Jisc and OCLC unable to continue agreement on National Metadata Sharing for 2022/23

Libraries who use OCLC records in their catalogues will be aware that Jisc and OCLC entered into a Transitional National Metadata Agreement covering the period August 1st 2021 – July 31st 2022. Following a lengthy national consultation, this Agreement remodeled the charging structure for OCLC services, and enabled all UK HE libraries to access full OCLC records through Jisc Library Hub Cataloguing.

Whilst the Transitional Agreement has been successful in providing a more consistent and sustainable pricing model for future use, and take up has been good, Jisc and OCLC have been unable to agree post-transitional terms for a longer-term agreement.

This means that as of August 1st 2022, libraries will be unable to subscribe to the WorldCat Cataloguing and Metadata subscription using the Jisc Licence Subscriptions Manager platform. Eligible libraries who wish to subscribe (or Authorised libraries re-subscribe) to OCLC cataloguing services will need to talk directly to OCLC.

OCLC will be in touch with all Libraries before month end July and have committed to honour the NMA pricing bands for the coming 12 months.

The absence of an Agreement will also mean that from 1st August 2022, OCLC data will no longer be available in Jisc Library Hub Cataloguing, and the Library Hub team will no longer be able to facilitate data sharing into WorldCat as an extension of data ingest into the National Bibliographic Knowledgebase.

Although this marks the end a five-year phase of intensive and productive collaboration around bibliographic data and MARC record sharing, it does not mean that Jisc and OCLC won’t work together in future to progress other strategic goals on behalf of the UK academic library community.

There is a huge amount of work to be done in areas such as: the ‘collective collection’, community-driven resource sharing, streamlining library data workflows, the evolution towards linked data, the use of machine-learning techniques, and transforming library data into machine actionable datasets for research. All of which means that Jisc will work with the community, and all relevant third-party organisations, to succeed in achieving the ambitious aims that libraries have for their data and their collections.

If anyone has questions or comments about this, please contact nbk@jisc.ac.uk 

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By Neil Grindley

Director of Content & Discovery Services at Jisc. With oversight of Jisc's library and archival discovery services and content solutions for HE and FE.

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