Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Ranking search returns by accessibility

OCLC to Pilot WorldCat Local, a press release from OCLC, April 11, 2007.  (Thanks to ResourceShelf.)  Excerpt:

OCLC is piloting a new service that will allow libraries to combine the cooperative power of OCLC member libraries worldwide with the ability to customize as a solution for local discovery and delivery services.

The WorldCat Local pilot builds on, which allows Web access to the world's richest database for discovery of materials held in libraries. Through a locally branded interface, the service will provide libraries the ability to search the entire WorldCat database and present results beginning with items most accessible to the patron. These might include collections from the home library, collections shared in a consortium, and open access collections....

PS:  Apart from the way this new service supplements the standard library OPAC, I like the way it ranks items with the most accessible first.  This is a big help to readers and one more incentive to authors and publishers to reduce access barriers to their work. 

OCLC has evidently solved the problem of classifying resources by their access status.  Hence, even when users select a different ranking method, OCLC should be able to flag the OA items as OA, though I can't tell whether it plans to do so.