FirstSearch frequently asked questions

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General questions

How does Electronic Collections Online relate to FirstSearch?

Access to Electronic Collections Online journals is provided through the Electronic Collections Online database that is fully integrated in FirstSearch. The database includes browsing of journals by subject, publisher collection, and tables of contents. Also, you can add links in your Web pages or online catalog that take your users directly to specific journals within the database.

In addition, the journals are sources of full text for other FirstSearch databases. If you subscribe to Electronic Collections Online journals, your users have direct access to the full text in those journals from abstract and index databases throughout FirstSearch.

How can I receive the latest news about FirstSearch?

Visit the FirstSearch section of the OCLC Web site. It includes service overviews, news, documentation, support, and information about FirstSearch databases and Electronic Collections Online journals.

You can also subscribe to the OCLC Internet lists that distribute FirstSearch news.

  • OCLC-FIRSTSEARCH-L provides news about FirstSearch.
  • Z39.50FS-L provides news about Z39.50 access to FirstSearch databases.

To subscribe to these or other OCLC Internet lists complete the OCLC Internet List Subscription Request.

How is FirstSearch protected from connection disruptions?

Power. OCLC receives its commercial power from two substations that are routed to OCLC along diverse routes. Battery backup bridges a commercial power failure and the startup of OCLC's diesel generators that are configured for redundancy and capable of powering FirstSearch and other OCLC systems.

Internet Service Providers. OCLC has three Tier 1, carrier-based, Internet Service Providers with a combined capacity of 50 Mbps. OCLC's Internet connections are designed with full redundancy and diversely routed circuits. Each Internet Service Provider is backed up by the others in the event of a failure. OCLC will also work with users and their Internet Service Providers to resolve connectivity and response time problems.

Is FirstSearch training available for my library staff?

Contact your nearest OCLC office or regional service provider to learn more about the FirstSearch information, training, and planning advice they can provide. They know your library's needs and can help you get the most out of FirstSearch.

How does FirstSearch provide full text for journal articles?

Some FirstSearch databases contain both citations and full text for indexed journal articles while other databases contain only citations.

To improve access to full text, FirstSearch links the full text for journal articles to the citations for those articles in other databases. Although this linking of full text and citations cannot be done for every database, it is done for those databases containing sufficient information to make the links.

As a result, users searching any of the linked databases that you make available to them can view the available full text of journal articles found even if it comes from another database.

Information describing which databases contain full text and which databases contain links to full text in other databases is included in OCLC FirstSearch Service Databases in Brief. For more information about controlling full text in FirstSearch, see Managing the OCLC FirstSearch Service.

Searching and using FirstSearch

Is cross-database searching available in FirstSearch?

FirstSearch supports cross-database searching (also called multidatabase searching) in the following ways:

  • When deciding what databases to search, a user can select a database topic area and enter a search term to have FirstSearch suggest the best databases for searching. FirstSearch lists databases in the topic areas that contain the search term and estimates the number of records the term will find in each database.
  • When specifying the databases to include in a search, a user can choose up to 3 databases. The search is counted in each database. So, if three databases are included in a search, three searches are counted. In the administrative module, you specify the maximum number of databases (1, 2, or 3) that users can include in a search.
    If a user includes 2 or 3 databases in a search and does not ask FirstSearch to rank the results of the search, the records found are grouped by database in the results list. Links are provided at the top of the list so the user can jump to the results for any database. If 2 or 3 databases each contain a record for the same item, each record is included in the results list because FirstSearch does not remove duplicate records.

Can users reuse previous searches during a FirstSearch session?

All previous searches performed during the current session in any database are available for reuse. To see previous searches, select the Search tab at the top of the FirstSearch screen and then select the Previous searches in the top bar. Users can select a previous search to redo it and view its results again. Or, they can combine a previous search with additional search terms or with other previous searches and view the results of the combined search.

After performing a search, click the Save Search link on the Results screen to save your search results. Those search results can then be re-used when you click the Previous Searches link on the FirstSearch Search screen.

Note: The Save Search feature is available to you after you use the My Account function to set up an account with FirstSearch.

Does FirstSearch offer relevance ranking of search results?

Relevance ranking is available for users to select when they enter a search. If they select it, FirstSearch analyzes all the records found by the search and lists the records in order of relevance. If more than 1,000 records are found, only the first 1,000 are listed.

What defines the ranking and the sorting of a search?

When entering a search in most databases, a user can select results ranking by relevance or date. All records found by the search are ranked but only the top 1,000 records are available for use.

