Agenda for HOLLIS Liaisons Meeting #63
March 13, 1991
Lamont Forum Room, 2:30 - 4:00 p.m.
1. Announcements: T. Robinson
Notes from the February Meeting
Debut of the new AI and LR databases. Expanded Academic Index (AI) and Legal Resource Index (LR) became available in the Public Catalog on Monday, 11 February. So far, library staff and patrons seem quite pleased with these citation indexes. Along with the good reviews are reports of some discrepancies in the number of journals indexed in the AI database. OSPR distributed a glossy list of journal titles published by IAC, to HOLLIS liaisons. For the most part these lists (one each for AI and LR) are correct but there appear to be some discrepancies. OSPR is pursuing this issue with Information Access Company (IAC).
Several liaisons reported the presence of different article citations containing varying forms of an author's name. Tracey confirmed that IAC does not perform authority control on author names; IAC indexers use the form of name that appears in the publication. Staff may want to report name discrepancies to IAC (1-800-227-8431). Liaisons should continue to monitor this situation -- it may be a topic of discussion at a future liaisons meeting.
Results of the February stress test. Many thanks to staff who took part in the keyword stress test on Friday, 8 February. OSPR anticipates an increase in the level of keyword searching with the addition of the AI and LR databases. (Currently, 7 to 8 percent of searches in the Public Catalog are keyword searches.) The goal of this stress test was to generate a high level of keyword searching and monitor system performance during this activity. The system did indeed survive, while suffering some degradation in response time. Since it is unlikely that this artificially high level of activity will occur in the real world, the results of this test are quite acceptable.
Many thanks to survey respondents. Tracey thanked those who responded to the ARL training and user surveys. The user survey was designed to measure staff dependence on the online systems. Preliminary analysis of survey results does indicate that the extent to which library staff rely on online systems to perform their work is growing dramatically. Results of the training survey will probably appear as part of an ARL paper or Spec Kit.
Proposed changes to HOLLIS index displays. OSPR is investigating solutions to several index display problems identified by library staff. Liaisons discussed the issue of how to treat musical sharp ( ) and flat ( ) in string indexes. [Consult the "Changes to Index Displays" in the Feature Article section of this newsletter for a full account of these problems and the proposed solutions. A review of the current proposal will be discussed at the March liaison's meeting.]
Library of Congress subject headings in HOLLIS. The Library of Congress subject headings (LCSH) database is scheduled to become available in HOLLIS in mid-March 1991. Staff will have read-only access to the new SH database in technical services mode. [See "LCSH Database in HOLLIS" in the Feature Article section of this newsletter for more information about this new database.]
Liaisons approve DERIVE command specifications. The capability of "deriving" or "templating" bibliographic records has been a long-awaited HOLLIS enhancement. DERIVE can be used either to create a record for a different edition of a previously cataloged title, or to put certain commonly recurring fields in a series of records (that is, "templating").
To derive a record, an operator will display the source record, type the command DERI and press (ENTER). The system will display a new record screen which contains a copy of most of the data from the source record. The operator must add a LOC field, add or correct any other information to insure the accuracy of the new record, and then file the record using F3 or the DONE command. The system will perform normal record editing, and will file the record after assigning a new HOLLIS record number to the record.
The DERIVE command will work with all bibliographic formats (it can not be used to derive new holdings records from existing ones). The new record will contain the same level of tags as the source record (that is, DERIving from a standard-level record leads to a new record with standard-level tags; the same goes for provisional-level tags).
DERIVE will not transfer certain fields which contain data specific to a particular copy of an item. Details about fields retained and discarded by the DERIVE command appeared in the Derive Command Functional Specification paper, which was attached to the February HOLLIS Newsletter. Authorization to use DERIVE is based on the operator's authorization level for creating bibliographic records (i.e., an operator can use DERIVE only if s/he is authorized to create bibliographic records; an operator who can only create provisional records can only DERIVE from provisional records, etc.)
DERIVE does have implications for a library's acquisitions, cataloging, and reporting procedures. A library that derives standard-level records as an alternative to claiming records from OCLC or RLIN is still obligated to insure that the record is correct and to report its holdings of the item back to the utility. A library that derives standard-level records for acquisitions purposes has the same obligations.
HULPR dial-up etiquette. During February, OSPR received a growing number of complaints that the four HULPR dial-up lines were unavailable for large periods of time. ("HULPR dial-up" means a library staff member dials 495- 8541 from his/her microcomputer and accesses the HULPR system.) Historically, HULPR dial-up lines have been under-utilized. If use does increase, OSPR could consider increasing the number of dial-up lines. However, it is more likely that staff are leaving their microcomputers dialed into HULPR without actually using the system, or that they are not successfully disconnecting from HULPR at the end of their session. HULPR dial-up lines should not be used like terminal connections -- after you complete your HULPR dial-up task, you should dial out (disconnect) completely so that the line will be available for someone else to use.
