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HOLLIS Newsletter

Volume 11, Number 4 (April 1996)

Subscription Info | OIS Contacts

  • Feature Articles
  • Third Annual "Database Tips and Tricks" panel
  • OIS FTP Site Established
  • Notes and Reminders
  • Catalog Library Literal changes
  • Use of New York (N.Y.) subdivision discontinued
  • Format Integration, update
  • RLIN Format Integration Changes
  • SilverPlatter search guide online
  • HOLLIS Distributed Reporting Help File for Windows
  • Minutes from the March Meeting
  • OIS Current Projects
  • Training Schedule
  • Calendar

    Third Annual "Database Tips and Tricks" panel
    by Julie Wetherill
    Harvard Reference Librarians demonstrated some of their online database prowess at the third annual "Database Tips & Tricks" panel at the March Liaisons meeting. Panelists demonstrated the UNIX-SPIRS interface for SilverPlatter databases via HOLLIS Plus and spoke briefly about five of the six individual SilverPlatter databases. There were also presentations on two Eureka databases: Newspaper Abstracts and Dissertation Abstracts.

    SilverPlatter/UNIX-SPIRS interface
    Michael Blake

    [Editor's note: HOLLIS Plus uses a UNIX-SPIRS client to provide access to the SilverPlatter databases hosted by Harvard College Library. For users familiar with SilverPlatter, connecting via HOLLIS Plus leads to an interface that is reminiscent of their Silver Platter PC/SPIRS client. UNIX/SPIRS provides a relatively unfancy VT-100 interface when compared to the graphical WIN/SPIRS clients installed on dedicated SilverPlatter workstations available in many HCL units. But HOLLIS Plus continues to be a m ajor pathway to SilverPlatter data.]

    Using Medline as an example, Michael demonstrated some of the basic features of the UNIX-SPIRS interface. From the database selection screen, use the spacebar to highlight a disc and press Enter to select it. From the database's introductory screen, the F3 function key displays a list of help topics specific to that database. Pressing F1 provides context-specific help. It was evident from audience comments that some users have had trouble using function keys with this interface. Michael noted that HO LLIS Plus uses telnet to access the SilverPlatter databases and it is telnet's keymap which determines how keys perform. An alternative is to press ESCAPE to display a command menu and TAB to the command (or type a command's letter) and press ENTER. It is possible to alter the keymap of the local telnet application, but you need to know what key sequences are expected by SilverPlatter. Jon Rothman suggested that staff should contact HCL Automation with further inquiries about SilverPlatter key mapping.

    To search, press F4 to display the FIND prompt and type in the word or words to be searched. The default is to search all fields, although it is possible to specify that a word be found only in a specific field (using IN). If you mistype and your backsp ace key does not work, try control - h or control - backspace to delete one character at a time to the left. Search results appear as numbered sets. Press F4 to display or "Show" individual records. Use control - f (forward) and control - b (backward) to browse through the list of records. A command menu at the bottom of the display allows you to mark the record (for downloading), select search terms from the displaying record, change display options, download the record, or start a new search. Press ing ESCAPE will display a larger set of command options, including the ability to search terms in the Index or the database Thesaurus.

    Besides problems with keymapping, Michael described problems related to the download and print functions. You can download SilverPlatter records from the UNIX/SPIRS interface, but the download destination option must first be changed from file to interne t address. Do this by selecting the download menu option (or control - D) and following the prompts for changing options. Although the option appears in the command menu, SilverPlatter's Print command will not work from the UNIX/SPIRS interface. If the re is a printer attached to your local workstation, you might be able to use the screen print function of your browser, or of telnet, to print a screen. Removing "Print" from UNIX/SPIRS menus would be helpful, but SilverPlatter reportedly has no plans to change the configuration of its UNIX/SPIRS client. Suzanne Kemple observed that printing may be available from workstations using SilverPlatter's graphical client (assuming a local printer is attached).

