The Web API
It is possible to use the Copac Search CGI script for machine to machine communications. For example
a query url of
http://copac.ac.uk/search?ti=marple%20railway performs a title keyword
search for "marple railway." The result is an HTML page, but by modifying the url slightly you
can get a machine friendly XML result.
To get XML results you need to add
&format=XML+-+MODS to the url, eg
The top level element of the result will be <modsCollection xmlns="http://www.loc.gov/mods/v3"> and it's child elements will be a series of <mods> records. The MODS schema is maintained by the Library Of Congress.
Setting the page size
The result is split into pages. The default page size is 25 records, but you can change the
page size by setting by setting the
Page-size header in the HTTP request, eg:
will split the result into pages of 50 records.
To get the second and subsequent pages of results you need to add the
page variable to
the url, eg:
&page=2 will retrieve the second page of records, eg:
Page numbers start at 1. If no
page variable is specified in the url then the whole result set is returned.
Number of records found by the query
The total number of records found by the query is returned in the
Types of query
All the types of query that are available through the Copac search forms are available using this
method. All you need to do, is run the query from a search form, copy the result url and add
page variables as described above.
The most commonly used query variables are shown in the following table. All queries are performed as keyword searches, unless the search terms are enclosed in double quotes when a phrase search is performed.
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