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WorldCat Discovery beta: Search Spelling Suggestion


This month’s WorldCat Discovery installation on May 12, 2016 included the following new features and enhancements.

The running list of release notes can be found at (Note that many of these do not have an impact on Melvyl.)

New Features and Enhancements

  • Search Spelling Suggestion. The search spelling suggestion capability displays a spelling suggestion when the search terms entered by a user return only limited results. This feature works from an intelligence algorithm that detects similarity between the entered search term(s) and common or widely accepted search terms or phrases. Using this advanced algorithm, WorldCat Discovery watches for outcomes that indicate likelihood that a search has returned an inadequate or incomplete set of results, considering the user’s intended search.In this initial phase of WorldCat Discovery search spelling suggestions, users will see suggestions for predominantly English search terms, because suggestions are based on previous searches performed in the service.
    A spelling suggestion will be displayed on the results screen of an executed search when one or more of the following query result conditions exist:

    • The query returns less than five (<5) results
    • The search completes in a relatively short period of time (< one second)
    • The misspelled word is located on an evolving list of user-derived data and English language dictionary terms/phrases

Here is an example of a search spelling suggestion:




  • Improved messaging for no results. Now when a WorldCat Discovery user enters a query that returns no results, the message that displays contains suggestions for modifying the query.

Here is the updated message:




WorldCat Discovery (WCD)

OCLC is working on major changes to WorldCat Local: a new discovery interface with major functional and design improvements. WorldCat Local will be replaced by a new platform called WorldCat Discovery.

Information on the WorldCat Discovery (Beta) for the UC campuses is available on the WorldCat Discovery Beta webpage. This webpage includes

  • Links to the UC campus (and union) WCD-Beta instances where you can test drive the functionality
  • OCLC’s project timeline (e.g., when will UC migrate to the new platform?)


In March 2016, OCLC announced it was keeping FirstSearch as a separate product rather than merging it into WorldCat Discovery as originally planned. We do not yet have a timeline for the new FirstSearch beta.