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HOLLIS Newsletter

Volume 8, Number 9 (September 1993)

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  • Agenda for September meeting
  • Feature Articles
  • ERIC database reviewed
  • ABENDS in HOLLIS explained
  • Course catalogs online
  • Notes and Reminders
  • Farewell to colleagues
  • Spine labels
  • TRaining catalog mode
  • Religion Index additions
  • AFIX command clarified
  • Micro Users group to meet
  • PAGE command
  • Reference guides ready
  • HOLLIS Enhancements
  • Network Notes
  • Spare equipment needed
  • Hook-up choices for PCs

    Agenda for HOLLIS Liaisons Meeting #88
    September 8, 1993
    Lamont Forum Room, 2:30 - 4:00 p.m.

    1. Announcements: Tracey Robinson
    2. Network Information Center announcement: Annelise Martin (OIT)
    3. OIS project updates

    • -- ERIC database
    • -- Recon
    • -- Business Resumption (a.k.a., Disaster Recovery)
    • -- Bridge
    • -- Spine labels
    • -- End User Reporting
    • -- Course catalogs
    • -- Reserves Processing (a.k.a., GARP)

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    Feature Articles
    ERIC database in HOLLIS. Educational literature is the focus of the latest database to appear in the HOLLIS Public Catalog. ERIC, produced by the Educational Resources Information Center, U.S. Department of Education, is scheduled to debut in HOLLIS on Wednesday, 15 September. Staff will have a chance to preview ERIC starting on Wednesday, 8 September when the database becomes available without the code "ER" appearing on the 'Welcome to HOLLIS' screen. Staff should note that ERIC has no access restrictions and will be freely available to dial-up and network users of HOLLIS. What follows is a description of the contents of ERIC and details about related documentation.

    Contents of ERIC in HOLLIS.

    ERIC indexes journal articles, reports, theses, conference papers and proceedings, curriculum guides, instructional materials, and other often unpublished documents. More than 800 journals and 13,000 documents are indexed each year. ERIC in HOLLIS is the online version of two ERIC indexes -- Current Index to Journals in Education (CIJE) and Resources in Education (RIE). ERIC in HOLLIS will cover educational literature from 1989 forward and will be updated monthly.

    ERIC record search and display.

    Since ERIC is available in different ways at different sites on the Internet, staff who have already searched this database may have some expectations about how ERIC data displays and how it is searched. Our version of ERIC conforms very much to the "look and feel" of other HOLLIS databases with the added convenience of location information for Harvard libraries.

    Since ERIC indexes journals and whole documents, this database contains both article format and book format records. These are designated by "/art" and "/bks" in the ERIC indexes and record displays. The following is the long display for an ERIC article record:

    ERIC article records include a journal citation in the PUBLISHED IN field and the LOC command is available to retrieve HU database location information for libraries holding the journal. Virtually all ERIC article records contain an abstract. The ACCESS NUMBER field contains the ERIC accession number for this article, which is searchable using the AN index. There are two subject fields on the record: SUBJECTS and KEYWORD SUBJ -- these are described in the Searching ERIC section below.

    The following is an ERIC document record.

    Like articles, ERIC document records regularly include contents descriptions, and in the HOLLIS books format, these appear in the SUMMARY field. The documents that ERIC indexes are collected by 16 regional clearinghouses that are part of a nationwide ERIC information network. Many of these documents are unpublished, but most are available from the ERIC Document Reproduction Service in paper and microfiche. At Harvard, the microfiche collection is available at the Monroe C. Gutman Library. A note identifying the accession number for an ERIC microfiche document appears in each document record (see screen 1 of 3 above). Microfiche are arranged by this number in drawers on the first floor of Gutman Library. If you use the LOC command on a document record, HOLLIS will remind you to check the accession number in the record.

    Searching ERIC.

    You can access ERIC information by author (AU), title (TI) of article or document, (AN) accession number, subject (SU), and keyword (KW, KAU, KTI, KPI, KSH, KSM). The majority of authors are people, although corporate names do appear as subjects. The abstracts and summaries are searchable by general keyword (KW). The greatest difference between ERIC and other HOLLIS databases is in the subject treatment of ERIC information. ERIC assigns four types of terms to describe the contents of the materials it indexes: major and minor descriptors, which are terms listed in the Thesaurus of ERIC descriptors; and major and minor identifiers which are terms not yet listed in the Thesaurus. HOLLIS puts major descriptors and major identifiers in the same category -- both appear in the SUBJECTS field. You can search these major terms using the SU string search or the new KSM (keyword major subject) search. The minor descriptors and minor identifiers appear in the KEYWORD SUBJ field, and as the label implies, must be searched by keyword. The KSH search will locate words in KEYWORD SUBJ or SUBJECTS fields. Neither major nor minor terms are associated with the Library of Congress scheme of subject headings. ERIC subjects terms, as you will notice, do not contain subdivisions.