In WorldCat, the default ranking is by "Number of Libraries." This means that records retrieved in a search are listed in descending order by the number of libraries holding the item. Commonly held items will be displayed first on the list of results

When viewing the results of a search that found between 2 and 500 records, a user can sort the records by one or more data fields. The fields available for sorting vary by database.

Does FirstSearch include thesauri?

The thesauri currently available in FirstSearch are listed in the table below. In each database listed, the thesaurus is available through the Subjects feature, which lets users find subject headings and view broader terms, narrower terms, see-also terms, and subheadings.

Database Thesaurus
ERIC ERIC Thesaurus

MEDLINE

Medical Subject Headings (MESH)

PsycBOOKS

PsycCRITIQUES

PsycFIRST

PsycINFO

Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms (PsycINFO Thesaurus)

WorldCat

Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH)

PAIS International

PAIS Thesaurus

MLA

MLA Bibliography Thesaurus (includes both the Terms and Names files)

GeoREFS

GeoRef Thesaurus

Sociological Abstracts

Thesaurus of Sociological Indexing Terms (Sociological Abstracts Thesaurus) 

Does FirstSearch remove duplicate records from cross-database search results?

No. FirstSearch lets users choose which record best meets their needs when two or three databases each contain a record for the same item. Each database may provide different information about the item, such as an abstract or additional subject headings.

How do I know if full text is available for my search results?

If the full text of an item is available to the user, a full-text icon and link to the full text appear in the results list and detailed record. The user simply clicks on the icon or link to view the full text. Also, users can limit search results to items with full text when they use a database in which full text is available.

In addition, an indication of your library's ownership of the item also appears if your library cataloged the item using the OCLC Cataloging service. A key FirstSearch goal is to provide a clear indication of an item's availability and location in results lists and records.

Why do I get a list of articles when I click a full-text link?

Sometimes FirstSearch cannot link directly between the citation for an article in one database and the full text of the article in another database. The article might be described differently in the two databases preventing an exact match, or the full text for the particular article might be excluded or temporarily unavailable.

However, FirstSearch still provides a full-text icon and link with the citation if it can link to available full text for articles in the same journal volume or issue as the cited article. When a user clicks on the link, FirstSearch displays a list of articles available on FirstSearch from the cited journal volume or issue that contains links to the available full text. In this list of articles, users may find the full text for the cited article or for other articles containing useful information.

Why do I receive wrong articles when I click on a full-text link?

Sometimes incorrect information in a database causes the citation for an article in one database to be linked to the full text of a different article in another database. To help correct this problem, send information about the incorrect full-text link to your local support desk. Be sure to give them enough information to reproduce the problem.

Can I mark multiple records for printing, e-mailing or saving?

Users can mark up to 100 records for printing, e-mailing, or saving. The marked records can come from any search or database used during the session.

When e-mailing records, remember that some e-mail systems cannot handle large messages.

Can I browse Electronic Collections Online journals?

In the Electronic Collections Online database, users can browse journals by subjects, publisher collections, journal titles, available issues, and tables of contents.

Authentication

How do I set up automatic logon for FirstSearch?

OCLC offers the following automatic logon methods.

  • IP-address recognition. OCLC Internet Protocol (IP) address recognition is easy to set up and maintain. You specify which IP addresses may use your FirstSearch accounts. You add links to FirstSearch on your Web pages. The links work only for users with an IP address that you specified. Complete instructions are available at IP Address Recognition: Getting Started.
  • WebScript automatic logon scripting. Automatic logon scripting requires special knowledge and facilities but provides additional control of automatic logon needed by some libraries. To use automatic logon scripting, your system administrator installs and uses the OCLC WebScript CGI (Common Gateway Interface) application--copyrighted freeware, distributed free of charge. Complete instructions are available at Automatic Logon Scripting for FirstSearch.

Can I use Athens authentication to access FirstSearch?

Yes. The Athens service delivers authentication, authorization, and distributed user account administration for information services in the education and health sectors of the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Scandinavia.

Users with an Athens username go to the address for FirstSearch Athens logon and type the Athens username and password. After logging on, users see the FirstSearch home screen from which they begin their session.

The following sources are available for users and library staff who need assistance using Athens authentication access to FirstSearch:

  • Users should contact their Athens administrator.
  • Library staff and Athens administrators should contact their local support desk.

Can FirstSearch perform user authentication?

FirstSearch does not contain an authentication component. However, some libraries authenticate users when they enter the library's environment.

