From your 1996-97 OCLC Users' Council Delegates:
Lee Hadden Bernard Strong Marcia Talley
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FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Chip Nilges +1-614-764-6037
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Nita Dean +1-614-761-5002
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OCLC FIRSTSEARCH ELECTRONIC COLLECTIONS ONLINE PREVIEW PROGRAM BEGINS
DUBLIN, Ohio, March 31, 1997--A preview program of the OCLC FirstSearch
Electronic Collections Online service is under way with 17 universities,
university systems and library consortia in the United States, the United
Kingdom and Australia.
The preview program provides access to a pre-production version of the
service, including a Web interface and a subset of 62 journals from seven
publishers. Users will be able to search and browse the journals and view
abstracts and articles. The program will also provide usage statistics to
preview participants. Preview sites will have access to the service through
May and will provide OCLC with feedback. OCLC will make Electronic
Collections Online generally available in June 1997, with an expected
350-500 journals from 12-15 publishers.
"Having electronic journals aggregated is very promising to us," said John
Haar, assistant director for Collections, Central and Science and
Engineering Libraries, Vanderbilt University. "Many of our users find
articles for their research through abstracting and indexing databases, like
those on FirstSearch, so being able to search those databases and access the
full text of the article from the same workstation will be helpful to them."
In addition to using a standard Web interface, libraries can integrate
Electronic Collections Online with their local systems, as the University of
California system is doing.
"Our participation in the Electronic Collections Online preview affords an
ideal opportunity to explore a number of technical, design and
organizational issues involved in providing access to electronic journal
content using the World Wide Web," said Gary S. Lawrence, coordinator,
Libraries and Academic Computing, University of California, Office of the
President. "For example, UC anticipates that a primary method of access to
electronic journals for our library users will be through links from
citations in licensed abstracting and indexing databases loaded on the
nine-campus MELVYL system, resulting in direct display of the cited article.
Because at least five of the abstract and index databases that we currently
license index titles included in the preview program, we expect to gain
valuable experience with this approach, as well as having the chance to test
and evaluate the features, functions and technical characteristics of
Electronic Collections Online."
Eight universities and university systems and nine library consortia are
participating in the program. The universities and university systems
include: the California State University System, Cornell University, the
State University of New York, the University of California System, the
University of Texas-Austin, the University of Utah, the University of
Washington and Vanderbilt University. The consortia participating in the
program include: the Alliance (Colorado), the Boston Library Consortium,
Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL), the Combined Higher
Education Software Team/National Information Services (CHEST/NISS-United
Kingdom), Chesapeake Information and Research Library Alliance
(CIRLA-Delaware, Maryland and District of Columbia), Georgia Library
Learning Online (GALILEO), Minnesota Library Information Network (MINITEX),
OhioLINK and Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA).
"OCLC is excited about the diversity and quality of the sites that have
agreed to participate in the preview," said John Barnes, director,
Electronic Publishing, OCLC. "These institutions are in the vanguard of
libraries adopting electronic journals, and their feedback will be important
for both our introduction of the service in June and to its future
OCLC developed Electronic Collections Online to support the efforts of
libraries and consortia to acquire, circulate, manage and archive large
collections of electronic academic and professional journals on the Web.
The service enables libraries to subscribe to large collections of academic
journals, from many publishers and disciplines, and access them remotely
through a single Web interface that supports cross-journal searching and
extensive browsing. Libraries choose the journals they want and subscribe
to them through the individual publishers or through participating
subscription agents. Additionally, Electronic Collections Online provides
usage statistics at the journal level to help with selection decisions and
an archiving solution that ensures perpetual access for a library to its
collection of journals, even if that library discontinues its subscription
for subsequent issues.
Electronic Collections Online is designed to accommodate access and storage
of thousands of titles. In future releases, OCLC plans to fully integrate
Electronic Collections Online with the OCLC FirstSearch service.
OCLC Online Computer Library Center is a nonprofit, membership computer
library service and research organization whose computer network and
services link more than 24,000 libraries in 63 countries and territories