Electronic Information Services Bulletin 2004

! This page has been archived and is not actively maintained. Some links may not work and some information may no longer be current.

January 2004

Survey of EIS users

A total of 230 staff responded to last term's online survey about the Library's electronic services. Of these, 103 were academic staff and 102 support staff, with 16 research staff and 9 others. The relatively high number of support staff largely accounts for the fact that 74 respondents said they had never used these resources - only 7 academic staff said this, though that is still perhaps a worrying figure. Headlines from the findings include:

The full results can be views at: http://www.port.ac.uk/library/survey/

Off campus access to electronic resources

A majority of the electronic information resources to which the University subscribes are available off campus, with an increasing range of these accessible via the Athens authentication service. If you wish to access the minority of services not in this category, you may be interested to hear that the University has set up a new service for off-campus users which enables you to set up your Internet connection to connect to the University's web cache. This will allow you to browse the Internet as if you are on campus.

To ensure that only bona fide members of the University use this service, you will need to login using your student/ISO account details (This is the account you use to login to the University's computers - your username will be made up of 3 letters and 5 numbers. e.g. abc12345). If you unsure of you account details, or have forgotten your password, you need to contact your site support team.

In order to use this service you will need to re-configure your browser: instructions as to how to do this are on the Library's website at http://www.port.ac.uk/library/webcache/

E-journals: new deals

In a process which began last Spring, the UK academic community has been negotiating new e-journal deals with a selected range of publishers. Of the deals eventually reached, the decision was taken by the Library during the autumn to sign with Blackwell, and Oxford and Cambridge University Presses. These deals give us electronic access only to the publisher's full journal list: any titles to which print access is deemed essential will therefore have to be purchased independently from bookfunds.

Good news for departments is that from this financial year the funding of these major collections has been de-coupled from departmental bookfunds. Titles previously subscribed to by departments but now forming part of these deals have been removed from departmental subscription lists, thus saving money for alternative uses.

Negotiations with Elsevier were difficult and protracted, and a deal was only announced just before Christmas. At the time of writing clarification has been requested about a number of uncertain issues concerning the available options, but we hope to reach agreement in the near future. The aim will be to continue to have e-access to all Elsevier titles, as we do at present.

Free e-books

Publishers Taylor & Francis are making available a collection of 150 electronic books free of charge for a period of 3 months. Subject librarians are currently inspecting the Taylor & Francis list with a view to selecting titles. As always, however, we feel resources are likely to be best used if resources are selected by those doing the teaching, so if you would like to view the list and suggest some e-book titles for use in the second semester why not download the list below.

Electronic Book List [Excel (.xls, .csv) - 2,009kb - 14.01.2004]

Please email your suggestions to your subject librarian or to Ian Mayfield.

New company finance database

The Library's subscription to the Fame database has been replaced by one Hemscott Company Guru Academic. This financial database offers a smaller set of companies but has the valuable addition of a share price history for quoted companies, recent share price and share trade data, official company news and a considerable amount of information on company directors. You can search for companies matching a variety of financial criteria or you can identify companies from industrial sectors operating in a particular postcode area. The database is available on campus only unless you have reconfigured your browser to allow searching of on campus resources (see above) and to get the best out of it you will need to use Internet Explorer and Excel.

X4L: 'Building and sharing community resources'

The JISC has recently issued a CD-Rom containing information about and a selection of resources generated by the Exchange for Learning (X4L) Project. It includes video presentations on learning objects, other learning materials and Powerpoint presentations about contributions to the project. Anyone wishing to see the disc should please contact Ian Mayfield but you can also see this material on the X4L website at

New look for Library website

Library staff (well, Sylvia Wood actually) have been working with the University web team to produce a special template for our website. In the new University site running under the Content Management System, some important elements - notably the Library catalogue - have had reduced visibility compared to the old site. The new look site will aim to make the most sought information easier to find. We will welcome your views on the new site when it is available and we will also by undertaking systematic user evaluations.

ProCite and Endnote: latest news

About this time last year IT Committee approved the Library's proposal that the University standard for bibliographic data management should be changed from ProCite to Endnote. This was partly because we anticipated that ProCite would no longer be supported by its suppliers, but also because we knew that there was a strong body of support within the University for Endnote, which is seen by many as easier to use. The plan was to retain ProCite for those who wish to use it (since no payment is involved) but take out a CHEST licence for Endnote, which would gradually emerge as the standard.

