The API is comprised of three request types:
Responses from the API can be returned in eight different format:
Worldcat uses OCLC Control Number Cross-Reference to track deleted OCLC numbers. When an OCLC number is deleted, it's still search-able from this service. In the response, we use presentOclcnum to specify present OCLC number. For example 2416076 was merged into 24991049, a request of the deleted number 2416076 will return:
<rsp xmlns="http://worldcat.org/xid/xoclcnum/" stat="ok"> <oclcnum lccn="34025476" presentOclcnum="24991049">2416076</oclcnum> </rsp>
The presentOclcnum field is omitted when an OCLC number is active, so request to current OCLC number 24991049 returns:
<rsp xmlns="http://worldcat.org/xid/xoclcnum/" stat="ok"> <oclcnum lccn="34025476" >24991049</oclcnum> </rsp>
OCLC numbers are related to each other using librarian-catalogued bibliographic records in WorldCat with an algorithm developed by OCLC Research. The algorithm restructures WorldCat bibliographic records to conform to the FRBR conceptual model for information objects. For instance, rather than requiring an end user to traverse multiple records that represent many different manifestations of a book—including printings, hardback or paperback editions or even filmed versions—"FRBRized" WorldCat information allows that user to review a core record that lists all manifestations.
The xOCLCNUM Web service queries database tables in WorldCat created by the FRBR algorithm.
The OCLC Developer Network supports the use of OCLC Web Services—a set of tools and APIs that expose data and services for WorldCat and our member libraries and partner institutions or companies. learn more »
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