Over the past several months, CDL has collected detailed statistics about the causes of turnaways to OCLC’s FirstSearch databases.  While the largest number of turnaways is due to ports being full, there is still concern over the percentage of network-related problems.  After a series of meetings between OCLC and CDL staff to discuss possible improvements in response time and turnaway problems, the following changes will be implemented for the fall term.

  • CDL has renewed the UC FirstSearch agreement for 1998-1999 at the level of 27 simultaneous users (with limits of 10 users for PAIS, MLA Bibliography, ArtAbstracts, and Books in Print, and 5 users for RILM).
  • OCLC will set the actual level at an UNLIMITED number of users for the months of September, October, and November.  With this experiment we will benchmark the number of ports that might really be used during peak times.  Note that the removal of SocAbstracts may lighten the demand for ports.  This period of unlimited access will also provide additional information on the effects of “ports full” versus failure to connect for other reasons.
  • CDL and OCLC will conduct a limited study of Internet response time by comparing access to FirstSearch in two ways: via the Melvyl Z39.50 client and via standard Web access directly to OCLC’s FirstSearch interface.  Session logs will be compared for the designated time period.  In addition, CDL and OCLC will evaluate timeout settings in both systems and network routing configurations as other possible sources of problems.

Users with questions about or problems with the OCLC FirstSearch databases should contact the CDL Helpline at 510/987-0555.