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HOLLIS Newsletter

Volume 6, Number 6 (June 1991)

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  • Agenda for June Meeting
  • Meeting Notes from May
  • EMS second screens
  • Dial-in assistance gets reference calls
  • Status of Internet access project
  • Results of the Managers meeting
  • LOC display
  • Review of the enhancements lists
  • Feature Articles
  • New LOC display feature
  • How NOT to use DERIVE
  • Notes and Reminders
  • O/P/R bug fixed
  • Index display enhancements
  • Copies of paper on loc display
  • Changing ACU Reports schedule
  • Pre-1977 Widener record load
  • Billing for Notifies--correction
  • Change to HULPR exit code
  • Response time testing
  • HOLLIS Hints--Default subfield coding
  • Inserting fields with repeating numbers
  • Vendor File Changes

    Agenda for HOLLIS Liaisons Meeting #66
    June 12, 1991
    Lamont Forum Room, 2:30 - 4:00 p.m.

    1. Announcements: T. Robinson
    2. HOLLIS: the "other" databases - a panel discussion on AI and LR from a public services perspective. Panel participants include:
    • Kevin Donnelley, Widener Library
    • Ellen Isenstein, Kennedy School Library
    • Ed Tallent, Lamont Library
    • Terry Swanlund, Law School Library
    • Kathleen Donovan, Gutman Library

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    Notes from the May Meeting
    EMS bulletin board. Tracey reminded liaisons that the EMS common messages bulletin board can be more than one screen in length. Since EMS arranges common messages in roughly chronological order, the latest messages appear at the bottom of the list -- and if the bulletin board has more than 16 messages, the latest messages will be pushed to a second screen. You can tell that there are common messages on a second screen by the status message in the lower right corner of the screen. For example, the message

    Entries 1 thru 16 of 19

    indicates that messages 17, 18, and 19 are on a second screen. To see the second and subsequent screens, use the FWD (forward) command. To move backward through screens, use the BWD (backward) command. To redisplay the top of the list (on the first screen) use the TOP command.

    OSPR is concerned that staff unfamiliar with EMS functions may miss messages listed on the second screen of the bulletin board. The best solution to this problem appears to be a combination of

    • educating library staff to read the status line and use the FWD command to request the second screen, and
    • consolidating some of the HOLLIS processing messages to reduce the number of permanent common messages.

    While library staff are welcome to use the bulletin board for business-related messages, they are responsible for deleting a message promptly when its usefulness has passed. OSPR reserves the right to delete any common message at any time.

    The HOLLIS Reference Manual Appendix R describes the EMS system and provides a full list of valid commands. In addition, OSPR offers periodic training in basic EMS functions. If you have any questions, please contact Julie Wetherill at OSPR (495-3724).

    HOLLIS reference questions on the dial assistance line. OSPR has received an increasing number of reference calls coming in over the HOLLIS dial assistance line (495-0490). The dial assistance line provides technical assistance to those having trouble dialing into the HOLLIS system. OSPR always refers any reference questions to an appropriate library reference desk. Public service liaisons confirmed that OSPR referral of reference questions is appropriate and desirable. Telephone reference is a service provided by most Harvard libraries.

    Status of Internet access. OSPR continues to perform testing of the Internet connections to the RLIN and EPIC systems. We anticipate that problems will be resolved and both systems will be available on the OIT application menu in mid-June. OSPR is also considering adding a generic Telnet facility option and the HUBS service to the menu for staff terminals. (HUBS is currently accessible from all staff terminals despite the fact that it does not display as an option.) There will be more on these projects as development continues.

    Summary of the Spring 1991 HOLLIS managers meeting. The spring meeting of HOLLIS managers was devoted to discussion of a HOLLIS "business resumption" plan. Harvard libraries are heavily dependent on online systems when performing work-related tasks and it is clear that there should be a provision for restoring system functions in the event of a disaster. (Responses to Tracey's recent informal HOLLIS use survey indicate that 60 percent of library staff use HOLLIS at least 5 hours each day.) Managers have been asked to identify the essential HOLLIS system components that should be available after a disaster and the time frame in which recovery should take place. Library system business resumption planning is part of a larger effort by the OIT (Office for Information Technology) Data Center to develop a business resumption plan for their major customers. The next step is for managers to meet in smaller discussion groups to define recovery plans in detail.

    Managers also spent some time discussing recent HOLLIS developments and enhancements (which were described in detail in the May 1991 HOLLIS Newsletter).