OSPR has contacted libraries whose staff regularly make use of HULPR dial-up lines to make them aware of this problem. Staff who use HULPR dial-up should remember to disconnect completely from HULPR when their session is finished. This includes using "cssf logoff" to return to the OIT APPLICATIONS MENU and then disconnecting the phone using whatever instructions are provided by the communications software in use. If we all follow these guidelines, we can avoid these HULPR dial-up "traffic jams."
Improvements on editing from HULPR dial-up. Editing HOLLIS records from HULPR dial-up has always been a time-consuming and frustrating task because microcomputers cannot normally produce or display special characters from the ALA character set. OSPR has developed a new terminal type, HULPR1, which will allow the display and input of some of these special characters -- fill characters, subfield, and end-of-field delimiters. The HULPR terminal type does not allow for the display or inputting of diacritics and other special characters.
The HULPR1 terminal type became available on all four HULPR dial-up lines on Tuesday, 26 February. A description of HULPR1 and what it provides is attached to this newsletter. A set of detailed instructions on how Procedures).
As mentioned above, the HULPR1 terminal type does not allow for the display or input of diacritics. There are two communications software packages on the market -- TinCan for the Macintosh and YTERM for PCs -- that allow input and display of all special characters (including diacritics) in the ALA character set. If you use either package, employ the HOLLIS1 terminal type at the TERMINAL TYPE prompt. Do not use HULPR1 emulation. You can obtain order forms for YTERM and TinCan from Eric Young in OSPR (5-3724).
Contact Derek Katz at OSPR (5-3724) if you have any questions about the new HULPR1 emulation.
Proposal 1: SHARPS and FLATS. At the last liaisons meeting we discussed a proposal to begin "normalizing" (i.e. translating) music sharp and flat symbols in the HOLLIS online indexes. These symbols are currently stripped from index entries so that the title SYMPHONY IN C# MINOR would index as SYMPHONY IN C MINOR. The symbols are also stripped from input if you use one of them in an index search. The proposal was to begin translating these symbols into their English word equivalents (SHARP and FLAT), preceded by a blank, for all index entries in all formats.
The flat symbol normalization is unambiguous since there are no other meanings of that symbol in current usage. The sharp symbol however can mean other things in other contexts (number sign, pound sign, or search truncation). The way we propose to identify sharp and flat symbols in bibliographic fields is that they must immediately follow an alphabetic character (a-z upper or lower case) and be immediately followed by a blank. If the symbol is used in any other combination it will be stripped as is currently done for all # and (flat) characters. So, for example, the title SYMPHONY IN E# MINOR will index as SYMPHONY IN E SHARP MINOR (correctly), but the title PREVENTING HEART DISEASE, AMERICA'S #1 KILLER will index as PREVENTING HEART DISEASE AMERICAS 1 KILLER (as it would now). The reason for this rather restrictive definition of the sharp and flat symbols is to prevent misidentification of the # symbol as a sharp when it's really something else.
Another point to keep in mind is that the sharp and flat symbols can be used in records in languages other than English, but this enhancement proposes that the symbols be translated into English only due to the complexity of attempting to supply language specific text. For example, an index entry for a title in a french score would be indexed as SYMPHONIEN EN SI FLAT MAJEUR. This should occur very rarely, however, since current music cataloging practice is to input the (English) uniform title with the symbol, but to input the title proper (in the foreign language) with the symbol translated appropriately.
OSPR also proposed that we apply this normalization of sharp and flat symbols to keyword indexing (if possible) so that the word SHARP or FLAT will be keyworded if the symbol is found in a bibliographic field. We will also allow users to input the sharp and flat symbols for index searching and will translate them, so that users can input the words SHARP and FLAT and the sharp and flat symbols interchangeably.
Proposal 2: Modification to secondary text. This modification will change how secondary text of index entries is built. Currently if there is more than one element in the secondary text of an entry they are separated by two characters, a "/" followed by a blank.
There has always been a problem in sorting index entries within a heading because the "/" symbol sorts after the blank so that in the example above the entries for SYMPHONIES file after the entries for SYMPHONIES SELECTIONS. It isn't obvious to users why SYMPHONIES by itself would file after all the other entries beginning with the word SYMPHONIES,and it doesn't follow card filing practice. To correct this we propose to change the characters separating secondary text elements to a blank followed by a "/".