Library patrons sometimes request access to library services from remote locations. Libraries need to be able to authenticate and authorize access to their services for these remotely located patrons. Proxy servers and similar mechanisms allow libraries to perform these functions, but not without intensive resource commitments (time spent on setup and maintenance, money invested in equipment, etc.). Circulation system patron authentication for the FirstSearch service, through the use of the NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol (NCIP), allows library patrons to gain appropriate access to the FirstSearch service from any location. NCIP is an approved NISO standard that defines messaging between circulation systems, ILL systems, or broker applications. NCIP has many applications, only one of which is authenticating patrons for access to an online service.

The FirstSearch service currently allows manual logon, IP address recognition, scripted access, IP referer, and Athens authentication, none of which provides a complete access solution for all remote users. The NCIP-based patron authentication feature, while it does not replace these existing authentication methods, complements and supplement them.

For more information on NCIP authentication, go here.

How do I add my institution's IP addresses or create URLs for IP recognition?

Use the following procedure to set up IP-address recognition access to FirstSearch for the first time, using the administrative module:

  Action Result

1

Gather the information described in IP Address Recognition: Getting Started (Chapter 5, "Information needed to set up IP-address recognition access to FirstSearch")

 

2

Log on to the administrative module using the authorization chosen to be your default authorization for IP-address recognition.

 

3

Click IP-Address Recognition in the sidebar menu of the Authentication/Access section of the main menu.

The system displays the IP-Address Recognition screen.

4

Go to the IP Addresses section of the screen.

 

5

Type the first part of an IP address in the first IP Address box and press the Tab key.

 

6

Type the second part of an IP address in the second IP Address box and press the Tab key.

 

7

Type the third part of an IP address in the third IP Address box and press the Tab key. (Type * in the box or leave the box blank if the third part can be any number.)

 

8

Type the fourth part of an IP address in the fourth IP Address box. (Type * in the box or leave the box blank if the fourth part can be any number.)

 

9

Click the Add button.

The system moves the IP address to the IP Address List.

10

If you have another IP address to include in the list, repeat steps 5-9.

 

11

If you have additional FirstSearch authorizations for your institution, consortium or subgroup that may access FirstSearch from the same IP addresses, go to step 12. If you do not, go to step 17.

 

12

Go to the Additional Authorizations section of the screen.

 

13

If you want an authorization required in all of your IP-address recognition URLs, even those that use the default authorization, place a check in the Authorization Required box.

 

14

Type a FirstSearch authorization for your institution, consortium or subgroup in the Authorization box.

 

15

Click the Add button.

The system moves the authorization to the Authorization List.

16

If you have another authorization to include in the list, repeat steps 14-15.

 

17

Click Save Changes.

The system confirms your changes.

18

After you exit the administrative module, create IP-address recognition URLs and links using the information in Quick start to creating IP-address recognition links to FirstSearch.

 

Can I use EZProxy to access FirstSearch?

Yes. EZproxy is an easy to set up and maintain program for providing your users with remote access to web-based licensed databases. It operates as an intermediary server between your users and your licensed databases. Your users connect to EZproxy, and then it connects on their behalf to your licensed databases to obtain web pages and send them back to your users. Since EZproxy runs on a machine on your network, your database vendor sees the requests as coming from an IP address on your network, so it permits access.

EZproxy connects to a large number of content providers (including OCLC FirstSearch, EBSCO, Gale, etc.). It connects to a wide variety of authentication services (including LDAP, SIP, Athens and Shibboleth) which reduces the number of authorizations/ passwords and provides a better end-user experience.

Let's assume that ezproxy.yourlib.org is your EZproxy server and that you subscribe to somedb.com. To make this database available, you need only edit the EZproxy config file and add these lines:

Title Some Database

URL http://somedb.com/search/

Domain somedb.com

With these lines in place, you could make this database available from any web server with a URL like this:

Some Database

If on-site users click on such a link, they are sent straight to the database. Off-site users are required to authenticate before proceeding. Once authenticated, the off-site user accesses the database through a "virtual web server."

When this user requests documents from this virtual web server, EZproxy makes the same request to the somedb.com database and then sends the response back to this user. During this transaction, the request to somedb.com comes from your own server, so somedb.com views it as one of your IP addresses and allows the access.

Can I bypass the FirstSearch Home Page During Login?

There are two methods of setting up access to FirstSearch so that you bypass the FirstSearch home page (login screen) and go directly to a database. The first method is IP Address Recognition using the dbname= component. You can use either method to point users to appropriate resources by creating links to specific FirstSearch databases, Electronic Collections Online journals, or other screens within FirstSearch. For example, you can create a WorldCat link that takes users to a search screen for the WorldCat database, or an Education link that takes them to a database selection screen for the education topic area. The screen that you specify through automatic logon may override the default search screen or default topic area specified in the administrative module.

