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CDL Database Transitions

a. PAIS Available Via CSA

PAIS (Pubic Affairs Information Service) via Cambridge Scientific Abstracts (CSA) is now available, and will be turned off via SilverPlatter on January 17, 2002. UC-eLinks (CDL’s SFX server) will not be turned on, however, until issues are resolved concerning its use with other CSA databases, in consultation with the Transition Steering Committee.

b. Medline Retires

MEDLINE/HealthSTAR, the first of CDL’s hosted databases, which debuted on October 8, 1987, retired on December 21, 2001.  During its fourteen-year life span, it was always the most heavily used article database, as well as one of the most complex and fully featured.  PubMed from the National Library of Medicine now replaces Medline, bringing access to health sciences literature into a new era.

UC health sciences librarians initiated the original grant project to develop the database.  They worked closely with staff at the Division of Library Automation and later CDL to refine the database and provide extensive education programs and materials.  Maintenance of the Medline database over these years required countless staff hours, loading files and performing other kinds of maintenance on this major database.  In order to retire the database, staff also spent many hours reprogramming, writing and mounting messages about the upcoming changes.

UC health sciences staff, led by Alison Bunting, UCLA, and the CDL MEDLINE Transition Task Force (Janice Contini, UCLA; Amy Butros, UCSD; Steve Clancy, UCI) and the MEDLINE liaisons at each campus were instrumental in making the transition a smooth one.  Their contributions included evaluating the move to PubMed initially, working with NLM/NCBI on many of the UC-specific features for PubMed, and in preparing instructional materials for the UC community.  This has been an enormous undertaking on the part of many people within UC.  Congratulations, and farewell, MEDLINE/HealthSTAR.

c. UC SFX Service Named

The Transition Steering Committee, with input from the campuses and endorsement by SOPAG, has selected a name for the new SFX linking service.  The new name is UC-eLinks. SFX (which stands for Special Effects) is a new product, based on the OpenURL standard, and created by Ex Libris, that provides users with links from a particular citation to various library services.  It will replace the current CDL linking technology.

The choice of name was guided by the following principles.  The term should

  • Include UC as part of the name
  • Be short and not too cute or trendy
  • Be generic enough to cover future services
  • Be easy to say and teach at the reference desk
  • Include “links”, a term which is recognizable to our users
  • Not include SFX since other linking services are likely to develop

Initially, the CDL’s SFX server will offer three services: links to full text, links to campus holdings, and links to Request (ILL).  From a journal database, a user will see an icon for UC-eLinks, and click on it to link to one of the three services.  SFX will initially be activated in the CDL-hosted databases that are transitioning to new vendors, and will eventually function with nearly all the CDL and campus database vendors.

From October through December, selected campus staff conducted testing on a CDL-SFX Prototype with the vendors CSA, Gale, ProQuest and Ovid to test the functionality of the system (e.g., did users encounter error messages, did they get incorrect results).  The test also solicited feedback on how intuitive the SFX options are.

For more information about SFX, click here: