TABLE OF CONTENTS
September Database Transition
September is a month of transition for databases available from HOLLIS and HOLLIS Plus. Wednesday September 2nd will witness eleven databases moved to new providers, three new offerings, and two removed permanently. Two important outcomes of this project, dubbed the "database transition," will be consolidation of databases under a single web interface and migration of databases out of HOLLIS in advance of HOLLIS II. This article provides details and timing of the transition.
Databases in the transition
In a separate deal, Harvard will consolidate a large number of existing databases under the OVID web interface. Of the databases in this deal, 3 are existing OVID databases, 7 will replace databases from HOLLIS and SilverPlatter, and 2 are new (consult the list on page 3).
Two existing OVID databases, Dissertation Abstracts and ABI/INFORM, will be replaced by versions available from UMI.
The two remaining SilverPlatter databases Biological Abstracts and GeoRef will be delivered remotely via the SilverPlatter WebSPIRS interface. Joining them will be a new offering Zoological Record.
Database Transition Team
HOLLIS and HOLLIS Plus warnings about these changes will appear by mid-August. In HOLLIS, the database selection screen and search options screens of affected databases will contain a note about the impending change. Similar notes will be added to the launch pages of databases in HOLLIS Plus.
After the transition, notices in HOLLIS and HOLLIS Plus will redirect users to the new databases. In HOLLIS, search option screens for the removed databases will remain, with a note and URL to the replacement on HOLLIS Plus. In HOLLIS Plus, users who have bookmarked the launch page of a resource that has moved will be redirected to the new launch page. The usual announcements will appear in the "What's New" area and an ad will appear on the graphical billboard on the main menu of HOLLIS Plus.
If you have questions about this transition, please contact Peter Cohn or Ed Tallent (Co-Chairs of the Database Transition Team).
Process Behind the Transition
The Database Transition Project began as an investigation by NERL (the North East Research Library consortium) into abstracting and indexing (A&I) services offering full text. To assist in this endeavor, the ULC (University Library Council) set up an Ad Hoc "Database Committee." The NERL effort fell through in the Spring of 1998, but the ULC decided that the Ad Hoc Committee would pursue A&I full text investigations independently.
During their investigations, Ad Hoc Committee members noticed that many of Harvard's big database contracts were due to expire this summer. The ULC decided to broaden the Ad Hoc Committee's charge to include consolidation of database offerings with a single vendor. Besides the timing of Harvard's data contracts, two other important factors influenced their interest in database consolidation:
1. The College Library wanted to discontinue running a SilverPlatter server locally, and
2. OIS needed to move databases out of HOLLIS in advance of HOLLIS II.
The consolidation of databases under a single user interface would also benefit users, who would find the same familiar look and feel for a large number of medium- and high-use resources. For financial administrators, consolidation would mean savings in costs and the logistics of contract management.
While the Ad Hoc Committee handled business deal issues, COERS (the Committee on Electronic Research Services) was asked to evaluate functionality, first for A&I full text offerings from UMI, IAC and EBSCO and then later, web interfaces offered by OVID and SilverPlatter as part of consolidation planning.
In conjunction with the COERS evaluation, Harvard sent out a Request for Proposal to both OVID and SilverPlatter for prices on database configurations.
The final decisions regarding UMI Proquest Research Library as the A&I full text offering and OVID as the web interface for consolidation came earlier this summer, followed by contract negotiations and implementation planning that continued through late August.
Future of Remaining HOLLIS Databases
When the transition to OVID and UMI is complete, there will be seven databases remaining in the HOLLIS Public Catalog. Some of these will be migrated out of HOLLIS, others will make the transition to HOLLIS II. Below is the rundown by database.
Note that the OW (Older Widener) database is scheduled to disappear from the current HOLLIS Public Catalog as part of the September 2nd database transition. OW (now at approximately 7,800 records) will still be available in HULPR technical services mode (LTOW) while Widener continues cleanup activities. But OW will not make the transition to HOLLIS II.
HU (Union Catalog) and RV (Course Reserves) databases will transition to HOLLIS II, although it is not clear at this time how course reserves processing will be handled in our new library system.
Information about Harvard libraries, such as that provided by the LG (Library Guide) database, will be needed under HOLLIS II as well, but the form it will take is not clear. As part of implementation planning, OIS will examine what the Taos system offers in this area.
The fate of the remaining publicly available databases Anthropological Literature (AL), Legal Resource Index (LR), Physics Preprints (PP) and RISM (RS) is not clear at this point. OIS is now consulting with sponsors of these databases about possible options.
The fate of those special databases that the public does not see Roosevelt Collection (RC), Unitarian Pamphlets (UP), Books File (BF) and Subject Heading Authorities (SH) is similarly unclear at this point. How these databases fit into the transition to our next system will be an important part of HOLLIS II implementation planning.
