[Web4lib] Worldcat sidebar

Oliver,Sonya olivers at oclc.org
Thu Nov 9 16:12:12 EST 2006

OCLC plans to expand the search facets in its Find in a Library(r) Web
service in the near future.  The enhancement will include a "Show More"
option that will display more than the sample of six search limits that
are now visible.  

To receive notification of this enhancement when it is available,
register for email updates about WorldCat.org at

-----Original Message-----
From: web4lib-bounces at webjunction.org
[mailto:web4lib-bounces at webjunction.org] On Behalf Of Jakob Voss
Sent: Thursday, November 09, 2006 9:26 AM
To: web4lib
Subject: Re: [Web4lib] Worldcat sidebar

Karen Coyle wrote:

>> Unless I'm misunderstanding what you've said, WorldCat (both Open and
>> FirstSearch) returns old and odd items as well, and both provide the
>> ability to limit by date.  (In FirstSearch WorldCat, the "Limit
>> to:...Year" box; in Open WorldCat the Advanced Search page has a date
>> limit.)
> You can limit by date in the advanced search, but the sidebar only
> you a few of the dates for limiting. Since the header of the sidebar
> says: "Refine your search" it seems misleading. If you don't see your
> date or author there, you think they aren't in the retrieved set.
> should at least be a "more..." somewhere.) And I'm still trying to
> understand how that box gets populated.

I fully agree! Under "Years" it is:

    * 2000 (10)
    * 1993 (8)
    * 2003 (8)
    * 1996 (7)
    * 1991 (7)
    * 2002 (6)

With 211 hits in total. There should be a link

    * other (165)

That lets you crawl the list of years sorted by frequency or by year -
same with format, language etc. In fact you can already use more facet
values if you know them:


Providing a classification or thesaurus you can also give ranges, for
instance for language (european, asian...), year (1980s, 1990s...),
author (A-D, E-H,...).

> Note that the person who posted to the Google Books blog had not used
> advanced search, and most people will not. In fact, the Worldcat
> are probably "better" than the Google Books results because a wider
> range of materials was found (dates from 1907 to post-2000) and
> does offer refinement. Yet, no one is posting rave reviews about
> Worldcat. Well, at least not that I know of.

Like shown in the example the WorldCat *results* are not always better -
the best catalouge by content is worthless if it's not good enough by
user interface. The new WorldCat interface is a big step forward but its
only the first step from old-fashioned OPACS into the league of modern
search engines.

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