Acquisitions Support and Value Added Services Committee

OCLC RLG Comparison
Acquisition Support and End Processing Services
Prepared by Ruth Bogan, Rhonda Marker, and Mary Page (chair)
September 26, 2002


  1. To evaluate OCLC and RLG vendor services to determine if their use would streamline acquisitions processes such as ordering, receiving, and Fast Cat.
  1. To evaluate vendor support for pre-processing and shelf-ready services through the bibliographic utilities.
  1. To evaluate vendor support for spine label printing through the bibliographic utilities.
  1. To evaluate batch capabilities of OCLC and RLG services.

What we want in a pre-processing/shelf ready workflow

  1. A single point of data entry on our end.
  1. A seamless transfer of bibliographic, item, and order information between Sirsi, vendor systems, and the bibliographic utility.
  1. Full MARC records with item-level detail (barcode numbers, local call numbers).
  1. Spine labels, end processing (ownership stamps, tattletaping, etc.)
  1. Training, clear documentation, user support.
  1. Management reports and statistics (matches, non-matches, turnaround time, etc.) that can be exported into standard applications such as Excel.

Interfaces with Vendor Systems

RLG does not provide interfaces with vendor systems for ordering, nor do they provide a labelling service.

OCLC's PromptCat service would allow us to generate an order in Sirsi and receive a full MARC record with item-level data. OCLC's CatME service would allow us to batch search and catalog received items that were not cataloged at the point of order. CatME can also be used to automate label production.

PromptCat: PromptCat would be used to order materials from specific vendors that support the PromptCat interface. From cooperating vendors, we could enter an order into Sirsi, receive a full MARC record (including local data such as barcodes), and receive a fully processed book that matches the MARC record.

A generalized PromptCat workflow is as follows:

  1. RUL creates orders in Sirsi.
  2. RUL exports records to vendor via FTP or EDI.
  3. Vendor exports electronic manifest to OCLC.
  4. OCLC searches items in WorldCat.
  5. Bibliographic matches generate a full MARC record with RUL local data in 9xx fields.
  6. OCLC sets NJR holdings in WorldCat (21 day delay).
  7. OCLC exports MARC records with local data via FTP or EDI to RUL.
  8. Vendor ships shelf ready item to RUL.
  9. RUL matches item to record in Sirsi.

PromptCat interfaces with several vendors that we use regularly. They are listed below, along with the types of materials we typically order from them.

Yankee partnered with OCLC in developing PromptCat. Both Yankee and Blackwell have established PromptCat programs and customer bases. Most of the other vendors are still developing PromptCat services.

Batch Processing

RLG offers Marcadia, which is a MARC record batch machine matching service provided by Marc Link in partnership with RLG.

OCLC offers RetroCon, which is a MARC record batch machine matching service provided by OCLC


The Cataloging MicroEnhancer (CatME) is client software that can be used for batch searching of WorldCat.

CatME would be used by RUL staff to catalog received materials that were not ordered through PromptCat or cataloged at the point of order.

A generalized CatME workflow is as follows:

  1. RUL staff receive uncataloged items.
  2. RUL staff enter search keys offline, either numeric (e.g., ISBN) or derived (e.g., 3,2,2,1).
  3. Batch searches are run in OCLC, generating a list of matches and non-matches.
  4. RUL staff edit matches offline; non-match searches can be saved to re-run later.
  5. RUL staff export fully cataloged records with local data to Sirsi.
  6. RUL staff create spine labels for the batch

RetroCon and Marcadia: OCLC's RetroCon and RLG's Marcadia would be used by RUL staff to obtain full cataloging for items that have a MARC record. Instances might be backlogs of gift and unit receipts for which a brief record in MARC format has been entered in IRIS; previously cataloged items which are only represented in the card catalog and for which a preliminary MARC record could be transcribed; Acquisitions records for items not processed through PromptCat.

The choice of whether to use RetroCon or Marcadia should rest on cost, ease of importing the full record into IRIS, and availability of full cataloging for the items represented in a batch.

Collection Set Cataloging

RLG no longer provides collection set cataloging. OCLC provides collection set cataloging for some print collections, electronic (online) packages, and microform sets. Appendix I lists the microform sets owned by RUL for which OCLC offers collection set catalog records. Based on priorities set by the appropriate RUL decision-making body, we should pursue purchase of collection set records for our uncataloged microform collections.

There are a few electronic packages on OCLC's list for which we have not completed the cataloging (Appendix II). In the future, we should first request MARC records from the provider of electronic resources, then determine if records are available from OCLC, and only as a last resort do manual cataloging of online resources.

Cataloging in Other Metadata Schemes/Non-Roman alphabets

OCLC offers the CORC database for Dublin Core records describing electronic resources. RLIN does not support cataloging in metadata schema other than MARC. We do not envision creating records in other metadata schemes on either utility.

