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OCLC

The librarian in Chemistry gave me a demonstration of OCLC this morning.
(First Search http://www.oclc.org/oclc/fs/). This is one of the systems
that Chester has looked at (with OVID) for the distribution of table of
contents, abstracts and full text for the IUCr journals.

OCLC has a web interface based on single server somewhere in the USA. As
the net was so slow we had to give up before doing anything really
useful. OCLC can also be used by telnet connection (either to the USA or
UK) either using a standard terminal emulator or a special programme
that OCLC sells. My demo was made using the telnet connection to the UK.

OCLC covers a much wider area of interests than OVID and runs its own
abstracting service. As an example we searched one of their databases
for Acta Crystallographica and chose an article by Weeks et al to look
at the abstract on screen and then send to me by e-mail. When one
compares it with the real article, one finds that they have made an
error in the page numbers (210-219 instead of 210-220). The abstract in
OCLC is a rewrite of the author-supplied abstract in Acta. Clearly the
person producing it has never read the article. I would be interested to
know if OCLC and/or OVID have approached the IUCr to negociate a license
for using the text of the IUCr abstracts rather than wasteing money by
pretending to make their own.

In OCLC, as in OVID, one starts a search by choosing a database. There
is no intercommunciation between the different databases. The databases
are searched through a uniform client interface. It very much gives the
impression as having been prepared in a rush (in order to make money!).
For example, an author's name is used in the form displayed in the book,
article, conference proceeding etc., i.e. P. W. Atkins appeared under at
least five headings: Atkins, P. , Atkins, P. W., Atkins Peter W. etc
etc. Titles of works are the same thing. Acta Crystallographica A
appeared under 5 slightly different headings (taking account of the
change of sub-title: Foundations to Fundamentals). From the user's point
of view, this makes the system rather unattractive.

I did not see any full-text articles so I do not know how they do them.

With the intention of evaluating OCLC for the University of Geneva,
"test" conditions were negociated to obtain access for 500 searches (ie
looking at the text of an abstract) at between FFR 7 and 8 (French
Francs) per search. The chemistry librarian did not have other details
concerning OCLC.

Mr Christen gave me two print-outs from the oclc site. The first at
http://www.oclc.org/oclc/fs/database.htm gives the list of databases and
....../fs/9085fs/topic.htm the Topic Area List.

Subject: 
       (1 of 1) Structure Solution by Minimal-Function Phase Refinement
and
   Date: 
       Tue, 25 Nov 1997 05:21:00 +0000
  From: 
       oclc-fs@oclc.org (First Search Mail)
    To: 
       howard.flack@cryst.unige.ch


 
------------------------------------------------------------ 
PLEASE DO NOT REPLY OR SEND MESSAGES TO THIS EMAIL ADDRESS. 
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SEARCH STRING: jo= "acta crystallographica section a fundamentals of
crystallography" 

      AUTHOR: Weeks, C. M.; DeTitta, G. T.; Hauptman, H. A.; Thuman, P.; 
              Miller, R.
       TITLE: Structure Solution by Minimal-Function Phase Refinement
and 
              Fourier Filtering. II. Implementation and Applications.
JOURNAL NAME: Acta crystallographica. Section A, Foundations of 
              crystallography.
  VOL, ISSUE: Volume A50, Part 2
       PAGES: 210-219
    PUB DATE: March 01
        YEAR: 1994
        TYPE: Article
    ABSTRACT: A new computer-intensive direct-methods procedure, termed 
              shake-and-bake, involves alternation of real-space
filtering 
              with phase refinement based on reducing the value of the 
              minimal function.  Based on the results of initial 
              applications, this procedure shows potential for providing 
              fully automatic routine solutions for structures in the
200-
              400 atom range.
        ISSN: 0108-7673
  J ALT NAME: Acta crystallographica.  Section A, Crystal physics, 
              diffraction, theoretical and general crystallography Acta 
              crystallographica. Section A, Fundamentals of
crystallography
    LANGUAGE: English

 
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-- 
Howard Flack        http://www.unige.ch/crystal/ahdf/Howard.Flack.html
Laboratoire de Cristallographie               Phone:(+41 22) 702 62 49
24 quai Ernest-Ansermet             mailto:Howard.Flack@cryst.unige.ch
CH-1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland                   Fax:(+41 22) 781 21 92

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