    GeoRef (SilverPlatter)
    Connie Wick

    GeoRef, produced by the American Geological Institute, covers from 1785 to the present (for North American geology; 1933- for the rest of the world). Connie related the unusual composition of the three discs that make up GeoRef on SilverPlatter. Disc on e includes citations through 1979 and Disc two covers 1980 through 1989. However, neither Disc is labelled with coverage information because newly added citations for older materials are being added to Disc 3, which is supposed to cover 1988 to the prese nt. Remastering of these discs is planned, which should solve this problem.

    GeoRef covers theses (mostly doctoral), maps, books, journals and other publications in the earth sciences. The interdisciplinary nature of this field means that you might come across environmental, legal and medical topics as well. A large amount of fo reign material is included, so the language limit (la= or ... in la) is very useful. GeoRef does not perform authority work on author names; Connie recommended that users look up a name in the Index before searching. To limit a search by year of publica tion in GeoRef, use "yr= ..." or "... in yr" rather than py (that is, trilobite and py=1990 will not work, but trilobite and yr=1990 will work). Records sometimes provide the latitude and longitude in the "MC" field in cases where the publication describ es a specific location.

    The American Geological Institute maintains a Web site containing more information about GeoRef and other AGI services. Point your browser to: http://jei.umd.edu/agi/georef.html.

    Biological Abstracts (SilverPlatter)
    Dorothy Solbrig

    SilverPlatter's Biological Abstracts database compiles the citations from three indexes: Biological Abstracts, BIOResearch Index, and BA/RRM (Reports, Reviews, Meetings). Beginning in 1992, citations to review articles and short communications were also included.

    Biological Abstracts includes last name and initials of authors. You can search the last name only (for example, rothman) or include a hyphen, the first initials, and a truncation symbol (rothman-j*). Names are bound with hyphens so searches including f irst initials must include these. The truncation symbol specifies that you want this name and any middle initials. The search rothman-j without truncation does not work. If in doubt, look up a name in the Index before searching.

    The Descriptor field (DE) in these records contains keywords added by BIOSIS indexers. These terms are words taken from the article. Dorothy recommended limiting searches to terms in this field as a way to reduce the size of search results. Concept cod es (CC) and Biosystematic codes (BC) are controlled terminology that describes the article topic. Concept codes describe broad subject areas; Biosystematic codes describe broad taxonomic categories of organisms. Use these to increase the precision of a search. As an example, Dorothy combined the Concept code CC07003 (animal behavior) with the term "lek" (a word with several different definitions) to insure that resulting records related to mate selection systems (one specific meaning of lek).

    Econlit (SilverPlatter)
    Gillian Bartoo

    Econlit indexes the literature in economics and related fields. Ninety-nine percent of the materials indexed are in English. One great strength of Econlit are citations to working papers, especially those issued by the National Bureau of Economics (NBER ). NBER is affiliated with Harvard; they maintain a gopher site (nber.harvard.edu) with more information about their publications.

    To find publications of the NBER, Gillian suggested limiting by the source field: national bureau of economic research in so and mankiw in au was the example used at the meeting. The AV field, when present, indicates how the paper can be acquired (Litta uer does not collect every working paper published). If AV is not present, there may be an affiliation field (AF) indicating where the author is from and this may be useful when trying to locate the paper. Working papers are often later published in jou rnals. Econlit records do not indicate when this has happened, but there may be separate records for the working paper and the article.

    Medline (SilverPlatter)
    Michael Blake

    Medline compiles citations from Index Medicus, Abridged Index Medicus (500 most important journals in the field), Index to Dental Literature, International Nursing Index, and Health Planning and Administration. Medline records are tagged with subset data (SB field) to allow you to limit your search to one category of publication.

    Michael stressed the importance of using the medical subject heading thesaurus (MeSH) as a guide when searching Medline. He used as an example the search for the terms cancer and marijuana. The first change was to include internal truncation (?) to allo w for spelling variations (marijuana, marihuana): cancer and mari?uana. Next he consulted the Thesaurus (control - T) for the term marijuana and noted the see reference to cannabis. Selecting that term led to the term details (a hierarchical tree struct ure with this term and narrower/ broader terms is also available). He selected the term and specified that all subheadings of cannabis be included in the search. The resulting search, cancer and cannabis, provided five times the number of hits as cancer and mari?uana. Michael then searched cancer in the Thesaurus and found a see reference to neoplasms. He exploded this term (including all narrower subheadings of neoplasms as part of the search). In the end, the search included cancer or neoplasms (an d all subheadings) and marijuana or cannabis (and all subheadings).

