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OCLC Support

Why are the 856 URL links not displaying in Discovery?

Applies to
  • WorldCat Discovery

When set to display, the link will appear on the Item bibliographic data display next to a "More Information" label.  Below are the rules to follow in order to get MARC 856 data to display in Discovery. 

  • The Bibliographic MARC 856 field needs a 1st indicator set to 4 AND a second indicator set to either 0, 1 or 2.  The second indicator cannot be left blank
  • Commonly the 1st indicator is 4 (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) and the 2nd indicator is 0 (resource)
  • Links from a Master WorldCat record 856 and 956 to open access content/free content in Discovery must be configured to display
  • WorldCat Discovery uses the MARC 856 field first and second indicators (example 4 & 0) to inform the availability of a link to be loaded into the display
  • The MARC 856 field indicators (examples 4 & 1 or 4 & 2) are also used to inform description displays
  • A link will display in Discovery when the 856 $u field contains a Open Access address indicator (.gov/ and .pdf) OR (.edu AND .pdf)
  • However, the 856 tag will not display in Discovery if the $u field contains AND the 1st indicator is set to 4 AND 2nd indicator is set to 0, 1, or 2.

This example will display, as it has both .gov and .pdf in the URL:

856| 4| $u _report_english.pdf

This example will not display, as there is no .pdf in the URL:

856 |4 | ǂu ǂx NDHA Access Right = 100

Additional information

See Full Text and Open Access Links for further information on the rules that define what 856 tags will display in Discovery.

The MARC 856 field indicators and subfield codes are defined.  See our guide to Bib formats and standards: 856 Electronic Location and Access (R)

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