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07.12.2015

Using Web services, search terms can be sent to WorldCat’s centralized authority and identifier files to retrieve authorized terminology that helps users get a comprehensive set of relevant search results. In order to enable OPAC users to retrieve materials by author or subject, MARC bibliographic records encode these names and subjects using pre-established authorized forms. Although the Library of Congress maintains global authority files for names (NAF) and subjects (LCSH), local OPACs require the use of local authority files.
Since the early 1990’s, OCLC has made up-to-date NAF and LCSH files available for member institutions and their cataloging needs. Given such an infrastructure any number of interfaces can be created for a given index: an interface written for different audiences, an interface for different purposes, or an interface intended to be an intermediary for another service. WorldCat Terminology Services is still an experimental research service with no service level assurances. WorldCat Identities [14] is based on the Library of Congress Name Authority File (NAF) and provides a Web page for every author in the WorldCat Union Catalog. WorldCat Identities is considered a production service by OCLC and had no outage or database maintenance issues during this project. To illustrate the use of the OCLC Web Services, a few example applications have been created. Next, the user’s input is captured, and is used as a replacement value for ##INPUT##.
Finally, the script hyperlinks the returned broader and narrower terms back to the Term Finder application. After the user enters the name of an author, the input is inserted into a URL template which is sent off to an SRU server.
The third application, Send It To Me [25], first takes an ISBN number as input and searches a local catalog for the given item. Since the beginning of our research, OCLC Research has continued its ongoing refinements of the WorldCat Identities and Terminology Services and expanded the options for name and subject queries.
Finding the proper name or subject using the auto-suggesters would maximize the benefit of using WorldCat’s consistently maintained and up-to-date NAF and FAST files. By expanding the scope of searching a name, subject, or ISBN beyond the local catalog, all three implementations go outside the local catalog to retrieve information that can be used within the local context.
It should be noted that the FAST auto-suggester has been discontinued by OCLC as of this writing. It costs $12 to upgrade to Expert which gives you access to Name Matchmaker, Name Voyager Expert, Name Finder Expert. The Name Matchmaker (available with the Expert Tools) has to be one of the coolest features on there. This article presents methods for searching names, subjects or ISBNs in various WorldCat databases and displaying the results to users.
In parallel to bibliographic records, authority MARC records encode names and subjects and trace the distinction between a preferred authorized name or subject and its traced references.


Keeping the local catalog’s bibliographic and authority files in sync with the global NAF and LCSH requires ongoing processes at each local library, usually accomplished via a third party vendor. Recently, these name and subject authorized files have been made available also through the WorldCat Web Services.
Through these services, WorldCat indexes are exposed to support searching for controlled terms and their traced variants as well as the identifiers for those terms.
This means that uptime is not guaranteed and no official support is provided if the service becomes unavailable; during the course of this project it experienced several outages. These pages provide authority information for those authors that have been controlled in the NAF, as well as information derived from the WorldCat catalog records. The relationship between the retrieved ISBNs is based on an algorithm conforming to the FRBR model.
Given a word or phrase, the first application, Term Finder, searches a subject authority list and returns broader, narrower and use for (cross reference) terms allowing the user to navigate the related Library of Congress Subject Headings terms and select the proper term for their search. If the search matches an authorized subject, Term Finder displays broader, narrower and use for (cross reference) terms allowing the user to navigate the Library of Congress Subject Headings.
If the ISBN is found in the local catalog, it allows the user to request local delivery of the item.
These new tools are additional options that could be used in applications like the sample implementations described in this article. Once the user selects an authorized name or subject, it can be then sent to a followup search interface, such as the local catalog or another WorldCat Service. At the same time, this would further minimize the need to process and maintain the institution’s local NAF and LCSH.
This takes advantage of the consistent upkeep and accuracy of information in the WorldCat databases. He has been chiefly involved with API queries and recent OpenSource venues on the semantic web. Exploiting WorldCat’s databases in this way opens up future possibilities for more seamless integration of authority-controlled vocabulary lists into new discovery interfaces and a reduction in libraries’ dependence on local name and subject authority files. The relationship between MARC bibliographic and authority record files enables library users to find the works linked to the name or subject they searched, even when the entered name or subject was a traced (non preferred authorized) name or subject. Accordingly, keeping a library’s bibliographic and authority files up to date incurs additional costs each year. This paper introduces and describes how to use several of these WorldCat Web Services that have the potential to help reduce the need for the local authority file maintenance by taking better advantage of OCLC’s access to centralized authority files. For the Term Finder application described in this article, we used the FAST and LCSH databases.
The second application, Name Finder, works similarly; given a first and last name it returns a list of matching authorized names along with a set of subject headings for the items the author has written.
The application code can be used with any bibliographic utility as long as the remote utility supports well-defined Web-based APIs, such as SRU; all that needs to be changed are the URLs denoted at the beginning of each script.


If a cross reference or non-authorized tracing term is entered, Term Finder will return no results.
Unlike Term Finder, should a cross reference or non-authorized tracing to a name be entered, the results will point the user to the main authorized form of the name. However, in this particular case, the authorized subject terms associated with the works written by the author are also displayed, anticipating the user’s need to find the subjects that the name is associated with. A similar FAST auto-suggester [28], has been established also for subjects, enabling searchers to choose the proper subject term from a list and then display all available WorldCat.org results for that subject.
When integrated with the local catalog, tools like these could possibly provide a new context for reviewing the costs required to maintain local authority files and might enable institutions to reduce local costs by relying on existing centralized services.
He is a member of the SRU standards group within OASIS and seems to find a way to put an SRU server at the bottom of all his technology stacks. His professional goal is to discover new ways to use computers to provide better library service.
One idea is to use the baby name finders to get some new ideas and find a name for your little baby. This mechanism for distinguishing and mapping names and subjects to works offers an advantage over less predictable keyword based searches used by Amazon, Yahoo, Google and their like.
In our sample implementations, we took advantage of the browsability of the name index (Worldcat Identities) but not the browsability of the subjects index (Terminology Services). However, based on recent conversations, OCLC has established a schedule where each vocabulary should be updated once or twice a year.
The third application, Send It To Me, searches xISBN and returns related works for a given ISBN for the purposes of local delivery. These authorized subject terms are then hyperlinked to the Term Finder application for possible followup.
Both of these tools are powered by underlying web services with more concise responses than their SRU counterparts described and utilized in this article. Using the ISBN numbers returned from these services, new searches are applied against the local catalog to determine whether these related items are available for local delivery. None of these catalog searches use SRU, but rather the proprietary X-Services of Ex Libris.
If xISBN and ThingISBN do not return any ISBN numbers, then the application fails gracefully asking the user to validate their input.



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