For details, see the IP Address Recognition: Getting Started guide.

The second method of automated logon utilizes Webscript CGI. The OCLC WebScript CGI (Common Gateway Interface) application is copyrighted freeware, distributed free-of-charge, and subject to license terms and conditions. OCLC WebScript lets institutions give their users access to FirstSearch without releasing the institution's FirstSearch authorization number and password.

For details, see the Automatic Logon Scripting for FirstSearch guide.

Resource Sharing through FirstSearch

Can I control interlibrary loan in FirstSearch?

In the administrative module, you can control all aspects of FirstSearch patron interlibrary loan (ILL), as well as OCLC WorldCat Resource Sharing. In order to use FirstSearch ILL, your library must have access to the WorldCat Resource Sharing service because FirstSearch ILL requests are processed through that service. Find out more about WorldCat Resource Sharing.

FirstSearch patron ILL functionality available in the administrative module includes:

  • You can turn ILL on or off in all or selected FirstSearch databases.
  • You can specify whether the ILL button appears on records that WorldCat indicates are held by your library. You can customize the text of the ILL link that appears in FirstSearch records
  • You can customize the FirstSearch ILL request form so it best meets the needs of your users and ILL staff.
  • For each database, you can specify which of the following methods is used to process ILL requests:
    • Library staff review all requests.
    • The OCLC ILL Direct Request service processes all requests. Information about this service is available at < www.oclc.org/support/questions/resourcesharing/directrequest/ >.
    • Requests are sent via e-mail to your library for processing outside the OCLC WorldCat Resource Sharing service.

Can I change the FirstSearch interlibrary loan request form?

In the administrative module, you can customize the FirstSearch ILL request form so it best meets the needs of your users and ILL staff. You can:

  • Supply a label for each field
  • Supply content for a field or leave the field blank for users to supply the content
  • Specify which fields are displayed to users, can be modified by users, or must be completed by users
  • Add a note for users on the form
  • Specify whether or not user data has persistence (whether or not data typed by a user in the first ILL request of a FirstSearch session is automatically redisplayed in subsequent ILL requests during the session)

For more information, see the Administrative Module Reference Guide .

How can I set up ILL access from FirstSearch?

The following solution can be found in Help for the FirstSearch administrative module, or in the Administrative Module Reference Guide (Chapter 7, "Customize Interlibrary Loan for patrons").

Log in to the FirstSearch administrative module and click the Resource Sharing tab. Then, in the left-hand panel, under Patron ILL Settings, click ILL Processing. The ILL Processing screen displays.

How the ILL Processing screen works

The ILL Processing screen contains an ILL Access box. Turn ILL access on by placing a check in the box if you want users to be able to submit ILL requests while using FirstSearch. If the box is not checked, users cannot submit ILL requests.

Choose which option you prefer for displaying your library's holdings in the ILL Button Display Options field. If you choose to display always, an ILL button will always be displayed to the user on Search Results screens.

The ILL Processing screen also contains a text entry field that allows you to customize the text for your ILL link. (See Customize the text for the link to the ILL Request Form in the FirstSearch admin Help for more information).

The Database ILL Settings section of the ILL Processing screen lists the databases included in your FirstSearch account that are suitable for ILL requests. Databases for Z39.50-compatible library catalogs will also appear here if you have configured them for "individual display."  (See Z39.50 Library Resources: overview and needed information in the FirstSearch admin Help for more information.)

For each database, you can choose any of the following options if your library has access to the OCLC ILL service. If it does not, you can choose ILL via E-mail or ILL Access off for each database.

  • Click the button for OCLC ILL Review File if you want your library staff to review, in the OCLC ILL service, all requests that users submit while using the database. To use this method, your library must have access to the OCLC ILL service.
  • Click the button for OCLC ILL Direct Request Profile if you want all requests that users submit while using the database to be processed automatically using the OCLC ILL Direct Request service. For this option to work correctly, you must also create ILL Direct Request profiles. To use this method, your library must have access to the OCLC ILL service.
  • Click the button for ILL via E-mail if you want each request that users submit while using the database to be sent to your library in an e-mail message. If you choose this option, you must also specify one or two of your library's e-mail addresses to which ILL requests submitted by your users can be sent. Click the Resource Sharing section of the main menu, then choose ILL via E-mail from the drop-down list under Patron ILL Settings in the sidebar menu to go to the screen for specifying the e-mail addresses. This method does not use the OCLC ILL service. Your library may use the ILL via E-mail method whether it has or does not have access to the OCLC ILL service.
  • Click the button for ILL Access off if you do not want users to submit ILL requests while using the database.