    Online and printed help.

    The ERIC database will include the usual collection of online help screens. Type HELP ER for a general description of ERIC. There will also be a printed information sheet describing ERIC in more detail. This sheet will be distributed to libraries just before ERIC's debut in September.

    Contact Robin Wendler or Julie Wetherill in OIS if you have questions about ERIC in HOLLIS. The reference staff at Gutman Library are experts when it comes to the contents of ERIC -- contact them if you have questions about ERIC itself. And many thanks to Kathleen Donovan, Gladys Dratch, Marcella Flaherty, and Alicja Altenberger -- Gutman Librarians who were instrumental in getting ERIC into shape for its September debut!


    An Introduction to HOLLIS Abends. To a speaker of the German language, the word Abend may conjure images of the sun going down in a sylvan landscape. The computer user harbors no such illusions. To him (or her) the word signals that what is going down is his task, for abend is common computer talk for "abnormal ending." Abends in HOLLIS can result from causes of varying seriousness. As they interrupt the flow of normal work, they are at the least annoying and sometimes can indicate serious problems. This article is intended to serve as introduction to the variety of HOLLIS abends, and not to be a comprehensive catalog.

    OIS has two ways of learning that an abend has occurred. The user may or may not report it when it happens, but the abend will always produce a "transaction dump" which will be printed overnight and delivered to OIS the morning after the event. The dump is a picture of the computer storage being used by the task which abended. A typical transaction dump consists of about 60 pages of paper. From a dump it is possible to glean useful facts about the abended task such as the program that was being executed, the record that was being used, and the operator who was doing the work. It is not always possible to determine exactly what the operator was attempting to do.

    Happily, abends are extremely rare in the public catalog. What the user sees when one happens is an unexpected return to the "Welcome to HOLLIS" screen. He (she) must reselect a database and reissue a search. The most serious consequence is that if the user had saved some records for e-mail, they may have been lost.

    In technical services mode, the user is shown an ugly message which includes a four-character code identifying the type of abend. It is then necessary to clear the screen and reissue the transaction id (e.g., LTHU) and a command to start again. Abends are designed to prevent damage to the database which might occur when an anomalous situation arises. Consequently it is often the case that work done before the abend but after a record was last saved will need to be repeated. Of course that work may be the very thing which caused the abend, and it will recur. For example, abend 846L, which happens at least 80 times a month, arises when a user attempts to add statements or notes to an o/p/r record that would cause it to become larger than the maximum length permitted by the system. Abending the task is admittedly a user-hostile way to deal with the problem, but it is at least clean. The programmer and the user can be sure that no records involved in changes made to the o/p/r since it was last saved have been updated. After a user sees 846L a few times, he's apt to learn that what's needed is to remove or consolidate old statements from the o/p/r before adding new ones. Of course, his learning would be facilitated if the system, instead of displaying the abend message, generated one saying the o/p/r was too long.

    If your task abends, it doesn't mean you are a bad person. The foregoing example shows one way innocent behavior can induce an abend. 846L is simple and well-understood. Many abends have more obscure etiology. If OIS calls to inquire about what you were doing when your task abended, don't panic. It's not the Spanish inquisition; it's the doctor. We're interested in improving HOLLIS so that it performs better for you, and a first person narrative of your experience may provide clues to a malfunction thatwould be very hard to find in any other way. Such a narrative is apt to be more accurate when it is fresh; so OIS encourages you to call in if you experience an interesting abend.

    "And what," you ask, "is an interesting abend?" Unfortunately, it is hard to specify a single guideline to tell which abends should be reported and which can safely be ignored. Here are a few suggestions:

    1. Call if the abend is preventing you from doing your work. For example, if every time you try to display a particular o/p/r, you get an 842R abend, you should call. This case is caused by bad old data that will never get any better without OIS intervention.

    2. Call if the abend code starts with "A". These codes are generated by CICS, not by the HOLLIS programs themselves. With a few notable exceptions, their causes either tend to be difficult to identify or to indicate problems of more than passing interest to OIS.

    3. Don't be discouraged if OIS seems to disparage your problem. If the response to your call is, "Oh, that's just...," the tone of voice is probably betraying our relief that you haven't discovered a new bug. On the other hand, if you phone in 846L three times a week, you're apt to earn a reputation for inattention.

