MARC records are a standard way to communicate catalogue data, and are particularly widely used within library technology systems. The MARC standards are developed and maintained by the U.S. Library of Congress. CloudPublish can output your catalogue in MARC-21 format, and this is likely to be of use to any of your library (or university, etc.) customers.
MARC data can be accessed by using the CloudPublish API, and specifying format=marc (rather than allowing the default to apply, which will return data in JSON format). This can be done for several endpoints within the API, including:
- /BookGetAll (complete eBook listing)
- /BookGet (single eBook)
- /CollectionGet (retrieves a collection)
The /BookGetAll call can be further narrowed-down by specifying a value for customer_ref, which will cause only those items to which a customer is subscribed to be returned. This is the best option for giving a customer their catalogue in MARC format. Further parameters can be added to further narrow down the returned data.
URL linking within MARC data
Within the MARC data, there is a URL linking to the resource. This link might not be to a page that is known to CloudPublish, and so CloudPublish provides a system for generating correct URLs. Important: You should never use a direct link to a CloudPublish server (e.g. a /Read API URL).
In the CloudPublish administration system, under Settings, you will see a section marked "Item Redirect Settings". This allows for the creation of specific resource links that will be output in MARC data, and they work by substituting a token. This is called a "redirect" link because you might use this as a way to redirect to a URL format that cannot be achieved by this method (see the example given below).
The following elements are required:
- Redirect URL mask, e.g., http://www.my-site.com/ebook/?isbn=[ISBN]
- Redirect URL field token, e.g. [ISBN]
- Redirect URL field, e.g. isbn
This will cause your MARC data to include links in the format specified in the mask, with the field token replaced by the metadata value indicated by field. For example if you have a book with the ISBN 9876543212345, the MARC data for this book would give the URL:
However, this might not conform to the URL format that you normally use, which might be something like this, for Principia by Isaac Newton:
This could not be achieved by the mask-token system, so the solution is to employ a general-purpose redirect. So, you might have a lookup script running at the url /redirect/ that looks up an ISBN and returns the full, normal URL, like this:
- Request received at: http://www.my-site.com/redirect/?from=isbn&isbn=9876543212345
- Lookup isbn of 9876543212345 in your own database to find newton-isaac-principia
- Redirect to the full URL: http://www.my-site.com/ebook/newton-isaac-principia/
In this case, we would supply the following values to CloudPublish to ensure that the MARC data containing the URLs is correct:
- Mask: http://www.my-site.com/redirect/?from=isbn&isbn=[ISBN]
- Field token: [ISBN]
- Field: isbn