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OCLC Support

What is FRBR - how is that applied to search results?

Applies to
  • WorldCat Discovery

FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records)  OCLC’s implementation of edition clustering is inspired by FRBR

When you conduct a search the OCLC FRBR algorithm is applied to the results displayed, which creates the Editions and Formats cluster you can expand.

FRBR is an algorithm applied to bibliographic records to bring together (cluster) related editions of work. OCLC uses FRBR to cluster our records but has slightly altered the algorithm in how we present these clusters. We refer to manifestations as editions and within the list of editions and formats for a work, we don’t present some more closely-related manifestations.

As records enter the WorldCat database, OCLC’s edition clustering algorithms work in the background to identify and cluster records for all editions and expressions of a given intellectual work, including different languages, different translations in the same language, and editions with different dates and publishers.OCLC limits these editions so they are not the same translations, to ensure the editions appear together in a single list.

  • Search results have had a set of FRBR algorithms applied, so multiple versions of a work (e.g. different editions and formats) are rolled up under a single record. 
  • OCLC’s clustering algorithms primarily use names, title and format to cluster editions.
  • Users can click the View all editions and formats link to see other formats and versions of a work in WorldCat results
  • The FRBR algorithms are constantly improving to ensure the appropriate items are clustered together as works.
  • Clusters are built from scratch each month. New data, plus fixes to algorithms, can result in seven to ten percent of clusters changing on a monthly basis.
  • The edition that displays matches all the search criteria, so if a user includes a date, publisher, editor, or a language limit, the search result shows an edition that matches those criteria.
  • A “Group related editions” check box enables searchers to see every edition immediately in the search results OR they can select "Explore Editions & Formats"
Additional information

FRBR Work-Set Algorithm

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