Hints for using the ILL Processing screen

  • If you make changes, click Save Changes before leaving the screen. If ILL access is turned off (the box is not checked), your users cannot submit requests in any database and the settings for the ILL Request Form, ILL Processing by database and ILL via E-mail are ignored.
  • If your library does not have access to the OCLC ILL service, you must also specify one or two e-mail addresses to which ILL requests submitted by your users can be sent. Click the Resource Sharing section of the main menu, then choose ILL via E-mail from the drop-down list under Patron ILL Settings in the sidebar menu to go to the screen for specifying the e-mail addresses.

Managing FirstSearch

How do I access the FirstSearch WorldCat Services administrative module?

To log on to the administrative module, you must have one of the following browsers enabled:

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer:
    Versions 5.0 or higher provide full support for administration module features. JavaScript must be enabled.
  • Netscape Navigator:
    Versions 7.0 or higher provide full support for administrative module features. JavaScript must be enabled.

Requirements for viewing in Japanese or Chinese

We recommend the use of a Japanese or Chinese (Simplified or Traditional) operating system to correctly display administrative module error messages and features.

In addition, a Unicode (UTF-8 encoding) font is required for workstation display of CJK vernacular data. We recommend Arial Unicode MS included in Microsoft Office 2000.

Can I control the databases and full text our users see?

You control the databases and full text available to your users in the FirstSearch service as you control other content in your library collection. You decide which databases and full text to make available to your users and at what cost. You decide which journal titles you want to provide through FirstSearch and which you want to provide through other methods.

The following methods are used in FirstSearch to control which databases and full text are available to your users:

  • Your FirstSearch account and Electronic Collections Online journal subscriptions define which databases and full text you can make available to your users and how they are purchased.
  • Your administrative module settings specify which databases and full text included in your account and subscriptions you actually make available to your users.

For more information about controlling databases and full text in FirstSearch, see Managing the OCLC FirstSearch Service .

Can I choose a default search mode for FirstSearch?

In the administrative module, you can specify the default search screen--Basic, Advanced, or Expert. Users can change the search screen during their search sessions if they do not want to use the default you select.

  • The Basic search screen lets users type search words in a single box and choose one of a few main indexes.
  • The Advanced search screen lets users type search words in multiple boxes, choose Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) to combine search words, choose any available indexes, choose any available search limits, and choose options for ranking search results.
  • The Expert search screen provides an area for users who prefer to type the elements of a search without system prompts. Sometimes a few highly specialized indexes are only listed in the Expert Search screen. These indexes can be searched within all search screens by placing the search label in front of the terms being searched. The search label overrides the index name displayed in the search box.

The Find related feature in FirstSearch helps users find additional records that match their latest search. The feature provides links to selected databases. If a user clicks the link to a database, FirstSearch performs the latest search in that database and displays the search results. The search may or may not find any records.

Each link shows the name of the database and the type of materials indexed. The link to a database is provided if all of the following are true:

  • The database is available to your users
  • Word-only indexes were used in the latest search (phrase-index searches are excluded)
  • The database contains the same indexes as those used in the latest search

The Save Search feature in FirstSearch allows users to save their searches. If the user is not logged in to their personal account, they will be prompted to logon. They will then be able to access saved searches through the Searching tab in FirstSearch.

Use WorldCat Institution Records to select how institution records are searched and displayed in WorldCat. You may link to copies of an institution's record from the master record, which may include specifics on location, local call numbers or indexing, and local notes for that institution. These institution records will be the same as the regular bibliographic record, but the institution record will include that institution's unique local information as provided by that institution.

These settings affect all WorldCat and WorldCat related databases, including all group catalogs, Electronic Books and WorldCat Dissertation records.

Can I choose a default database for FirstSearch?

The Default Database column of the Database Access screen in the WorldCat Services Administrative module indicates which database is selected as the default for this authorization. When you log in to FirstSearch, users will automatically access the search screen for the database that you designate as the default.

By default, there is no default database selected. To choose or change a default database, click the radio button for that database. If you prefer not to choose a default database, select No Default Database at the bottom of the list. Be sure to click Save Changes before leaving the screen if you make changes.

You can also specify which database a user sees when they enter FirstSearch if you use IP-address recognition or WebScript automatic logon scripting. However, you may not select a full text database as the default.

Can I choose a default interface language for FirstSearch?

English is the default interface language and you cannot change it in the administrative module. However, users can select the French, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, (traditional) Chinese or (simplified) Chinese interface on the FirstSearch logon screen or at the bottom of any FirstSearch screen.

