Stitched by Nicola C. / Pattern and font chart designed by Kate J. Blandford, Bristol, UK
“‘This error means that there is a character in your data that the system is choking on.’ – OCLC”
Nicola C. is the librarian at the Wellcome Collection in London.
Nicola’s cross stitch features the text “Bad Character” and a number one (1) in parentheses underneath. The text has a bottom border of peach, green and blue flowers, with black dagger characters (‡) in the centre of the flowers, the symbol used to display subfields in OCLC’s Connexion. The quote in the description comes from the troubleshooting page that OCLC has supplied for issues with validating records:
Symptom: The user gets a “bad character” error in Connexion when trying to save or validate a record.
Resolution: This error means that there is a character in your data that the system is choking on. Look for any unusual characters in your content, especially characters that were copied in from another source and try typing over them with the correct character. 520 tags are especially common culprits. If the error message mentions a “0x1F” character, that is an invisible delimiter character. In that case, either restart the record, typing your data in directly or send a message to email@example.com with the number of the record in your Online Save file. Sometimes they can identify the bad characters and clear them out for you.