    4. If you're not sure whether to call, or you just want information about a particular code, consult Appendix K of the Reference Manual. Well, don't do it this week. Soon we'll distribute additional pages for that appendix giving a brief description of each type of abend encountered since 17 March 1993. Your comments on the utility of this list will be welcome.

    Those of us who handle transaction dumps at OIS are sometimes tempted to question the statement above that causing abends is not the mark of a bad person, for there are a few kinds for which technical solutions are very difficult that changes in user behavior would reduce dramatically. The two most frequently occurring abends are of this sort. They are especially insidious because the user never sees them.

    1. An ATCH abend is caused by not leaving HULPR (by CSSF LOGOFF) at the end of the day. When the system shuts down at 1:00 a.m. it logs off these terminals and produces a dump for each one, amounting to about 250 per month.
    2. The predominant cause of ATNI abends is terminating a telnet session while a task is in progress. we think ATNI can be avoided by returning to a clear or clearish (as in after a DONE) screen before breaking a telnet connection. This problem is of particular concern as access to HULPR through networked PCs increases. In April there were 109 ATNIs; in July, 342.
    OIS is investigating ways to eliminate the printing of dumps for ATNIs, ATCHs and other uninformative abends. Implementation of a remedy is probably several months away. In the meantime we ask your help to try to develop habits of using HOLLIS and the network which will reduce the amount of boring paper to be handled and recycled.

    Harvard University Course Catalogs available via GOPHER. Harvard University course information for over 5,000 courses is now available on-line through Gopher. Gopher, developed at the University of Minnesota, is a system that facilitates searching for information on the Internet. The system is accessible to anyone who has access to the Internet via Gopher or Telnet software, as well as to anyone who has a modem.

    First reported in the June 1993 issue of the HOLLIS Newsletter when the Summer School 1992 - 1993 catalog became available online, the system has now been expanded to include course information from most of Harvard's eleven Faculties. Schools included are: the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Business School, Extension School, School of Dental Medicine, Design School, Divinity School, School of Education, School of Government, Medical School, and School of Public Health. Law School information will be available later this fall. The system allows one to search course information across the Faculties, as well as to search specific information within a single school.

    Documentation will be distributed to HOLLIS Liaisons in early September. For general information about the OnLine Course Catalog project, please call Amy Lozano, Project Manager, at 495-1821 (email lozan@harvarda.harvard.edu) For assistance using the system, please call 496-2001, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    Accessing the On-Line Course Catalog Gopher.

    1. Using Gopher via Telnet.

    If you can use Telnet (the Internet protocol that creates a connection with another computer and allows you to use the resources on that computer):

    • Telnet to courses.harvard.edu (
    • At the resulting login prompt, type "courses" and press (return)
    Important Note: Due to terminal type incompatibilities, it is not currently possible to telnet to the on-line catalog from a HUBS account or a terminal connected to OIT's mainframe. We hope to resolve this problem in the near future.

    2. Using Gopher with a Modem and Communications Software (Important note: No ISDN dial access is currently available.)

    Dial number:
    (617) 496-8500
    Dial settings:
    Data bits: 8, Parity: N, Stop bits: 1
    Terminal Emulation:
    vt100, Maximum speed: 14.4 bps

    - Dial 496-8500 to connect

    - Press (return) until you see an access prompt

    - At the access prompt, type "c courses" and press (return)

    - At the resulting login prompt, type "courses" and press (return)

    3. Using Gopher by Installing Software on a Personal Computer. If you have access to the High Speed Data Network (HSDN) and software which allows you to Telnet and FTP, you can download and use software (called client software) for the Macintosh or DOS computer to make using Gopher more like using any other application on your personal computer. For example, the Macintosh software has icons that you click on to navigate through the menus.

    - Configure the software to connect to courses.harvard.edu, (, port 70 to view the course catalog (while in Gopher, you can create a Bookmark to make future access easier).

    Obtaining Gopher Software. Software is available via anonymous FTP from the site boombox.micro.umn.edu ( in the directory /pub/gopher. For example, there is Macintosh software called TurboGopher in /pub/gopher/Macintosh-TurboGopher. In the future, Harvard will provide methods for obtaining software right on campus.

    If you have problems installing the software, the first person to talk to is your local support person (LAN administrator). You will have to know network information such as your IP number in order to configure the software properly. There also may be other set up issues which the local computer support person will need to help you with such as uncompressing the Gopher software. If you have no local support person, you can call the Network Information Center help desk (496-2001).

