RLIN Introduces Eureka Simplified Search Interface

Article excerpt

RLIN, the online search service of the Research Libraries Group, has introduced an easy user interface called Eureka. The new search interface was designed to enable novice users to do useful work within three minutes of sitting down at a terminal. Eureka relies on strong online Help documentation which tracks where the searcher is and how they have gotten there, as well as advising them on how to get somewhere else. The system does not use menus, but has only six commands: Author, Subject, and Title, and three similar commands for when the user has the exact wording, XAU, XSU, and XTI. Once a command has initiated a search, the system will walk the user through the session, generally by offering a default browse mode from which searchers can select numbered options. It also allows searchers to expand or narrow searches using Boolean operators, apply more specialized elements like Coden, ISBN, and ISSN numbers, and choose to view search results in long or short formats. Unlike the RLIN command language mode, Eureka has virtual format integration, combining results from all separate RLIN files of library material (books, serials, sound recordings, etc.) with the exception of special, separate databases, into a single, sorted alphabetic order. …