The WorldCat API has two levels of service. Based upon whether or not you are able to determine the library affiliation of the users of your API-based application, you may present a full set of indexes and data or a partial set. The partial set is equivalent to what is offered in the WorldCat.org user interface.
If you are able to determine that the users of your application are library staff, patrons with library cards, students of academic libraries, or patrons within the library, you can present the most complete set of indexes and data that the WorldCat API provides. Determining this library affiliation is expected to be similar to authenticating library users for most licensed databases, such as those offered by ProQuest, Lexis-Nexis, or FirstSearch.
If you are not able to determine the library affiliation of users of your API-based application, the WorldCat API will support indexes and data at the level currently offered to WorldCat.org visitors. For these users, we require that you provide a path to obtain library holdings information as appropriate in your user interface when WorldCat data is presented, with links to participating library OPACs. The WorldCat API provides the OPAC URLs to support these links. The display of library holdings works best when the end user’s location (IP address, ZIP code, or country) can be provided in the link.
Configuring Service Levels in API Applications
The WorldCat Search API documentation describes how to profile and communicate the appropriate service level for your application. The WorldCat Search API Indexes provides additional information on the index options. And also check out the Tips for specific indexes.
Comparing Service Levels
|Full Service||Default Service|
|Searchable indexes||All supported indexes||WorldCat.org indexes and the Dewey index|
|Metadata presented||Full bibliographic data||Limited to fields presented in WorldCat.org|
|Holdings information||Holdings for all known libraries||Holdings of WorldCat.org participating libraries|
|Link to holding Libraries and their OPACs||Optional||Required|
Full Service Indexes and Data
As limits only:
Data: Full bibliographic record
Holdings: All libraries that have cataloged the item including links to the libraries catalog when available.
Default Service Indexes and Data
As limits only:
Data found in the following MARC fields (http://www.oclc.org/bibformats/en/):
Holdings: The libraries that participate in WorldCat.org and that have cataloged the item and a link to the libraries catalog when available.
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