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OIS News -- August 2000


HOLLIS Plus becomes HOLLIS

What has changed; what stays the same
Improved site navigation
Improved access to electronic resources
Integration of Harvard library information

Why name the portal HOLLIS?
HOLLIS portal requires changes to URLs
Publicity and public documentation for Fall 2000


Harvard-Yenching Library adds course reserves and HD requests
Transaction timeouts in HULPR
MARC 21 changes to HULPR

URLs in this issue


HOLLIS Plus becomes HOLLIS


HOLLIS Plus underwent a significant transformation on 20 August, with changes to its name, site design and content. The goal of this transformation is a Harvard library "portal" that improves access to Harvard’s electronic library resources. The new portal is officially known as HOLLIS and the URL to its home page is [ http://lib.harvard.edu/ ]. This article describes details of this transformation.

Questions or comments about the HOLLIS portal should be directed to Project Manager Caren Smith in OIS.

What has changed; what stays the same

Links to the portal's front page and to individual electronic resources changed as of 20 August. The new link to the portal's home page is http://lib.harvard.edu/. Although there have been no changes to the scope of electronic resources it offers, each of the HOLLIS portal's nearly 1,300 resources have new "names" that will require that resource links be changed, where ever they occur. Consult the separate article HOLLIS portal requires changes to URLs for more information.

For a time, the change in name from HOLLIS Plus to HOLLIS will make for confusing communications when staff in OIS and in the libraries try to talk about our current integrated library system (ILS). To minimize confusion, OIS has already begun to use modified names for the components of the ILS. Consult the separate article Why name the portal HOLLIS? for the details.

What has not changed? Direct links to the HOLLIS Public Catalog (by telnet to hollis.harvard.edu or over the web to hollisweb.harvard.edu) or to the HULPR system are not changing.

Improved site navigation

Menus. The new HOLLIS portal site has a persistent menu bar displaying at the top of every page, allowing the user to jump to any major section of the site without needing to return to the home page.


Clicking on a menu choice leads to an introductory page for that topic. Or the user can "mouse over" (roll the mouse pointer over) a menu choice to display a cascading menu and pick a specific sub-topic directly. For example, the cascading menu under the "HOLLIS Catalog" choice contains direct links for web-based and telnet-based access.

The contents of this menu bar remain accessible despite constraints of the browser (text-only browsers, no javascript support, interpretive browsers, etc.).

Another new feature, the Site Map, provides an overview of the entire site's structure with links to any page on the site.

Searching. The HOLLIS portal site offers an expanded set of search options under the Search menu choice. Of particular interest is a Library Webspace option that allows the user to search the contents of the HOLLIS portal and library web sites at Harvard. While not a new concept, the increased scope of the HOLLIS portal makes such a search potentially more useful to the user. For example, a search for "catholic encyclopedia" will not match against any of the electronic resources listed on the HOLLIS portal, but there are useful hits from several individual Harvard library web sites.

Improved access to electronic resources

Users can still view the site's nearly 1,300 electronic resources alphabetically, by subject and by type, but improvements to these listings should help them find what they seek more easily. Click the E-Resources choice from the main menu to reveal three main choices: "A to Z", "By subject" and "By type".

"A to Z" There is now a separate listing of resources under each letter of the alphabet (to reduce page loading time) but a complete alphabetic listing is available. In these alphabetic listings, journal and non-journal electronic resources are inter-filed.

"By subject" Subject categorization of resources has been improved several ways. LC-like subject headings from the HU database are now used to classify resources and there has been a modest increase in the number of headings included.

Arts and Humanities (217)

Arts and Architecture (22)
History (88)
Language and Literature (80)
Music (9)
Philosophy, psychology and religion (49)

General (69)

Bibliography (46)
General and Reference (27)

Science and Technology (760)

Agriculture (33)
Astronomy (12)
Biology (255)
Chemistry (41)
Environment (28)
General Science (32)
Geology (26)
Mathematics and Computer Science (69)
Medicine (245)
Nutrition (7)
Physics (54)
Technology (57)

Social Sciences (377)

Anthropology and Geography (29)
Economics and Sociology (178)
Education (24)
Environment (16)
History (89)
Law (19)
Military Science (5)
Naval Science (3)
Philosophy, psychology and religion (52)
Political Science (40)

The HOLLIS portal is actually using LC call numbers from the HU database to generate these headings. The larger number of headings and counts of resources under each one provide a better sense of the types of electronic resources Harvard has been acquiring. There are ongoing discussions about whether the "granularity" (level of detail) of subjects is adequate.

Also new on the HOLLIS web site is the subject classification of electronic journals.

By type "By Type" groups resources in these categories:

Dictionaries and encyclopedias (10)
Directories and guides (26)
Electronic journal collections (10)
Electronic journals (991)
Electronic texts (47)
Indexes and abstracts (909)
Library catalogs (26)
Library web sites (34)
Statistics (19)
Other (13)

followed by the count of resources in each category. This list of types may change in the future as we learn more about what is useful to users.

Jump lists The E-Resources section has three "jump lists" that provide alternate access to resources. A user can combine a selection from a subject jump list and a selection from a resource type jump list to see the intersection. For example, select "Arts and Architecture" from the subject jump list and "Indexes and abstracts" from the type jump list, click "Go" and receive a list of indexes and abstracts in that subject area.

There is also a jump list to the top ten most popular HOLLIS portal resources.


Improvements to resource listings Users can now connect to a resource directly from the list without having to pass through a launch page. (But those launch pages are still available from a "more info ..." link.) In cases where a resource title does not clearly identify its scope, a short description appears below the title on the list.



Letter icons to the left of each resource title indicate special conditions that the user will want to consider: trial resource (T), full text (F), Harvard ID required (I), campus access only (C) and APC proxy in use (A). A key explaining the meaning of these icons appears at the top of column.

Integration of Harvard library information

Information about Harvard's libraries has a more prominent place on the HOLLIS portal. The Libraries option on the menu bar leads to selections that include:

The "lists of libraries" feature replaces library information currently available from the HUL web site (http://hul.harvard.edu/libinfo/). For each library there is a page of basic information such as contact information, address and directions, holdings and access policies -- the most commonly sought-after information about Harvard's libraries. These basic information pages also link back to the library's own web site. The "Library hours" option provides hours information for all Harvard libraries. The basic information and hours pages are stored in a central database but maintained by individual libraries via a web-based form.

This basic library information duplicates to a great extent what appears in the Library Guide (LG) database of the HOLLIS Catalog. Since LG will remain available until HOLLIS II implementation, libraries are being advised to minimize the information in their LG records and add a URL that points to their basic information page on the HOLLIS web site. Ì

Why name the portal HOLLIS?

The naming of the Library Portal site has been the topic of many discussions over the last few months. The majority of committees and individuals consulted preferred to name the overall site "HOLLIS". The largest library catalog (now called "HOLLIS") now becomes "HOLLIS Catalog". The advantages of this approach include:

  • Capitalizing on the name recognition of HOLLIS,
  • Avoiding introduction of yet another arbitrary (from a new user's perspective) name,
  • Creating a diverse, general entity ("HOLLIS") which includes the specific entity ("HOLLIS catalog"). The "HOLLIS catalog" is an element of the larger set "HOLLIS", and
  • Removing the confusing system name "HOLLIS Plus".

Many new users will know what a "catalog" is even if they don't know what a "HOLLIS" is. The pairing of "catalog" with "HOLLIS" reduces the ambiguity of "HOLLIS".

It may be library staff who struggle the most with this change, given how closely the name "HOLLIS" is associated with our integrated library system. To avoid confusion, OIS will be using the following names when referring to HOLLIS and its component systems:

Entity now known as: After 20 August will be called:
HOLLIS Plus HOLLIS (or informally as HOLLIS portal)
HOLLIS HOLLIS ILS (Integrated Library System)
HOLLIS system (Public system) HOLLIS Catalog System or the Public Catalog
HULPR system (Staff system) HULPR system (Staff system) – no change

For the time being, there will be no changes in name for HOLLIS Web.

References to HOLLIS have been changed in public documentation distributed by OIS and on Help screens in the HOLLIS Catalog. In the next few weeks, the OIS web site sections on HOLLIS and HOLLIS Plus will also be modified. Ì

HOLLIS portal requires changes to URLs

Implementation of the new HOLLIS portal site means changes to URLs and to the way individual electronic resources are identified.

When the HOLLIS portal site replaces HOLLIS Plus on 20 August, the URL to the entry page of the site will change to [ http://lib.harvard.edu/ ]. For a few months after this change, browsers pointing to the old HOLLIS Plus URL [ http://hplus.harvard.edu/ ] will be redirected to the portal site. Harvard web sites with links to the current HOLLIS Plus service should plan to change these URLs to point to the HOLLIS portal on or soon after Sunday 20 August.

A more complex set of changes will affect links to individual resources on the HOLLIS portal. In the old HOLLIS Plus world, a direct link to a resource was the URL to the launch page. On the HOLLIS portal, direct links involve use of a resource name. The format of a resource name is:


where [code] is an eight-character short-hand code for the resource. As an example, for the AccessUN site:

the old HOLLIS Plus launch page URL: http://hplus.harvard.edu/alpha/accessun.html

will be replaced by a resource name: http://nrs.harvard.edu/nrs:hul.eresource:accessun

When a user clicks on a resource name, the Harvard University Library's Name Resolution Service (NRS) directs the browser to the current location of that resource. Resources names are designed to be persistent, location-independent identifiers. A change to a resource's location or access method can change, but the name stays the same. For example, the use of resource names made it possible for Harvard webmasters to change links to HOLLIS Plus resources before the HOLLIS portal's release without disrupting access. This is the first major use of the University Library's Name Resolution Service, which was developed as part of the Library Digital Initiative.

Once the HOLLIS portal site goes live, direct links to resources, whether in HU database cataloging records or on a library web page, must use the URL-like resource name. For a few months, old HOLLIS Plus launch page links will redirect the user to the HOLLIS portal. Under the direction of Ruth Haas (Serials Cataloging Team Leader and Head of CONSER), a project to revise resource URLs in HU database cataloging was completed in early August.

