a. Melvyl-T Prototype Catalog Now Available!

The Melvyl-T prototype catalog, a small prototype catalog database of ~630,000 records, or about 3% of the current Melvyl catalog, is now available for review and testing by library staff and selected public.  (An earlier version of the same database has been available and used for usability testing since March.).

The URL for the prototype catalog is

A telnet version of the catalog, based on the same small database is available at

Links to feedback forms are available from both the telnet and web versions of the prototype.  Please use the feedback instruments.  We want to hear from you!

Note: Because it is running on a small server, users may occasionally get a “system is busy” message from the prototype.

For information about how the new catalog came to be, take a look at El Mel(Ex Libris Melvyl) Tells:

We want to acknowledge the help of the campus representatives to the Melvyl Transition Teams, the campus Evaluation Liaisons, and others beyond the CDL, on the campuses, who have either advised us in the creation of the catalog, or contributed in some other way.

The new, full (production) catalog will be released to faculty and students in fall 2002.  The old version of the Melvyl Catalog will continue to be available for the entire academic year, 2002-03.  The overlap period is meant to assure the reliability and functionality of the new catalog, and to allow librarians and faculty a period in which they can learn to use the new catalog efficiently and create necessary training materials and guides.  A third round of usability testing on Melvyl-T will be conducted in late fall, 2002, after library staff and selected users have had some experience in using the catalog, and after some feedback has been gathered.

(The A & I journal database transitions-in which the CDL-hosted versions of 25-plus databases are being replaced by vendor-supplied versions-will proceed on their existing timetables, with the CDL-hosted versions retiring at the end of December 2002.)

Initially, the Melvyl-T database will consist of UC monograph (CAT) and serials (PE) records only, including those from affiliated libraries.  Therefore, users will have access to UC holdings as early as possible.  The CDL and the campus libraries will continue evaluating technical and policy issues regarding the inclusion of several sources for non-UC book and periodical records.

Several enhancements are being implemented especially for the Melvyl database above and beyond what is provided in the current “Aleph” software from the catalog software vendor, Ex Libris.  Some of these developments are a result of staff input to the Melvyl Library Staff Survey (“hidden uses” of Melvyl) conducted in summer, 2001.  Examples include the ability to maneuver among different display formats (including a review format), and the ability to view campus specific cataloging for each item in a set of equivalent records.

The new system will also allow users to do the following, which CDL is unable to provide with current (legacy) Melvyl’s technology:

  • General keyword search: Currently, users can search keyword(s) within an index (e.g., keyword(s) in title). Keyword searching in the new database will be primarily subject-oriented, including titles, subject headings, notes, and genre fields.  Other examples of searchable indexes include notes, publisher, conference and others, some listed below.
  • Limit search to electronic resources only: This would return only bibliographic records that have a link (URL) to electronic format.
  • Phrase and proximity searching: The ability to search for words adjacent or near to each other (e.g., searching for the phrase “online catalog”).
  • Sorting results: Ex Libris allows users to select and change the order in which their search results are sorted and displayed, for example, sorting by title or by date.
  • Call number searching: A call number search will return an ordered display of call numbers and titles · Combine UC books and periodicals (CAT & PE) in one database: Currently, users must search for books in the CAT databases separately from periodical titles in the PE databases.  For example, over the years, many long-standing conference series have been catalogued by some campuses as monographs, and by others as serials, resulting in holdings being divided between CAT and PE.  Merging these files together will better integrate the holdings of these important campus resources and address this frequent complaint.
  • Multilingual character set support: The ability to sort and display using characters from languages (e.g., Chinese) used in UC catalogs.  Later enhancements will add a search capability on the vernacular fields.
  • Music searching and display: It will be possible to provide better access to music materials by creating special indexes and displays that account for uniform titles, music publisher numbers, and other aspects of retrieving music scores and recordings.
  • Browsing (heading searches): A heading search (e.g., author, series, subject) will return a list of headings. The user can then move forward or backward through this list, and scan and select the most appropriate heading, which will then return a list of bibliographic records that used that particular heading.
  • Name and subject cross references: We will load cross references so these will be displayed in browse displays to aid in the selection of the most appropriate name or subject term.

b. A&I Update
Beginning July 1
–BIOSIS Previews was released in its Ovid interface
–The MLA Directory of Periodicals was released in the Ovid version.  We will now begin investigating with the Resource Liaison for MLA, Rob Melton, when to bring down the SilverPlatter and CDL-hosted versions.
–UC-eLinks on the RLG/Eureka databases was released with all three services activated.  RLG/Eureka databases are: RLG Union Catalog, RLG Serials File, Anthropological Index, Royal Anthropological Institute, Anthropological Literature, Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals, Bibliography of the History of Art, Chicano Database, CURL Union Catalogue, Deutsche Bibliothek Database, English Short Title Catalogue, FRANCIS (Humanities & Social Sciences), Hand Press Book, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals, Index to 19th-Century American Art Periodicals, Inside Information PLUS, National Library of Australia Catalogue, Russian Academy of Sciences Bibliographies, SCIPIO: Art and Rare Book Sales Catalogs

On July 10
— SearchLight was moved over to searching the vendor versions of the transitioning databases.
–All three services of UC-eLinks were activated on all of the Ovid databases: BIOSIS, Current Contents, Ei Compendex*Plus, Inspec, and MLA.  Sometime in July we expect Ovid to start using the UC-eLinks icon.
–The UC-eLinks icon was released in the Gale databases: Computer Database, Expanded Academic ASAP, National Newspaper Index.