DUBLIN, Ohio, April 25, 1997-The Edinburgh University Data Library, in Scotland, has launched a new periodicals contents index, PCI-Web, using OCLC SiteSearch software.
PCI-Web provides Chadwyck Healey Periodicals Contents Index on the Web to registered users of EDINA, a United Kingdom national data center that was launched in January 1996. Containing information from the tables of contents of thousands of English and other European language journals from their date of issue to 1990, PCI-Web provides researchers and students in the humanities and social sciences with detailed and comprehensive online access to the periodical literature in their academic disciplines.
"Quite rightly, many staff and students now want to search the national bibliographic databases using the point-and-click user interface of the Web browsers on their desktop," said Peter Burnhill, director, EDINA. EDINA decided to link its databases to the Web using the Z39.50 protocol to provide maximum linkage with other parts of the virtual library of digital resources that is being developed through the eLib Programme [http://ukoln.bath.ac.uk/elib/].
"OCLC SiteSearch provides a key component in this strategy: WebZ, a Web server with a full range of searching facilities, also has the capability to search a range of databases via the Z39.50 protocol," he said.
EDINA, OCLC and Chadwyck Healey formally launched PCI-Web at the meeting of Scottish Consortium of University and Research Libraries (SCURL) library directors in Scotland on April 24, 1997.
"These strategic partnerships are important developments designed to improve the services that EDINA can offer UK higher education," Mr. Burnhill said. "Our link with OCLC is particularly welcome, as is the coincidence that Ian Mowat, who has recently become the University Librarian at Edinburgh, and is now a member of the EDINA Management Board, is also the UK representative on the OCLC User Council."
"SiteSearch is a powerful and flexible tool for librarians to use to provide access to both local and remote resources for their users," said Janet Mitchell, managing director, OCLC Europe. "The agreement with EDINA provides a source of experience, practical expertise and imagination that will be useful for others to draw on as they seek to develop their own local, regional and national services."
"PCI-Web represents the first step of the UK National Data Centres to open access using both the World Wide Web and Z39.50," said Terry Noreault, director, Research and Special Projects, OCLC. "OCLC SiteSearch provides the enabling technology for this exciting new service."
The Edinburgh University Data Library, a national data center offering access to a library of data, information and research resources to the higher education and research community network of the United Kingdom, manages the EDINA service, which is available free of charge to students and researchers in UK higher education institutions for academic use.
Future plans for EDINA include moving SALSER, a virtual union serials catalogue, into OCLC SiteSearch to make those holdings lists searchable via Z39.50. According to Mr. Burnhill, this opens up several possibilities, including the option for the users of PCI-Web to discover an article of interest and then search those serial holdings lists to locate which library has the journal in question.
OCLC Online Computer Library Center is a nonprofit membership computer library service and research organization whose computer network and services link more than 24,000 libraries in 63 countries and territories. More information is available at the OCLC Web site [www.oclc.org].