Submissions:2015/How I supercharged the bibliography of a featured article – the (mostly) pros and (a few) cons of Worldcat and the OCLC

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How I supercharged the bibliography of a featured article – the (mostly) pros and (a few) cons of Worldcat and the OCLC

Creating pre-ISBN bibliographies and informing users about library access to printed materials.

Type of submission



Peaceray / Raymond F. Leonard, Jr.

E-mail address (forwards to




Cascadia Wikimedians User Group


This is how the Ezra Meeker bibliography looked when it appeared as the featured article on June 21, 2013.

Ezra Meeker bibliography before OCLC.png

This is how the Ezra Meeker bibliography looks after adding information gleaned from WorldCat and adding the OCLC number.

Ezra Meeker bibliography today, after OCLC.png

  • Come learn how to use to discover online copies of pre-1923 books on the Internet Archive, HathiTrust, Google Books, and other archival sources. Worldcat is also a valuable tool for obtaining bibliographic information for essential to creating citations for books, journal articles, DVDs, and other media.
  • The Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) was founded in 1967 as "a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world's information”[1] and provides the WorldCat database. The OCLC number identifies a WorldCat record and can be used as a citation template parameter to connect users with libraries holding print editions of a work as well as other physical and electronic media. This is particularly useful for books published before the introduction of the ISBN in 1970.
  • Although the OCLC number has great use, it does have drawbacks. There are often multiple records for the same edition of a publication. Fortunately, WorldCat allows the user to “view all editions and formats”, although this is not a guarantee that all editions and formats will be listed. I will discuss strategies for choosing the best record, and what to do when it is appropriate to list up to three records from WorldCat.
  • For post-1923 books and some journal articles, WorldCat sometimes lists online editions that are behind paywalls or have relevant snippets available from Google Books. I will also discuss how to include these in citations and how to identify the former as subscription.

  1. |About OCLC,
Length of presentation

30 minutes

Special schedule requests

A projector, preferably something that accepts HDMI input

Will you attend WikiConference USA if your submission is not accepted?

I hope to attend WikiConference USA regardless.

Interested attendees

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  1. Gamaliel (talk) 10:43, 28 August 2015 (EDT)
  2. Samantha (Wiki Ed) (talk) 13:54, 3 September 2015 (EDT)
  3. Librarygurl (talk) 15:00, 25 September 2015 (EDT)