DUBLIN, Ohio, Feb. 7, 1994--CHEST (Combined Higher Education Software Team), which is headquartered at the University of Bath, England, has begun providing access to OCLC's FirstSearch Catalog via the NISS (National Information on Services and Systems) Gateway to the higher education community in the United Kingdom. The new service follows the evaluation of FirstSearch last summer by 82 academic institutions in the U.K.
Five subscription options are available, and institutions can add more databases if they wish. The subscription options include general databases, such as WorldCat (OCLC's 29 million-record Online Union Catalog), ArticleFirst (information from the tables of contents of 11,000 journals), and ProceedingsFirst (citations of papers presented worldwide at conferences, professional meetings, and symposia), and various subject-based databases such as MEDLINE (health sciences), ABI/INFORM (business), and ERIC (education).
"Each institution will pay a fixed annual FirstSearch access fee to cover unlimited free use by all staff and students at the institution," said Mike Johnson, director of the CHEST & NISS Centre at the University of Bath.
The initial group of 18 subscribing institutions is:
- University of Bath, England
- University of Cambridge, England
- University of Edinburgh, Scotland
- University of Glasgow, Scotland
- King's College London, England
- University of Leicester, England
- Keele University, England
- University of Lancaster, England
- Loughborough University of Technology, England
- North East Wales Institute, Wales
- Open University, England
- University of Oxford, England
- Queen Margaret College, London, England
- Queens University Belfast, Northern Ireland
- University of Reading, England
- University of Salford, England
- University College of Wales, Aberystwyth
- University College of Wales, Bangor
"OCLC is pleased to be working with CHEST & NISS to provide the faculty and students of U.K. universities with access to the world's information through OCLC's WorldCat and more than 40 other databases," said Phyllis B. Spies, vice president, OCLC marketing and sales. "Successful collaboration of this kind will contribute to expanded and improved library services in support of teaching and learning."
"The OCLC FirstSearch-CHEST agreement puts a little more jam into the Higher Education Datasets Doughnut," said Mr. Johnson, referring to their "doughnut strategy" which is beginning to provide a comprehensive set of bibliographic databases to support education and research in universities and colleges in the U.K. Its name came from diagrams of the strategy showing a set of general services surrounded by databases in all the main subject areas.
The FirstSearch Catalog is an online reference service designed for library patrons, with an end-user interface that allows patrons to move easily through the search process in just a few simple steps, without training or online searching experience. It has a document ordering capability and can be used both inside the library and across campus networks.
CHEST is a nonprofit organization, supported by the Joint Information Systems Committee of the Higher Education Funding councils. Its mission is to obtain quality commercial software data for the education sector at beneficial prices and license terms.
OCLC is a nonprofit computer library service and research organization whose computer network and services link more than 17,000 libraries in 52 countries and territories.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL:
OCLC Dublin: Nita Dean (614) 761-5002
OCLC Europe: David Buckle 021 456 4656
CHEST: Mike Johnson or Nigel Lodge 022 582 6045