Citing is easy with WorldCat

It is taken as read that faculty, researchers and doctoral students must know how to properly cite any source of information they consult and use in their knowledge creation process, and that they must know how to produce the bibliographies that have to accompany their research work and scientific articles.

They normally use the most common bibliographic reference managers (Mendeley, RefWorks, Zotero, etc.), which make this laborious part of their academic and research work much easier.

A bibliographic reference manager is software that, once installed and registered on, lets users create their own bibliographic database, storing the reference data of articles, books or web pages consulted for their subsequent entering as citations in any text.

These bibliographic reference managers let users export the citations used in the text as a bibliography in a wide variety of the most common bibliographic formats (ISO 690,  APA, Chicago, Vancouver, MLA, etc.).

Degree students, however, do not normally use bibliographic reference managers. Likewise, they are not well versed in the criteria for citing documents or the correct presentation of bibliographies, despite the efforts of library and language services at universities and their providing guides, manuals and all kinds of resources to help them learn how to cite correctly and produce bibliographies in accordance with basic criteria and standards such as ISO 690:2010.

Students are often unaware of a very useful resource for citing documents correctly in any of the most commonly used bibliographic styles: WorldCat. It is the online catalogue from the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) and thought to be the largest Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) in the world with a bibliographic collection covering more than 10,000 public and private libraries from around the globe.

When citing a document in a given bibliographic style, users can search for it in WorldCat. In the document‚Äôs bibliographic record, they simply need to click on the option to ‚ÄúCite/Export‚ÄĚ at the top right. Just one click provides access to the bibliographic citation in the most common standards (APA, Harvard, Chicago, MLA, Turabian).


This quick and simple way of citing sources and producing properly formatted bibliographies should make life easy for students.


Orbis: consortia and collaboration

A few weeks ago we were visited by John F. Helmer, Executive Director of the Orbis Cascade Alliance. The Alliance includes 37 universities, colleges and community colleges in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. These institutions are both private and public, and serve 260,000 students.

Helmer was invited by the CBUC (Catalan University Library Association) to talk about their plans to change the ILS and other library systems.collaborate

The Alliance has decided to move to ExLibris Alma. Its members have to migrate from their own ILS and other tools to Alma. They decided to divide the institutions into four groups for implementation and roll-out ‚Äď one after the other every 6 months. This is a big deal, as some of them are large institutions with lots of information to migrate. The first group had to handle all the major difficulties. With this in mind, it only included six institutions. They had the tough task of blazing a trail and acquiring knowledge that would prove very useful for the rest of the groups.

Helmer’s talk was entitled ‚ÄúRadical Collaboration‚ÄĚ. It focused essentially on collaboration and the importance of consortia, and working together as a way to work more effectively and reduce costs.

Collaboration: marriage, not just dating

Collaboration in the changing of the library system was crucial. Different groups of experts from each of the institutions were organized to work on specific aspects of the systems and data.

It is not just the technological aspects that have to be taken into consideration. You have to work with people and engage them to work on the change. The staff involved in the project have to be prepared to have an open attitude to face up to all the different aspects of the implementation work.

These were some of the highlights from Helmer’s talk. In conclusion, he pointed out that the Alliance’s system change had been hard, but motivating, work. The project is currently on schedule and the second implementation group is about to go live.


Libraries and social networks

Since the UOC Library made its catalogue social and added additional information on documents, some new functionalities have been developed.

Illustration by Mark Tuchman

Illustration by Mark Tuchman

LibraryThing for Libraries is now integrated on Facebook and other social networks, some examples include:

Syndetic Solutions introduces video game enriched content

Goodreads was acquired by Amazon.

This information highlights the importance of this social network for the books industry. Nowadays everybody searches for opinions and reviews online to help them to choose the best option. All the latest generation library software let users enrich document information with ratings and reviews.

All this confirms the close relationship between social networks and libraries.

Marshall Breeding came to Barcelona and during his visit he gave a seminar entitled Global Business and Technology Trends in Library Automation. The seminar was organised by the CBUC, Catalan University Library Association, and held on 2 April. It was open to all of the association’s members, their collaborators and companies from the sector.

Francesc and I were able to attend and talk to Mr Breeding about which trends are going to define the future of library services in academic libraries.

Of the questions that came up, one of the most important ones was the current transition from integrated library systems to library services platforms ‚Äď a term coined by Breeding to define the evolution of current systems that are still designed to manage collections on paper.

Library services platforms are designed instead for content management, regardless of the format, thus integrating into one single platform the dispersed contents on a range of platforms, as is currently the case at libraries:¬†ILS + Electronic Resource Management + OpenURL Link Resolver + Digital Collections Management platform + Institutional Repository + Discovery-layer services for broader access to library collections + …


Architecture model proposed by Breeding

One of the main features of these platforms is the flexibility and ability to manage different kinds of library materials, multiple metadata formats and the corresponding workflows.

Openness has been defined as the backbone to the library’s technology strategies.

One of the issues stressed by Breeding was the need for these new platforms to move away from the ‚Äėblack box‚Äô paradigm and become open systems. Openness has been defined as the backbone to the library‚Äôs technology strategies. Libraries need to do more things with their data and they have to be able to process these data easily. The need for open APIs and interoperability is key in these systems.

The future of these systems depends on easier access to the data held in the their knowledge bases, which are their greatest asset; and in the flexibility to generate and process the growing diversity of data and metadata models.


Do you know Encore?

Encore is a product from Innovative Interfaces.¬†In their words: ‚ÄúThrough a single search box, Encore connects users to all the trusted resources the library collects or selects‚Ä̬†(Encore website).

But we all know that this concept is confusing. Most technologies do not let you discover all of the library’s resources. Looking a bit more closely, we see that, in fact, Encore is not just one product. Encore is a set of products, where each product is a solution to a specific part of the problem. Thus, one product is never enough, and all the products together can give you a solution for most of your needs. This kind of solution could meet 90% of your needs, if you are lucky.

Encore Discovery is a layer to enrich your OPAC ‚Äď a discovery layer working on top of the ILS (Integrated Library System). That means you must buy another ILS soon…

Encore Synergy provides the user with the catalogue content and the electronic resources content.

Then you can also buy Encore Harvesting Services, Research Pro, Pathfinder Pro, etc.

As a discovery tool, Encore has a modern and usable interface. Here are the most common features of the discovery tools, and some that are not so common:

Options to refine your search; the possibility to sort results criteria (although only three); indicator of full text availability; navigation and discovery tools, including filter by facets (you can select several at once) and cloud tags; tools to create community, such as adding tags and rankings; sharing tools, including RefWorks or email; and services with social intelligence, such as ‚Äėpeople looking for this may be interested in these recent additions‚Äô.

You can take a look to Encore Synergy:

And Encore Discovery:



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