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Version 1.5

Importing from WorldCat

CollectiveAccess users who participate in through subscription can now access WorldCat from within CA through the WorldCat Z39.50 service or Web Search API. References to WorldCat bibliographic entries can be attached to any record using a predictive lookup field, much as with Library_of_Congress_Subject_Headings .With a custom import mapping, bibliographic records from WorldCat can be imported directly into CA as object or occurrence records.


To use WorldCat you'll need either a valid OCLC Z39.50 login or WorldCat Web Search API key. The two connection method have different technical requirements but offer identical functionality. Note that your OCLC user agreement may prohibit you from using the Web Search API for cataloguing activity. Consult your OCLC service representative as to your rights before using the API.

Your PHP installation must have cURL support to use the Web Search API. PHP must be built with YAZ support to use Z39.50. YAZ is available as a standard package on many Linux distributions and installation is generally straightforward.

Specify your Web Search API key or Z39.50 login in App.conf. The entries are:

  • worldcat_api_key
  • worldcat_z39.50_user
  • worldcat_z39.50_password

If you enter credentials for both the API and Z39.50, Z39.50 will be preferred unless YAZ is unavailable.

Using WorldCat in CollectiveAccess

WorldCat can be used in two modes: as a bibliographic authority referenced in metadata elements from any record in your CollectiveAccess system (much as related entities, collections, LCSH terms, etc. operate); or as a data source from which to import bibliographic data into CollectiveAccess.

Using WorldCat as an authority

You can include a WorldCat lookup field in any record in your system. Simply create an InformationService metadata element, in the same way you would create any other metadata element.

Worldcat metadata config.png

You can configure your WorldCat credentials in this configuration form, overriding those in app.conf if desired. It is typically easier to configure credentials in App.conf however.

Once placed in the relevant editing interfaces the WorldCat metadata element will appear as a predictive type-ahead text field that can perform live searches on WorldCat, and pull full bibliographic data from WorldCat for selected references on demand.

Note that when WorldCat is used as an authority within CollectiveAccess, only references between CA records and WorldCat are created; nothing is actually imported.

Importing from WorldCat

You can import bibliographic data from WorldCat directly into your CollectiveAccess system using the WorldCat import interface, available in the "Import" menu. The importer works much as the general data importer, but with a specialized interface for interactively locating and retrieving one or more entries from WorldCat.

One entries have been chosen, you can select a mapping to run which will translate the selected WorldCat data into a format you've configured in your CA system.

Worlcat Search Example.png

Writing a mapping to import WorldCat records

To create a mapping, first download the Excel-based import mapping template available here. (File:Data Import Mapping template.xlsx). A version with JSON validation is available on [Google Drive]. Once all of the mappings and settings have been entered into the template it can be loaded directly into CollectiveAccess using the normal import procedures detailed on Creating and Running a Mapping.

If you are not familiar with the CollectiveAccess data import process in general, the following page is your best resource: Data Importer.

When importing from Worldcat, mapping sources for MARC data can be expressed using XPATH.

Examples of XPATH Expressions for importing MARC XML

Imports Description XML example Mapping source syntax (XPATH)
245 - Title Statement Mapping source for MARC data field 245 subfield a.
<datafield ind1="1" ind2="4" tag="245">
<subfield code="a">The human factor /</subfield>
001- Control Number Mapping source for MARC control field 001
<controlfield tag="001">3780733</controlfield>
100 - Main Entry: Personal Name Mapping source for MARC data field 100 subfield a.
<datafield ind1="1" ind2=" " tag="100">
<subfield code="a">Greene, Graham,</subfield>

Any MARC tag and subfield can be imported to CollectiveAccess using valid XPATH expressions, as in the above examples. You can model your source syntax after these.



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