Expert Community Experiment Update

April 21st, 2009 by Roy

Recently, OCLC launched an experiment in making it easier for members to update and correct WorldCat records. Dubbed the Expert Community Experiment, the goal is to engage the community in improving overall database quality. Specifically, members with full-level cataloging authorizations have the ability to improve and upgrade WorldCat master records during the experiment. It began in February and will last six months.

In March, there were 18,910 Expert Community Experiment replaces.  There were 1001 institutions that did at least one replace.  Individual institution numbers ranged from 3 institutions doing more than 500 replaces to 242 institutions doing 1 replace each. Other figures:

Database Enrichment: 18,235
Minimal-Level Upgrade: 14,791
Enhance Regular: 15,052
Enhance National: 3,583
CONSER Authentication: 1,929
CONSER Maintenance: 6,183

To put this into perspective, during the same period OCLC staff replaced 1,086,715 records. This isn’t to say that we couldn’t see substantial improvements in database quality under a less strict editing regime, only that you likely didn’t know just how hard we work to improve the WorldCat database. I sure didn’t, and I work here.

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2 Responses to “Expert Community Experiment Update”

  1. Mike Rylander Says:

    Were those 1,086,715 records replaced by catalogers sitting at a keyboard, working in a MARC editor? (I know that sounds snarky, but it’s not meant to be. I’m just curious if that number includes automated and/or batch processing.)

  2. Roy Says:

    Good question, Mike. I couldn’t imagine teams of librarians chained to their desks in the basement of the Kilgour Building, so I passed your question on to Glenn Patton, who provided the figures. He said:

    “It does not include any completely automated processing (such as doing a database scan to change a piece of data to another) but it does include semi-automated activity in which we identify a set of OCLC numbers with a common problem and feed that list into a Connexion macro to fix the problem.”

    So left out in his figures are the kinds of large, machine-only types of updates such as Thom Hickey has done with his work to control headings in WorldCat: http://outgoing.typepad.com/outgoing/2008/04/controlling-nam.html

    It’s nice to know, though, that Glenn is not employing a cat-o-nine-tails to keep those record updates coming.