Inforonics Offers Controlled Access to Web Meteorology Database, Launches ASCE Site

Article excerpt

Inforonics has developed a controlled-access gateway to MGA on the Web, a fully searchable database containing over 180,000 abstracts in the field of meteorology. Published by The American Meteorological Society, the Web edition of Meteorological and Geoastrophysical Abstracts (MGA) covers the past 23 years of the world's meteorological and related literature. For the first time this indispensable access tool is available by subscription to meteorologists' desktops through the World Wide Web.

Bruce Buckland, Inforonics' president, said, "MGA's unique business model licenses campuses through various pricing modes. A campus is defined as one or more closely related locations. We license a campus and then monitor access for licensing compliance via a range of IP addresses."

"Inforonics supports MGA in creating the technology to launch and manage their site activities," said Buckland. "Our role is the technological side of the project; the publisher's role is the content side of the project. Inforonics worked with MGA to design a site to fit their business model."

The new site was demonstrated at the recent American Meteorological Association's Annual Meeting. David Murray, manager of MGA, said, "Improvements to the site were well received. Meteorologists told us that they especially liked the transparent access to the Web site and the Boolean searching across multiple indexes. The site is set up so that searches can be formulated in either basic or advanced mode."

Subscribers can formulate searches using 19 indexes created from author, title, bibliographic, subject index, UDC code, and abstract text fields. Once a desired abstract is found, subject headings are linked to other abstracts in that subject area.

All site activity--on the subscription site or on the free demo site--is available via usage reports, which can be run on a need-to-know basis. "The information given in these reports," said Murray, "is useful for a variety of purposes. Searches can be checked to identify new topics so they can be covered."

MGA on the Web offers electronic methods of communicating with the MGA editors, other subscribers, and the MGA fulfillment services using the "News" area. Selected items describing new information sources from commercial publishers, universities, and government organizations are posted in "News." Users can also submit pertinent comments about coverage and search techniques.

MGA provides coverage of the world's meteorological and related literature from over 400 distinct sources, including journal articles, conference proceedings, books, technical reports, monographs, series, and annuals, as well as so-called "gray" or "fugitive" literature. MGA on the Web is updated monthly with 750 new abstracts and contains a 23-year backfire of over 180,000 abstracts. Meteorological and Geoastrophysical Abstracts is a copyrighted publication of The American Meteorological Society, which has engaged Inforonics for its production and distribution. …