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HOLLIS Newsletter

Volume 10, Number 7 (July 1995)

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  • Next HOLLIS Liaisons Meeting (#101)
  • Feature Articles
  • Harvard College Library plans ERL Server
  • Notes and Reminders
  • OW continues to shrink
  • Canon ink cartridges
  • FirstSearch implements records by e-mail facility
  • Security takes a vacation
  • Internet Fair planning continues
  • Cataloging network-based resources
  • OIS Current Projects

    Next HOLLIS Liaisons Meeting (#101)

    July 12, 1995
    Gropius Room, Loeb Design Library

    1. Announcements: Jon Rothman
    2. "SEICing a new search engine": Kathy Klemperer will describe recent activities of the Search Engine Implementation Committee (SEIC), which has been charged with establishing a new search engine platform for HOLLIS Plus databases.

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    Feature Articles

    Harvard College Library plans ERL Server
    by Julie Wetherill
    SilverPlatter has developed a new service to deliver its information products, called the Electronic Reference Library (ERL). Harvard College Library plans to implement this new service to deliver subscription-based SilverPlatter databases to users withi n the College and the wider Harvard University Library community. At the June ABCD-Library meeting, Rod Goins (Automation Coordinator for HCL) talked about ERL, the College Library's implementation plans, and implications of this new service for data ava ilable in HOLLIS Plus.

    SilverPlatter's business is the redistribution of bibliographic and full-text databases, traditionally on CD-ROM. There are over 150 databases available; libraries at Harvard have selectively subscribed to these and made them available from library works tations. Rod explained that delivering SilverPlatter data via CD-ROM from a stand-alone workstation or over a Novell network worked well enough, but maintenance was "clunky' and more widespread access was problematic. ERL will enable the College Library to provide access to the same SilverPlatter databases using the familiar SilverPlatter interface, with the advantages of wider network availability, multiple simultaneous access, increased capacity (more data), access control, and easier maintenance.

    What is ERL?
    ERL is SilverPlatter's proprietary client/server software. ERL has two main components: the ERL clients (interface running on searcher's workstation) and the ERL server (search engine and database storage). The clients -- PC-SPIRS, WinSPIRS, MacSPIRS an d UNIX-SPIRS -- offer the same functionality as the familiar CD-ROM interface, plus the flexibility of the user's choice of platform: DOS, Windows, Macintosh or UNIX. ERL integrates into any TCP/IP network; that is, unlike its CD-ROM sibling, ERL is n ot limited to Novell networks. The ERL environment might include multiple server machines located at different locations on campus. The server is designed to deliver databases stored locally or databases available remotely from SilverPlatter's headquarte rs in Norwood, Massachusetts. No matter where the data comes from, ERL presents it seamlessly in a single set of customizable menus.

    ERL at Harvard
    The College Library's ERL database server will be a Compaq Proliant model 1500/75 with 80 megabytes of RAM and 16 gigabytes of disk storage. Current plans have this machine running the ERL server processes and storing two SilverPlatter databases: Bi osis and MLA International Biography. The server will provide access to four other databases -- Medline, EconLit, Sociofile, and GeoRef -- which are stored at SilverPlatter's Norwood offices. All six dat abases represent titles already offered in CD-ROM format by College Library units. Once the ERL service is up and running, other databases will be added as needed. The number of concurrent users for each database has not yet been decided . As an exampl e, Rod suggested four concurrent users for less-used databases and perhaps 12 or more concurrent users for high-use databases like Medline.

    Access to ERL databases will be provided by proprietary clients installed on in-library workstations in College Library units. Rod explained that wider distribution of the ERL clients is not likely due to support issues. But, wider availability of ERL d atabases will be achieved through the use of a Unix VT-100 client. A separate server machine will run the VT-100 client, which has the look and feel of SilverPlatter's DOS client. This client will allow access to ERL databases from the HOLLIS Plus system, which is widely available at Harvard libraries and accessible from gopher clients on workstations in offices and homes. The HOLLIS Plus access control process will be used to insure compliance with licensing restrictions of ERL data bases (that is, only Harvard faculty, staff, and students will be able to select ERL databases).