    Sociofile (SilverPlatter)
    Steve Love

    Sociofile indexes literature in sociology and related disciplines, both theoretical and applied. Sociofile is an electronic version of Sociological Abstracts and Social Planning/Policy and Development Abstracts (SOPODA). It indexes journal articles from 1974 forward, plus enhanced citations from Dissertation Abstracts International since 1986. There is a time lag in the loading of current data; citations from April 1995 are the latest on file but an update with more recent data should be occurring soon.

    Steve used the topic immigration to illustrate effective search techniques. To find literature reviews on this topic, he suggested the search: immigra* in de and (review near literature or review near research). Research as a genre term was included bec ause there is no one standard convention to identify literature reviews. One major source of literature reviews is the Annual Review of Sociology. To find citations from this publication, limit by the JN field: immigration and annual-review-of-sociology in jn. [From the Editor: titles in JN are hypenated and the hyphens must be included for the search to work. It may be safer to look the journal title up in the Index first, search it, and combine this with the topic (immigration) in a new sear ch.] To focus on policy-oriented materials, Steve narrowed the search to citations from SOPODA (a subfile with an emphasis on policy issues): immigra* in de and sopoda in sb.

    Sociofile search results appear to be arranged chronologically (most recent first) but a quick browse will uncover recent citations near the end of the list. To produce a true chronological list, Steve recommended changing the display options to sort res ults by PY (publication year). However, result sets larger than 100 records cannot be sorted.

    Newspaper Abstracts (Eureka)
    Ellen Isenstein

    Newspaper Abstracts contains records describing articles from 27 major regional, national, financial, and ethnic newspapers, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times. Eureka does not provide a list of these 27 titles w ithin the online file, but one is available from RLG's Web site. The URL http://www-rlg.stanford.edu/cit-list.html leads to a page with links to journal lists for all of RLG's CitaDel files.

    Ellen highlighted some of the strengths and weaknesses of Newspaper Abstracts and the Eureka interface. The exact journal title search (FIND RT) is not well publicized but can assist in retrieving citations from a specific newspaper. The form/genre sear ch (FIND FG) can limit citations by article type (feature, editorial, cartoon, etc.). Use the singular form when searching by FG.

    There is no general keyword search available in Eureka. For the broadest search, combine words from titles (tiw) with words from subject fields (suw) and abstracts (ab). Phrase searching is not possible and Eureka does not support proximity searching (n ear, with). One alternative is to use an exact Find search (find au, find ti, etc.) when you know the exact heading. Include the truncation mark (?) with exact searches to insure retrieval of headings with different endings. Subject keyword searches (f ind suw presidential elections) assume that the terms must appear in the same subject heading. If you do not want terms in your subject search limited to a single heading, combine separate keyword searches: find suw presidential elections and find suw do le.

    Dissertation Abstracts (Eureka)
    Deborah Kelley-Milburn

    Dissertation Abstracts citations describe dissertations and masters' theses in all areas of academic research at over 550 universities, including almost all North American graduate schools and many European universities (British and European citations sta rt in 1988). Dissertation Abstracts covers 1861 to the present for dissertations and 1962 to the present for theses. Abstracts have been included for dissertations since 1980; masters' theses abstracts date from 1988 (abstracts for pre-1988 citations are available in the print version). This file corresponds to print titles: Dissertation Abstracts International, American Doctoral Dissertations, Comprehensive Dissertation Index, and Masters Abstracts International. One important caveat about coverage: th e year in Dissertation Abstracts records is the year it was published in one of the above publications, not necessarily the date of the degree. There is a Note field containing the degree date, but it is not currently possible to limit searches by this d ate, although it may be in the near future.

