The February issue of LSN (Vol. IV, No. 2) contained a listing of the vendors offering automated serial control systems. Systemhouse (see the local system market survey in the previous issue of LSN) recently began to distribute the CARDEX software for serials control as part of its MINISIS software package.
MINISIS is a generalized information management system designed to run on the Hewlett Packard 3000 series of minicomputers. It was developed by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) as a low cost hardware/software package to support online data entry and interactive retrieval. MINISIS performs essentially the same functions as ISIS--the Integrated Set of Information Systems software package developed by the International Labour Office to operate on mainframe computers.
MINISIS was developed primarily for use in bibliographic information systems but is also used in other applications including records management. Library automation systems based on MINISIS have been installed at the University of the Netherlands Agricultural Library in Wageningen, the University of Singapore and the Marigold Library System in south central Alberta. In Alberta, the system is used to support acquisitions and cataloging. In this installation the automation of circulation control and provision of an online patron access catalog was also considered but rejected because of the costs of telecommunications among the 27 member libraries.
The software includes substantial data validation and authority control capabilities, including a tri-lingual thesaurus file feature. Global change capabilities are available in batch processing mode. Searching capabilities include keyword and Boolean searching of both index files and the full text of records. Truncation is supported. A function designated as the Print Processor allows extensive user modification of the contents and formats of screen displays and printed products.
The product literature developed by Systemhouse, the commercial vendor of the MINISIS software, lists appropriate library automation applications as:
- cataloging and indexes
- interlibrary loan
- circulation control
- journal issue control
- user browsing, and
- SDI services
The MINISIS software is priced at $50,000 Canadian. The price includes documentation, installation and training. Software maintenance is mandatory and is charged at $5,000 Canadian per annum. The software is offered to nonprofit groups at substantial discounts.
Earlier this year Systemhouse began distributing the CARDEX software-programs specifically designed for serials control by the Agricultural University of the Netherlands--as part of the MINISIS package. This "user contributed software" is included in the price of MINISIS. Systemhouse will provide software support for CARDEX, but this will be limited to the correction of problems and refinements; the company does not expect to undertake significant developmental work on the serials control capability.
The CARDEX software displays next expected issue information, allowing checkin to be accomplished with a minimum number of keystrokes. It can identify missing and overdue issues and will generate claims for these items. The software also supports the maintenance and printing of routing slips.
[Contact: Systemhouse Ltd., 2827 Riverside Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1V 0C4 Canada (613) 526-0670.]