Services & Policies - Fall 1997

Library Acquires New Database Services

In 1985, the Reference staff at the University of Scranton Library previewed its first electronic index. The UMI CD-ROM product ABI-lnform, allowed patrons to use a dedicated personal computer equipped with a CD-ROM drive to search by keywords or phrases and find citations to approximately 800 business journals, with short summaries, referencing their topic. Printouts of the citations would then lead the user to a hard copy of the article in current or hound format, or (usually to their dismay) microfilm. After reading the article, the patron would make a print at the photocopier or microfilm reader-printer. Both staff and patrons were delighted with this easy to use, efficient tool for locating journal articles.
 
Additional electronic indexes were added over the next decade, with careful attention to subject area and ease of use, as well as cost and accessibility. Some products required specific hardware and single use application, while others ran on a local area network and provided multiple uses at the same time. Eventually, access to the indexes became available from remote sites across campus and from the homes of faculty, staff and students- In her, by September of 1996, over twenty indexes were available through the Weinberg Library's CD-ROM menu, while an additional twenty-five could be used at stand-alone workstations inside the Library.
 
Starting this month, electronic indexing of journals, books, and documents will become even more extensive and accessible, with the introduction of three new products to the Weinberg Library. First Search, Expanded Academic Index ASAP, Business Index ASAP, and IDEAL will couple full text document: delivery with new and enhanced indexing and abstracting products to provide patrons with complete articles available at their workstations, whether in the Library or at their home computers. Each product differs in its user interface and coverage of journals, but all offer the ease of locating an article on a particular topic and actually reading and printing the full document immediately without the hassle of checking library holdings and locating a bound journal or microfilm to actually view the full article. A brief description of each new product and access protocol follows.
 
First Search is a collection of electronic databases covering a wide range of subjects made available through OCLC, a non-profit company that provides libraries with common cataloging information and senses as a clearinghouse for interlibrary loan. Sixty-two different databases are available, all with a user-friend World Wide Web) interface. The databases are arranged by topic, such as Arts and Humanities, Business and Economics, Medicine and Health- Some databases, such as CINAHL and ERIC, are familiar to patrons who have used our CD-ROM network. Other titles were formerly available only in print format (Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature, journal of Economic Literature). Additional databases, previously accessed only through a librarian-mediated DIALOG search, are now accessible through First Search, including Dissertation Abstracts and full Medline (hack to 1966 with all journals indexed in Cumulative Index Medicus). Patrons can also search for books by subject or keyword by choosing the WorldCat database. A full bibliographic citation, including ISBN , is given, and an additional click of your mouse will let you check which libraries hold the title, if the Weinberg Library has no holdings.
 
All H. W. Wilson indexes are included, with the enhancement of abstracts to give the searcher a better idea of the article's contents. And just this summer, a full-text database was added to the service. Wilson Select Full-Text indexes over 430 journals by simple or advanced search and provides the entire text of the article to he viewed and printed or e mailed (both in ASCII text format) to your University computing account. Both popular and scholarly titles are included, most beginning their full text availability in 1995. First Search databases are restricted to current faculty, staff, and students, since access is through your University academic account passwords. Those affiliated with the University, such as alumni, Friends of the Library. University Campus School and Scranton Prep students, may request: an account which will allow them to use the services on the WML Home Page. A twenty-four hour turnaround time for this request is necessary.
 
Our second new product is actually an enhancement of the InfoTrac databases, which have been part of the Electronic index options at the Weinberg Library since September of 1995. With the assistance of a grant written cooperatively with Marywood University and funded by the McGowan Foundation , this augmented version of these popular indexes is now available. InfoTrac databases are accessible through the Internet and provide daily updates to journal and newspaper articles in a wide range of subject areas. Expanded Academic Index, Business Index and F&S U.S. Plus allow patrons to find the latest information in periodicals, with abstracts and local holdings availability: The ASAP versions of the indexes take the user one step further to the full text of the article, and offer printing (in full image or ASCII version) or e-mailing of the pages (in ASCII format). Expanded Academic Index ASAP currently offers 750 titles full-text. (up to 1000 by December 1997) while the Business Index ASAP has 500 full text titles. Both databases provide full text of periodicals ranging from popular titles such as Time, Discover, and Business Week to more scholarly journals such as Adolescence and Journal of Marketing Research. The Library will continue to provide the basic indexes and hack files to both products and offer the text and web versions to users through the University's Homepage and the WML Menu on terminals in-house.
 
IDEAL, the final full text product, is an online service offering the full text and full image of 176 scholarly journals published by the Academic Press. Full image capabilities allow the patron to access charts, graphs, and tables in their original form and print them at their workstations. A Window's based interface allows users to select titles alphabetically or by category, or they may do a quick search by keyword or phrase. Citations are ranked by relevancy, in much the same way as search engines on the Internet. work- You may choose an abstract. of a citation from your result list or search the table of contents from a particular issue of a ioumal you want to read. An additional enhancement is journal publishing information for faculty interested in sending their article to the particular journal for publication. In order to print the hull image product of a full text article, you must have the Adobe Acrobat progam loaded on your PC. This program is free of charge. You may contact the Library or the Help Desk for a handout detailing how to download to your machine. You may not e-mail the full text of IDEAL articles to your account, as the University's e-mail system does not support image products. Departments who previously subscribed to the Academic Press journals available through IDEAL met with Library staff to work out the subscription details on the service, since the program requires a three year commitment. All agreed that the new format was an opportunity to experiment with full text scholarly communication from a reputable publisher, and afforded faculty the ability to access journals previously out of range financially. Once again, this service is available from campus networked computers, twenty-four hours a day, unlimited simultaneous uses, but limited to University of Scranton affiliated patrons.
 
A change in printing policy and procedure took effect on August 21, 1997. All prints from Web-based workstations (17 in all) now queue to a high speed laser printer, housed at the Circulation Desk on the first floor of the Weinberg Library. A blue plastic pocket, attached to each PC, holds a card with the number and location of your workstation. After you send your prints to the main printer, you may take the pocket card to the main desk and ask for the prints that were sent from your station. In order to defray the cost of printing full text. articles, patrons not currently enrolled or employed by the University of Scranton are charged a ten cent per page printing fee. Students, faculty and staff will receive free prints with the presentation of a current, valid Royal Card.
 
During July and August, Bibliographic Instruction Coordinator, Katie Duke, arranged three brown hag luncheon sessions to introduce the new services to faculty and staff. Over sixty-eight participants saw Narda Tafuri, Joe Fennewald and Bonnie Strohl demonstrate the searching and printing capabilities of First Search, Expanded Academic Index ASAP, and IDEAL. More workshops will be offered during the Fall semester, and the new databases will be integrated into the Bibliographic Instniction sessions scheduled for students in the upcoming academic year. Any current faculty, staff member or student wishing additional instruction may contact Katie Duke at 941-4000 to set up an appointment for an individual session.
 
Betsey Moylan
Pride, Passion, Promise: Experience Our Jesuit Tradition