside this data, we have also assembled more...read full entry...
  • From metasearch to distributed information environmentsOctober 09, 2005 – The papers from the recent NISO OpenURL and Metasearch meeting provide a very useful roundup of the state-of-the-art in the declared subject area. But they also touch on other topics facing libraries as they construct distributed information environments. Some things that lodged with me as I skimmed powerpoint:One stop shop...read full entry...
  • The reader and OpenWorldCatOctober 09, 2005 – Well, it has arrived! Functionality has gone live in OpenWorldCat which allows us to incorporate user views of materials. Check out the details and reviews tab here, for example. We do not know how this will develop: we think it is really important to provide a central presence on the...read full entry...
  • A decimal browseOctober 07, 2005 – We have added some new collections to the Dewey Browser. These are wcat, 2.2 million of the most widely held records in WorldCat, and a selection from the Abridged Edition 14 of the DDC.The wcat collection has been grouped based on the OCLC FRBR work-set algorithm and includes links to...read full entry...
  • Making data work harder - intentionallyOctober 06, 2005 – Much of the data that we have, or potentially might have, represents choices. Choices made by users or choices made by a service provider to meet user needs. Holdings data. Circulation data. Database usage data. In its production services, OCLC tends to use holdings data quite a bit to rank...read full entry...
  • Making data work - Web 2.0 and catalogsOctober 04, 2005 – Tim O'Reilly has just made available a suggestive piece about Web 2.0, which provides many points for the library community to ponder. One of these comes back to a concern I raise regularly in these pages: making data work harder. He is discussing the use of data, and notes how...read full entry...
  • Find nearbyOctober 04, 2005 – I mentioned the find in a nearby library feature in Santa Monica Public Library below, where OpenWorldCat is used to find a book in libraries within a several mile radius. This has now been extended throughout the catalog: there is a new link on every record that has a localized...read full entry...
  • Linking to OpenWorldCatOctober 03, 2005 – Three examples of linking to OpenWorldCat have just come over my horizon. Each represents a slightly different use, which is nice. A pilot with the Santa Monica public library catalog. Click on 'check nearby libraries' in the box on the left. An ISBN link with a zip code qualifier shows...read full entry...
  • Digital preservationSeptember 20, 2005 – Presentations describing projects shortlisted for the Digital Preservation Award for 2005 have been made available.The Digital Preservation Award of �5,000 is sponsored by the Digital Preservation Coalition. This prestigious Award recognises the many new initiatives being undertaken in the challenging field of digital preservation. The Digital Preservation Award is presented...read full entry...
  • Hwaet! Such swift search, SRU on a clusterSeptember 19, 2005 – My colleagues write about parallel text searching on a Beowulf Cluster in the current DLib Magazine:This article describes our experience building a scalable, relatively inexpensive, and fast searching framework that demonstrated 172 searches per second on a database of 50 million records. The article should be of interest to anyone...read full entry...
  • The anatomy of an aggregate collectionSeptember 17, 2005 – Over the coming years we will take a more active role in managing aggregate or collective collections: thinking about the best disposition of collections within particular inter-institutional policy environments. The opportunity costs of managing print collections will ensure that this happens. My colleague and I state this as follows in...read full entry...
  • New model library system vendorsSeptember 05, 2005 – The formation of SirsiDynix prompted a couple of interesting posts. Kenton Good predicted that there would be another coming together this year and wondered would it be Innovative Interfaces and Endeavor Information Systems. He speculated that:Ex Libris feeling isolated will radically shift their business model. Leveraging their plans to modularize...read full entry...
  • Austen, globalization and FRBRAugust 13, 2005 – We just saw Bride and Prejudice, Pride and Prejudice recast in contemporary Amritsar, London and Los Angeles. Bollywood meets Hollywood was the tagline. The most interesting and telling shift for me was that Elizabeth Bennett's suitor, the fussy clergyman Mr Collins, who represented financial and social security, was updated here...read full entry...
  • Tim O'Reilly on Google Print for LibrariesAugust 13, 2005 – There is a long posting on the O'Reilly Radar site bringing together some of Tim O'Reilly's thoughts on Google and the publishers. It is interesting to remember that Tim O'Reilly is a publisher while reading it. Google Library vs. Publishers">Publishers have been stalling for years in getting their content online....read full entry...
