AMIGOS MEMORANDUM 75-14
AMIGOS Bibliographic Council Library Directors and
Technical Services Directors
FROM: James H. Kennedy, Executive Director
DATE: August 5, 1975
SUBJECT: OCLC Search Algorithms
Although the OCLC search algorithms have been published in On-Line
Cataloging and the OCLC Newsletter, a requirement may exist to publish
this information in one document. As part of their Training Manual,
the State University of New York published a section on searching the
system files. This data is given below to assist in this aspect of the
OCLC system .
A terminal operator searches for a cataloging record in the central data
base by using the following search algorithms. Operators have found
searching to be most effective by choosing algorithms in the order listed
below; the LC card number and the OCLC number produce unique records,
while the title and combined author-title and author codes can produce
several records (see numbers 2, 3, and 4 below for selection guides).
1. LC CARD NUMBER. Type the LC card number, including hyphen and prefix,
if any. Then depress the DISPLAY RECORD and SEND keys.
NOTE: Do not use lower case "el" (1) for the numeral "one" (1) in
any keying transaction at the terminal.
2. TITLE SEARCH. Type the first three letters of the first non-Englisharticle-
word of the book title followed by a comma, the first one
or two letters of the next word of the title, a comma, the first one
or two letters of the third word of the title, a comma, and the first
letter of the fourth word of the title. Title search keys must contain
three commas even if the title consists of only one word; it is
not necessary to provide blanks between the commas .
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