Marc Compare Utility §

The main function of the MARC Compare Utility (MCU) is to display two similar MARC records side by side; the goal of the program is to make it easy for the user to identify what is different between two records, and, where applicable, to make decisions about which records should be loaded to the database. 

The MCU was primarily designed to work with the XC Fail files created by PLP. In PLP-speak, an 'XCFail' is a record that matched another record in your database on a primary key (like LCCN or ISBN), but failed one or more crosschecks. This record, and the matching record(s) from the DB, are then output to an 'XCFail' file for human review. This is a standard MARC file that can be loaded into any MARC-aware software. However, PLP adds sequencing information to each record, so that any software–such as the MCU–that knows how to use this sequencing will be able to display the matching records in logical groups.  

It is possible for the MCU to work with a few other types of files: 

  • Pairs of records that matched and merged in PLP 
  • Records that matched but failed crosschecks in PLP, but were then re-directed to 'Match' 
  • Records that matched but failed crosschecks in Self-PLP 
  • Pairs of records that matched and merged in Self-PLP 

The common element in all of these files is that they were processed by PLP (or Self-PLP). 

Because the main goal of the MCU is to help the user make decisions about similar records, a great many options and filters are available to customize the display. In fact, since the MCU is all about 'display', we should warn you that a fairly large display will be needed to use the program effectively–something in the range of 20-24 inches would be a good start. A dual display may be especially helpful in some cases. 

One other suggestion: while reading through this documentation, it might be a good idea to open a separate browser window for the fullscreen screenshots, so that you can refer to the 'big picture' easily. To display a screenshot in a separate browser page, simply hold down the <Ctrl> key and click on the screenshot. 

Next: MCU--Basic Concepts 

mcu/mcu_start.txt · Last modified: 2013/10/22 00:16 by richard
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