Database Access Control and the Harvard ID
With all the changes this Fall, now is a good time to review the methods of authentication used by Harvard to control access to restricted databases.
Who is eligible
There are two basic methods OIS uses to authenticate someone as a valid Harvard user. The preferred method is by Harvard ID and when this is not possible, by network IP address (that is, computers attached to a Harvard network). IP-based restriction is a popular access control method among database providers, but it does not work well in the Harvard environment because network location maps poorly to Harvard's population and does not allow for off-campus access. In response to this IP-based trend, OIS implemented a "pass-through" proxy server in mid-1997. Proxy allows us to place Harvard ID authentication in front of an IP-based resource.
Authentication by Harvard ID
During the authentication process, a Harvard ID is considered invalid under the following conditions:
In HOLLIS, a patron's name and ID number are checked against the patron file and if any of the above conditions exist, access will be refused. In HOLLIS Plus, the process is slightly different. The program that extracts data to HOLLIS Plus selects only valid patron records based on the above conditions. Records for patrons with expired IDs (for example) never make it to HOLLIS Plus. During authentication, an ID is rejected based on its absence from the HOLLIS Plus patron file rather than a specific invalid condition.
When valid IDs are rejected
The standard approach for these situations is to have the patron contact one of Harvard's four library Access Control Centers:
Staff at these locations can issue a temporary access control ID to a patron holding a valid Harvard ID who has been denied access to restricted databases.
If you have questions about database access control, contact Julie Wetherill in OIS.
Profile: the Proquest Research Library
by Fred Burchsted
On September 2nd, Expanded Academic Index will disappear from HOLLIS. It will be replaced (in HOLLIS Plus) by the ProQuest Research Library (PRL) database delivered via the ProQuest Direct 2.0 web interface from UMI. PRL will be generally similar to AI in periodicals indexed, but will offer full-text for about one half of the approximately 2,000 journals included. Remote access to PRL will be restricted to users with valid Harvard IDs; but there will be no access restrictions from workstations within Harvard libraries. Harvard's license for this database specifies unlimited access (that is, there is no simultaneous user limit).
ProQuest is web-based and uses the increasingly familiar point and click navigation and pull-down menus. Both simple and advanced search screens are available with automated help given in the Search Assistant. Boolean operators and proximity searching are included, and full-text may, optionally, be searched. A wide variety of complex searches and limitations is possible, including person prominently mentioned, author affiliation, company name, geographic name, statistical content, word count, etc.
Search results are available in five different display formats: citation, citation plus abstract, HTML full text, HTML full text plus thumbnail graphics, or Acrobat page images (requiring the Acrobat reader software as a browser plug-in). One or more full text options are available for about half of the periodicals that are indexed. Articles can be marked for later printing or emailing.
Unlike Academic Index in HOLLIS, PRL will not offer a hook to Harvard holdings. This is a regrettable but unavoidable consequence of this move to a new provider. Hopefully users will consider the availability of full text for many PRL citations as a worthy trade. While not as convenient, users can always establish a connection to the HU database in HOLLIS to do a title or ISBN lookup of the source periodical.
Although Academic Index itself will be gone on September 2, its launch page in HOLLIS Plus will remain to guide users to ProQuest; there will be a notice of the change on the HOLLIS screen as well.
URLs to additional information:
Proquest Research Library test account (expires 8/30/98):
General information from the UMI web site:
A list of titles indexed by PRL (current as of July 20th):
Notes & Reminders
EndNote, Z39.50, and Databases at Harvard
EndNote uses a built-in Z39.50 client to provide this search capability. The documentation that comes with the software indicates that EndNote is able to connect to any bibliographic database that supports the Z39.50 protocol. Also included are predefined "connection files" allowing EndNote to access and search over 100 databases and library catalogs. For databases or catalogs not on their list, Niles suggests that a user contact the database provider or a librarian to inquire if the database is Z39.50 compliant. What they don't make clear is that more than a Z39.50-compliant database is required to make this work.
EndNote version 3 cannot search the "classic" HOLLIS system (and all databases within it) because HOLLIS does not support the Z39.50 protocol. Harvard's new public catalog, scheduled to debut during the summer of 1999, is expected to support Z39.50.
Some databases available from HOLLIS Plus do support the Z39.50 protocol, including databases from FirstSearch, OVID, and Eureka. However, to point EndNote at a particular database the user would need to include the account login and password as part of the EndNote "connection file." To distribute this information would be a violation of our vendor contracts. A solution to this password distribution problem would be for Harvard to implement a Z39.50 gateway that would negotiate your EndNote Z39.50 connection and handle the login procedure. This Z39.50 gateway will be in place around the time that Harvard implements its new library catalog in the summer of 1999.