Also, you can specify the Spanish, French, Japanese, Korean, (traditional) Chinese or (simplified) Chinese interface in links to FirstSearch that you add on your library's Web pages using IP-address recognition or WebScript automatic logon scripting. Or, you can provide a link to the Spanish, French, Japanese, Korean, (traditional) Chinese or (simplified) Chinese FirstSearch logon screen. FirstSearch will pick up the default language that you specify in your browser and display that language for users accessing FirstSearch via IP address recognition.

How many unused searches remain in my per-search account?

The Account Information section of the administrative module lets you view information about your FirstSearch account, including expiration dates and searches remaining in a per-search account. The number of remaining searches is updated once each day. This information helps you plan when to order more searches.

Usage statistics

Are usage statistics available for my library?

The online FirstSearch usage statistics contain information about your library's use of FirstSearch. Monthly reports are included for individual and group (consortium) accounts. Each month, OCLC adds another month to the statistics service. A minimum of 36 months of historical data will be available.

Overview reports combine data for all databases, including the number of sessions, searches, and full-text documents used. They also provide data about the actual number of simultaneous users of the account. Other reports provide data about each database, including the number of searches and full-text documents used.

Since April 1999, Electronic Collections Online session and search statistics have been included in the online FirstSearch usage statistics, along with activity from all FirstSearch databases. Also, reports are available that cover the Electronic Collections Online journals used by your library. These reports include the number of full-text displays viewed in all journals and in individual journals.

OCLC Usage Statistics can be accessed from the login screen for Connexion, FirstSearch or Resource Sharing.

Log on to the usage statistics site using your FirstSearch authorization and administrative or statistics password. After logging in, you will be able to select any of the statistics reports that are available for you.

Holdings

How is holdings information determined?

All holdings come from the holding information provided by member libraries cataloging in the WorldCat database. For some databases the holdings are based on individual records holdings within WorldCat. However, for article databases, the holdings are based on the accumulated library holdings for that articles journal.

The databases with holdings for that individual bibliographic record includes WorldCat, Ebooks, GPO, RIPM Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals, SCIPIO, WorldCat Dissertations and the Group catalogs. All these databases are getting the information from the WorldCat holdings. The HandPressBooks also has individual holdings based on the individual bibliographic records of that database. These holdings are maintained in that database.

The rest of the holdings information is found in article databases and that holdings information is combined from all WorldCat journal records holdings where the records containing the same ISSN as the article. Holdings for a serial are presented based on links to the current ISSN.

Specifically, journal holdings will display based on the presence of the ISSN in only the 022/a and the 776/x fields in WorldCat records. In databases such as ArticleFirst, FirstSearch will match holdings data with records based on the presence of an ISSN in the 773/x field.

If your library's OCLC symbol is attached to a journal record containing the ISSN for a journal, the symbol will be included in holdings information for that journal.

Why is our holdings symbol missing from a FirstSearch record?

The articles holdings has two common reasons a library’s holding symbol is missing from the holdings display. One reason is that the holdings was added recently. The journal holdings information is compiled weekly. So if a holdings symbol was added to a journal recently, then it should appear within a week of that update. The second reason is if a record for a journal or journal article does not include the ISSN for the journal, FirstSearch cannot supply holdings information for the record.

How do I set up links from WorldCat holdings information?

These links require that you have enabled certain link features in the FirstSearch administrative module:

See the OCLC FirstSearch Administrative Module Reference Guide for more information on the features and procedures used in the FirstSearch administrative module.

When do holdings appear in FirstSearch databases?

The holdings information for individual bibliographic records includes is maintained in real time and would appear as soon as it was added to the record.  Therefore these holdings are up-to-date. These databases are Ebooks, GPO, HandPressBooks, RIPM Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals, SCIPIO, WorldCat, WorldCat Dissertations and all the Group catalogs.

The holdings for articles in the article database are compiled from all journals with that ISSN in the WorldCat database on a weekly basis.

What are the options for displaying holdings in FirstSearch?

(The following solution can be found in the Help for the FirstSearch administrative module.)

Log in to the FirstSearch administrative module and click the Interface Display tab.

Click Library Holdings in the sidebar menu of the Interface Display section of the main menu to go to the screen that contains Library Holdings Display.

Library Holdings Display has the following options:

  • None. Select None if you do not want users to view holdings information for other libraries.
  • System Default. Select System Default if you want users to view holdings information chosen by FirstSearch using the Rules for the System Default holdings option given below.
  • Regional. Select Regional if you want users to view holdings information for libraries in your region.
  • Group. Select Group and select the symbol of a group of which your library is a member?either an OCLC Group Access Capability (GAC), a Union List (UL), or a GAC/UL group?if you want users to view holdings information for libraries in that group. Selecting Group also lets users limit search results to items held by the group.