    Do not assume that Dissertation Abstracts is comprehensive. There are institutions not well represented in this database, including Harvard's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, which did not make theses available in microfilm until 1982. Foreign cove rage is very small. Complementary sources available at Widener include: Index to Theses: Great Britain & Ireland (CD-ROM) and Guide to Theses and Dissertations: An International Bibliography. (Widener RR 705.42.10)

    Since Widener also offers the CD-ROM version of Dissertation Abstracts, Deborah made some comparisons. Advantages to Dissertation Abstracts via Eureka include: ability to search the entire database (the CD-ROM version is stored in disc segments), frequen t updates (Eureka is monthly; CD-ROM version is semi-annual), and access from home or office. Since most users want only simple searches, the Eureka version meets most needs.

    The CD-ROM version does offer a more sophisticated search interface. There are searchable fields missing from the Eureka version, such as School Name, School Code, and Advisor. In Eureka, these elements appear at the end of the author field and can be r etrieved by author keyword (find auw). Since Eureka searches are not string searches as in HOLLIS, use of either the Browse mode or truncation is essential, especially in author searches. The lack of a broad keyword search (similar to kw in HOLLIS) make s subject searching more difficult; you have to search suw (subject word), tiw (title word) and ab (abstract) to accomplish what a simple KW search does in HOLLIS. The only limit available in Eureka is date.

    Printing and Downloading are also more sophisticated in the CD-ROM version. In Eureka, you can only send complete search results to e-mail or make screen prints. On the CD-ROM, you can mark individual records and either print or download them to disc.

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    OIS anonymous FTP Site established
    by Julie Wetherill
    An OIS anonymous FTP site -- elmer.harvard.edu-- now exists to provide electronic access to documents and other online files created or distributed by OIS. Point your FTP client to elmer.harvard.edu, login in as an onymous and give your complete e-mail address as password. Then change to the "pub" directory. At this time, there are 3 subdirectories to choose from:

    • /pub/HOLLIS_Public containing HOLLIS public information sheets, in WordPerfect formatted files
    • /pub/HPLUS_Public containing HOLLIS Plus public information sheets, in WordPerfect formatted files
    • and /pub/hdr (for HOLLIS Distributed Reporting) containing Windows help files for use with the GQL query tool.
    This FTP site is under heavy construction -- OIS will be adding many more files starting in April. But, the GQL help files are ready for the taking, which is why the site has been announced now. Later in April, OIS plans to unveil its Home Page on the World Wide Web. All files from this FTP site will be easily downloadable from the OIS Home Page. If you have questions, contact Young Sul in OIS.

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    Notes and Reminders
    by Peter BG Shoemaker

    Catalog Library Literal changes
    OIS recently changed the Public Catalog display of four library location names as follows:

    • Widener Documents is now Documents (Lamont)
    • Widener Microforms is now Microforms (Lamont)
    • Botany Arnold (Main) is now Botany Arnold (Cambr.)
    • Botany Arnold (JP) is now Botany Arboretum (JP)

    The corresponding HOLLIS MARC holding unit codes -- doc, mic, arn, and ajp -- have not changed. If you have questions, contact Robin Wendler in OIS.

    Use of New York (N.Y.) as a subdivision discontinued
    The Library of Congress Cataloging Policy and Support Office Summary of Decisions, Editorial Meeting Number 10, March 6, 1996, includes this statement:

    "The exceptional practice of assigning New York (N.Y.) as a geographic subdivision directly after subject headings has been discontinued. New York now follows the normal rules for geographic subdivision and is divided through New York (State), as in the example Experimental theater--New York (State)--New York. Additional details about this change in practice will be published in the next issues of Library of Congress Cataloging Newsline and Cataloging Service Bulletin."

    Peter Lisbon put through a HOLLIS global change request last night which changed 10,271 subject headings to the new form. Contact Robin Wendler in OIS if you have any questions.

    Format Integration, update
    Format Integration and OCLC's changes changes have appeared in HULPR, and RLIN plans to change their system not later than April 21. However, RLIN will currently accept records via tapeload in the new format.

    Since the public meeting on format integration and the distribution of documentation, there have been two minor changes to the planned HULPR fixed field displays.

    1) In response to suggestions at the meeting, the old serials format CNTNT field, which contained 4 characters - one giving the nature of the entire work and three codes for nature of contents - will be broken out into two fields in order to stay in sync h with OCLC's use of this information. HOLLIS will use the label ENTW for the first character and will continue to use the CNTNT label for the remaining three codes.

