Local Holdings Search in ISI CD-ROM Data Bases

By Priore, Charles F., Jr.; Geffert, Bryn | Information Technology and Libraries, December 1996 | Go to article overview
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Local Holdings Search in ISI CD-ROM Data Bases

Priore, Charles F., Jr., Geffert, Bryn, Information Technology and Libraries


St. Olaf College is proud of its chemistry department, graduating more chemistry majors during the last decade than any other four-year liberal arts college in the United States. Given the number of chemistry majors and the amount of chemical research conducted at St. Olaf, it is not surprising that Chemistry Citation Index[R] (CCI)--published by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) and one of the primary indices to chemistry journals--receives heavy use. Students, ranging from upperclassmen assisting their professors with original research to underclassmen just beginning to explore the chemical literature, rely heavily upon this index.

The St. Olaf Science Library subscribes to only a small portion of the many journals indexed by CCI. Students and faculty who need exhaustive searches of the chemical literature find CCI invaluable and can use Minitex, the library network funded by the state of Minnesota, to obtain articles not available in house. But for chemistry students just beginning to familiarize themselves with the literature, CCI can be a frustrating product when only a small number of the citations retrieved are available on campus.

To address this predicament, the St. Olaf Science Library devised a method of limiting CCI searches to in-house titles. Creating a local serials holdings list of Silver Platter CDROM databases has already been demonstrated,(1) but the customization of ISI CD-ROM products proved to be quite a challenge. Nevertheless, with a little ingenuity we were able to incorporate a local serials list into CCI, devising a method that is also applicable to other ISI products.

Students find this local holdings feature invaluable, allowing them to use one of the primary indexes to the chemistry literature while ensuring their time is not wasted wading through citations to journals owned only by large or specialized research institutions.


The following instructions are for version 3.05 of the ISI search software.

We began with St. Olaf's locally created serials list and with a printout of titles representing monographic serials such as the Annual Review of Biochemistry, etc. After powering up the computer and inserting the CCI CD into the CD-ROM drive, you are defaulted to the "basic index" search option. Perform an Alt-F (fields) command. Using the arrow keys, key down to the "abbr Journal" option (in some versions of the software you may see "abbr sOurce" rather than "abbr Journal"). Perform an Alt-D (Dictionary) command. You will now see CCI journal titles in their abbreviated form. Using the space bar, mark the titles to which your institution subscribes. Using the down arrow key, continue marking titles, making sure that you do not exceed the space buffer in the "abbr Journal" field (you will receive the message "search query exceeded maximum length" should you overload the buffer). After you have selected several titles, hit the Enter key. Press Enter again and the titles will be searched, causing a "Total" to appear in the "Records Search Terms" window. Press Enter yet again and "Set 1" is created. Perform another Alt-D; scan down the list using the space bar to mark your selections. Hit the Enter key three times, and "Set 2" is created, and so on.

When all journal titles have been selected it is time to OR together all of the search sets. This time choose the Alt-F (fields) option. Now choose "S" for set combinations. Begin entering the set numbers (e.g., 1 or 2 or 3 or 4), once again making certain the strategy does not exceed the space buffer.

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Local Holdings Search in ISI CD-ROM Data Bases


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