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HOLLIS Newsletter

Volume 6, Number 10 (October 1991)

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  • Agenda for next Liaisons Meeting
  • Meeting Notes from September
  • Changes to HULPR Security
  • FAXON password changed
  • Timeout issue reviewed
  • OSPR printing costs increase
  • Processing updates column dropped
  • New keycaps are ready
  • Planning online link to Accounts Payable
  • LC Books File update
  • LOC Sorting in the Catalog
  • Things to note about PAIS database
  • Notes and Reminders
  • Remember to change passwords
  • OCLC's implementation of PRISM
  • New patron code added
  • Preserving Operator profiles
  • HOLLIS record numbers are changeable
  • Response time testing
  • Network Notes
  • Scheduling Network Maintenance
  • Vendor File Changes

    Agenda for HOLLIS Liaisons Meeting #69
    October 9, 1991
    Lamont Forum Room, 2:30 - 4:00 p.m.

    1. Announcements: Tracey Robinson
    2. Review of bibliographic and financial reporting work group reports: Walter Stine
    3. Review of LC books title report: MacKenzie Smith

    Note: Copies of the reports to be discussed have been distributed to primary HOLLIS liaisons. Contact your HOLLIS liaison if you need a copy. If you are a primary liaison and did not receive a copy, contact OSPR.

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    Notes from the September Meeting
    Changes to HULPR signon security. In response to auditor recommendations, the OIT Data Center has been working on a project to tighten security for their mainframe systems. As a result of this project we do anticipate the need to implement some changes to HULPR security. (No logon is currently required for HOLLIS so this project will not have any functional impact on the public system.) The changes which will impact library staff using HULPR include:

    • the system will force each user to change his/her password periodically (probably every six months); changes to passwords will be done at the user's terminal, not by OSPR;
    • the system will enforce password rules, e.g., a password must be at least 6 characters in length; it must contain at least one alpha and one numeric character; and it cannot contain the logon name; and
    • it will no longer be possible for the same logon name and password to be used simultaneously at different terminals.

    The issue of simultaneous use of signons is not a new topic for HULPR users -- OSPR has warned staff that simultaneous use is a security violation and has recommended that units request separate signons for all HULPR users. The coming changes simply reinforce an existing recommendation. Units which in the past allowed users to share signons should plan to request individual signons from OSPR.

    How will online security maintenance work?

    When the new security procedures are in place, each user will be responsible for changing his or her own password. When a password expires, the system will block the user from signing on until s/he changes the password. S/he will be prompted by on-screen instructions to change the password at the terminal. Furthermore, users will be able to change their passwords at any time by following the same simple steps. This means (among other things) that units will no longer have to request that OSPR change passwords when there is staff turnover.

    The new online password change procedures will be simple to follow. OSPR will publish them in this newsletter and discuss them at an upcoming liaisons meeting when design-work has been completed. The new online procedures will not change how you request new HULPR signons. As in the past, you will still make requests for new signons in writing to the Security Administrator in OSPR.

    The exact timing of this project has not yet been determined. OSPR will report the progress of this project in this newsletter and staff will have ample time to prepare for the resulting changes. If you have any questions, contact Tracey Robinson at OSPR.

    Change to Faxon password policy. It has been proposed that each unit using the Faxon Datalinx system receive its own password. Currently, all units share the same password. Periodically, the Datalinx system renders this single password invalid after several false attempts to signon (that is, one or more users make a mistake in typing the password). Although Datalinx will still be sensitive to incorrect passwords, only a single unit will be affected instead of all users. The unit with an invalid password would then contact Faxon. Tracey will pursue with Faxon whether they are willing to implement this proposal. Currently, only three libraries report that they use the Faxon system on a regular basis: Widener, Law, and CSIA. If your library uses Faxon and would like to be included in the list of Harvard units to receive their own password, contact Tracey Robinson.

    Timeout on public terminals, revisited. As the number of HOLLIS databases grows, library staff suspect that users will not be able to identify "where they are" in HOLLIS when they sit down at a public terminal. One suggestion has been that all public terminals "timeout" and return to the "Welcome to HOLLIS" screen after a specified period of time. This issue was discussed when the public catalog first became available, and SSHUSH (Standing Subcommittee of HAAC on User Services in HOLLIS) revisited the issue recently. Kate Ellis summarized for liaisons their discussion of this issue.

