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Online Computer Library Center, Inc. (OCLC) is "a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world’s information and reducing information costs". Founded in 1967 as the Ohio College Library Center, OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat.


OCLC Connexion is the interface for editing and creating bibliographic and authority records. Folger catalogers edit directly in Connexion and download records to Hamnet. A printable Connexion Client Quick Reference in PDF format can be downloaded from OCLC's website.

Basic procedures

  • Search Hamnet to see if a record for the same entity is already present.
    • If so, consult your supervisor; you may be instructed to add your copy directly to Hamnet instead of creating an OCLC record
  • Search OCLC. Most searches turn up multiple master records.
  • If you find an OCLC record for the bibliographical entity in the same record format being cataloged (e.g., book, graphic, map, &c.; see more about record format below) and with the same language of description:
    • select the master record fitting the resource that has the most number of holdings attached; this will often mean bypassing better-looking records
    • save to local save file (F4) and start editing the record directly
  • If a record for the bibliographic entity with same aspect is not found in OCLC (beward of records for reproductions):
    • derive a "new master record" from an existing master or IR
    • you may derive from any master or institutional record
    • or bring up a template: Cataloging -> Create -> Single Record -> {Proper Format}
  • Control headings
    • In the event of subfield substitution, or moving punctuation, as the result of controlling headings, please refer to OCLC's troubleshooting page for workaround solutions
  • Validate the OCLC master record
    • Shift-F5, or Edit, Validate
    • In the boxes at the bottom of the OCLC screen, one is labelled "Validate." A successful validation will cause a 'C' to appear, while an unsuccessful one will cause an 'F' to appear.
  • When finished with the record, save to WorldCat:
    • replace master record if possible and appropriate: Action -> Replace Update and Add Institution record
    • otherwise, add IR: Action -> Update and Add Institution Record
  • Export the IR to Hamnet (F5)
  • Delete any copy-specific fields from master record: 246's, 583's, 7xx's, &c.
  • Delete save record from save file

Record format

If you find a record for the same bibliographical entity being cataloged, but it's the wrong record format (for example, you're cataloging a printed graphic with text and you find a record in the book format), see below. (Pasted from the OCLC input standards):

  • A record cataloged on an incorrect workform does not justify a new record. Edit the record for local use and report Type code errors to OCLC so the master record can be changed. See also chapter 5, " Quality Assurance," about reporting Type code changes and Type code editing capabilities.
  • BLvl (Bibliographic Level) codes can be corrected. If a serial has been incorrectly cataloged on a wrong material workform, or vice versa, do not create a new record. Report the error to OCLC.
  • Do not create a new record because you disagree about the choice of predominant material (e.g., a set of slides with book vs. a book with set of slides). Use of field 006 allows multiple aspects of an item to be accessible. See 006 Introduction—Additional Material Characteristics.
  • The coding of certain multiple characteristics of an item can be incorporated into a single record. For instance, nonprint serials should be cataloged using the appropriate nonprint format. Duplicate records for nonprint serials on Serials format are not permitted. See Type (Type of Record) when you are uncertain about the choice of predominant material.
  • If you disagree with the choice of format of an existing record, use the existing record and add 006 coding for the additional characteristics.

Parallel records

  • Create a parallel master record if
    • 040 has a ǂb language code (absence of ǂb defaults to English as the language of the cataloging agency), or
    • the GMD, non-quoted notes, and designations used in the 300 field are not in English, even though the 040 has no language code in the 040 (thereby assuming English), or
    • the 040 has a ǂb language code, even though the GMD, non-quoted notes, and designations used in the 300 field are in English
  • Use (and update, if possible) an existing master record if
    • A cataloging record exists in English (=no language code in field 040) but is cataloged using a different format

Replace record troubleshooting

If for some reason you are unable to replace, update and add IR from a local record (for example if you get this message: "Replace failed. The master record has changed since you retrieved your copy. Either lock this record or search for a new copy of the master record"), try this work-around:

  • Call up the master record in WorldCat. Delete the IR from the master record.
  • Lock the record.
  • Edit the locked WorldCat record to match the local save file version (with the exception of the 852 field)
  • Action > Replace Update and Add Institution Record (from the locked master record) should now work
  • Then, call up the new IR and add in the 852 from the local save file record (Action > Replace to save changes).

Miscellaneous functions

  • To set the status on OCLC records, use ctrl-shift-s.

External links