If you select System Default, Regional, or Group, you can also select Display All Libraries to specify that users can also view holdings information for all libraries.

Rules for the System Default holdings option

If Then

More than 20 libraries hold the item and 10 or more are located in your location (U.S. state, Canadian province, other country, or other location).

The system displays holdings information for libraries in your location.

More than 20 libraries hold the item and fewer than 10 are located in your location but 10 or more are located in your region.

The system displays holdings information for libraries in your region.

20 or fewer libraries hold the item or more than 20 libraries hold the item but fewer than 10 are located in your location or region.

The system displays all holdings information.

You can see available holdings information for all libraries regardless of their location by clicking the Display All Libraries link on the Libraries that Own Item screen. In the administrative module, you control whether or not the link is available to your users.

Linking and OpenURL

Can I link from FirstSearch to my online catalog?

You can add a link to your Web-based online catalog from the FirstSearch service by typing URLs for the catalog in the administrative module. If you do, the link appears in FirstSearch records in selected databases so users can click on the link to use your catalog and determine an item's availability and location.

If you use this feature, the link appears whether or not FirstSearch indicates that your library owns the item, that is, whether or not your library's OCLC symbol is attached to the record.

When a user clicks the link, FirstSearch adds a heading and a Return button above the screen for your catalog so the user can easily return to FirstSearch.

For more information, see the Administrative Module Reference Guide .

Can I link from my Web page to individual FirstSearch databases?

Yes. Using automatic logon, you can point users to appropriate resources by creating links to specific databases or other screens within FirstSearch. For example, you can create a WorldCat link that takes users to a search screen for the WorldCat database, or an Education link that takes them to a database selection screen for the education topic area.

For more information, please see IP Address Recognition: Getting Started.

Can I link my Web page to ECO journals?

Yes. You can use automatic logon to create links leading directly to screens for individual journals within the Electronic Collections Online database. You can add the links on your Web pages or in records in your online catalog. For example, you can add a link that takes users directly to the information screen for the Journal of Ecology. More information is available at Direct Journal Access.

How do I set up inbound OpenURL access into FirstSearch full text?

In addition to taking the steps necessary to activate OpenURL linking into services like FirstSearch from your own OpenURL linking service (contact the vendor or your IT group for assistance), please make sure you have also completed the following within the FirstSearch administrative module interface (this assumes your institution has licensed access to the full-text database(s) to which you want to enable inbound OpenURL access):

  1. You have enabled Direct Article Access for the full-text database
    ( Authentication/Access tab >> Database Access page >> check the appropriate boxes under the Direct Article Access column).
  2. You have enabled IP address recognition
    ( Authentication/Access tab >> IP-Address Recognition page).

If your vendor or IT group has questions about how to structure inbound OpenURL links to FirstSearch full text, please refer them to Methods for obtaining full text via OpenURL for assistance.

How do I add links into my library's catalog from FirstSearch?

The following solution can be found in Help for the FirstSearch administrative module and the Administrative Module Reference Guide (Chapter 10, "Link your library, FirstSearch, and other Web resources")

You can add links to your library's catalog from the FirstSearch service by entering URLs for your catalog on the Web Library Catalogs screen in the FirstSearch administrative module. If you do, the links appear in FirstSearch records so users can click on the links to use your catalog and determine an item's availability and location.

If you use this feature, the links appear whether or not FirstSearch indicates that your library owns the item described in the FirstSearch record; that is, whether or not your library's OCLC symbol is attached to the record.

When a user clicks a link and goes to your catalog, FirstSearch adds a heading and a Return button above the screen so the user can return to FirstSearch easily.

To use this feature, you must supply at least one of the four URLs requested below.

Procedure

Log in to the FirstSearch administrative module and follow this procedure.

 

Action

Result or Note

1

Click Web Library Catalogs in the sidebar menu of the Linking section of the main menu.

The system displays the Web Library Catalogs screen.

2

If you want to supply the Catalog Entry Screen URL for your library, type it in the box provided.

 

3

Click the Test button located below the box.

If the URL you entered is correct, the system displays a new browser window containing the screen for the URL.

4

Close the new window.

 

5

If you want to customize the Catalog Entry Screen Link Text, type it in the box provided.

The link text should convey to your users that clicking it will simply take them to your catalog, not actually search it.

6

If you want to supply the ISBN Search Results URL, type it in the box provided.

Accept the ISBN provided for testing or type another ISBN in its place.

7

Click the Test button located below the box.