    Members saw little advantage to a timeout, especially for units where public terminals are busy most of the day. Furthermore, it is difficult to pick a reasonable length of time -- some units prefer a short timeout of as little as 45 seconds, others a longer timeout of up to 10 minutes. No one benefits when a timeout occurs in the middle of a user's session, and who can determine how long a user delays between keystrokes?

    Committee members realize that users are just becoming acquainted with the notion of HOLLIS as a collection of databases, and for a time there may be some confusion. However, as even more databases are added, it is likely that users will become accustomed to using the CHOOSE command and will come to expect that they will have to change databases when they first sit down at a public terminal. There are some simple things that OSPR and libraries can do to avoid confusion, such as placing signs reading "Press ENTER to quit" near terminals or making sure that every HOLLIS screen display contains a line indicating the database. The group concluded that efforts in these areas should be pursued instead of implementing a "timeout" solution.

    OSPR copy costs skyrocket. OSPR copying costs have increased significantly over the last several years and it is time for some belt-tightening. Tracey warned liaisons that OSPR plans to be more conservative in its reproduction of the various documents that it currently distributes. She asked that units assist OSPR by reducing subscriptions for reference manuals, newsletters, etc. whenever possible. Eliminating excess copies will help OSPR avoid more drastic measures. Note that all this does not affect HOLLIS acquisitions, cataloging, and financial products, paid for by units through monthly billing.

    OSPR also plans to eliminate the printed HOLLIS Vendor Indexes by July 1992 and replace them with an online vendor index. This will save copy costs and provide staff with a long sought online searching capability. OSPR will keep staff posted on the progress of development of these online indexes.

    In the last several years, most units in the Harvard library system have taken actions to contain costs during this economic downturn. OSPR is not immune to these conditions and the measures described above are a small step in easing the pinch. We appreciate your assistance in this matter.

    HULPR cataloging processing out of Newsletter. It was proposed that the HOLLIS Processing Summaries section of the HOLLIS Newsletter be discontinued. Liaisons agreed that posting these summaries on the HOLLIS EMS bulletin board would be sufficient. In fact, processing information on the bulletin board has always been more current than what has appeared in the newsletter. Eliminating this section will reduce the newsletter's size and further OSPR's goal of reducing copying costs. Staff members who need these processing summaries but do not regularly read messages on the EMS bulletin board should talk to their HOLLIS liaison about obtaining an EMS signon and training. Contact Julie Wetherill in OSPR if you have further questions.

    New public terminal key caps are in. The new LOC key cap (to cover function key F6) and the blank key caps designed to replace the SEND keys on some IBM 3151 terminals have arrived in OSPR. Steve Thornton plans to install these caps by the end of September. If you have any questions, contact Steve at OSPR.

    HOLLIS <--> Accounts Payable online link in the planning stage. OSPR has begun to develop specifications for the online transfer of machine-readable HOLLIS accounting records to University Accounts Payable. This means that at least a portion of HOLLIS accounting activity will be reported to Accounts Payable electronically, eliminating the need to print and sign the individual green vendor invoice coding (VIC) forms. This will hopefully streamline the entire process and reduce many of the errors caused by double-keying of payment (once in the library and once in Accounts Payable).

    Initially the project will only include corporate payments to corporate vendors coded in the Accounts Payable vendor files. This new process will be "turned on" on a library-by-library basis and it appears that units with a low volume of payment transactions may not be eligible to participate. Widener and the Law Library, units with the highest volume of these kinds of payments, will participate initially.

    If any other HOLLIS participants are interested in helping us develop functional specifications for this process, please contact Tracey Robinson. Implementation of this function depends on the extent of functional change required and on other OSPR enhancement priorities. We'll keep you posted.

    LC books file in HOLLIS, an update. MacKenzie Smith of OSPR reported on the Working Group's progress in designing the specifications for the LC books file as a technical services database in HOLLIS. A copy of the Group's final report has accompanied October HOLLIS Newsletter shipments to each library unit. Presented here is MacKenzie's summary of the key points outlined by the group so far. Two phases of implementation have been defined.