    2) Because the majority of new records in the Mixed Material format (HOLLIS Format U, or the old AMC format) will be materials treated archivally, in this format only the default in the ARCV field will be 'a'. If you are using the Mixed Material format a nd are NOT treating the materials archivally, change this byte to blank. In other formats, the default will be blank, and the byte must be set to 'a' by the cataloger when appropriate.

    If you have any other questions or concerns about format integration, please contact Robin Wendler in OIS.

    RLIN Format Integration Changes
    The following brief announcement was added to the RLIN SHOW NEWS display on 7 March 1996; a longer description of RLIN changes for format integration was added to the RLIN SHOW CHANGES display, and is also available on the World Wide Web..

    Near the end of April, RLG will implement the last phase of format integration for the eight bibliographic files. Afterward, there will still be eight separate bibliographic files in RLIN, and each (except for the AMC file) will still have its own distin ctive set of fixed fields (only slightly different from the current ones) representing parts of field 008. In the AMC file, a user will choose which set of fixed fields (from field 008) to use when he or she creates a record. Other files will correspond to primary material types, and users will indicate primary material type by selecting a file for input or searching.

    To see a detailed description of format integration changes in RLIN, while in RLIN type SHOW CHANGES.

    Two OIS-sponsored discussion lists--HULINFO and LIBINFO-- have successfully made the transition to a new host (Elmer) and new software (ListProc). All messages to these lists should now be addressed to

    [list name]@elmer.harvard.edu, e.g., hulinfo@elmer.harvard.edu.

    New subscriptions to either list should be addressed to:

    listproc@elmer.harvard.edu and the

    message should be: sub [list name] [your name], e.g., sub hulinfo John Smith.

    For subscribers interested in learning more about ListProc software, there are some help documents available by e-mail request to listproc@elmer.harvard.edu. A message containing the text help listproc will return a mail message with general information about ListProc. The text help set will return information about customizing your subscription options. If you send an invalid request, that is, ask for a help document that does not exist, such as help wombat, you will receive a list of the help documen ts available.

    OIS is in the process of transferring the list archives (files of previous list messages) to Elmer. These will be moved later in April and there will be an announcement when they are available. HULINFO and LIBINFO mail messages sent after the move to El mer will be logged on Elmer and can be requested using the ListProc get command. Information about get and related archive commands can be found in the help listproc document.

    If you have questions, contact Julie Wetherill in OIS.

    SilverPlatter online search guide available
    OIS has just released a SilverPlatter Search Guide, now available on HOLLIS Plus. This hypertext Guide describes the functions available from the UNIX-SPIRS interface to SilverPlatter databases via HOLLIS Plus.

    Links to this Guide appear on the resource page for each SilverPlatter database. Note that this guide is specific to the UNIX-SPIRS interface; some information will not apply if you are using the WIN-SPIRS graphical interface to SilverPlatter.

    If you have questions, contact Julie Wetherill in OIS.

    HOLLIS Distributed Reporting Help File for Windows
    The Windows Help file provides application-specific information on using HOLLIS Distributed Reporting with the GQL query tool. Once installed, the Help file is accessible from your GQL session by choosing Help...HDR Help.


    • If you don't know the exact name of an attribute in the HDR model, you can easily identify an attribute name by using the Search button. Search for:
      • Alternate name (e.g., a search for XPM will show you that the name in the HDR database is Expected Payment Method)
      • Source MARC tag (e.g., a search for 260 will show you that the corresponding HDR attributes are Imprint Subfield a and Imprint Subfield b)
      • Object name (e.g., a search for Bibliographic Data will display an alphabetical list of all attributes in the object)
      • Search for topics (e.g. search for NULL, Call Number, etc. for a list of related topics).
    • The Help File also includes a Glossary. Its primary use to is to determine the location of attributes in the GQL model. For example, to determine which object the field 'Activity Status' is in, look up 'Activity Status' in the Glossary. Then, use Attribute Help in the GQL model itself to find more details about each attribute found in the Glossary.

