Consulting Database Specialist
OCLC Quality Control Section
There are many ways to contact OCLC about issues with WorldCat, the most common being while viewing a bibliographic record in Connexion and choosing Report Error from under the Action menu.
The Report Error window is free-text so questions or concerns can be sent just as easily as a merge request or an error report. The window also sends us a copy of the record being viewed as it appeared at the time the window was opened, and allows the sender to have a copy sent to a personal email address.
Basically, if you are a cataloger, or working with cataloging data and you need to contact OCLC simply send an email to email@example.com (or use the Report Error function in Connexion which sends to that address).
QC staff also provides NACO work for non-participating institutions. If you are not at a NACO library you can request changes to authority records or report duplicate records while viewing an authority record in Connexion. In this case the Report Error function sends to firstname.lastname@example.org (or you can email directly). We also create authority records to resolve existing conflicts. If you are at a NACO library please see the NACO website for assistance http://www.loc.gov/catdir/pcc/naco/naco.html
AskQC@oclc.org is an address to help users with more esoteric types of questions. Typical queries to this address are about cataloging policies, standards, and practices. This email address is more for asking advice instead of about fixing specific bibliographic information in existing records. Users may send suggestions and concerns that involve groups such as the Program for Cooperative Cataloging to http://www.loc.gov/catdir/pcc/.
If you are interested in OCLC quality programs like Enhance http://www.oclc.org/worldcat/catalog/quality/default.htm or are already a participant you can reach the appropriate staff at email@example.com.
Contact Support under the Help menu in Connexion opens a form which is also free-text. However, this form is intended for problems related to how Connexion works (e.g. saving a record results in an error message; the menu bar in Connexion Client disappeared; how do I ... create a macro.. customize the Toolbar... work offline, etc.). Questions arising from products other than Connexion should also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. For instance, cover art issues are common, but those only arise when using products like FirstSearch or WorldCat.org.
Support takes such queries and helps when it can or forwards to the appropriate area. If a question comes to them about fixing a record, merging duplicates, validation issues, etc. they will forward to QC staff.
Documentation can be found here:
Bibliographic Formats and Standards Ch. 5 which includes instructions on what kinds of errors to report, and how and where to do so.
WorldCat and Cataloging documentation
Email addresses discussed above:
email@example.com = ask questions about bibliographic records, report bibliographic errors you cannot correct, report duplicate bibliographic records, cataloging issues in general, etc.
firstname.lastname@example.org = non-NACO libraries: report authority record errors or duplicates, etc. ; NACO libraries: questions about locked authority records, discrepancies between copies of the file, authorization number issues, etc.
email@example.com = cataloging policy, standards, and practices questions
firstname.lastname@example.org = all things Enhance (including authorization number issues, National Enhance, etc.)
email@example.com = Connexion functionality problems, issues with other products, cover art, anything not listed above.
Please send any questions or concerns to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Staying Current with Cataloging Topics
OCLC provides numerous ways to assist users with current cataloging topics and issues. "TALK" http://www.oclc.org/community/talk/default.htm points to several venues with specific information and ways to sign-up for the many email updates, discussion lists, RSS feeds, and blogs that are available.
For instance, OCLC Abstracts provides a weekly summary of service news, tips, event reminders, and more http://www.oclc.org/email/subscribe.htm. Or, choose OCLC Cooperative eNews if you prefer to receive information less frequently.
OCLC-CAT is a discussion forum especially for library staff using or considering any OCLC cataloging and metadata service https://www3.oclc.org/app/listserv/. Official notices are always distributed on OCLC-CAT such as recent announcements about the latest upgrade to Connexion, and the upcoming webinar about Genre Headings. And, TECHBUL-L is the most convenient way to be notified of the latest enhancements to MARC and how to apply them in Connexion.
There are also blogs located throughout the OCLC website. Check out the OCLC Cooperative Blog: insights and information from OCLC staff on topics that are fundamental to your cooperative http://community.oclc.org/cooperative/. OCLC’s bloggers continually scan the library landscape and beyond from a variety of viewpoints, looking for news, ideas, and other information of potential interest to the library community.
The Message of the Day is included in the greeting window when you logon to Connexion. The message changes daily and can be accessed at any time under the View menu. Or search News, also located under the View menu.
Finally, be sure to check out the Recent Web sessions and recorded presentations page located under the Expert Community area http://www.oclc.org/worldcat/catalog/quality/expert/websessions.htm. This listing is specific to the cataloging community and complements the standard support tutorials http://www.oclc.org/support/training/connexion/
Please send any questions or concerns to: email@example.com
OCLC's “Bibliographic Formats and Standards”
OCLC's “Bibliographic Formats and Standards” (BFAS) http://www.oclc.org/bibformats/en/ is a guide to machine-readable cataloging records in WorldCat. It provides tagging conventions, input standards, cataloging practices, and guidelines for entering information into WorldCat. In Chapter 2, there is detailed information on original and copy cataloging, as well as comparisons between the different levels of cataloging found in WorldCat. Chapter 3 provides guidelines on special cataloging topics such as "In" analytics, Theses, Parallel records, Electronic resources, etc.
To promote a common basis for decision-making and creation of a useful database, OCLC and its advisory groups established guidelines for inputting new records into WorldCat which are covered in Chapter 4 ‘When to Input a New Record’. Chapter 5 is ‘Quality Assurance’. This chapter provides guidelines on how to participate in OCLC’s quality programs such as database enrichment, how to edit records in WorldCat, or, report errors to OCLC’s Quality Control. Other chapters provide MARC field and subfield coding. Each section includes the input standards noted at the top of the screen for full and less-than-full level cataloging and many examples. The examples provided are illustrative, not prescriptive.
For the very latest information see the Technical Bulletins list . TB 258 explains in detail the new fields, subfields, search indexes, etc. added for MARC Format Update 2010. Many of the changes are related to the scheduled testing and possible future implementation of Resource Description and Access (RDA), the proposed successor to AACR2.