    LC book file, Phase One

    On Monday, 18 November, OSPR tentatively plans to add four years worth (1988 and forward) of the Library of Congress books file as a technical services database in HULPR. This new BF database will contain cataloging records for monographs and will not include serial, microform, or JACKPHY (Japanese, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Persian, Hebrew, or Yiddish) records. To maintain a current four year supply of data, OSPR plans on weeding bibliographic records from this file once a year (that is, weeding out the 1988 records at the end of 1992). The rate at which new records are added to BF has not yet been determined.

    Phase One also includes several commands that staff will be using to move LC data from BF to the HU database. to move a BF record to HU, add a location field, and then file the new HU record (currently use of MIGRATE is restricted to moving records from OW to HU). MIGRATE actually deletes the original record in BF once it has been copied to HU. In addition, a new MERGE command will allow authorized staff to migrate a BF record into HU and enhance an existing HU bibliographic record with the BF data. The result will be a single, enhanced HU record and the deletion of the source record in the BF database. Lastly, the existing DERIVE command will allow staff to create new HU records using BF records as a templates.

    Phase Two

    For Phase Two of this project, OSPR will develop several more functions that will allow staff to fully exploit the possibilities of LC cataloging data.

    collection development tool, the LC accessions list will provide a list of new records in the BF database, based on added to HU rather than from incoming OCLC and RLIN cataloging.

    Phase two also includes a system-wide standing search of the BF database. Each night, an automatic procedure would select HU "provisional" records that have been created or updated. The system pools these records until the next update of the BF database and then compares them with LC records, looking for a match. The system would then merge the matching record with the HU provisional record and the affected libraries would be notified so that they can perform authority control and national reporting. Provisional records that do not match with a record in the BF database will remain in the pool and be searched after the next update. After four years, provisional records that are still unmatched will be dropped from the standing search.

    Despite this new local source of cataloging data, libraries are still obliged to report their holdings nationally. To assist with reporting, the Working Group has proposed a new system-supplied LOC subfield that will contain the date that the record was reported to OCLC or RLIN for a particular location.


    The Working Group's full report provides detailed descriptions and examples of the above functions. HOLLIS liaisons will discuss the Group's final proposals at their October meeting. HAAC and ULC will also review the proposals in the next two months, prior to the implementation of Phase One. If you have any questions, please contact MacKenzie Smith in OSPR.

    LOC sorting in the public catalog, an update. The LOC Sorting Working Group was charged with proposing a meaningful sorting order for library locations in the public catalog. Currently, library locations appear in the public catalog exactly as they do in technical services mode -- their order depends on when the LOCs were originally added to the record. Although it is possible to resequence the LOC on the technical services record, HOLLIS liaisons have frowned on such a practice because of its implications for predicting the holdings record number.

    The Working Group has proposed that whatever the technical services sequence of locations, the public catalog display should arrange locations in two groups, Harvard locations and non-Harvard locations. Both groups would be listed alphabetically from A to Z, with the Harvard locations appearing first on the record. Liaisons approved of this arrangement.

    The Working Group also proposed that order, holdings, and item record displays in technical services mode should include the first line of linkage information from the location field. With linkages displaying, an operator will be able to identify holdings and order record numbers without needing to return to the bibliographic record. And, staff could then feel free to resequence their LOC fields (to keep multiple occurrences of a library's LOCs together, for example) without caring that the holdings linkage number (H-n) will not be the same as the LOC repeat number (LOC/n). Note that the resequencing of the LOCs in technical services mode has no affect on the public catalog display. Liaisons approved this enhancement.

    OSPR will prioritize the proposals for LOC sorting and technical services linkage display and add them to the enhancements list. If you have questions, please contact MacKenzie Smith at OSPR.

    PAIS International database -- assorted oddities. The September issue of this newsletter contained an article describing the new PAIS International (PA) database in detail. At the September HOLLIS liaisons meeting, Julie Wetherill described a few of PAIS' more peculiar features, which set it apart from the IAC products Academic Index and Legal Resource Index. What follows is a summary of that presentation.

    Authors in PAIS

    "Authors" in PAIS include personal names as well as corporate, government, and other organizational names. However, organizational names are often abbreviated. This makes searching for such names difficult (try searching FIND AU ORG). Some organizational names, "United Nations" for example, do appear in full form most of the time.

