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OCLC FirstSearch Interface Changes

OCLC has released the new FirstSearch service, which includes a new interface and many new features.  OCLC will continue to add more features and databases.  Please consult their Web site for an implementation schedule [].

A guided tour graphically illustrates the new features and how to use them [].

On January 30, 2000, the current FirstSearch, Electronic Collections Online, and text-only interfaces will be discontinued.

If you are interested in receiving updates on the progress, you may subscribe to the FirstSearch-L and/or WebScript-L Internet lists at [].

Summary of the Changes:

  • Single-search functionality — Cross-database searching that allows users to view records for all databases searched, and retrieve full-text articles from the journals to which your campus provides access.
  • Flexible search parameters — Basic, advanced, and expert search capabilities including truncation, wildcard, thesaurus-aided searching, sort options, and relevance ranking.
  • Multilingual capabilities — English, French, and Spanish interfaces.
  • Remote access — Web, text only, or Z39.50 access, so users can search FirstSearch from home, school, or office.

Because OCLC re-indexed their databases for the new Firstsearch, the CDL is preparing to convert the Z39.50 Web and Telnet interfaces for WCAT, MLA Bibliography, ArtAbstracts, PAIS, RILM, PapersFirst, and for the Web interface for Books in Print in order to make them compatible with our Z39.50 clients.  Specifications have been received from OCLC and work has begun on WCAT, ArtAbstracts, and Books in Print.