The CDL-hosted Databases Transition Steering Committee (TSC) was appointed to assist with the investigation of alternatives for the provision of CDL-hosted abstracting and indexing (A&I) databases.  In its first meeting on February 23, the committee discussed the criteria and process for assessing alternatives as well as ways to explain the transition and solicit input from UC library staff and user groups.  Some details of the work of the TSC follow. Further background information, including the charge for the TSC is available at:[http://www.cdlib.org/libstaff/sharedcoll/a-i-trans/]

The need for alternatives for the provision of CDL-hosted abstracting and indexing (A&I) databases first described in Vol. 3, No. 18 of CDLINFO [http://www.cdlib.org/news/cdlinfo/cdlinfo120600.html] -and a strategy by which to investigate them has been endorsed by the University Librarians and the Systemwide Library and Scholarly Information Advisory Committee.  The TSC is the systemwide advisory group for the process.  The committee has been charged to make a recommendation by July 2001 as to which external vendors to pursue for the eight locally loaded databases and any of the Z39.50 databases which need to transition to new vendors.  Implementation should be complete by July 2002 and parallel systems will be operated through December 2002 if necessary.

The committee began its work with four focal points: 1) a list of principles to guide selections for alternatives to the CDL-hosted databases, 2) a list of priority concerns for functionality, 3) a process for establishing and tracking comparisons between alternatives, and 4) ways to solicit input and share information about the process and its outcomes.

The TSC underscored the important role of Resource Liaisons and selector groups in the assessment of alternatives. Representative Resource Liaisons are forwarding initial evaluations of vendor functionality and usability, which are being collated with information on vendor coverage, current licensing information, if any, and development plans.

In the coming weeks committee members will be arranging campus discussions to review the goals and principles for database selection and to gather feedback.  These meetings will provide an opportunity for staff not only to provide input regarding particular databases and desirable features, but also to discuss broader issues such as how to meet instructional and user needs in this time of transition.

Readers are encouraged to visit the transition web site or contact their campus representative on the Steering Committee for more information.
Peter Brueggeman (UCSD)
Andrea Duda (UCSB)
Min-Lin Fang (UCSF)
Cheryl Gomez (UCSC)
Gabriella Gray (UCLA)
Robert Heyer-Grey (UCD)
Patricia Iannuzzi (UCB)
John Ober (CDL)
Cathy Palmer (UCI)
John Tanno (UCR)
Laine Farley, ex officio (A&I Transition Project Manager)
Ellen Meltzer, ex officio (CDL Sr. Associate for Education, Usability and Outreach see related item in this issue).