OCLC Terminologies Service: Overview

The OCLC Terminologies Service provides libraries, museums and archives with easy, one-stop access to multiple controlled vocabularies (terminologies) for use in creating consistent metadata for their collections. The service is web-accessible via the Microsoft® Office 2003 Research pane and Internet Explorer

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The service accesses these thesauri:

You can display all of these in your source list, or choose a subset.

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Keyword searching

In keyword searching, you enter one or more search terms to retrieve matching preferred terms. You can enter:

You can also use the following in your searches:

For more detailed information about searching, see: Basic search.

Search results

A successful search displays a list of preferred terms. A preferred term is a term that is an authorized heading within the thesaurus you are currently searching.

Search results containing a list of preferred terms

You can select a preferred term from the list to see more detailed information, such as broader terms, narrower terms, related terms and class numbers (where included in the thesaurus). If your search results in a single preferred term, the detailed information is displayed automatically.

Detailed information about a preferred term

If your search yields no results, the display suggests additional search locations and may also list one or more alternative spellings for your search term.

For more information see Basic Search.

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Copying terms into Connexion

The service lets you copy a preferred term and any associated tag, indicators, and subfields to the MS Windows® clipboard. You can then paste this information into OCLC Connexion® browser, Connexion client, or another metadata editing tool. If you do not have a Connexion browser session open, you can open one directly from the Research task pane. For more information see Copying terms.

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Index browsing

Browsing helps you find the best term to use in your search. It lets you view an alphabetical list of the terms in an index. Click a term in the list to view the search results for that term. For more information, see Index Browsing.

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Managing your source list

Selecting the Research options... link at the bottom of the Research task pane displays the list of all available resources.

Research options link

To change the list of thesauri that you want to search, you check (show) or clear (do not show) individiual check boxes, then select the OK button.

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Updating the service

When the OCLC Terminologies Service adds enhancements or new terminologies, you see a message after you enter your OCLC authorization and password that asks you to update the service. Updating lets you use the enhancements and select the new terminologies. After you update the service, the message stops appearing.

Note: You must have cookies enabled in order for the message to stop appearing.

To update the service:

  1. Click the Research options link at the bottom of the Research task pane.
  2. Click the Update/Remove button in the Research Options box.
  3. Select the OCLC Terminologies Service in the Update or Remove Services box.
  4. Click the Update button.
  5. Click the Continue button in the OCLC Terminologies Service Setup box.
  6. Check the All OCLC Terminologies box and the box for each of the terminologies (services) that you want to use.
  7. Click the Install button.
  8. Click OK in the Updated Services box.
  9. Click the Close button in the Update or Remove Services box.
  10. Click the Close button in the Research Options box.

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Managing your display

Can't find it?.  The default setting for the Can't find it? option is On. You can turn this option on or off:


Select the Research options... link at the bottom of the Research task pane

Result: The Research Options window opens.


Scroll down to the Other Services section (the last section).


Un-check (to remove) or check (to display) the Can't find it? check box, the select the OK button.

Result: The Research options window closes.

  • If the original setting was On and if you are currently displaying unsuccessful search results, the Can't find it? section disappears.
  • If the original setting was Off, the Can't find it? section will reappear with your next unsuccessful search.

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Related documents and support

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