    For help connecting to the on-line course catalog system, please call 496-2001, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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    Notes and Reminders
    Goodbye to old friends. HOLLIS liaisons will be losing two hard-working members -- Stephen Stillwell (CSIA) and Bob Sennett (Fine Arts). Stephen and Bob have offered many years of service to our community of HOLLIS users and they will be missed in the liaisons forum. Both are going west (well, Stephen is really going southwest) and OIS wishes them well in the future.

    Update on spine labels. The HOLLIS spine label feature was originally scheduled to debut on 16 August but has been delayed while Vernon Inc. investigates a few bugs in its software. OIS hopes to have these resolved by mid- September and will keep everyone posted via this newsletter.

    Training file in catalog mode. The other "new" database in the HOLLIS Public Catalog this Fall will be the HOLLIS Training File. The Training File (TR) will quietly become available on September 8 along with the new ERIC database. TR will not be an option from the "Welcome to HOLLIS" menu and anyone choosing TR will be presented with a warning screen that asks users to confirm that they want the Training File before going forward. Liaisons approved the addition of a TR catalog mode earlier this summer. Please contact Julie Wetherill in OIS if you have questions.

    Religion Index about to grow. In mid-September OIS will be loading the entire backfile of Religion Index periodicals data, from 1949 forward. The current RI database in HOLLIS contains indexing only from 1988 forward. Along with the backfile OIS will be loading the latest semi-annual batch of new RI indexing. Remember that in HOLLIS, the RI database corresponds to the semi-annual print publication, Religion Index One: Periodicals. Contact Robin Wendler if you have questions.

    AFIX command clarification. There has been some confusion about when staff would use the new AFIX command in HULPR technical services mode. Compounding the confusion was a typo in the August HOLLIS Newsletter stating that the AFIX command was "used to tape out an authority record." This should have read "used to tape out a bibliographic record" for authority processing. Robin Wendler recently posted to HULINFO a detailed description of when AFIX is useful. This description is presented below.

    For cataloging done in one of the utilities or using the BF file, submission to OCLC for heading correction will be automatic. The only records which will not be sent automatically (and therefore will need the AFIX command) are those which are upgraded manually and which were originally created more than two weeks earlier. Thus, many units will issue the AFIX command only rarely, while others which do the bulk of their cataloging directly in HU by upgrading provisional records by hand will use it routinely.

    As you know, OCLC will be providing Harvard with authority control processing for the next several years. OCLC received a complete copy of the HU database in September 1992, and they expect to complete processing by the end of September 1993. In June 1993, we sent them all the records which had accumulated in HU since September 1992. Shortly after OCLC completes processing the headings in the base file (the September 1992 data), Harvard will pull the records which have accumulated between June and October 1993.

    At the same time, Harvard and OCLC will shift into what will become the normal mode of production for the next few years. (We'll tell you exactly when; there'll be much fanfare.)

    Under this "normal" mode, data flows between OCLC and Harvard in several streams:

    1. RECON records will be sent directly from OCLC Retrocon to OCLC authority processing. AFTER they've been corrected by authority control, they will be loaded into HOLLIS.
    2. Current cataloging will be loaded into HOLLIS BEFORE authority processing: daily for OCLC, monthly for RLIN.
    3. Weekly, current cataloging from HOLLIS will be sent to the OCLC Online Union Catalog to register holdings. (This is NOT the same as being sent for authority control.)
    4. Every two weeks, records will be sent out of HOLLIS to OCLC authority processing. These records will include non-RECON records with an Encoding Level other than 'a' which:
    • were new to HOLLIS since the previous pull. (i.e. created in HOLLIS at a level other than 'a', or added during a load of records from the utilities),
    • were upgraded by a non-RECON record since the previous pull (i.e., overlaid by a record from OCLC, RLIN, or the BF file),
    • were flagged for authority processing with the AFIX command.
    When a record is sent from HOLLIS for OCLC authority processing, three things happen:

    1. OCLC records each form of heading in their database as a heading used by Harvard.

    2. OCLC tries to validate or correct each heading. For each corrected heading, OCLC sends a "correction transaction" which replaces the old heading in the HOLLIS record with the new heading.

    3. If a corresponding LC authority record exists for a heading in the record, OCLC will send it to Harvard, and will send any updates to that authority record in the future. Authority records will be sent to OIS monthly.

