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WorldCat Discovery beta: Share Personal Lists and “My Items”

This month’s WorldCat Discovery installation on July 27, 2017 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

Efficiently share Personal Lists and “My Items”

  • Find many items at once with call numbers on Personal Lists and “My Items”

Lists in WorldCat Discovery display multiple call numbers associated with a saved record. The call numbers will update each time the list is viewed in order to deliver accurate location information:



  • Share personal lists with faculty, students and staff

In addition to citing lists, users can now email an entire personal list to a user-entered email address:


The email recipient will see the user’s institution URL in the subject, as well as each item and all of its associated metadata, such as custom notes and call numbers:


Scope statement shows origin of search results. The scope statement now displays above search results to give users a quick reference to scoping levels applied to their search. In addition to the “Library” facet, users can view the scope statement to determine if the search results come from libraries worldwide or only from their local library.


“Most Widely Held” sort option supports interlibrary loan requests. Earlier this year, WorldCat Discovery updated the clustering algorithm used to group editions and formats. The change ensured that when multiple editions of an item are available, the most recent, locally-held edition displays in the search results. This aligns with existing user research and was successfully confirmed by a usability study conducted by OCLC in May of this year.

While student researchers expect the most recent edition to display on the search results, library staff who want to initiate interlibrary loan requests need to know which libraries own needed items. The new “Most Widely Held” sort option presents an unclustered list of results, arranged by the number of OCLC symbols attached to each record. No change in configuration is needed to present an unclustered view when searching with the “Most Widely Held” sort option.

Make better decisions about items with more record metadata. The following fields now display in the description area of WorldCat Discovery detailed records:


* All $t links will now search the title phrase index with “ti=”.
** Only $w with (OCoLC) will be linked and will search the OCLC index with “no:”. All others will not be linked.
*** All $x links will now search the ISSN index with “in:”.
**** All $z links will now search the ISBN index with “bn:”.

Known Issues

Refreshing ‘Did you mean’ suggestions for a better search experience. This month, OCLC patrons experienced a degradation in ‘Did you mean’ search suggestions. On July 27, we will temporarily suspend the display of search term suggestions as we work to resolve this issue. The solution planned for the WorldCat Discovery October release will provide additional benefits such as:

  • Showing the corrected word in context of an entire query
  • Globalizing spelling suggestions based on a user’s location
  • Including names in suggestions
  • Blocking numbers and index names, such as OCLC numbers or “jail,” from suggestions
  • Preserving all of a user’s punctuation and capitalization in the ‘Did you mean’ suggestion

Thank you for your patience as we work to deliver more accurate, meaningful ‘Did you mean’ suggestions in the coming months.

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.