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CDL Cataloging of Open Access Monographs Resources

A Proposal to eliminate cataloging redundancies for Open Access (OA) monographic resources


OA e-books become more and more in high demand. However, there are some notable problems with both identifying OA titles and ensuring as little duplication of records as possible. Many of the collections (DOAB, OAPEN, Springer, etc.) overlap to varying degrees and need to be examined carefully in order to prevent that duplication of content and the duplication of effort further down the road. Also, ISBNs cannot always be trusted if they even appear in the content, titles can differ from one title list to another as there is no real standardization of how the metadata should be presented with OA. Donal O’Sullivan, SCP principal electronic monographs cataloger, conducted analysis to 13 identified collections (see below) and made the following proposal that allows to create a better workflow for all Open Access going forward.


In the interests of saving cataloging time while remaining productive SCP take the following into consideration:

If a currently cataloged OA resource is adequately represented with at least one valid Open Access link for all campuses in the cataloged record there should be no need to add multiple other OA links to that same record especially when those additional links resolve to the same platform (e.g., some DOAB links resolve to the OAPEN platform so adding links for both DOAB and OAPEN is redundant). While not all links will be checked, if two or more links obviously go to the same page only one of those links will be used.

Further, SCP intends to use PIDs as the persistent identifiers for all OA monographic resources going forward (unless there is a DOI). Traditionally, BibPURLs have been used for open access resources but the use of BibPURLs requires also adding the PURL to OCLC’s master record. Performing this OCLC maintenance would entail a complex, multi-step process further detracting from cataloging time.

SCP also intends to maintain a “master list” spreadsheet for cataloged titles which will also identify where overlaps occur across varying OA collections. To maintain the master list as current, updates will be downloaded from the OCLC WorldShare KB on a regular basis. In the event that the existing link in a cataloged record fails and SCP is notified of it the list will contain every known overlapping collection and each associated URL so SCP will either replace the link with another valid one or else delete the record.

The actual collections being cataloged or being considered for cataloging with at least one valid Open Access link are as follows:

  • DOAB
  • Knowledge Unlatched
  • Luminos
  • Open Book Publishers
  • Open Textbook Library (including OpenStax titles in the collection)
  • Springer

As a result of SCP’s initial analysis, the following 5 collections were removed from consideration. They will, however, continue to be cataloged as stand-alone collections.

  • Institute of Physics – open access content consists of journals only
  • National Academies Press – Becky does all the original cataloging for this collection and uses DOIs. If other links exist she adds them at the point of cataloging but does not go looking for them.
  • WAC Clearinghouse – open access content only appears on the WAC website and this is an actively cataloged collection already
  • World Bank – open access content primarily overlaps with licensed World Bank content on its own website. This is also an actively cataloged collection
  • De Gruyter – open access availability has proven unreliable at this time. This collection can be reconsidered at a later time if necessary

Collection analysis will be conducted whenever a new collection is added

Originally proposed by Donal O’Sullivan and SCP, November 18, 2016

Reviewed and supported by SCP-AC, December, 19, 2016

Revised and approved by JSC, January 12, 2017