Unfortunately, the decision by IT committee did not produce the desired result since no money was attached to their ruling. After some negotiation it has now been decided that the Endnote Licence will be purchased for this year only, pending a further discussion on the longer-term options. This matter will come back to IT Committee next month so if you have views on this please contact Ian Bonar, Ian Mayfield, Andy Barrow or your representative on IT Committee.

Transferring records into ProCite from external databases

ProCite offers the facility to capture records downloaded from external databases such as Medline, ASSIA etc. via a complementary package called Bibliolinks. The task of setting up a link for each of the databases to which we subscribe is prohibitively time-consuming and it is therefore intended to make generic links available for the main database platforms, i.e. Webspirs, Cambridge Scientific Abstracts and possibly BIDS. This will give links to many of the most heavily used databases. The Library will shortly be producing detailed guidance on how to use this facility to capture data.

A related ProCite feature is the ability to search within other databases directly from within ProCite. In a similar initiative, we have cleared the option list of all the default databases, many of which are US university library catalogues. We will be starting again from scratch and would welcome suggestions as to databases we might usefully link to. For more information contact Ian Mayfield, Andy barrow or Sylvia Wood.

Eurostat data now free

According to a recently received email, all publications listed on the Eurostat website are now freely available online. Initial investigations indicate that this is indeed the case, but I would welcome any feedback from users on this one. If true, it's a major boost for our collection of statistical data.

Ian Mayfield
January 2004

February 2004

Library website – new template launched

The new version of the Library website to which the previous Bulletin referred was launched this week. Thanks are due to Sylvia Wood for the enormous amount of work she has done, and we are grateful also to the University web team who created the new template for us. Any problems or comments relating to the new site to Sylvia, please.

Elsevier deal concluded

The new electronic journal deal with Elsevier, which was still under discussion at the time of last writing, has now been concluded. This is a national deal negotiated for JISC on behalf of the HE sector as a whole. It gives us continued electronic-only access to the so-called Freedom Collection, which includes some 1800 titles, 1400 of them current.

Go-Geo portal

As the outcome of a JISC funded project, EDINA and the UK Data Archive have developed a trial geo-spatial data and information resource discovery portal called Go-Geo. The portal enables discovery of geographic data and related resources within and beyond the UK higher and further education community.

Discover Merlot

That should get your attention….! Merlot is an acronym for Multimedia Educational Resource for Online Learning & Teaching. It’s a free US resource bank which according to its website ‘is a free and open resource designed primarily for faculty and students of higher education. Links to online learning materials are collected here along with annotations such as peer reviews and assignments.’ Why not take a look at

Select Committee Inquiry into scientific information

As some readers may be aware the Science & Technology Committee of the House of Commons is currently investigating the provision of scientific information. It will look, inter alia, at the impact of electronic publishing on the academic community, the long-standing problem of journal price inflation and the potential impact of open access journals and institutional open archiving on the academic community. Written submissions have now been received and oral evidence sessions will commence in March. The Consortium of University Research Libraries, together with the Society of College, National & University Libraries has submitted a very comprehensive review of the issues. I have a copy of this if anyone wishes to see it.

March 2004

Dear all

I am sending the Bulletin early this month because we have three database trials starting around now and I wanted people to have as much time as possible to look at these. There may be more news later in the month.

Database trials


This is a database that gives electronic full text access to journals covering a range of subject areas. These are journals published in South Africa, but with an international appeal.
This Trial has now ended.

Film Indexes Online

“Film Indexes Online brings Film Index International and AFI Catalog together in one site. The result of two distinguished partnerships with the British Film Institute (bfi) and the American Film Institute (AFI), Film Index International and AFI Catalog are cornerstone resources for research in film”.
This trial has now ended.

American Film Scripts Online

An ongoing project to digitize and thoroughly index 1,000 film scripts.
This Trial has now ended.

The trial to Oxford Scholarship Online finishes on 5 March. I have received no feedback to date, please contact me or your subject librarian if you think we should subscribe to all or part of this service.

Consultation group on a library portal

We have been thinking for some time about how best to develop a library portal which would integrate with the developing student portal. The idea is that students would be directed to resources considered of value in their subject areas, selected in partnership between tutors and subject librarians. They would also be able to add their own favourite resources to create a ‘my library’ facility. In order to discuss how this might work and be created, including issues such as links to WebCT and other e-learning resources, we would like to hold one or more consultative meetings with academic staff. If you are interested in taking part in this discussion, please contact Ian Mayfield.

Ian Mayfield

May 2004

Unless indicated otherwise, to access named electronic resources, go to the Library Subject Directory
and then search for the resource by title

New databases

Compendex Online
Access to the engineering database Compendex has been made easier by means of a subscription to the online version. There are two separate access links covering respectively 1995-1999 and 2000 to date. Off-campus access is Athens authenticated. For older material, it is necessary to use the CD-based Compendex Plus as before.