The blank which now precedes the "/" will interfile with the other blanks so that in the example above the entries for SYMPHONIES file before those for SYMPHONIES SELECTIONS, as most searchers would expect.
Both of these changes to indexing will be discussed at the next liaisons meeting with examples from the test system so that people can see how it will look and provide us with feedback on whether or not these are sensible solutions to the problems.
LCSH Database in HOLLIS. The Library of Congress subject headings database is the newest member of the HOLLIS family of databases. The new SH database is scheduled to become available in mid-March 1991. Intended primarily as a resource tool for catalogers, library staff will have read-only access to SH in HULPR technical services mode. SH contains approximately 200,000 subject authority records -- 14,000 of which parallel records already in the HU database. Online availability of subject heading information will mean quick access for those performing subject authority work. In addition, OSPR has developed the COPY command, which will allow staff to create a copy, in the HU database, of a subject authority record in the SH database.
In order to access the SH database, sign-on to HULPR and type the transaction identifier LTSH in the upper left corner of the screen. Use one of the valid SH database search commands (FIND SU or FIND LC) to locate SH records. A subject search (FIND SU) will retrieve a single authority record, or an index or guide screen that lists authority records and cross references that match the search. A Library of Congress number search (FIND LC) will retrieve a single record.
SH data appears in the HOLLIS MARC authority format (format A). There are nine variable fields valid in national authority records which are not currently valid in HU authority records:
052 Geographic classification code
These fields will be added to the HOLLIS authority format and a new copy of this format will be distributed for inclusion in the HOLLIS Tag Tables.
New subject headings and updates to existing headings will be added to the SH database on a monthly basis. A schedule of these updates will be available in HOLLIS electronic mail and in the HOLLIS Newsletter. There will be a printed report produced after each update to facilitate maintenance of HU authority and bibliographic records.
Once a staff member has determined that a necessary subject authority record in the SH database is not already in the HU database, he/she will be able to use the new COPY command to add a copy of the SH record to the HU database. The copy command works the same way as the MIGR command. To copy a record from SH to HU:
The HU version of the subject authority record will retain all item-specific information copied from the SH record. The staff member is responsible for making the necessary changes to the new HU record, such as deleting 5XX fields and adding desired local cross-references. Initially, authorization to use the COPY command will be limited to operators currently authorized to create subject authority records.
The original request for LCSH in HOLLIS involved access in technical services mode only. Several liaisons have inquired about the possibility of making the SH database available in the Public Catalog. Although this is technically feasible, there are some serious concerns that LCSH would not be a useful tool for the public. Such a database of subject headings would require an elaborate 'help' structure to explain what SH records represent. Even with such help, it is likely that many patrons would have difficulty understanding that the SH database does not represent all subjects available in the HU and other HOLLIS databases. Further, it is unlikely that subject headings in HU and other bibliographic databases will always be "in-sync" with headings in the SH database. OSPR suggests that library staff become familiar with the SH database in technical services mode before any decisions about Public Catalog access are made.
At the request of Countway Library, OSPR is currently investigating the possibility of making the medical subject headings (MeSH) database available in HOLLIS. These investigations are at a very preliminary stage; OSPR will notify staff through this newsletter of any developments.
Access Control for Restricted HOLLIS Databases. Until recently, access to information contained in the HOLLIS public catalog has been open and available to anyone who wants to use it. With the addition of the new databases (AI and LR), it has been necessary to impose a new type of security on access to these databases due to contractual conditions imposed by database vendors. Some vendors require that access to the data which they lease be limited to Harvard faculty, students, and staff. Currently, restrictions apply only to patrons who are accessing a restricted database from a dial-up or "network" connection. In other words, there are no restrictions imposed for searches done on a dedicated public terminal located in a Harvard library.
The system imposes "access control" to the new databases by prompting a patron for his/her last name and Harvard ID number, whenever the patron "chooses" AI or LR. This includes selecting the database from the "Welcome to HOLLIS" screen or selecting a database using the CHOOSE command. The system then checks the ID number and last name against the HOLLIS patron file. If the ID number does not match an active record in the patron file or if a record is found but the last name does not match the name in the record, the patron will be denied access to the database s/he has selected. At this time, only patrons with patron records derived from the Human Resources database (HR) or from the Summer School (SS), are authorized to remotely access restricted databases. Current HAAC policy excludes special borrowers from accessing restricted databases from dial-up or network connections. These borrowers must rely on in-library access at this time.
