About matching and merging

During the loading of files to the ANBD by Libraries Australia, matching records are detected, the preferred record identified, and the records amalgamated.

The Data Contribution Service loading program:

  • detects matching records using an algorithm which takes into account many bibliographic data elements—including key control numbers, access points and coded data

  • identifies the preferred record

  • amalgamates the records by retaining data in the preferred record. Some data elements in the non-preferred record may be transferred.


This is part of the matching program which compares incoming records with database records.

The comparison is done across a comprehensive range of bibliographic data fields. All the bibliographic fields prescribed for a minimum level ANBD record are compared. Additional elements are also checked when appropriate to the type of material.


Once the best match has been determined, a separate merge algorithm identifies the preferred record by assessing which record is the best. The concept of ‘best’ can be defined and configured by weighing up the relative value of various factors—including record source, encoding level, which tags are present, and so on.

Assessing the data quality for the content of each field or for a record in its entirety is a complex and challenging task. If you want to make specific changes to the content of a field, you may use the Libraries Australia Cataloguing Client—however, you should note that the conventions for cataloguing in a shared network apply.