Online Searching in Australia
Wilson, Katie, McLean, Neil, Searcher
Online searching has been well established in Australia since the late 1970s. Products and services from the rest of the world still predominate, with a small but growing percentage of Australian-produced databases and hosts. Recent years have seen an opening and divergence of the market in the form of different formats, products, modes of access and charging, and searching behavior.
KRI/Dialog and Orbit were the first major international services available in Australia. The National Library of Australia mounted tapes of databases such as MEDLINE, ERIC, and BIOSIS for searching nationally. Ausinet was the first commercial Australian host and today it offers Australian as well as international databases.
Currently many of the world's online services are used in Australia - Knight Ridder (Dialog and DataStar), Ovid Technologies (BRS), Lexis/Nexis, STN, Questel.Orbit, Wilsonline, Westlaw, the Nikkei (Japan), Ausinet, Ozline and ABN (the National Library of Australia), Kiwinet (National Library of New Zealand), Info-one (Australian legal service), Reuters full-text news service, M.A.I.D., and CompuServe.
Who uses these services? The currency of online services makes them most appropriate for the delivery of business, news, statistical, and financial data. In private and special libraries, library staff and individual researchers carry out online searches. There's often a mix of CD-ROM and online services. Business people who need information in a hurry also make use of commercial information services offered by libraries or brokers, who, of course, use online services for searching.
In many academic libraries the use of "traditional" online searching services concentrates on databases unavailable in any other format or when users need very current information. Individuals can also access some online database services via hosts such as CompuServe.
Online services are predominantly dial-up, with connecttime charges plus citation viewing or printing. Little change has occurred in this charging structure since the services first appeared. In the 1990s the traditional model …
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Publication information: Article title: Online Searching in Australia. Contributors: Wilson, Katie - Author, McLean, Neil - Author. Magazine title: Searcher. Volume: 3. Issue: 8 Publication date: September 1995. Page number: 12+. © 1999 Information Today, Inc. COPYRIGHT 1995 Gale Group.
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