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Q&A about this release

This page is included in the 2021 WorldCat knowledge base re-architecture release guide.

This list was created using questions libraries asked in Product Insight sessions and in Collection Manager office hours. Thank you for your participation and continued feedback!


About the re-architecture project

The term "re-architecture" refers to the enhancements that are visible in the Collection Manager UI, to the ingest process, and to improvements to the framework. These areas are related to each other and together, they make up the WorldCat knowledge base. It was not possible without the re-design to make all collections "Customizable," for example. From beginning to end we needed to structurally improve how the system tracks your collection and title selections over time.

  • OCLC completely rebuilt data ingest and how we screen, validate, and normalize provider data
  • Extensive enhancements were made to the back-end framework to improve speed, capacity, and stability; OCLC can update large amounts of data at one time without having to queue it for processing
  • Internal tools were created to allow us to better manage and correct data more quickly

Activity History

To have personal names show for your library, is there a new setting that we need to activate?

Yes. It is unselected by default.

Follow these steps
  1. Within WorldShare Collection Manager, navigate to Institution Settings > Display Options.
  2. Select the option to display staff member name.

Find more information in the draft documentation on the Activity History.

Does the Activity History cover all history regardless of how long the collection has been activated?

The Activity History shows changes from the previous 90 days.

Is the Activity History reachable via the API?

The Activity History is not available through the API. See the API GET requests and the WorldCat knowledge base API website.

 Note: To find information about APIs for related services and applications, see the Developer Network, Web Services page.

Will I be able to see what other libraries changed?

When other libraries make globally applied edits, you will be able to see what was changed and the name of the institution that made the change.

Title-level field changes will show within a title's Title History. You will be able to see the previous and new values and the name of the library that made the change. You will see the institution name regardless of what is selected in the new institution-level setting to display staff names.

Collection sharing

Can I still share a single collection with another institution?

Yes. You can share a single collection to one or to multiple institutions.

In order to share collections, do both libraries need to be WMS libraries?

You can share collections with any other library that has Collection Manager in the WorldShare interface. The library does not need to be a WorldShare Management Services (WMS) library and does not need to have access to WorldShare Acquisitions or WorldShare Circulation. Both libraries only need access to knowledge base collections in Collection Manager.

When sharing collections, why are duplicate Collection IDs allowed? How can a library know which one to select?

In short, duplicate Collection IDs are allowed because relationships, budgets, and subscription purchases change over time.

Libraries that are in a consortium or have subscription access to the same subset of titles in a collection might share a global collection. Doing so cuts the workload by one half since only one library needs to select the subset of titles and manage titles as new purchases are made. When the parent library shares the global collection to another library, the child library will see both the global and the shared collection in their search results. The collections will have the same Collection ID and the library can only select one of them.

If the child library recently joined the consortium or purchasing group, the library might need to deselect the global collection to select the shared collection and be freed from maintenance of the collection.

Likewise, if one day the library must leave the consortium, or if the consortium drops the subscription and it is crucial for the library to continue to provide access to patrons, the library might need to purchase it on their own. They will need to deselect the shared collection and select the global collection and resume maintenance of the title selections.

Global collection title additions

Is there a new guide (best practices) for updating knowledge base collections?

Yes. It will be included with the permanent documentation after the release. The text is included here:

Best practices for adding global titles

First, consider how the collection was added to the WorldCat knowledge base. Is it a collection that came to OCLC, from a provider or was it curated by a library and promoted as a global collection?

See the appropriate advice:

  1. Provider-supplied collections that are loaded and updated by OCLC with data from providers: Libraries often contact OCLC if they think a title should be added or removed from a collection. OCLC can investigate with the provider and correct the title via the data feed from the provider. Even though libraries can add global titles, contacting OCLC will most often be the best method to correct the issue.
  2. Cooperative ( collections created by libraries: Libraries can ask the community if they are not certain about title additions or deletions and want input about how other libraries use the titles. It is better to reach out to other libraries than to OCLC for collections that other libraries created.

