a. CDL-Hosted MEDLINE/HealthSTAR Updates to Retire

As part of the CDL-hosted MEDLINE/HealthSTAR retirement this 12/21/01, MEDLINE Updates will cease later this fall when the last file is loaded from NLM.  Messages will be sent to MEDLINE Update subscribers on Friday, September 28 informing them of this fact, along with second and third reminders October 15 and November 5.  The email messages will provide links to documents created by the MEDLINE Transition Task Force describing how to create updates for PubMed.  Users can set up an update alerting service for PubMed called BioMail.

Detailed information regarding the retirement of MEDLINE Update will be sent to the Transition Steering Committee, Users Council and MEDLINE Liaisons on each campus.

b. Melvyl Staff Survey Results

In the Melvyl Staff Survey, conducted earlier this summer, staff weighed in on their uses of the current Melvyl database.  Not surprisingly, it is heavily used for an array of   “behind the scenes”  purposes–for bibliographic checking for acquisitions, cataloging, serials information, collection development, and interlibrary services, as well as for its public services uses.

The good news is, what we had most hoped would happen did in fact happen–we verified that the new version of Melvyl, based on Aleph software, will support the kinds of searches staff most wish to conduct.  Many users mentioned wanting to have telnet access, as well as command line searching in the web based catalog. Both of these will be available.  Staff cited important ways of searching Melvyl–by format, exact title, series, report number, and using truncation (even better in the Aleph version with front, internal and end truncation!)–all of which will be possible in the new Melvyl.

Displaying MARC fields was also ranked highly, and this also will be available. In fact, a user will be able to display the complete record from a particular campus. Other new features to be offered in the Aleph version of the catalog include: searching in the notes field, by publisher, or by conference words.  The ability to browse headings by subject, author, title fields, and call numbers will be available.  Displays similar to review, short and long will be offered, and users will be able to define custom displays.  They will also be able to limit retrieval to records linked to electronic full text.

The responses you submitted have been important in helping CDL staff build the new database, ensuring that desired functions either exist or are enhanced.  Your input helped us consider issues we might not have addressed as thoroughly as we did in building the new database. There will be some features we now have in our current configuration of Melvyl that will be different in the new version.  When the RLIN bibliographic file (RCAT) and WCAT move to their native modes, for example, these databases will no longer be available from a single interface.  Campus library and CDL staff are still evaluating how to best provide access to these databases from the new Melvyl.

Many thanks to all of you who responded to the survey; we very much appreciate your input.  A summary of the report is available at: http://www.cdlib.org/libstaff/catalog/teams/education/staffsurvey/melvylstaff_survey_summary.pdf.  The raw data from the 265 responses are available at: http://www.cdlib.org/libstaff/catalog/teams/education/staffsurvey/ .