Magazine article Information Today

OCLC Places Electronic Collections Online on FirstSearch Web, Enhances FirstSearch

Magazine article Information Today

OCLC Places Electronic Collections Online on FirstSearch Web, Enhances FirstSearch

Article excerpt

OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. recently implemented enhancements to the Web version of the OCLC FirstSearch service as part of ongoing efforts to make FirstSearch easier and faster to use and to provide more powerful searching capabilities. OCLC also has integrated the OCLC FirstSearch Electronic Collections Online service as a database via the FirstSearch Web interface.

FirstSearch Web Enhancements

OCLC now provides a new "Minimum Graphics" option at log in to make the FirstSearch Web interface easier to use over the wide range of equipment in use in libraries and to improve response time. The screens remain the same; they just appear without the graphics.

Users can find the latest news on FirstSearch developments on a new "Welcome" screen that outlines the subject areas covered by FirstSearch databases. A new database/search screen, which was designed to save users a step, provides links to information about the databases and keeps topic areas and databases "in context."

With another enhancement, users can add a note to e-mail transactions (sending records or full text) to help them keep track of information they send to themselves and to help the library fulfill requests.

The "persistent" name and address fields on e-mail screens and screens that link to OCLC ILL will save users' time. The information can be entered once and either left throughout the session or changed as circumstances require.

OCLC continues to add diacritics to databases viewed via FirstSearch Web. CA Student Edition, Periodicals Contents Index, CINAHL, OCLC Union List of Periodicals database, FactSearch, and Consumers Index now display diacritics in appropriate records.

"These enhancements will make it easier for people to pick a database and make FirstSearch more efficient for both end users and librarians," said John Sullivan, director of OCLC online reference services. "Persistent address fields can be a real timesaver, especially as full text becomes more and more popular."

OCLC Electronic Collections Online Now Accessible via Web

Institutions using FirstSearch that subscribe to journals available through Electronic Collections Online can now access these titles through the FirstSearch Web interface. The service appears as a general database under all topic areas and on the list of all databases on FirstSearch. Users can search Electronic Collections Online as they do any other FirstSearch database and retrieve a list of article citations, with links to abstracts and journal articles for the online journals to which the library subscribes.

Additionally, users can click on a button from the basic or advanced search screens to view a list of journal titles. For each title, a list of available issues and the table of contents for any selected title may be viewed. Again, links to abstracts and full-text articles are available for the journals to which the library subscribes. …

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