If you have questions, contact Julie Wetherill in OIS.
Desktop upgrades and McGill portability
If you are a McGill TCP3270 user and your desktop microcomputer is scheduled to be upgraded, you will probably be able to save your custom McGill settings for use on the new computer. McGill TCP3270 is terminal emulation software widely used to access the HOLLIS staff system (HULPR).
The macros, color settings, font choices, session profiles, etc. that you create are all saved in a configuration file called "net3270.ini", most likely stored on the hard drive of your microcomputer in the c:\windows subdirectory. Net3270.ini is just an ascii (text) file, easy to copy to another directory on your local network or onto a floppy disk. Once your new microcomputer is installed, you can replace the relevant portions of the new net3270.ini file with information from the old .ini file. If your copy of McGill was upgraded to a new version (for example, from version 2.5 to 3.14) you will want to avoid entirely replacing the new net3270.ini with the original.
Library Guide reminder
With the 1998 Fall semester about to begin, this is a reminder for libraries to update their Library Guide (LG) records with any new information about their hours of operation or services.
Accessing LG. The Library Guide is available in HULPR tech services mode, using the tran ID LTLG. To edit LG MARC records, you need to sign on to HULPR with a specific LG-authorized logonid and password. If you need this login, contact OIS.
Searching LG. The only index available in tech services mode of LG is FIND LI (library name). In the public catalog, a general keyword search (FIND KW) is also available.
Record update. LG MARC records can be updated in the same way that HU records are updated. Consult the HOLLIS Tag Tables for a complete list of available tags and subfields. Two especially useful features of the LG MARC format are field 263 (URL of library's web site) and field 382 (library hours).
For more info on fields 263 and 382, consult online HOLLIS Newsletters at the URLs:
If you need more information about editing LG records, contact OIS.
Invalid country codes in HOLLIS
OCLC has complained that too many Harvard cataloging records contain inaccurate country codes in the fixed field. For example: fre (should be fr), bul (should be bu), nej (should be nju), and uyu (should be nyu). These cause validation problems at OCLC and must be corrected manually by their staff. OCLC has asked that we be more vigilant when inputting and editing to insure that the fixed field codes are valid. Contact Robin Wendler in OIS if you have questions.
Fall 1998 public documentation
Fall 1998 reference guide distribution. At the end of August, OIS will be distributing supplies of the HOLLIS and HOLLIS Plus Reference Guides (the folded brochures describing basic system functionality) to HOLLIS Liaisons in each library unit.
For the HOLLIS Reference Guide, each library will receive a supply sufficient to cover the entire 1998-1999 academic year. The amount each unit receives please be sure to discard copies that do not have a revision date of September 1998.
For the HOLLIS Plus Reference Guide, each library will receive a supply sufficient to cover the Fall 1998 semester. This Guide has not 1997 revision date. OIS has tentative plans for changes to HOLLIS Plus around the end of 1998 that will require revisions to this Guide in time for the Spring 1999 semester. New supplies will be distributed in January 1999.
Public information sheets to be removed. OIS has discontinued the practice of producing one or two page public information sheets for new databases. As long as existing sheets remain useful, OIS will continue to offer them from its web site [http://hul.harvard.edu/ois/publications/pubs.html]. However, the Fall database transition requires that many existing sheets be removed. Below is the list. Units will want to remove copies of these sheets from their reference areas.
If you have questions, please contact Julie Wetherill in OIS.
OIS reference guide policy reminder. OIS maintains subscription records
for the number of Guides requested by each unit. Guides are usually distributed
once a year, just before the Fall semester. OIS does not keep large supplies of
these Guides on hand during the year. If your supply of Guides tends to run out
well before the Fall, consider asking OIS to increase your subscription.
Libraries that use Guides for August orientations or mailings should make sure that
their subscription is sufficient to cover these needs. Contact Patti Fucci in OIS if
you have questions.
Public Information Sheets Removed from the OIS Web Site
ATLA Religion Index
Books in Print (FirstSearch)
Dissertation Abstracts Online
Hispanic American Periodicals Index
Handbook of Latin American Studies
History of Science and Technology
Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals
MLA Bibliography (SilverPlatter)
RLG Bibliographic File
Russian Academy of Sciences Bibliographies
SilverPlatter Search Guide
World Law Index
ENV location added
A new HOLLIS location code "env" has been established to represent the Environmental Science and Public Policy Archives. This is a new collection being developed by Tom Parris, the Environmental Resources Librarian of Harvard College Library. The scope of the collection is to acquire primary documentation regarding the evolution of the environmental science and public policy movement from the mid 1960s to present. Anticipated materials include personal papers, correspondance, memoranda, report literature, books, and an assortment of specialized formats such as maps, movies, video-tapes, and audio-tapes. The Archives acquires materials via gifts of personal libraries from principal figures in the movement. Contact Tom Parris for additional information.