  • A billion holdingsAugust 11, 2005 – The OCLC website is now carrying details of the billionth holding in WorldCat. It was entered by Worthington Libraries for The Monkees: the day-by-day story of the '60s TV pop sensation There are more details on the WorldCat page, including a list of libraries who contributed holdings on either side...read full entry...
  • Open sourcingAugust 10, 2005 – Spotted a while ago on a vendor t-shirt at a conference: 'we help make open source affordable' ;-) Whatever about using other people's code, we have not found it as straightforward as we had expected making our own code available to others. Which license to chose? How to reduce the...read full entry...
  • Ranking and interestingnessAugust 09, 2005 – One of the notable things about Google Scholar is the citation-based ranking. There was some discussion recently about how Google was looking at new ways of ranking news articles, in part based on reputational characteristics of the source of the news. Now Flickr has announced its work on interestingness:The other...read full entry...
  • Weibel linesAugust 08, 2005 – My colleague Stu Weibel contributed a nice retrospective on metadata to the recent ten year anniversary issue of D-Lib Magazine. Apt, as the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative with which Stu has been so strongly associated also celebrated its tenth birthday earlier this year. Readers might also be interested to know...read full entry...
  • Sound metadataAugust 08, 2005 – The introduction of Yahoo! Audio Search has alerted us to the benefits of putting metadata in the audio files we make available. (Most of these are talks in our Distinguished Seminar Series.) Something to do moving forward. See the Catalogablog post on MP3 and metadata here....read full entry...
  • New lookAugust 07, 2005 – Check out the new look interface to Find in a library. See, for example, the (current) page for Information rules. I like the way it highlights subjects and other editions. IMHO one of the major features of OpenWorldCat is the way it is beginning to release the value of the...read full entry...
  • Book handles againAugust 04, 2005 – Herbert left a comment on my note below about the Open WorldCat URL syntax, and there were a couple of comments along similar lines on Karen's FreeRangeLibrarian post. The gist was why not use the OpenURL syntax for these links. Sure .. we see OpenURL as very important moving forward...read full entry...
  • Book handlesAugust 02, 2005 – Look at the URLs in these sentences:I have spoken about the The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman several times recently. It is available in several libraries near where I live. They conform to a URL syntax that OCLC has just published (details here) that will be supported consistently. This...read full entry...
  • OCLC BlogsJune 23, 2005 – I usually don't talk about library blogs and blogging. However, it would be strange not to note Jenny Levine's reflective, pointed and kind comments about blogs by OCLC staff. I often think that it is a pity that the Cluetrain Manifesto is presented in such a way as to appeal...read full entry...
  • Rewarding experiencesJune 22, 2005 – It is nice to note a couple of recent awards. Thom describes the results of our first software contest. First, because we intend to run it again next year.Dazhi (David) Jiao of Bloomington Indiana won for his OPAC (sorry if that link isn't working, David is moving it to a...read full entry...
  • Greasemonkey, Silkworm and xISBNJune 19, 2005 – xISBN is another web service we provide. It takes an ISBN of an item as input and returns ISBNs for other items in the same work-set. So, it is a way of finding ISBNs for multiple editions, translations or other versions of the same work. It has proven to be...read full entry...
  • Bibliographic web servicesJune 18, 2005 – We have been experimenting for some time with web services in a research mode to deliver 'loosely coupled' bibliographic services. The idea is to be able to embed relevant services in a variety of different environments. Thom discusses our work with the LC name authority file. The aim here was...read full entry...
  • Firefox search extensionsJune 01, 2005 – I have not seen mention of the FireFox extensions for OpenWorldCat search elsewhere, so here is a note. There are extensions for Yahoo! and Google. These were developed by Mike Teets, who credits Ron Buckley with initiating the idea with related work. And yes, before somebody asks ;-), they have...read full entry...
  • Wikis and WorldCatMay 29, 2005 – Thom introduces our plans to pilot a mechanism to capture user input alongside bibliographic records. This will be first introduced in Open WorldCat later this Summer.The idea is to have a Wiki that complements WorldCat. People could add reviews, cover art, comments, etc. and relate these to bibliographic records (maybe...read full entry...