    At this time, OCLC is only processing personal name, corporate name, and LC personal, corporate, topical, and geographic subject headings. By September 1994, they will have completed backfile processing on MeSH headings and series entries. There are no plans for them to perform heading correction on uniform titles or conference names. We'll keep you posted as the completion of base file processing approaches. Meanwhile, for more information, contact Robin Wendler in OIS

    New microcomputer user group to meet. The long-awaited first meeting of a library microcomputer special interest group has been scheduled for Wednesday, 20 October, 2:30 in the Lamont Forum Room. Heather Reid, Head of the Networking and Desktop Systems group in OIS, will lead the first meeting. Check the October newsletter for more details.

    PAGE command to be added to Catalog options display. And, from the department of very small changes... As part of the Fall release of HOLLIS, the new (well relatively new) PAGE command will be added to the command options area of short/long, holdings, location, and circulation displays (that is, whenever it says "Page n of n" in the upper right corner of the screen). Type HELP PAGE for a description of how PAGE works. The addition of PAGE to the options area was specified by SSHUSH. Contact Charlie Husbands if you have questions.

    HOLLIS Reference Guides ready. OIS has received the new shipment of HOLLIS Reference Guides and by the time this issue goes to press, most libraries will have received their supply for the next academic year.

    Due to the bulky nature of the reference guides, and a 2 lb. package limit by University Mail, two delivery methods were used to disseminate the guides to the libraries. Most libraries were contacted by phone or email and asked to come to OIS to pick up their supply. Libraries that receive a large amount of reference guides will be getting them via the University Library Messenger. If you have not yet received a supply and expect that you should be, contact Eric Young in OIS.

    in the near future. They will be mailed.

    Response time tests. Response time tests are scheduled for the first Tuesday of each month. Upcoming tests are scheduled for: 7 September, 5 October, 2 November, and 7 December. Volunteers should mark their calendars appropriately.

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    HOLLIS Enhancements Update
    This column features brief descriptions of some of the smaller completed changes to HOLLIS which are not described more fully in individual articles. OIS projects and major enhancements are described in greater detail in newsletter articles. If you have comments or questions, contact Jon Rothman at OIS, either by telephone at 5-3724 or by email at ROTHMN@HARVARDA.

    Changes completed since 8/1/93

    1. RLIN number normalization for searching in HOLLIS didn't accommodate some classes of RLIN numbers. The result was that those records were not searchable in HOLLIS by their legitimate RLIN numbers. The RLIN number search normalization has been removed so that all records containing RLIN numbers should be searchable by RLIN number.

    2. The error message displayed when the STORE command is issued without a parameter from an index screen in HOLLIS has been changed to read: "Please retype your command with the desired line numbers (or ALL)". Previously the message read: "Command cannot be performed as requested."

    3. Changes were made to the programs which produce circulation products (notices, etc.) so that they will work with the new patron group which has been created in anticipation of serving special borrowers with photo ID's.

    In addition to the changes listed above, 2 additional small changes which affect the HOLLIS infrastructure were completed recently. "Infrastructure changes" are enhancements and bug fixes that are needed to ensure reliable and efficient operation of HOLLIS but which do not have directly visible or readily describable functional effects.

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    Network Notes
    Looking for spare HOLLIS equipment. There has been fairly rapid growth recently in the number of people using microcomputers on in-building LANs to access HULPR and HOLLIS. It seems as if most of these micros, rather than replacing currently existing HOLLIS and HULPR devices in the library, have represented additional growth. However, in at least some cases, 3163/51 terminals have been replaced and OIS is interested in finding out how much unused terminal equipment libraries have on hand. We are seeing increasing failures in some of the pieces of equipment used to connect terminals, particularly MUXes, and we are also experiencing increasing difficulties in obtaining replacement equipment from vendors. If we know of unused MUX/MODEM/TERMINAL equipment, we may be able to facilitate its resale to other units in need.

    For now, I'd just like to get a sense of how much spare equipment is out there! If you have some MUX/MODEM/TERMINAL equipment which you do not need or do not use, please let me know (reid@harvarda.harvard.edu). Thanks.

    Interim choices for PC-hookups to HULPR. Although the pace of HSDN hookups quickens on campus, there are libraries which do not yet have network connectivity facing the need to use microcomputers as HULPR workstations. OIS has seen an increase in requests for interim dial-up connections to HULPR for those units awaiting HSDN connectivity. While dial-up is an option, units should keep in mind that there is a limited amount of dial capacity. For this reason OIS cannot guarantee that units using this option will always be able to connect to HULPR. Units should not consider micros dialed into HULPR as dedicated workstations -- i.e., once your HULPR activity is finished, disconnect the micro to insure that there are lines available for others trying to connect. Please refer any questions about this issue to Heather Reid in OIS.

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