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WorldCat Discovery beta: Cover art for every item


This month’s WorldCat Discovery installation on December 8, 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

Cover art for every item. Users gain a more pleasant search experience with a consistent cover art display for every item, even when an image of the actual item is not available.

New images represent an item’s format. Only the “parent” format type is assigned a default cover art (e.g., Book is the parent format type, and Print Book or Braille Book are “children” format types). For the table of parent and child format types, please see the Searching WorldCat Indexes documentation (click on “Format/Document Type values and codes for WorldShare and WorldCat Discovery”).

This example shows an Audiobook on CD with an item-specific image and default cover art for the Book, Audiobook and Video:



  • The Audiobook on CD has an image, so we do not replace it with a default cover art.
  • The eBook is a child of the parent Book format type, so it receives the Book cover art.
  • The Audiobook on CD is a child of the parent Audiobook, so it receives the Audiobook cover art.
  • The DVD video is a child of the parent Video format type, so it receives the Video cover art.

Sort results by Author and Title. Users can easily find what they need in search results when they sort by Author and Title.

The sort by Author sorts by special characters and numbers of the first forename, then A-Z:


The sort by Title sorts by special characters and numbers, then A-Z; and ignores “the”:



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.