    Update on the location display project. Priscilla Caplan, Head of OSPR's Systems Development Division, presented a progress report on a project to allow users to request location information while within a citation database. Consult the article "New Location Display Feature" in the Feature Articles section of this newsletter.

    Review of enhancements list, part 2. Liaisons completed a review of the HOLLIS enhancement list, which began at the April liaisons meeting. Tracey reminded liaisons that the enhancements list includes both true enhancements and bugs because the same programming staff work on both. Some liaisons were concerned about OSPR's focus - - do bugs or enhancements have priority. Tracey noted that in some cases, OSPR programming staff must devote immediate attention to bugs which corrupt data or in some way interfere with the performance of HOLLIS or HULPR. All other "non-critical" bugs and enhancements inevitably end up on the enhancement list. Tracey suggested that the distinction between "bugs" and enhancements is not a particularly significant one. Input from liaisons is critical to OSPR in determining the priority of items on the list, regardless of whether the item qualifies as a "bug" or as a true "enhancement".

    Results of enhancement survey

    Tracey announced that the top vote-getters in the "my favorite enhancement" survey were the following:

      move a single LOC field (5 votes)
      online vendor indexes (4 votes)
      sort LOC fields in catalog display (3 votes)
      O/P/R display enhancements (3)
      page through bibliographic and order records (3)
      interface with outside binding services (3)
      explicit truncation in string indexes (3)
      microcomputer-based reporting (3)

    The small number of votes reflects a low response to this survey.

    New Working Groups

    In response to the review of the list and the survey results, liaisons have set up the following groups to review specific enhancements:

    Interface with outside binding services:

    • Edith Kimball (Countway)
    • Will Meredith (Law)
    • Kathy Anderson (Lamont)

    We need a few more volunteers for the binding services group. Please contact Tracey Robinson if you are interested in participating.

    LOC field sequence and sorting:

    • Kathy Anderson (Lamont)
    • Edith Kimball (Countway)
    • Nancy Reinhardt (Houghton)
    • Russ Pollard (Divinity)
    • Karen Carlson (Widener)

    Memo enhancement:

    • Janet Vitkevich (Widener)
    • Bob Sennett (Fine Arts)
    • Harold Moren (Law)
    • Stephen Stillwell (CSIA)

    In addition, we would like to establish the following groups. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Tracey Robinson.

    • Electronic transmission of order/claim data
    • Enhancements to bibliographic/financial reports
    • Microcomputer-based reporting

    Additions to the list

    Tracey also announced a few new additions to the enhancements list:

    • ability to qualify all string searches by library
    • combining keyword and non-keyword searches in catalog
    • automatic recording of vendor information in an o/p/r when claiming online with a vendor
    • changes to Notify reports
    • ability to qualify keyword searches
    • display LOC linkages on o/p/r record

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    Feature Articles
    New Location Display Feature. Now that Academic Index (AI) and Legal Resources Index (LR) are available through HOLLIS, OSPR is planning to improve the functionality of these databases for HOLLIS users. Specifically, the OSPR Systems Development Division is developing a feature that would allow the user to request Harvard location information directly from a displaying citation record. (Currently, a user wanting locations must choose the HU database and search by title to find the journal or other type of publication in which the article appears.)

    This new location display feature will proceed in the following manner:

    1. The user enters the LOC command from the COMMAND? line on a long or short display of an analytic record (such as for a journal article) in a citation database (such as AI or LR).
    2. The system constructs a search using elements from field 773 (host item entry) on the analytic record. The system searches the HU database to locate the bibliographic record representing the host item. If multiple records are retrieved, the system will select a single record for display if possible. If no records are retrieved, the system displays a message and provides help that warns the user to search the HU database directly before assuming that the host item is not held locally.
    3. When a unique HU bibliographic record is identified, the system creates a location display similar to the following example:

    From the location display a user can enter Cn or Hn commands to see circulation and holdings information just as he/she would from the long or short display of an HU bibliographic record. The user is still in the AI database, but is now looking through a "window" into the HU database.

    OSPR is designing the new location display feature to work in any database where it is suitable. In the AI and LR databases, the link between a citation record and the host item in the HU database will be the ISSN (international standard serial number). In later HOLLIS citation databases, the link between the analytic record and the HU record may be data other than ISSN, such as ISBN (international standard book number).

    Designing a method for handling exceptions.

    Regardless of what the linking information turns out to be, how will the system handle the case where the analytic record does not contain the linking information, or the case where the analytic record links up with more than one HU record? In the former case, OSPR is confident that as the use of linking numbers (such as ISSNs and ISBNs) becomes more common, database producers will be more diligent in including these numbers on their citation records. When the system encounters an analytic record that does not contain linking information, it will display a message warning the user to search the HU database directly before assuming the host item is not held locally.