Artbibliographies Modern
This bibliographic database covering art and design is now available from the Cambridge Scientific Abstracts stable. Athens authentication is required for access whether on or off campus.

MIMAS Litlink
Locates possible sources of journal articles, both on-line and via document delivery services. LitLink knows about over 19,000 journals, including those from all the major scientific, technical and medical publishers. LitLink can also be used from? Zetoc?. At the time of writing this is available via your ?My Athens? page, but has not yet been added to the Library catalogue or website. This will be done within a few days.

Film Index International
Described as 'a major information resource for entertainment films and personalities' with a scholarly, inclusive approach to all areas of film studies? On-campus users can access directly from the Library website. Off campus use is via the URL http://fii.chadwyck.co.uk/password.
This Trial has now ended.

New e-journal

Police Review
This journal is now available electronically.
Contact Library.Webmaster@port.ac.uk for the username and password.

Access is limited by the number of simultaneous users, so if you can?t get in, try again later!

Coming soon

Planex database
A licence has just been signed for this bibliographic database which plugs a gap in our provision, covering as it does planning, housing, transport and the environment.

Other news

Historical Abstracts and America: History and Life now available off campus
Off campus access to these two databases is now available via Athens authentication.

Library focus groups

A series of focus groups have recently met to discuss a range of potential Library developments. A briefing paper has been prepared with a number of key questions which we invite staff to answer for us.

Briefing Note for Focus Group Discussions [Acrobat (.pdf) - 11kb - 11.05.2004]

Please send any answers to Ian Mayfield. Ian is also the person to contact if you would like to discuss any of the ideas discussed in the paper.

June 2004

Unless indicated otherwise, to access named electronic resources, go to the Library Subject Directory
and then search for the resource by title

Database news 

Tour replaced by LeisureTourism.
The Tour database has now ceased. Its provider, Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau, has offered instead a new product called LeisureTourism. Unlike the CD-Rom based Tour, this is a web service with weekly updates. It claims to provide same database content as Tour, plus full-text review material, news,events calendar, etc. Once the subscription has been set up, on-campus access will be via IP address. In the meantime, anyone wishing to use the service should use the following:
URL: www.leisuretourism.com
For Username and password, contact library.webmaster@port.ac.uk
On the home page, click on the ‘search abstracts’ button in the left panel. Then, when prompted, enter the username and password.

See also the trials section below for details of another leisure and tourism source

Lexis/Nexis upgrade.
The existing subscription to the LexisNexis database has been upgraded to LexisNexis Executive. In addition to the legal databases previously available, this provides archive access to a wide range of UK and international newspapers, news feeds (e.g. CNN and Agence France Presse) and weekly current affairs magazines (e.g.The Economist, Le Point, Der Spiegel, Time). Date ranges available vary but The Washington Post goes back to 1978 and Le Monde to 1990.

PLANEX now available.
This is a database of bibliographic abstracts with some full text, covering the economic, physical, social and environmental aspects of urban and rural development with a particular focus on town and country planning, economic development and housing.

Business database upgrade from Elite to Premier.
The decision has been taken to upgrade from Business Source Elite to Business Source Premier. Details of the holdings of BSP can be found at www.ebsco.com

It has a good deal more peer-reviewed journals and some of the holdings runs are longer. Additionally there are country economic reports, industry and market research reports and monographs.

Database trials

For username and password details for these database trials, contact Library.Webmaster@port.ac.uk

Ebsco Hospitality and Tourism Index.
A bibliographic database is partly based on the Articles in Hospitality and Tourism index and the Lodging Restaurant and Tourism Index

SCRAN is a ‘learning image website’ which gives access to hundreds of thousands of high quality digital images, sound files and video clips, most of which are accompanied with a detailed text record, as well as guides and tools for use in VLEs, Powerpoint and worksheets. These resources have been drawn from over 350 different museums, art galleries, media organisations and archives and cover a wide range of subject areas.
All materials are copyright cleared for educational use, which includes use in web based distance learning. n.b. SCRAN started out as a Scottish heritage resource and these origins are still evident in the content.

Oxford Reference Online.
A collection of reference works from Oxford University Press, described by one reviewer as “superb, and…makes use of some of the best features we've seen in online reference publishing. This is a top-quality resource."

Classical Music Library.
A collection of recordings playable via the Web.

Other news

Crossref. There's an interesting development at Crossref - Google-powered searching for the full text of articles across 9 publishers' websites. See...