Worldcat Public Access Article knowledge base?

In a short Library Journal blurb about a product that’s at it’s base OCLC’s bid to get into the “electronic journal holdings knoweldge base” business (and as side-effect, perhaps actually the most useful effect for OCLC and it’s users, get data on e-holdings in the OCLC database so it can be used for other services), there’s an off-hand mention of something I find very interesting for other reasons:

The WorldCat knowledge base includes material from large open-access journal sources, such as the Directory of Open Access Journals, PubMed Central, and BioOne, as well as freely available content from the HathiTrust digital repository and the Internet Archive. Notably, open-access material from licensed platforms, such as Elsevier, Wiley, Springer, and Nature Publishing Group will be accessible.

I’ve written before about the difficulty of finding reliably machine-actionable listing of public access scholarly articles.

It’s not clear to me if the open access content in the WorldCat Knowledge Base is at the “article-level” — given article-level metadata for a public access scholarly article, can the WorldCat Knowledge Base find a match, and once found, give me a URL straight to the article?

If so, is there an API I can use for this request and response?

If so, it’s not entirely clear to meif the service is available to me in general.  The OCLC page says: “WorldCat knowledge base functionality is included as part of your OCLC Cataloging subscription at no additional charge.”

Okay, so we get it at no additional charge? But we may or may not (now or at a future date when we have time to deal with it) actually want to upload our e-holdings to OCLC. (If there is no cost, I think it’s a good idea, there’s no reason not to do it — except our own limited staff time to figure out how to make it so, staff time currently being spent on other things). If we haven’t uploaded our own e-holdings, can I still get access to the open-access content in the knowledge base?  Even if we HAD uploaded our holdings, is there a way to limit search results to open-access content, or to tell in the results which content is open-access and which is our licensed holdings?

If this service can do all these things, then it will be a valuable contribution to to the general infrastructure.  It is just not the whole universe of open-access scholarly content even if it does what  I hope — but if it does, and catches on in the way I’d hope, it could be a great additional incentive for repository engineers and managers to make sure their repositories can distinguish between open-access and not-open-access content, which would make it possible for the slide of the universe covered by such a service to expand.


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