Best Practice: Reporting Duplicate Bibliographic Records

Best Practice

Multiple bibliographic records describing the same manifestation in OCLC can end up in the Network Zone, causing confusion for both patrons and staff and limiting the capability to share technical services functions between Alliance institutions. When these groups of records (duplicate records with different OCLC numbers) are identified, members are strongly encouraged to take one of the actions below:

  1. Merge the records if they have OCLC Merge authorization.
  2. Report the records as errors to OCLC for merging using either:

Once records in WorldCat are merged by OCLC, daily merge loads to the NZ reconcile the merge in Alma. Merges that involve multiple NZ records are reconciled by the Technical Services Program Manager daily.

Multiple records in the Network Zone with the same OCN should be reported to the Technical Services Program Manager for cleanup. Note that in cases where one record is a Community Zone record and one is a Network Zone record, the records need not be reported.

Additional context: OCLC Member Merge option

With the growth of the OCLC Member Merge Program, over time more and more libraries in the WorldCat cooperative receive training and are granted authorization to perform WorldCat record merges. As of early 2020, three Alliance members are active participants in this program.

Alliance members who are eligible for the Member Merge program (i.e., by participating in one or more PCC programs) but have not yet joined should consider applying to join; this would serve to expand WorldCat record merging capacity within the Alliance even further. Interested parties should contact for more information on the Member Merge program.