Digital Initiative Grant Program Calls for Proposals
Harvard's Library Digital Initiative (LDI) is a 5-year effort to develop the capacity to collect, organize, serve, and archive digital materials. A key component of this Initiative will be a series of content-centered projects intended to be a tangible demonstration of the value of the LDI program. The intent is to build a digital collection of obvious and persistent utility to the Harvard community (and, in some cases, the scholarly community at large).
Considerable funding is available to support these projects. There will be a formal process for proposing and evaluating projects. The first grants under the program will be awarded this coming fall, for which project proposals wll be due by September 18. Details about the Challenge Grant Program, including project scope, eligibility, and the proposal process, appear in a "Call for Preliminary Proposals" paper available on the web at the URL:
A print copy of this paper has also been distributed to library administrators. An electronic version was distributed via HULINFO.
Since the initial announcement, there have been a number of questions raised about the Challenge Grant program and the proposal process. In response two public sessions have been scheduled to provide an opportunity for open discussion of the purpose and processes of the grant program:
Monday, August 31, 3:30 - 4:45
Wednesday, September 9, 11:30 - 1:00
Both meetings will take place in the Lamont Forum Room. (Note that because Lamont is closed to the public on August 31, you will need to enter the building through the side door facing Wigglesworth House.) These meetings will provide information on the intention of the grant program, some guidance on things to think about in designing proposals, and a question-and-answer period.
If you have any questions, contact Dale Flecker in OIS.
OIS Projects List
This table tracks the large and medium-sized OIS developed projects that are underway or pending. For more information on a particular project, contact OIS (495-3724 or by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org).
HOLLIS Plus News
There are a few chronic problems associated with use of Lexis Academic Universe from HOLLIS Plus that library staff may want to be aware of in case patrons seek assistance from them rather than sending a plea via HOLLIS Plus comment. Actually, these problems can be generalized to any proxied HOLLIS Plus resource, but reports are most frequent for Lexis because of its popularity.
Patrons are reporting problems accessing Lexis from a computer behind a firewall. They will usually get a 404 error when selecting any of the Lexis search forms. This is also the behavior seen by AOL users trying to access Lexis. This all has to do with incompatibilities between HOLLIS Plus proxy and firewalls or AOL accounts. If someone has problems with Lexis, they also cannot use OED, Patrologia Latina, JSTOR and Project Muse journals (other proxied resources).
There may be a solution for the firewall problem later this year, but the AOL problem will probably continue indefinitely. If you have questions, contact Lydia Ievins in OIS.
Internet Explorer version 4 just avoid it!
For about a year now, patrons have been warned not to use version 4 of Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser (MSIE) if they want to access proxied HOLLIS Plus resources. A bug in early releases of version 4 made MSIE incompatible with proxied access. In June OIS reported that the latest version 4 release solved the problem, but this was premature. Problems are still occurring sporadically with the latest release, although not in every case.
Since we cannot guarantee successful access using MSIE 4, messages warning patrons to avoid this browser will continue to display on relevant resource launch pages on HOLLIS Plus (consult the list of proxied resources). Netscape is a good alternate browser choice and is freely available.
If you have questions, please contact Julie Wetherill in OIS.
Proxied HOLLIS Plus Resources
American Chemical Society titles
Bibliography of Asian Studies
Index to Theses
ISI Emerging Markets
ISI Web of Science titles
Iter: Gateway to the Renaissance
Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe
Nucleic Acids Research Online
Oxford English Dictionary
Patrologia Latina Database
Project Muse titles
Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition
Configuring Netscape v4+ or Internet Explorer v3+ to use telnet
These instructions describe how to change the Windows Explorer File Type dialogue to associate your favorite telnet client with telnet URLs encountered by your web browser. Important note: no modifications are necessary or advised within the Netscape Navigator 4+ or Microsoft Internet Explorer 3+ applications themselves.
Now your favorite telnet client will be launched from within Netscape Navigator 4+ or Microsoft Internet Explorer 3+ when it encounters a URL beginning with `telnet://' (this includes any references to the HOLLIS library system from within HOLLIS Plus!).
Upcoming HOLLIS Plus Enhancements
Archival Resources (RLIN)
EIU Country Reports (Economist Intelligence Unit)
Electronic journals from Blackwell Navigator
Middle English Compendium
Official Index to the Times (1906-1980) and Palmer's Index to the Times (1790-1905)
Statistical Universe (CIS)