5.0613 CDROMS -- Pricing, Library Use (2/80)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Mon, 20 Jan 1992 17:32:36 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 5, No. 0613. Monday, 20 Jan 1992.

(1) Date: Sun, 19 Jan 92 21:50:14 EST (61 lines)
From: Lorne Hammond <051796@UOTTAWA>
Subject: Re: 5.0601 CDROMs -- Prices; Longevity

(2) Date: Fri, 17 Jan 92 18:02:15 ITA (19 lines)
From: maurizio lana <LANA@ITOCSIVM>
Subject: Re: 5.0590 CDROM Prices & Scholars

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------67----
Date: Sun, 19 Jan 92 21:50:14 EST
From: Lorne Hammond <051796@UOTTAWA>
Subject: Re: 5.0601 CDROMs -- Prices; Longevity (2/23)

Re: Use of Cd-Roms

My first exposure to this technology was during a visit to the
University of Houston's library and I was very impressed.

They maintain an Electronic Publications Centre with a tandem
system of jukeboxes. In a backroom, safe from hackers, viruses
and users accidents there are two pc clones, each running a 10
CD "jukebox". Each duplicates the other and both are controlled
by a third Pc which switches between them if there are technical
problems. The whole idea of tandem is that both are running and
when the one doing all the work "crashes" the other steps in.
The pc that controls the two jukebox systems links them out to the
lan in the public area. They had a dozen terminals with software
to switch among the CDs in the backroom. Each terminal had both a
printer and a floppy disk. I downloaded the results of my bibliographic
searches, sorted in alphabetic order, to a floppy. When I got back
to Ottawa I had no problem calling them into Wordperfect. An evening
searching and learning how to download got me 500+ new citations and
a sample map. They also allow downloads from the regional card catalogue
(a different system) which has several universities, medical schools, and
the city library system. (It gets updated every 6 months.)

Folks were very nice there and I got the tour. They did it on a special
grant and the next stage is to connect the lan to faculty offices. You
can save your search patterns so that, say once a week/month you can
quickly update your specialty. The beauty is that it checks journals
that would never occur to you. I have no doubts that this is the future
of literature searches and it is a future where the user conducts the
search. Searches and downloads were free. Printouts were .07 cents/page.
They had: ABI/Inform, Art Index, Biological and Agricultural Index,
Business Dateline, Compact Disclosure, Compendex Plus, Computer Library,
Electromap World Atlas, ERIC, General Science Index, Humanities Index,
Microsoft Bookshelf, Periodical Abstracts, PsycLit, Social Sciences Index,
sociofile, Statistical Masterfile, & Supermap. (MLA & Medline were dealt
with as sign-out but use in library material.)

Over the summer I also did a search at the main library at the University
of Toronto. They had 2 standalone pc machines with cd-rom drives. You
signed up for 15 minute time blocks and took a cd off the table. As the
cd-rom drive is now around $400 for an individual, they should begin to
have a security problem as the cds walk off. The time bottleneck puts
a ritual and constraint to what is actually a very simple matter of fact
operation. Not the way to go. I recommend Cd-rom networks on a
university wide system, just like the mainframe.

Our university, like many others are just making decisions as to which
way to go. Go talk to your library staff because it will effect how
you get information on your profession in future. Ask them to think
about dial-up access from off-campus.

Lorne Hammond
University of Ottawa

P.S. What interests me are the possibilities of publishing in CD format.
Anyone out there with experience in that area willing to comment?

(2) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Fri, 17 Jan 92 18:02:15 ITA
From: maurizio lana <LANA@ITOCSIVM>
Subject: Re: 5.0590 CDROM Prices & Scholars (1/19)

I completely agree with what C. Faulhaber wrote about the high prices of those
CDROM, and the fact that their price makes it impossible to single scholars to
buy them.

I appreciate very much the policy of TLG and PHI, whose prices are even too red
uced (hope this will not mean thet UCI and PHI will raise their prices...!)\


Maurizio Lana | e-mail: LANA@ITOCISI.BITNET
CISI - Universita' di Torino | phone & fax: 39-11-837262
Via Sant'Ottavio 20 |
I-10124 Torino |