Next, if you would still like to add a global title, please consider the following questions:

  1. Is the collection marked in some way as specific to a region? For example, does the title or description mention U.S., EMEA, UK, or other location in the title? Alternatively, does it appear to be a general collection that could cover multiple regions? For example, does the title mention All Journals, All Ebooks, or Worldwide?
    • Such considerations will help libraries determine if a title is irrelevant for all libraries or if perhaps, they just do not have access in their region.
  2. Will the link to the resource resolve on the platform, or is it possible the title moved to a different location?
    • Sometimes when a title seems to be missing from a collection, it is because a publisher moved that particular title and the link will no longer resolve when included in a provider's collection. It might now be represented in another collection.
  3. Would libraries benefit from provider data updates for this title? Is it a perpetual access, historical title that is no longer offered?
    • If a title is missing and you need guidance, contact OCLC. The knowledge base team can assist you and, if needed, can work with the provider to add the title when OCLC loads refreshed provider data.

Will other libraries be able to add and delete titles in my global collections?

Libraries will be able to add global titles to global collections as they can today. However, the cooperative voting process and wait time are being removed. Libraries can add global titles, but they will not be able to delete tiles from global collections. Only OCLC can delete global titles.

Libraries that consider adding a global title should review the best practices for doing so. There are only a small number of circumstances when adding a global title (as a library and not as a provider) will benefit all libraries.

If another library adds a title to a global collection, that title will be available for other libraries to select or deselect. Title selections are unique to each library.

 Note: There is a new option within collections, an Auto Select Titles checkbox. The setting determines if a newly added title will be selected automatically or will remain deselected in that knowledge base collection. The setting is enabled by default for collections you select in full. The setting is disabled by default if you have selected a subset of titles.

Is there a different process to add titles one-by-one to a global collection? I add records to the National Academies Press collection.

The option to add a title has changed location on the screen. To find it:

  1. Open a collection and expand the Titles accordion.
  2. Use the Add a Global Title drop-down menu and select Add a Title.

Previously, the option to add a title was located within the Collection Actions drop-down menu above the collection's Properties accordion.

After you add a title, you do not need to submit the change to the cooperative voting process because cooperative voting features and wait times have been removed. Once you save the title, you will see title fields in Global tab and Local tabs. These will operate like other global titles.

Global collection editing

How will I know which edits will be applied globally to all libraries? If I make a typo, can I withdraw my edit?

In the Collection Manager user interface (UI), Global and Local tabs clearly show which fields are global meaning that you must be within the Global tab to make a globally applied edit. The Global tab shows local fields as read-only data, but they cannot be edited here. You must be within the Local tab to edit coverage, for example, since coverage values and edits always remain local to your library.

When you make edits in the UI, you will see a review modal of your edits so that you can easily see the changes you are about to apply. If you see a typo, you can choose not to apply your changes, correct the typo, and then review and apply the changes once you are satisfied with your work.

When editing collections via KBART upload, you will see a review modal that shows you the summary counts of the number of globally and locally applied changes in your upload. If you are satisfied with the summary counts and apply the upload, you will be able to see details about your changes and their global or local application after the edits are applied.

 Note: See the Edit global collections and titles page. This page and the included tables will be incorporated into the permanent knowledge base documentation shortly after the release.

Will libraries need to create local collections to preserve unique coverage?

Edits to fields specific to your library, such as coverage, will always remain local. Any changes you make to coverage will apply only to your library. Likewise, if other libraries change coverage data, their changes will have no impact on your data.

In video collections, libraries need to edit the Collection URL Formula and Title Link Formula because linking is unique for each library. Will these fields allow for local editing?

Yes, all URL fields will be local fields. This will not differ per collection or per format. If you edit those fields in global titles, your edit will only apply to your library. You will be able to include any provider-specific and library-specific linking values for collections and titles.

KBART file collection-level uploads

How is updating collections with a KBART file changing?

Beyond the new preview screens and enhanced screens in the Activity History, there are only minor changes to the processes around KBART files.

Expand to see a list of all of the changes:
  • When you go to download a KBART file from a global collection, a modal box will open like it does today. The button will either say Download or Generate Download. KBART files for global collections are generated 1/day. If a file is already available on the server, you will see the Download button. Note: If you make a global edit to a global title to a field that is in KBART, the edit will not show in the global version of file until the following day. This is not a change from previous behavior.
  • To add multiple coverage depths (fulltext, indexed, and so forth) for a title, add a row for each, each with a unique oclc_entry_id.
  • You can now add global titles via a KBART file using the ACTION value Add.
  • Within a collection, the option to upload a file is now easier to find on the screen. It is now located at the top of the screen in the Collection Actions drop-down menu.
  • In global collections, a new preview modal lets you review upload information before you apply a file upload. When updating collections via KBART upload, you will see a notification when your preview is ready. A link in the notification will open a review modal with summary counts of the number of globally and locally applied changes in your upload.
  • In global collections, you can use a KBART file upload to make both global and local edits. In the main Activity History, you will see two activities for your KBART upload.