  • Dewey and trivial pursuitMay 29, 2005 – I read Nick Hornby's The Polysyllabic Spree on a plane trip recently. It is built on a nice conceit: a month-by-month accounting of books bought and books read. My eye was caught by the following on page 128, as he wrote about some new acquisitions:But as I was finding a...read full entry...
  • BackstageMay 11, 2005 – Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo!: they are all massive data presences on the web. In various ways, they open up access to that data through RSS and Web Services so that others can build out on top of their data, recombining it in new services. Now the BBC has taken a...read full entry...
  • Rich browsingMay 11, 2005 –  Eric Hellman has an interesting post in the current discussion on Web4lib about relative approaches to search by libraries and Amazoogle. He suggests that libraries should focus on browse, and leave search to those that specialize in it: I think that libraries should consider returning to their historic roots...read full entry...
  • Just how simple?May 05, 2005 – So, thinking about some recent posts .... In the Bosworth presentation [ppt] mentioned below, the following desirable attributes of a 'web of data' are proposed: simple, standard, sloppy, and scalable. This is based on his view of what has made the web successful. Constrain choices and keep it simple. As...read full entry...
  • Yet more RSSMay 05, 2005 – Our colleagues in OCLC's Marketing area have assembled links to the range of OCLC RSS feeds on a single page. This is still a work in progress and more will appear. It is very nice to see. I suppose that somebody will now suggest having a feed for this page...read full entry...
  • Find other editions in Open WorldCatJanuary 29, 2005 – We recently added a button on the Open WorldCat rendezvous page to find other 'editions' of the found item. This is an interim approach to implementing the FRBR model which clusters versions of a work. It helps find, for example, translations of a particular item. See Reading in the dark...read full entry...
  • Library lookupJanuary 29, 2005 – I have come across a couple of sites recently which pass queries to library catalogs. Amazon light:Primarily using Amazon.com's Web Services API, Amazon Light 4.0 is an exercise in tying together various Web Services into a whole, adding content, context and some useful tools to the Amazon shopping/browsing experience. [Amazon...read full entry...
  • Software contestJanuary 27, 2005 – Check out our software contest!...read full entry...
  • New resources on researchworksJanuary 20, 2005 – We have added some new resources to our ResearchWorks page, and more will be added over the next while. New resources include:XSLTproc: OCLC Research's XSLTProc is a tool for managing and using arbitrary XSLT stylesheets. [About XSLTProc [OCLC - ResearchWorks]]SchemaTrans crosswalk repository and schema transformation. Crosswalks in the SchemaTrans repository...read full entry...
  • WorldCat in your pocketJanuary 19, 2005 – We have been looking at things recently which have made my colleagues interested in hardware again, and which also show how far we have come in being able to manipulate and move large amounts of data. WorldCat is our union catalogue of about 56 million bibliographic records, which represent approximately...read full entry...
  • Making data work harderJanuary 08, 2005 – As more activities move into a network space so more areas of our life are shedding data. This data is increasingly being mined for intelligence which drives services. And with data, quantity, as they say, has a quality all of its own. A major attribute of both Google and Amazon...read full entry...
  • Fielded search and citation ranking in Google ScholarDecember 30, 2004 – The introduction of a limited fielded search in Google Scholar has been noted in several places. I mention below the apparent role of citation in ranking. Together, these are interesting as they are responsive to the particular characteristics of the materials in Scholar and are a departure from the general...read full entry...
  • Managing metadata crosswalksDecember 15, 2004 – My colleagues describe an approach to managing metadata crosswalks in the current issue of D-Lib Magazine. This paper proposes a model for metadata crosswalks that associates three pieces of information: the crosswalk, the source metadata standard, and the target metadata standard, each of which may have a machine-readable encoding and...read full entry...
  • Institutional incentivesNovember 18, 2004 – Some nice remarks in Diglet on Paul Conway's recent presentation on institutional repositories at OCLC. I can't think of a better way for a librarian in the year 2004 to spend an hour than to listen to this presentation by Paul Conway, Director, Information Technology Services, Perkins Library, Duke University....read full entry...
  • Top booksNovember 13, 2004 – We have released a list of the top 1000 works in WorldCat. This list is unlike some other lists in that we have consolidated the various manifestations of a work as best we can and factored that into the ranking. To do this we used our FRBR work-set algorithm with...read full entry...