Four libraries, Widener, Law School, Countway, and Kennedy School have volunteered to provide assistance for patrons who have questions or problems with access control. If access is denied to a patron, there is an automatic HELP screen which refers the patron to any one of the following locations:
Limited assistance is available over the telephone due to the fact that a patron must produce a Harvard ID to prove their affiliation with Harvard. Walk-in assistance is available during normal library hours. Staff at each "access control center" are responsible for assisting patrons in determining why they have been denied access. In some cases it will be necessary to refer a patron to the Human Resources ID office or the Summer School office so that information in their patron record can be corrected. It is important to keep in mind that we currently update the HOLLIS patron file with data from HR only on a monthly basis, so problems are not always resolved immediately. Access control centers are authorized to assign temporary access control ID cards (valid for a short period only) under very limited circumstances. Temporary cards are used in the event that the access problem cannot be resolved quickly and when there is every reason to believe that the patron should be granted access according to the existing policy (i.e., they have a valid Harvard ID which has not yet expired, there is an active record in the HOLLIS patron database, etc.).
If you have any questions about access control to restricted databases or if you get questions from a patron about access control implementation or policy, contact one of the access control centers listed above.
ULC Approves Change to Policy on CONSER Participation. The CONSER project, established in 1975, is an international, cooperative effort to build a machine-readable database of quality serials cataloging information. CONSER data is maintained by participating members in the OCLC On-line Union Catalog in accordance with CONSER standards and conventions. Harvard has been a major contributor to the CONSER project since 1976 and has maintained a policy which requires Harvard libraries to contribute all full level serials cataloging to CONSER. As an expression of that policy, our automated systems do not accept serials from the bibliographic utilities other than serials cataloging data processed by the HUL CONSER Office.
The University Library Council (ULC) recently discussed and approved a change to the Harvard policy on CONSER participation due to recent developments at Harvard related to retrospective conversion and preservation projects. The ULC concluded that Harvard policy should continue to require that all current cataloging for serials be contributed to CONSER, but that retrospective serials data (including data for preservation microfilms) could be input directly into HOLLIS. This policy will insure that Harvard will continue to support and contribute to the CONSER project, but will also allow Harvard library units to create, as needed, large numbers of retrospective records through the more efficient mechanism of HOLLIS.
As a result of the ULC decision, there will be a change to HOLLIS which will allow authorized operators to create standard serial records in HOLLIS. Currently no operators are authorized to create standard level serials in the HOLLIS Union Catalog (HU). When an operator requests a new record workform for a serial, the system assigns an encoding level value of "9" (i.e., provisional), the ENCL field is "frozen" so that it cannot be changed, and operators are thus forced to use the 9xx tag set to create the serial record. The change, which will go into effect on 11 March 1991, will enable authorized operators to change the encoding level from "9" (which will remain the default) to "h", the value which represents "non-provisional, created in HOLLIS". (An "authorized operator" is someone who can create any standard bibliographic record. There is no special security level for serials.)
It is important to emphasize that the ULC has reaffirmed Harvard's support for the CONSER project, and that the change in policy approved by the ULC applies only to retrospectively converted serial records. Do not use HOLLIS to create standard serials for current cataloging.
Please note that it is not currently possible to send a standard serial record from HOLLIS to OCLC (via the TAPEOUT mechanism) due to the fact that normal OCLC tapeload processing will not add a unique serial record to the On-line Union Catalog. These records will be discarded by OCLC. This technical limitation emphasizes the fact that the creation of standard serials in HOLLIS should be limited to legitimate recon projects. If you have any questions about this change in policy or its applicability to serial data in your library please contact Ruth Haas in the HUL CONSER Office for further clarification.
Notes and Reminders
To request a password change, please complete the "Change to Operator Profile" form, copies of which may be made from the master form in Appendix L of the HOLLIS Reference Manual. If you have any questions concerning passwords or other aspects of operator security, please contact OSPR's Security Administrator, Kate Mullen (495-3724).
OSPR plans to weed end of fiscal year related files. At the end of each fiscal year, OSPR distributes three printed reports to HOLLIS acquisitions units: the Final fund status report (covering approved and unapproved payments); a report reflecting approved payments only; and a report on the newly initialized Accounting Unit file. In the past, OSPR has kept an additional copy of these printed reports for every fiscal year. These reports are bulky, and in the future OSPR will retain only the most recent fiscal year's reports. This would leave responsibility for retaining past years of the reports with each approving department. HCL units: please note that Accounting, Room 84 Widener, plans to retain this information for all HCL units.
For end of fiscal year, OSPR also distributes the following fiche products: payments by vendor, -ACU, and -ICN. OSPR plans to retain the masters for these fiche for three years.