    In the future, SilverPlatter plans to offer a Z39.50-compliant version of its ERL server which will enable non-ERL Z39.50 clients to access ERL data. There are also plans for a World Wide Web gateway allowing access from generally-available Web browsers, such as Mosaic, Netscape, and Lynx.

    ERL Timing
    College Library automation staff will be Implementing the ERL service over the summer and working with OIS staff to integrate ERL data with HOLLIS Plus. ERL is expected to be available "in production mode" sometime in September. After that, the College Library will be begin evaluating the ERL platform for additional databases. Contact Rod Goins in HCL Automation for further information about ERL planning. OIS will keep everyone informed about HOLLIS Plus access through this newslette r and HULINFO.

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    Notes and Reminders
    OW continues to shrink
    The OW database continues to plummet into oblivion. OW now has 419,401 records and has just relinquished 16 cylinders of DASD space (mainframe storage) to the greater glory of HOLLIS.

    Canon ink cartridges
    Libraries still running Canon Bubblejet printers may be interested to know that a vendor of computer supplies called 'Global' stocks ink cartridges for these printers. The ink, or toner, cartridge is the part you replace by opening the plastic panel in th e front of the printer. It is not the part beneath the infamous, green priming lever. Global can be reached at 1-800-845-6225, or 1-800-8 GLOBAL. The stock number is VC9446. The price for 1-2 cartridges is $11.99 each. This replaces the Canon BJ80 ca rtridge #BJI-801.

    FirstSearch implements records by e-mail facility
    Users of the INSPEC database from HOLLIS Plus will be happy to know that OCLC FirstSearch has recently implemented the facility to send groups of records by electronic mail. You can now send up to five INSPEC records at a time to an electronic mail accou nt. From a displaying record, use the Email action. Type E, press < Enter >, and follow the prompts. While in INSPEC, type h email for more information.

    Security takes a vacation
    Linda Marean, HULPR Security Administrator, will be away for two weeks beginning July 10. If there is an urgent need for security changes during that time, they will be accomodated. However, it would be preferable and helpful if staff could get all antici pated changes to Linda by July 6 so she can complete them before she leaves.

    Internet Fair planning continues
    The third annual Harvard Internet Fair is tentatively scheduled for Thursday and Friday, November 16th and 17th of this year. The Fair includes presentations and workshops providing information about various aspects of the Internet to the Harvard Univers ity community. Presenters from within the community share their expertise and experience with Internet tools, resources, and services. At this time, the Fair's Planning Committee is looking for your suggestions and assistance in organizing this year's Fa ir. We are looking for:

    • Presenters -- anyone with Internet experience willing to share their knowledge,
    • Suggestions -- for topics or presentations you would like to see offered at the Fair, and
    • Comments about previous years' Fairs.

    Send your comments/suggestions to one of the following Planning Committee members:

    Julie Wetherill (julie_wetherill@harvard.edu or 495-3724)
    Phyllis Mitzman (phyllis_mitzman@harvard.edu or 495-9678)
    Anne Marie Countie (anne_marie_countie@harvard.edu or 495-1821)

    An Internet Fair WWW home page has been set up to provide information as planning proceeds. Point your browser to Harvard's WWW home page:


    and look for the Fair's home page under "Other Harvard World Wide Web Servers." If your browser supports Forms, you can send your comments and suggestions about the Fair directly from this home page.

    Cataloging network-based resources
    Earlier this year, the HOLLIS Administrative Advisory Committee (HAAC) approved the recommendations of a special working group on cataloging network-based resources in HOLLIS. What follows is information about the group's recommendation and a descriptio n of a drawback to it's implementation.