    There are currently 50 records in the AI database that do not contain ISSN's. Information Access Company, who owns this data, has assured OSPR that they will add ISSN's to records lacking them.

    In the latter case (multiple HU records retrieved) the University should strive to reduce the amount of duplication in the HU database, which will in turn reduce the likelihood that the LOC command would retrieve more than one HU record. This effort includes reducing the number of HU records containing duplicate ISBNs and investigating a change to serial cataloging practices related to multiple version information. The HOLLIS Administrative Advisory Committee (HAAC) is currently considering changes prescribing that multiple versions (microform and paper, CD and laser disk, etc.) of a serial be described on the same bibliographic record. OSPR is also designing an algorithm that will select a single record from a group of potential matching records.

    Liaison questions

    What will be the system's response when no HU record is found? In the event that the link to HU fails, a message will display instructing the user to search the HU database directly. OSPR is still designing the exact text of this message and an accompanying help screen.

    Because of this project, won't there be a need to improve the current library location display in catalog mode? Currently, LOCs appear in the order they were added to the bibliographic record. Liaisons are unanimous that all occurrences of a library's LOC display together, but they do not agree on the order in which LOCs should display (strictly alphabetically or Harvard libraries first). Tracey agreed to set up a group to discuss this topic.

    The overall design of the LOC command and location display is in place -- OSPR distributed a functional specification describing this new feature in April. Before all programming is complete, we hope library staff will review this specification and contact OSPR with any questions and comments. Contact Eric Young at 495-3724 if you need a copy of this specification. The location display feature is scheduled to become available in catalog mode in time for the fall semester. OSPR will notify staff through this newsletter and via electronic mail as development proceeds.

    How NOT to use the DERI Command. With the advent of the DERI (derive) command, library staff can now create new bibliographic records using an existing record as a template. (See the February and March HOLLIS Newsletters for details about this new command.) However, it appears that some library staff members are creating bibliographic records in the HU database just for the purpose of templating. For example, the following record,

    is designed to be a template for bibliographic records describing individual monographs in the Emory University law and economics working paper series. There are at least two problems with this practice:

    1. The field 924 subfield a contains only a mark of punctuation ("/") and no real data. HOLLIS cannot index this field, since the punctuation mark is stripped and there is nothing else to index. In fact, any attempt to save this record will create an abend (abnormal end).
    2. This record does not represent a real item. If you managed to file this record it would display in the Public Catalog because the LOC second indicator is set for catalog display. Even if you set the second indicator to "x" to suppress catalog display, this record is still invalid.

    OSPR strongly discourages this practice of creating template records in the HU database that do not represent real items held by Harvard libraries. These records are indexed along with real bibliographic data and will interfere with online searching activities. Please derive only from real bibliographic data or create these templates in the training file (TR) and then derive from them into HU. If you have any questions, please contact Julie Wetherill or Robin Wendler at OSPR (495-3724).

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    Notes and Reminders
    O/P/R division bug fixed. The bug on the enhancement list described as "misleading action date on new div screen" has been fixed. The problem occurred when an operator created a new (2nd or subsequent) division of an o/p/r record. The action date in the order statement which displayed on the new division screen would always be recalculated based on the action interval unless the operator explicitly changed the field. Thus there were occasions when one date (or none) would display, but the system would recalculate and supply a different date if the operator did not edit the AD field. This will no longer happen. The action date in any new division will not be recalculated by the system, that is, what you see is what you get. If you have any questions or problems about this fix please call Tracey Robinson in OSPR at 495-3724.

    Index display enhancements. OSPR has recently completed a number of index display enhancements at the request of library staff. These include:

    • secondary text of an author index entry for music format records now contains data from b of field 028 (publisher's number) instead of field 260 (imprint);
    • HOLLIS now strips blanks from publisher numbers (field 028) during the publisher number search (FIND MN) and when it builds the MN index;
    • HOLLIS now stores musical flat ( ) and sharp (#) symbols as the words "flat" and "sharp" in the primary and secondary text of index entries; you can search either the symbol or the English word equivalent;
    • the characters that separate different components of index secondary text will now be " /" (space-slash) rather than "/ " (slash-space).

    As part of this project, all HOLLIS indexes must be regenerated in order to incorporate these changes. As this newsletter goes to print, only the call number indexes (CL, CW, and CO) have not yet been regenerated -- and these should be finished by the end of May. If you have any questions about these changes please contact MacKenzie Smith at OSPR (495-3724).