    To get and install your copy:

    Specific instructions for getting the files will vary according to your ftp client. Key things to know:

    • Point your ftp client at: elmer.harvard.edu
    • Log in with the userid: anonymous
    • Supply your email address as the password
    • Use binary transfer
    • Change to directory: /pub/hdr
    • Get the file hdr.hlp

    The file must be copied to the same subdirectory where the administrative hdr model resides. Look for the file named 'hdr.gqa' and copy hdr.hlp to the same subdirectory.

    To use HDR Help from your GQL session, choose Help...HDR Help.


    OIS will be establishing a home page on the World Wide Web later this spring. The Help files (including future revisions) will be easily downloaded from there. Updates to the file will be announced via the hdr-users mailing list.

    Mac users: hardcopy of the file contents will be made available. Please contact Martha Creedon at OIS if you are interested. Please forward any questions to Martha Creedon.

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    Minutes from the March Meeting
    by Peter BG Shoemaker

    7 millionth record in HU
    In early March, HU record BFR6098, created by the Botany Library and titled Ueber den bau eines erwachsenen Stammes von Cycas circinalis, put the Harvard Union Catalog over the seven million bibliographic record mark.

    Annual bills from OIS
    Annual billing for databases and item records is late this year, and will come out with the March bills.

    Phone chain vs e-mail notification
    The request at the last Liaisons' meeting for comments on the continued utility of the HOLLIS phone chain in reporting problems, and the suggestion that it be replaced with an e-mail message on HULINFO drew 18 responses: 11 for, 3 mixed, 4 against. Those not in favor cited unreliable mail systems and network problems as some reasons for relying on a phone chain. For the time being, OIS has instituted HULINFO notification along with an abbreviated phone chain. Units not in favor of e-mail notification wi ll continue to be called while all others will receive notification via HULINFO. Contact Jon Rothman in OIS if your unit should be added to the phone chain.

    Format Integration update

    Robin Wendler gave an update on format integration, thanking everyone for their patience in its early stages. She reported that so far things are going well, although at present the changes are effecting technical services only. Later this year, search and display changes to take advantage of format integration will be implemented. OIS will be taking Public Catalog issues related to Format Integration to SSHUSH soon. Updates on catalog development will appear in this newsletter and on HULINFO.

    The Annual HOLLIS/HOLLIS Plus Tips and Tricks presentation followed the announcements.

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    5 April ABCD-Main Meeting
    12 noon, Aiken 241

    9 April ABCD-Library Group
    12 noon - 1 pm, Aiken 241

    9 April Everything you always wanted to know about the Harvard Data Center
    10 - 11 am, Lamont 511
    Space is limited, please contact Kathleen Donovan at 5-3421 or donovaka@hugse1.harvard.edu

    10 April ABCD-WWW 3:15 - 5:00pm, 1280 Mass., Ave., Suite 404

    17 April Technical Services Managers Roundtable
    12 noon - 1 pm, ACT Room
    Developing a HUL Technical Services Home Page

    3 May ABCD-Main Meeting
    12 noon, Aiken 241

    8 May HOLLIS Liaisons Meeting
    2:30 - 4:00 pm, Lamont Forum Room
    Agenda to be announced.

    8 May ABCD-WWW
    3:15 - 5:00pm, 1280 Mass., Ave., Suite 404

    14 May ABCD-Library Group
    12 noon - 1 pm, Aiken 241 p>

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    OIS Current Projects
    ProjectContactTarget dateMajor milestones
    Gov DocsM. Smith2/29Getting Bernan shipping records; setting up cataloging.
    Format integrationR. Wendler3/96Will be writting checklist and consulting with librarians.
    FETCHERRS (HD retrieval)C. Husbands2/96Done
    HU to RLINR Wendler10/95Model approved; programming to be scheduled
    CICS upgradeC. Husbands6/96Initial 'strategic' coversions in progress
    UNIX server infrastructure and supportT Robinson
    K. Klemperer
    --Working on Business Resumption Plan for server
    HD automationT Robinson12/96FETCHERRS in production.
    SEICK. Klemperer6/96Prototype of generic user interface being tested
    Finding aidsM. Smith2/8Doing mark-up, designing SiteSearch database

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