Neither utility supports Unicode at this time.

The Cataloging Committee has addressed support for non-Roman alphabets in their analysis of each utility.


Using OCLC and vendor services for ordering and end-processing will not result in cost savings. Savings will be achieved through better use of staff resources, and improved efficiencies should also result in faster delivery of materials to the libraries.

OCLC Implementation Costs
1. Onsite training: $520 for 4 staff members plus $115 per additional staff member. 20 staff     $2,360.
2. Alternatively, at PALINET offices in Philadelphia: $0 for 4 staff members, who share responsibility to train up to 30 full time staff in Acquisitions and Cataloging     $0.00
OCLC Ongoing Costs
1. PromptCat: $1.70 per record @ 8,000 records/year     $13,600.
2. CatME: $0.85 per record @ 5,000 records/year     $4,250.
3. $136 per simultaneous user/month @ 12 users * 12 months     $19,584.
Annual estimate$37,434.

Vendor End Processing Costs
1. $2.50 per volume @ 8,000 firm orders/year     $20,000.
2. $2.50 per volume @ 12,000 approvals/year     $30,000.
Annual estimate$50,000.
Both Yankee and Blackwell end processing costs average about $2.25 to $3.25 per volume. Pricing and terms can be negotiated.
Collection Set Record Costs
1. $0.13 per record in microform collections     varies
2. $0.25 per record for electronic sets     varies

The total for each microform collection will vary depending on the number of records in the set. The total for all electronic sets that we could currently purchase for RUL would be approximately $950.


  1. Begin using PromptCat with Yankee Book Peddler for a designated collection (e.g., Camden firm orders) to test the service for fully cataloged and processed materials. Yankee's PromptCat service is further developed than Blackwell's, and we believe that the implementation would be easier.
  1. Begin using Blackwell's pre-processed service for all other RUL firm orders. This could be a first step toward using PromptCat with Blackwell, should we decide to go in that direction.
  1. Begin using CatME for materials that are not ordered via PromptCat or otherwise cataloged at the point of order. Compare CatME to our current FastCat process for ease of use, hit rate, and cost.
  1. Evaluate CatME labelling capabilities and compare to current in-house procedures.
  1. Acquire OCLC records for electronic and microform sets whenever possible.
  1. Evaluate OCLC's RetroCon with our current use of RLG's Marcadia for retrospective conversion and gift and unit receipt backlogs.
  1. Evaluate the Libraries' current Unicorn match and overlay strategies for bibliographic records with an eye to allowing more batch loading of records by staff. Use of OCLC's CatME as a tool for batch processing of bibliographic records, as described in the report, is hindered by our current procedures and Unicorn configuration.

Appendix I

Microform Set Cataloging Available from OCLC
August 22, 2002

Number of Records
Cost, @ $0.13/title
Status of cataloging in IRIS

American Culture Series I, 1493-1806
American Culture Series II, 1493-1875
5,004 records
One title cataloged, Annex (formerly LSM): a627735

American Periodical Series I, 1741-1800
American Periodical Series II, 1800-1850
American Periodical Series III, 1850-1900
1,711 records
Series I, 0 of 101 records cataloged
Series II, 122 of 1,401 records cataloged
Series III, 34 of 209 records cataloged

Early American Imprints Second Series [microopaque]
36,601 records
Five titles cataloged, SPCOL/UA, for original print publications

History of Women
9.419 records
One title cataloged, DOUGLASS, for original print publication: a891368

Landmarks of Science [microopaque]
9,448 records
No titles cataloged in IRIS

Model Cities Reports
874 records
No titles cataloged in IRIS

Pamphlets in American History
35,134 records
$4,567.42 (it is possible to purchase selective parts of the set)
One title cataloged, SPCOL/UA, for original print publication
Russian History and Culture (Units 1-21)
2,217 records; each unit ordered separately
255 titles cataloged in IRIS; many cataloged to STACKS (?); we own Units 1-20

Spanish Drama of the Golden Age
410 records
No titles cataloged in IRIS

Three Centuries of English and American Plays, 1500-1830
4,492 records (Note: Units 1-6 covering the years 1500-1830 of English plays and 1714-1830 of American plays are available.)
No titles cataloged in IRIS. The extent of our microfilm collection was not verified.

Appendix II

Electronic Set Cataloging Available from OCLC For Databases Acquired by RUL

IEEE XPLORE 3558 records @ .25 per = $889.50

JSTOR ARTS & SCIENCES II COLLECTION (to be acquired fy 2003) 78 records @ .25 per = $19.50

WOMEN WRITERS PROJECT 190 records @ .25 per = $47.50

Back to Top of Page
Libraries website maintained by the Libraries Webmaster
© Copyright 1996-2006, Rutgers University Libraries