In addition to the distributed reports, every year OSPR creates a report which details all changes made directly to an accounting record (i.e., by editing the ACU screen). OSPR plans to move old FY versions of this report to storage outside the office. This would mean some delay in responding to questions about this report's contents. OSPR will keep ACU detail reports for five years and then discard them.
If you have any questions or concerns about these changes, or wish to obtain a copy of any reports for your unit from FY 86, 87 or 88 before we weed our files, please contact Eric Young (495-3724) by 1 April, 1991.
Upgrade to the DOS LUCK package. OSPR has released version 3.1 of the MS-DOS version of the Library User Communications Kit (LUCK). (DOS LUCK provides communications settings and a script that make dialing into the HOLLIS Public Catalog from IBM PCs and compatibles easier). Version 3.1 of DOS LUCK is designed to work with the newly released version 2.0 of Procomm Plus.
If you are still using an earlier version of Procomm Plus, you can continue to use DOS LUCK version 3.0. Datastorm Technologies Inc. has sent out upgrade notices about Procomm Plus 2.0 to customers -- so if you decide to acquire version 2.0 of Procomm Plus and you want to use LUCK, you will definitely need to get version 3.1 of DOS LUCK. Version 3.1 of DOS LUCK is available for $2.00 at the Science Center stockroom. You may trade in your copy of 3.0 DOS LUCK (or older LUCK versions) for version 3.1 at the Science Center.
Why does my keyword search lead to the 'RESULTS MAY NOT BE AS EXPECTED' message? The RESULTS MAY NOT BE AS EXPECTED message can display in several circumstances. One of the more frequent occurrences of this message comes with certain types of truncated keyword searches. For example, in the following HU database keyword search
the system will take the word stem "span" and compare it with the contents of HU's general keyword index. It finds more than 100 words in the HU general keyword index that start with "span," but will use only the first 100 words in the actual search. In the next step, the system looks for records containing any of the 100 words starting with "span" that occur in subject headings.
The above search does find over 170 HU records. However, the system will not notify you of the keywords not included in the search (that is, those above the first 100 words). The system will display the RESULTS MAY NOT BE AS EXPECTED message at the top of your index screen. To avoid excluding words from a keyword search, try to use as much of a word's stem before truncating (for example, FIND KSH SPANI?, FIND KSH SPAND?), or use the Boolean operator OR to search alternative words without truncation (for example, FIND KSH SPANISH OR SPANIARD). For more information about keyword search truncation, consult Chapter 5, section 220.127.116.11. of the HOLLIS Reference Manual.
Why does my keyword search lead to the 'UNABLE TO EXECUTE YOUR SEARCH' message? The UNABLE TO EXECUTE YOUR SEARCH message can display in several circumstances. One of the more frequent occurrences of this message comes when a properly constructed keyword search, which includes a truncated word, retrieves no records. For example, you are searching for a record containing the words "metallic" and "relaxation." The search
retrieves at least 3 records, but
does not work. The truncated search results in the UNABLE TO EXECUTE YOUR SEARCH message.
Why doesn't this search work? When you truncated (FIND KW METAL?), HOLLIS searched its full keyword index, found more than 100 words that started with "metal", but used only the first 100 in the actual search. (See the previous article for a discussion of the 100 word limit in keyword truncation.) In the next step, the system looked for HOLLIS records that contained any of these words AND the word "relaxation". In the above example, the first 100 words that HOLLIS found did not include the word "metallic" (that is, "metallic" may have been the 201st, or 250th word in the index). Also, none of the first 100 words starting with "metal" occur together with the word "relaxation" in HOLLIS records. Thus, this truncated keyword search had no hits.
Why this error message? Normally, a no-hits search leads to the message YOUR SEARCH RETRIEVED NO ITEMS. However, if a keyword search similar to the above example has no hits, the message UNABLE TO EXECUTE YOUR SEARCH will display. This peculiar set of circumstances leads to this message. This is a feature of the keyword search programs that cannot be changed. The thing to remember is that your search worked, but produced no hits. To avoid this situation, try to use as much of a word's stem before truncating (FIND KW METALL? instead of METAL?), or use the Boolean operator OR to search alternative words without truncation
Many thanks to Roberta Kovitz (Archives) for her assistance on this topic.
This is fortunate, because other printer models all have drawbacks. The new Canon model BJ-300 does not print the ALA character set., while the IBM Proprinter is far too loud for public areas. If you do not need to print the ALA character set, the recommended printer is still the HP Thinkjet, for about $350.00.
Vendor File Changes in February