A list of electronic resources and their new resource names is available from the OIS web site [ http://hul.harvard.edu/ois/systems/hplus/eresource.html ]. Or visit the HOLLIS portal site to see resource names in action. Ì

Publicity and public documentation for Fall 2000

For Fall 2000, library public services staff should look out for the following changes to public documents describing the HOLLIS Catalog System and the HOLLIS portal service. Revised documents will be available during the last week of August.

HOLLIS Reference Guide (folded brochure)

A revised version of this brochure, now called "HOLLIS Catalog Reference Guide", will be distributed to libraries during the last week of August. A revised version of this Guide in HTML http://hul.harvard.edu/ois/services/pubs/hollis/hrefguide.html ], will also be available the last week of August.

HOLLIS Catalog information sheets

There are a variety of public information sheets that describe specific functions of the HOLLIS Catalog. All are being revised to correct references to "HOLLIS". All will be available the last week of August as Acrobat PDF files from the OIS web site [ http://hul.harvard.edu/ois/services/pubs/hollisdoc.html ].

HOLLIS Plus Reference Guide

A folded brochure describing the HOLLIS Plus service has been discontinued. OIS does not plan to produce a similar brochure for the HOLLIS portal; the assumption being that this new site will document itself.

Also, news about the HOLLIS portal will appear in early fall issues of the Harvard Gazette and Harvard University Library Notes. Ì


Harvard-Yenching Library adds course reserves and HD requests

This fall, staff at the Harvard Yenching Library will be supporting two new services for their clients. They will be using the HOLLIS ILS RV database to manage and circulate their course reserves collection. They will also support retrieval of their Depository materials from the HOLLIS Catalog (the GET command).

Transaction timeouts in HULPR

To combat occasional periods of slow response in the HULPR system, OIS has implemented an automatic timeout for abandoned tasks. Effective 20 July, abandoned LTxx or LPxx tasks now abend after a prescribed period of time in which no action at the terminal has been detected. The interval is 70 minutes for an LTxx task and 10 minutes for an LPxx task. The code "AZCT" in the abend message indicates a task timeout. There is no need to report AZCT abends to OIS. Just clear the screen and start work again. This timeout does not apply to LCxx tasks (circulation transactions) or to the public catalog.

OIS expects that this measure will reduce considerably the number of times that HULPR response is slowed by the maximum simultaneous tasks condition. For it to work as we hope, staff will still need to be careful about ending tasks properly (i.e. returning to a clear screen or one with only the top two lines having information) before closing terminal sessions.

Note that this change will also alleviate the "record in use" problem. If someone leaves a bibliographic record (etc.) on a screen, preventing access by other users, the record will become available again after 70 minutes of idleness instead of overnight. A patron record will be freed after ten minutes. Ì

MARC 21 changes to HULPR

During Summer 2000 OIS implemented changes to the HU tag tables and to fixed field displays for visual and cartographic materials -- all required by MARC 21 changes installed at OCLC. Changes to the tag tables were installed on 28 June and affect the following elements:

Fixed field elements: FORMAT, CATSRC, REPROD

Variable fields: 016, 027, 028, 042, 046, 052, 210, 355, 362, 526, 552, 856

Consult the 28 June tag table update memo for details about these changes.

On 26 July, OIS implemented changes to the fixed fields for visual and cartographic materials. The changes to Visual Materials in HULPR are to remove the fixed field positions for Accompanying Material (label A/MAT:) and to add a position to encode Form of Item (label REPROD:). The changes to Cartographic Materials in HULPR are to removed the fixed field position for Prime Meridian (label PR/MER:) and to add a postion to encode Form of Item (label REPROD:).

For both Visual Materials and Cartographic Materials, the codes defined for Form of Item are:

_ (blank) none of the following

a Microfilm
b Microfiche
c Microopaque
d Large print
f Braille
r Regular print reproduction
s Electronic
¦ (fill character) No attempt to code

The revised 008 and 006 fields are shown below:

New visual materials fixed field (008)

HU FMT: V ENCL: a C/DT: 07/25/00 U/DT: NONE STAT: n LGD: gm DCF: ¦ CHK: ¦

new cartographic materials fixed field (008)

HU FMT: P ENCL: a C/DT: 07/25/00 U/DT: NONE STAT: n LGD: em DCF: ¦ CHK: ¦

New visual materials 006

006 v
006: g LENGTH: ¦¦¦ AUD: T/MAT: ¦ TECH: ¦ GOV: ¦ REPROD: ¦

New cartographic materials 006

006 p

Please direct any questions to Helen Schmierer in OIS. Ì

URLs in this issue

HOLLIS portal site

HOLLIS portal test site

Information about Harvard University Library's Name Resolution Service

List of new resource names used in the HOLLIS portal

HTML version of the HOLLIS Catalog Reference Guide

List of HOLLIS Catalog public documentation

Harvard University Gazette

Harvard University Library Notes

June 28 tag table update memo

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