    There is little evidence that the vendor performs any kind of authority work on the names in this database. Split headings occur frequently (try FIND AU BAPTIST UNION for an example).

    At the time of the September demonstration, all PAIS author names were treated as added entries and appeared only on the HOLLIS record long display. Since the meeting, OSPR has redesigned PAIS records so that the first author listed will appear as the first entry in the record and thus will show up on the short display. All other authors will remain as added entries following an AUTHORS label on the long display.

    Titles in PAIS

    The PAIS title index (TI) contains the titles of journal articles and analyzed parts of monographs, as well as titles of directories, pamphlets, yearbooks, and other whole publications. Some PAIS records also contain a series title, which is searchable by TI as well. Occasionally, the information displaying after the SERIES label will be a jumble of letters and numbers -- not very useful to the user. OSPR has tried to eliminate most of this "noise" but a few records will have slipped through.

    The PUBLISHED IN title

    PAIS records representing an article citation or analyzed part of a monograph are format Y records. These records will routinely include a PUBLISHED IN field containing the source of the citation and an ISSN if available. PAIS records representing whole publications are format B (book) records and will instead include a PUB INFO field containing imprint information. Users need to make the distinction that words from the PUBLISHED IN field can be searched by keyword (KW or KPI) but words in the PUB INFO field cannot be searched at all. The majority of PUBLISHED IN titles will appear in full spelled-out form. OSPR has identified those PAIS titles that cannot be expanded to their full form by displaying them in upper case letters (perform the search FIND KPI CRIME AND LAW for an example).


    PAIS article citations (format Y records) usually contain an ABSTRACT describing the contents of the article. Book records (format B) usually contain a SUMMARY field that performs a similar task. The key is to remember that ABSTRACT fields appear only on format Y records and SUMMARY fields appear only on format B records. Words from the ABSTRACT and SUMMARY fields can be searched by keyword (FIND KW).

    Using the LOCATION command on PA records

    The LOCATION command works the same way in PA as it does in AI and LR. That is, from a displaying PA record, type LOC or press the F6 function key to see a list of library locations that hold the item. However, LOC will generally have a lower success rate in PA than in AI or LR. HOLLIS users have been spoiled by virtue of the fact that Harvard holds nearly 100 percent of the journals indexed in AI and LR. In PA, records represent whole publications as well as journal articles, and many are not held at Harvard. In addition, PA records sometimes do not contain the critical piece of information that allows the LOCATION command to work. And lastly, an unknown percentage of materials indexed in PA are held at Harvard but do not have online HOLLIS records. A large proportion of Harvard's government depository collections are a notable example. All in all, LOC will be less successful in PA and staff should remind users of this fact.


    All of the above notwithstanding, PAIS International is still a great addition to the HOLLIS family of databases. Staff and public users are very pleased, based on comments coming in to OSPR. Just consider this article a reminder that each database we add will not necessarily look or "act" the same as those we already have in place. On the other hand, do not assume that the strange "behavior" you are seeing is normal for that database. If you come upon something odd, please do contact OSPR.

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    Notes and Reminders
    Quarterly password change reminder. HOLLIS liaisons are reminded that, while passwords for ALL operators should be changed on an annual basis, passwords for CERTAIN operators should be changed more frequently. OSPR strongly encourages the practice of changing quarterly the passwords of:

    operators authorized to approve invoices for payment,
    operators authorized to create & update ACU records,
    operators authorized to display patron records, and
    operators authorized to use the (circulation) "HAS" command.

    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 matters of operator security, please contact the OSPR Security Administrator, Kate Mullen, at 495-3724.

    OCLC ILL cutover to PRISM. OSPR recently received notification that OCLC plans to implement ILL in the PRISM system all at a whack, which means that all OCLC ILL users will need to be equipped with a new password when the (as yet unspecified) day arrives. If your unit uses the OCLC ILL subsystem and did not receive notification and a PRISM access and authorization request form directly from NELINET, please contact Robin Wendler in OSPR as soon as possible.

    New patron record student code. OSPR plans to define a new code for the STUDENT field on patron records. This new code, P for pseudo-patron, will improve the accuracy of the CHARGE and CHARGE YTD counters on item records.