For global collections, can I use a KBART file to make global edits that all libraries will see?

Yes. If you make selections and local edits and also make global edits via a KBART file, both local and global changes will be tracked in the title histories and in the main Activity History.

In the main Activity History, you will see two events for the upload:

  1. One event and title changes page will include your local edits and/or title selections.
  2. The other event and title changes page will include your global edits, and this will be visible to all other libraries. They will see your institution name as the Update Source.

Specifically for KBART, see the Fields in WorldCat knowledge base collections and KBART to see if data will be applied globally and locally. The UI has additional fields. See the page attached to this guide: Edit global collections and titles.

Migration and your data

Does my library need to migrate to the new WorldCat knowledge base?

No. OCLC will install the enhancements for all libraries. Libraries do not need to do anything to receive the changes. We recommend that you review the New features and enhancements.

Which fields are becoming global-only? If I haven't promoted my edits, which values will become global at rollout?

All of your local collections will be migrated. All edits you've made to notes, all linking fields, and journal coverage will be migrated and retained. In fields where a local edit is not retained, the value will become a global value and all libraries will have the same, value in that field.

Today, you can edit title-level fields in global "Customizable" collections, and only your library sees that edit. In order to edit fields in global "Non-Customizable" collections, you must submit the edit to the cooperative. The following only applies to fields in global, "Customizable" collections.

If you edited a value in a global "Customizable" collection, and you did not then go through the steps to "promote" the edits to the global knowledge base for all libraries to see, OCLC will be migrating all of your locally saved edits except those in these fields:

  1. Collection Name
  2. Description
  3. Provider
  4. Title Name
  5. eBook/Non-Serial: Date, Author, Provider
  6. GovDocs Repository ID (relevant to Government Document collections)
  7. OCLC Number/Override OCLC Number
  8. Print identifier: ISSN or ISBN
  9. Online identifier: eISSN or Other ISBNs

 Note: Edits to Grouped OCLC Numbers will be retained even if they were not promoted. You could see changes in the list of Grouped OCLC Numbers.

How will Grouped OCLC Numbers be migrated?

Changes made to the list of Grouped OCLC Numbers in global collections will be retained even if they were not promoted globally. For titles where a library has added data while another library removed data, the additions will be migrated.

Will Provider Name become a global field?

Yes. In global collections, it is populated by OCLC and will not be editable by libraries. The Provider field in local collections is customizable.

Upon analysis of the field, we found that across all knowledge base users, few libraries had overlayed Provider Name with a local edit. Most libraries are using the Provider Name supplied by OCLC and the provider. Libraries that did customize the field were doing so as a work-around to order links in WorldCat Discovery by collection rather than by provider.

Can you please explain more about migration and OCLC Number editing?

OCLC Numbers in your local collections will be migrated as they are. OCLC Numbers in "Non-Customizable" collections will be migrated as they are, since today, libraries are unable to edit titles unless they edit them cooperatively.

In customizable, global knowledge base collections, if you edited or added an OCLC Number and did not promote the change for it to be applied globally, the edit will not carry over in the release. After the release, when a library edits or adds an OCLC Number to a title in global collection, the change will be applied globally for all libraries. Any changes you make will affect titles for everyone.

What does OCLC suggest for libraries that have changed a title's OCLC Number to match a WorldCat record's language of cataloging?
Please know that we are planning an enhancement to address the language of cataloging issue. We suggest the option to create local collections for items with custom OCLC Numbers that were entered to match the language of cataloging for that record in WorldCat. This would preserve the language of cataloging, and you would not need to be concerned about committing global changes.
What if libraries edit an OCLC Number and another library edits it back and they cannot agree?
If you see this happening, please contact OCLC. We are happy to look at the data and try to help resolve the situation.
What is expected for titles without OCLC Number?
Libraries can contribute to the global cooperative. They can add an OCLC Number if one is not found through our matching processes. At the same time, OCLC is continuously working with providers to keep improving data and is actively reviewing data normalization and matching processes.