    Extra copies of "Displaying Harvard Locations" available. Additional copies of the "Display Harvard Location" paper that Priscilla Caplan discussed at the May Liaisons meeting are available in OSPR. (An article summarizing Cilla's presentation appears in this newsletter.) Call Eric at 495-3724 to request a copy if you did not already receive one.

    ACU reports every Friday. From now until the end of the fiscal year (June 30) the "HOLLIS Accounting Unit Status Report" (ACU reports) will be produced every Friday (except 06/28) for Monday distribution. Please note that this schedule SUPERSEDES the regular schedule of production (that is, the 15th and the 31st of each month). On July 1st we will go back to producing ACU reports twice a month.

    Pre-1977 Widener record load. On May 3rd, OSPR loaded 14,841 OCLC records representing Widener materials cataloged prior to 1977. Since some of these records contain old Widener subject headings and miscoded Library of Congress call numbers, Widener is planning a summer cleanup project. Cataloging notification reports (accompanied by a cover letter indicating that this was a special load of records) have been distributed. During this cleanup effort, library staff do not need to notify Widener cataloging if they come across errors in these records.

    Billing for cataloging notifies. At the May liaisons meeting, Tracey misstated that library units were charged for the cataloging notification reports that are printed after each utility tape cycle. As it turns out, there are currently no charges to libraries for these reports. Sorry for the confusion.

    Change to HULPR catalog mode password. Since catalog mode became available in mid-1988, we have been using the same "secret command" to exit from catalog mode in the HULPR system. In order to keep in step with our obligations to improve system security, OSPR will change this command at the beginning of the 1991-1992 fiscal year (that is, 1 July). OSPR will announce the new command to all HOLLIS primary liaisons in early June. Liaisons should make sure that all library staff are aware of this change before the new fiscal year begins. In the future, we plan on changing this password at the beginning of the each fiscal year. If you have any questions, contact Julie Wetherill at OSPR (495-3724).

    Response time tests. Response time tests are scheduled for the first Tuesday of each month. Upcoming tests are scheduled for: 4 June, 2 July, 6 August, and 3 September. Volunteers should mark their calendars appropriately.

    Response times recorded during the May test are consistent with previous months. About 84% of the transactions took less than 2 seconds. Keyword transactions continue to take somewhat longer than other types of searches and transactions. The average response time for test keyword searches was just over 3 seconds; the average response time for all other test transactions was about three-quarters (.75) of one second.

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    HOLLIS Hints: Default subfield coding.
    Many staff members know that they can omit the first subfield in a bibliographic field and HOLLIS will supply it automatically. In addition, HOLLIS can supply all default subfield codes for a field if you enter subfield delimiters followed by a space. For example, HOLLIS will reformat the following data:

    924:: Extra innings : my life in baseball.


    924:10: a Extra innings : b my life in baseball.

    HOLLIS supplies default subfield coding based on the likely order of subfields within each field. If you need to add subfields that deviate from the likely default order -- such as adding only subfields a (title proper) and c (statement of responsibility) to field 924 -- HOLLIS will supply incorrect subfield coding. This feature can be useful in cutting down keying time. It will work with all bibliographic formats as well as the holdings and authority formats. In some cases, such as in the holdings format, variable fields often contain a sequence of subfields that deviate from the default order and therefore this technique will not always work. For more information, consult section in the HOLLIS Reference Manual.

    Inserting fields containing repeat numbers. There has been much discussion about ways of inserting fields or data into an existing record display. There is a special method of inserting repeatable fields into a specific sequence within the record display. To insert a repeatable field into a group of existing fields of the same type, assign to the new field the appropriate repeat number. The existing field with that repeat number, as well as fields below it, will be renumbered when the new field is inserted into its proper place. For example, given the existing display:

    500/1: : a First note

    500/2: : a Second note

    you want to add a new 500 note that will be the first in the group. You move the cursor to the first free line below the data on the screen and type the following:

    500/1: : a New note

    After you press enter to reformat, the resulting display will be:

    500/1: : a New note
    500/2: : a First note
    500/3: : a Second note

    Of course, if the field you want to insert is not repeatable, this technique will not work. Consult section in the HOLLIS Reference Manual for more information.

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    Vendor File Changes in May
    New Vendors

    • AAMC
    • CNTP
    • ECRI
    • UPPEA

    Disabled Vendors

    • UKRKNYHA (use UPPEA)

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