    Currently, when staff charge a book to a pseudo-patron such as the bindery or the cataloging department, HOLLIS increments the CHARGES and CHARGES YTD counters on the book's item record. This gives a false measure of the level of use of that item (that is, we usually want to count charges only to human borrowers). How will the new STUDENT code P help? If a unit does not want charges to a particular pseudo-patron to affect the CHARGES counters on item records, staff can change the patron record's STUDENT field code to P.

    When appropriate, staff will need to input this new STUDENT code directly into their pseudo-patron records. Note that units may want charges to certain pseudo-patrons to increment item record CHARGES counters, such as charges to Inter-library loan. In these cases, they should not use the STUDENT code P, but rather N for "not a student."

    The new "p" STUDENT code is now available. If you have further questions about the use of this code, contact Kate Ellis at OSPR.

    A fix to preserve operator profiles. OSPR has made some changes that now allow an operator to switch from one HOLLIS database to another (in technical services mode) without losing SET SCR, SET LOC, SET TAP, SET SLC, INV, or TEMP values. As an example, in the past a staff member who used the TEMP command to create an order template would lose that template when he switched to the SH database. Now, he can move from HU to SH and back to HU and his template values, as well as INV and any SET command values, will still be intact.

    This phenomenon was a product of the way HOLLIS established separate operator profiles for each HOLLIS database. In order to preserve SET, INV, and TEMP values, HOLLIS now considers these values valid across all databases. Although this alleviates alot of aggravation for technical services staff, everyone should note that this means in the future an operator cannot have separate SET, INV, and TEMP values in different databases. At present, these commands are useful only in the HU database, but who knows what is in store in later databases? If you have any questions about this change, contact Heather Reid at OSPR.

    The changeable HOLLIS record number. Just a reminder that staff and public users of HOLLIS should never assume that the unique number assigned to a record in any HOLLIS database will stay the same over time. Occasional OSPR database maintenance, merging, and deleting of records can all change a record's number. Since few users search by HOLLIS record numbers, this event remains invisible. However, the combination of more databases in the HOLLIS environment and the capability of sending these records to an electronic mail account means that some users may be building databases with this information and relying on these numbers to indicate when duplicate records have been added.

    Unfortunately, record numbers are liable to change, and the volume of change may increase in the future, especially when University Library retroconversion projects are in full swing. If you are aware of users who depend on these numbers, warn them! If you have any questions, please contact Tracey Robinson at OSPR.

    Response time tests. Response time tests are scheduled for the first Tuesday of each month. Upcoming tests are scheduled for: 5 November, 3 December, 7 January, and 4 February. Volunteers should mark their calendars appropriately.

    The average response times measured in the September test were not significantly higher than normal with average keyword response at 2.88 seconds and all other transactions averaging 0.8 seconds. However, the proportion of transactions taking longer than 3 seconds did increase this month to 11.4% of test transactions (August percent was 4.5%). As usual, all tested transactions which took longer than 4 seconds were keyword transactions.

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    Network Notes
    Memory problems in network maintenance. It has come to the attention of several of you that your trusty Network Specialist has a memory like a sieve. This tends to cause problems when you are expecting him to do things for you simply because you asked him to, especially at busy times of the year like this, when there are a lot of things on my plate. Many of you have experienced the unpleasant thrill of asking me how such-and-such is coming along, only to hear me utter the memorable words "Oh. Damn. Uh. Right." followed by some abysmally transparent waffling. This of course has the effect of blasting weeks or months out of your carefully-designed project schedules.

    In order to forestall this sort of disaster, whether trivial or devastating, it is now my official policy to demand that all requests for action on my part be received in writing. This can be on paper or in electronic mail, I don't care. Obviously, I will still respond to telephone calls, but if you have anything you want me to do more complicated than fix a dead terminal, you had better send me a note. E-mail is quickest: I am

    • netwrk@harvarda if you are on BITNET (i.e., from HUBS), and
    • netwrk@harvarda.harvard.edu if not (from a Science Center account, for example), or
    • ems-hu-00-osp from within the HOLLIS EMS system.

    You can also send me University Mail at the Library Systems Office, 88 Widener.

    I apologize to all those who have been inconvenienced by my absent-mindedness and promise that henceforth all written requests will be attended to promptly.

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    Vendor File Changes in September
    New Vendors


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