2008-03-20

Hooray for OCLC Pica customer response !

In my post about our Google Book Search implementation, I mentioned that we could only do this for records containing an ISBN. Google also accepts other identifiers, like oclc numbers and the numbers of the Library of Congres.
We don't have that data recorded, but all of our records end up in Worldcat. Time to get in touch with OCLC pica, the European branch of OCLC, which manages our Dutch Union Catalog and makes sure these records are also uploaded to Worldcat.

I had a short but fruitful email communication. Their first reaction helped me to understand that I can locate a corresponding record in Worldcat using a URL containing the PPN (Pica Production Number) which we do record, since that is the identifier for the Dutch Union Catalog. That's neat. I can now point to Worldcat's 'Find in a Library close to you' page, from the catalog record, for books out on loan or non Wageningen UR users. On the resulting page the OCLC number is present. I could do some page scraping (which is pretty easy, since we only use XML tools and worldcat returns XHTML pages (bravo !)), but it is not elegant and pretty slow as well. I mentioned this to OCLC pica and also pointed that the link from Worldcat to our local catalog should always be based upon the PPN. (Worldcat only does this for non ISBN holding records and accidentally does this using the OCLC number in stead of the PPN). OCLC Pica responded quickly that it was indeed better to have a small service to request for the OCLC number when providing a PPN and that they would make this available to me before the end of March. I was astonished. Isn't that great. When I thanked for this immediate response, I took the liberty to request if they would add the Library of Congres number with the response as well. Thanks Martin.

4 comments:

Francy said...

Hi!
This is Nice Blog!

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Wow!ter said...

Hi Peter,

What's the progress. Do we solve the case before the 14th? Perhaps worth a ligthning talk....

Peter van Rees said...

Hi Peter,

Cheers for this! Is this pica service documented somewhere? Or who can we contact for more info?

Thanks in advance

Peter van Rees said...

Hi Peter,

Cheers for this! Is this pica service documented somewhere? Or who can we contact for more info?

Thanks in advance