    Two of the Working Group's recommendations include the implementation of the MARC 856 field in HOLLIS holdings records and a new location code "net" (networked resource) to represent information resources widely available electronically. Field 856 is de fined to hold location and access information for an electronic item (for example, an electronic journal available from a World Wide Web site or a database available on HOLLIS Plus). In the Public Catalog, the 856 field displays in the LOCATIONS area of the bibliographic display with the literal "To access:". Below is an example of the "net" location and 856 field in action:

    Technical services:
    LOC/1: c: |i net |n Available through the Internet.
    856/1:1 : |u ftp://ftp.fletcher.tufts.edu/pub/diplomacy  
    856/2:7 : |u http://www.tufts.edu/departments/fletcher/multilaterals.html |2 http
    Public display:
    LOCATION:  Networked Resource
    				Available through the Internet.
    				To access: Use URL:ftp://ftp.fletcher.tufts.edu/pub/diplomac				To access: Use                                              

    To review the full set of the HAAC Working Group's recommendations, consult their report, available from OIS. A sub-group of the Bibliographic Standards Committee is currently developing guidelines for cataloging networked-based resources in HOLLIS and e xpects to hold an open meeting for library staff this Fall. Contact Robin Wendler in OIS if you have questions about this group's activities or want a copy of the HAAC Working Group's report.

    Catalogers planning to describe network-based resources in HOLLIS should be aware of a limitation to HOLLIS character handling that can impact storage and display of electronic addresses. Sometimes, these addresses (URLs) include a spacing tilde ("~"; al so called a "twiddle") or a spacing underscore ("_"; also called an "underbar"). For example:


    HOLLIS, OCLC, and many other online library systems do not currently support the spacing tilde and spacing underscore. They do support the non-spacing versions of these characters (for example, the tilde used as an accent mark) but these non-spacing cha racters have different hexadecimal values (hexadecimal format is the way HOLLIS stores characters internally) . Right now, URLs display for informational purposes only, but in the graphical, hypertextual world of HOLLIS2, a patron will probably be able to select the URL on the bibliographic record and connect to the electronic resource directly. True spacing tildes and underbars must be used in URLs or these connections will fail.

    Discussions on the NOTIS-L listserv have identified a work-around for this problem. Catalogers should use the hexadecimal values "7E" for spacing tilde and "5F" for spacing underbar, preceded by a percent sign (%), to express these characters when inputt ing URLs in bibliographic records. That is,

    would be input as:
    would be input as:

    Ugly -- yes, but World Wide Web browsing software (Mosaic, Netscape, Lynx, etc.) allows for this substitution. By substituting %7E for the tilde or %5F for the underbar, you input URLs that can be used exactly as shown by users who find these records in the Public Catalog. And, the future functionality of these URLs is preserved. So, it's a tradeoff between display and functionality, at least until a better solution comes along. Contact Jon Rothman or Robin Wendler in OIS if you have questions.

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    OIS Current Projects
    This column tracks the large and medium-sized OIS development projects underway and pending. For more information on a particular project, contact the OIS staff member in the "Contact" column.

    ProjectContactTarget dateMajor milestones
    Gov Docs data in HUR. Wendler--Waiting for test data from Bernan & Autographics - programming started.
    HU to RLINR Wendler8/95Negotiating for better functionality with RLIN.
    CICS upgradeC. Husbands12/95Strategies being evaluated.
    Recon part 3R Wendler--MeSH corrections in. MeSH authority records waiting on HOLLIS enhancement.
    HOLLIS Distributed Reporting J Rothman3/95Update methodology, documentation, and statistics continues.
    (add data to BF)
    R Wendler6/94Harrasowitz needs to resolve some data problems before OIS can load the records.
    (security enhancements in HULPBT, HULPST and HULPR)
    L Marean--Installed in HULPBT; in HULTST by mid-July.
    FETCHERRSC Husbands--"Back room" functionality being spec'd. Circ display modifications in progress.
    Keyword indexing enhancements
    (from LISH report)
    J Rothman--KW search qualification programming underway.
    UNIX server infrastructure and supportT Robinson
    K Klemperer
    7/95Develop and evaluate infrastructure for support of new server machines.
    move materials to HD)
    J Rothman--Implementation delayed until 9/1.
    HD automationK Klemperer6/95Stress testing in progress. Decision on scanner equip made.
    SEICK Klemperer1/96
    Selected OCLC SiteSearch. Evaluating hardware platforms. SiteSearch training for key developers in July.
    Finding aidsM Smith1/96Selecting authoring tool.
    DUCK Klemperer--Production deferred. Will revisit in Fall.

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