Electronic Information Services News 2002

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A few weeks ago the Library sent an all-staff email seeking views on e-journals. One of the questions aimed to discover whether there would be interest in an email bulletin alerting staff to new services or changes in service. The response was an overwhelming 'yes', so this is the result! Bulletins will be sent around once a month but frequency may vary depending on the amount of information there is to impart.

E-journal survey result 

The survey of staff views on e-journals showed overwhelmingly that staff did not feel inconvenienced by the move towards e-only access to journals, represented particularly by the Elsevier Science Direct deal signed last autumn - rather the reverse in fact. There is strong support for continued moves in this direction, though we do need to beware of the possibility that an e-mail survey may be skewed - there was little response from some departments - and also take note of concerns expressed by a minority, with particular regard to the cost to students of printing out e-journals. The survey results are on the Portia web site at http://www.libr.port.ac.uk/news/ejournal_results.html

Jisc e-journal survey

The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), a national body aiming to improve access to networked resources within the UK HE and FE communities, is organising a survey to assist them in identifying publishers and journal titles which the UK academic community would like to see as available through nationally-negotiated agreements. Information will be collected locally (we would like to know too!) and forwarded to JISC. The survey questionnaire is available via Portia at http://www.libr.port.ac.uk/news/nesli.html


Don't forget reference books! Sometimes a bibliographic database or an e-journal site represent overkill when all you - or your students - want is an introductory overview or a definition. Xreferplus is a digital reference library with over 100 searchable and browsable reference books from a collection of the world's leading publishers. You can find it in Portia by going to the subject directory and typing Xreferplus in the search box, then clicking Go.

British Pharmacopoeia

Electronic access to this key reference work was lost some time ago when the cost of a network licence rose prohibitively. Following strong protests from academic institutions, a new deal has now been struck and the Pharmacopoeia is available again. Type the title into the search engine in the Portia Subject directory.

Royal Historical Society Annual Bibliography of British and Irish History

This bibliography, which is usually better for the history of these Islands than Historical Abstracts, is now available via Portia. Note that it should be accessed via Internet Explorer, not Netscape.

E-learning working group

The Library is represented in the above group, chaired by Ivan Moore, Director of Learning. The group is looking at future directions for e-learning in the University and will report around the end of the year. The Library is anxious that its electronic services are appropriately integrated with the e-learning materials being developed and would welcome discussions with colleagues engaged in this task. We are also anxious that the future infrastructure is appropriate to the need to deliver complex information services in an effective and comprehensible way, including the development of a library portal. There will be a fuller article on this in the next issue of the Library newsletter, Harvest.

European Business ASAP now Athens authenticated

The full-text business database, European Business ASAP, is now authenticated via the Athens service. This enhances ease of access for off-campus users since they will not now need to remember a different access route (formerly ASAP was accessed remotely via Library card number).

For information on Athens acounts contact your subject librarian or janet.wilmot@port.ac.uk.

Trial of Wilson databases

The U.S. publishers Wilson have announced a trial of their new databases service WilsonWeb. The trial lasts until 28 February and is open to all. The service covers a wide range of disciplines and includes both general and specialised databases. We have no information on costs at this stage and a subscription would need to be weighed against our existing services, but you may wish to evaluate the products and conduct some searches during the trial period. To do so, go to http://www.hwwilson.com/chest.htm and register as a new user (you simply need to fill in a form).

NESLI requirements survey

Thanks to those of you who submitted requests for additions to the collections of resources available to the HE community through negotiated deals. A relatively small number of colleagues responded, and there was some lack of clarity in that many people suggested publishers and journals to which we already have access. Library staff are looking closely at the submissions, which have now been forwarded to NESLI. To see what your colleagues requested, go to http://www.libr.port.ac.uk/news/nesli.html

Demise of European Access Plus

Bad news for those interested in EU affairs is that the very useful publication European Access has now ceased, and its electronic sister European Access Plus will be withdrawn in the new year. This follows the takeover of Chadwyck Healey, the original publisher, by Proquest. For bibliographic data on the EU the alternative, though less useful source is ECLAS (http://europa.eu.int/eclas) or relevant commercial databases in politics and economics.

Advice from Technical Services

The Library's technical services section has now published guidance on how to go about ordering new books and journals. The site also gives information about new books published in particular subject areas. On the Library Website, go to 'Using the Library' then 'Buying new books and journals'.

European pharmacopoeia

Following various struggles with a CD-Rom version, this is now available in a Web version. Go to to the Portia Subject Directory and type the title into the search box (watch out for that spelling!)

Season's greetings to all

Ian Mayfield
Ext 3239