If the URL you entered is correct, the system displays a new browser window containing the screen for the URL you typed and the test ISBN.

8

Close the new window.

Do steps 6 - 8 at least twice--once with an ISBN that finds a record in your catalog and once with one that does not.



If you decide not to supply the ISBN Search Results URL, delete it from the box provided.

9

If you want to supply the ISSN Search Results URL, type it (including the hyphen) in the box provided.

Accept the ISSN provided for testing or type another ISSN in its place.

10

Click the Test button located below the box.

If the URL you entered is correct, the system displays a new browser window containing the screen for the URL you typed and the test ISSN.

11

Close the new window.

Do steps 9 - 11 at least twice--once with an ISSN that finds a record in your catalog and once with one that does not.



If you decide not to supply the ISSN Search Results URL, delete it from the box provided.

12

If you want to supply the OCLC Number Search Results URL, type it in the box provided.

 

Accept the OCLC number provided for testing or type another OCLC number in its place.

If your library configures its catalog to remove the leading zeros from OCLC records, click the Do not add leading zeros to the search term radio button. If your library leaves the leading zeros, click the Add leading zeros to the search term radio button. If you do not know which radio button to click, test with both until you get a successful result (see the next step).

1 3

Click the Test button located below the box.

If the URL you entered is correct, the system displays a new browser window containing the screen for the URL you typed and the test OCLC number.

14

Close the new window.

Do steps 12 - 14 at least twice--once with an OCLC number that finds a record in your catalog and once with one that does not.



If you decide not to supply the OCLC Number Search Results URL, delete it from the box provided.

15

If you want to customize the Catalog Search Results Link Text, type it in the box provided.

The link text should convey to your users that clicking it will search your catalog.

16

When you are satisfied with the URLs and link text, click Save Changes.

The system responds with Web Library Catalogs screen changes saved.

17

Go to the FirstSearch service to test the links in the WorldCat database. If changes are needed, return to the administrative module and repeat the appropriate steps above.

Note: Test the links in the following types of records:

  • Records with no ISBN, ISSN, or OCLC number
  • Records with an ISBN that finds a record in your catalog
  • Records with an ISBN that finds no record in your catalog
  • Records with an ISSN that finds a record in your catalog
  • Records with an ISSN that finds no record in your catalog
  • Records with an OCLC number that finds a record in your catalog
  • Records with an OCLC number that finds no record in your catalog

Can I add my OpenURL server to FirstSearch?

Some libraries use OpenURL servers to help connect their users to available online resources. For example, a user retrieves a record in an online database that contains a description of a document. The user wants to view the full text of the document. The record contains a link that leads to an OpenURL server. The user clicks the link. The link sends information about the document to the server. The server displays a screen that contains links likely to lead to the document or more information about it.

The OpenURL Links feature in the FirstSearch administrative module lets libraries add links in FirstSearch databases that lead to their OpenURL servers.

You can find details about adding your OpenURL server to FirstSearch in Help for the FirstSearch administrative module, and in the Administrative Module Reference Guide (Chapter 10, "Link your library, FirstSearch and other Web resources").

Z39.50 access

What is Z39.50 access to FirstSearch?

A Z39.50-compatible local system can access FirstSearch so users can search FirstSearch databases using the local system's procedures and commands. Implementation steps and effort vary by local system. Some software development and related costs may be required to adapt your local system to operate as a Z39.50 client.

Other Z39.50 client software, such as some personal bibliographic software, can also use Z39.50 access to FirstSearch.

More information about Z39.50 access to FirstSearch is available in the FirstSearch Z39.50 Configuration Guide.

How are the FirstSearch databases accessed through FirstSearch Z39.50 access?

See the full list of Z39.50 FirstSearch databases with detailed Z39.50 configuration information for each.

Are all ECO journals available through Z39.50 access?

Yes. All bibliographic information and full-image articles for journals in the Electronic Collections Online database are available now through Z39.50 access. For details, see FirstSearch Databases Z39.50 (OCLC FirstSearch Electronic Collections Online).

What version of Z39.50 does FirstSearch support?

The FirstSearch Z39.50 server implements Z39.50-1995 (version 3 of the protocol).

How can I learn about future changes to Z39.50 access?

Subscribe to the Z39.50FS-L Internet list, which is used to distribute important news about Z39.50 access to FirstSearch. As a broadcast only list, it only has a few messages; however those messages can be of important database changes. OCLC recommends that at least two people from each FirstSearch Z39.50 institution subscribe to the list so important news is not missed if someone is out of the office for several days. To subscribe to this or other OCLC Internet lists, complete the form for an OCLC Internet List Subscription Request.

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