  • Web services and library systemsNovember 04, 2004 – The VIEWS website is now available. VIEWS (Vendor Initiative for Enabling Web Services) is looking to advance the development of web services based approaches by organizations which supply sytems and services to libraries. OCLC is a member. VIEWS is an initiative by vendors and library service organizations launched in June...read full entry...
  • Learning object metadataOctober 31, 2004 – A couple of recent studies have provided some rich data about the use of IEEE-LOM metadata. Jean Godby analyses the choice of elements in Application Profiles in a recent article, pulling together data from 35 projects. The focus here is on the choices made by designers of Application Profiles, based...read full entry...
  • Bookmarklets, xISBN and Find in a LibraryOctober 29, 2004 – Corey Murata notes some nice lookup features for OpenWorldCat on Web4Lib today. This prompts me to note the OpenWorldCat xISBN bookmarklet. We make a range of bookmarklets available, originally inspired by Jon Udell's library lookup. The innovation we have added is that we incorporate xISBN functionality, which allows the search...read full entry...
  • Union CatalogsSeptember 30, 2004 – A list of union catalogs:During the research work on my latest book, Library World Records, I used both Worldcat and several European union catalogs, in my search for specific books, because I travelled to several European libraries, being able to know if particular books I needed, for my book project,...read full entry...
  • Microsoft and internationalizationSeptember 11, 2004 – Operating in an international environment raises many issues. Of course, this is a big factor for OCLC. There is an interesting article in the Guardian about some of the issues that Microsoft has run into through a lack of awareness of particular local political or geographic contexts.In a frank assessment...read full entry...
  • Who owns the dataMay 09, 2004 – An interesting set of blog entries discuss the centralised massive presence of Google in the loosely coupled web world. Is control of computing power or data more important? Not quite either, says Phil Wainewright: Once this happens, it'll matter less and less where the computing physically takes place, since computation...read full entry...
  • Suber on OAI and ORMay 03, 2004 – Some nice remarks by Peter Suber in his latest SOAN:As I read the news, both halves of this prediction are coming true. On the one hand, mainstream, non-academic search engines are looking for ways to index scholarly content. Starting with OAI-compliant archives and CrossRef-compliant publications is a natural, both because...read full entry...
  • Tennant on xISBNMarch 26, 2004 – Belatedly, it is worth noting Roy's remarks about xISBN in his recent LJ column:Useful on its own, it can be combined with the bookmarklet concept to become part of a compelling library service. Imagine a library user querying a catalog while viewing a book on Amazon and finding any version...read full entry...
  • OR OAI activity noted in Library Hi Tech News articleMarch 10, 2004 – Article by Gerry McKiernan on OAI service providers appears in Library Hi-Tech News Number 1 2004. [pdf]. Includes discussion of OR involvement in E-prints UK and NDLTD Union Catalog....read full entry...
  • Trip report VALA conference MelbourneMarch 08, 2004 – I presented the closing keynote [ppt] at the recent VALA conference in Melbourne Australia [VALA2004 Conference Programme and Links to Papers]. (Added 13 March: just came across a trip report for the VALA conference by Steve Thomas, University of Adelaide.) Here are some brief notes about the meeting ......read full entry...
  • Nice mention of ORJanuary 03, 2004 – Nice mention of OR in context of general discussion of Librarian's contribution to standards work. OCLC, of course. (Based in Dublin, Ohio, for those not familiar with them ... which is how the Dublin Core got its name.) Take a look at some of the research initiatives they�re involved with,...read full entry...
  • Nice mention of ORJanuary 03, 2004 – Nice mention of OR in context of general discussion of Librarian's contribution to standards work. OCLC, of course. (Based in Dublin, Ohio, for those not familiar with them ... which is how the Dublin Core got its name.) Take a look at some of the research initiatives they�re involved with,...read full entry...
  • Library lookup and XISBNNovember 14, 2003 – Nice note on Jon Udell's blog about XISBN:It actually sort of works, which says a lot for the flexibility of Web and XML technologies. But the big news here is OCLC's decision to expose its grouping algorithm as a public XML Web service. I hope this signals the beginning of...read full entry...