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Harvest - Newsletter Nov 2000

A New Portia

On a sultry day in late May a new library website (Portia) went live, a few days ahead of the University's deadline of May 31st, the date on which all 'old' University websites (i.e. those not conforming to the University's new standard for websites) would be closed down. This bald statement hides the large amount of work carried out by the Library's website management team who designed and implemented this new website, and had it up and running in such a timely manner.

The new Portia Replaces the familiar old Portia, but has a wider purpose than the old website. Using a software package called ROADS (Resource Organisation and DiScovery) the University Library has created a portal integrating the Library's Online Catalogue (in its World-Wide Web version), a host of CD-ROM and Web-based databases, materials of all kinds to help you get the most of out of the Library and a selection of Internet resources. Access to this Aladdin's Cave of information is now through a single website;

A major difference between the old and the new Portias is that in the new website the Internet resources, selected and catalogued by Library staff, are gathered into a hierarchy of subjects, which is browsable by a combination of subject e.g. Biology and the type of Internet resource e.g. Bibliographic Databases. Internet resources were included in the old Portia, but not in a systematic or browsable way. In addition the Internet resources are also searchable by keyword and an advanced search option is provided which permits searching on truncated terms and offers a number of other powerful search features.


ROADS Software

The ROADS software, which underpins Portia, was originally developed under the UK Electronic Libraries Programme (eLib) by a consortium including the Institute of Learning and Research Technology at the University of Bristol and the UK Office of Library and Information Networking at the University of Bath, with the bulk of the development being done by the Department of Computer Science at Loughborough University. Although the ROADS project itself has finished, the software continues to be developed and is in use all over the world. An example of another fine portal that has been developed with ROADS is the National Maritime Museum's PORT gateway, which you can find at

For the techies amongst our readership ROADS (which is available to developers free of charge) is a Yahoo-like system, written in the programming language Perl. It runs on any modern version of the Unix operating system (e.g. Linux) and includes advanced features for linking distributed cooperative databases together using the Internet Engineering Task Force's WHOIS++ search and retrieval protocol, and the Common Indexing Protocol (CIP).

For those of you who would like even more details of the ROADS software you can visit the ROADS website at

Item by: Andy Barrow, Portia Website Manager Contact: Ext.3236 or

The Athens Authentication System

Access to most online information services available to UK higher education is now facilitated by Athens Authentication, a nationwide Access Management System which allows the use of the same username and password for nearly all services.

The "Athens" software was developed by NISS - National Information Services & Systems - to reduce the problem of the large number of usernames and passwords required for access by subscribing institutions to an increasing number of information resources. This product has been so successful that is has been adopted by JISC - Joint Information Systems Committee, which has agreed to fund the Athens service for higher and further education until 2003.

There are two kinds of account: Access Accounts and Personal Accounts.

Access Accounts can only be used from within the University campus and all members of the same Department can use the same username and password. To obtain an Access Account, ask at any of the reference desks in the Frewen Library or at the site libraries.

Personal Accounts, unique to each individual, can be used not only within the University, but also from home or anywhere else in the world with an internet-connected computer. They sometimes offer additional personal enhancements such as alerting services.

When requesting an Access Account in the Library, you can also obtain a form which gives instructions on how to set up a Personal Account. This has to be set up from within the University before it can be used from outside. If you are away from the University, you can ask the staff at the General Reference Desk to set one up for you. Tel: 023 9284 3228

The following services are currently available to members of the University of Portsmouth:

NB Access to Digimap requires additional registration.

More resources may be added as they become available through subscriptions. Further information on current availability can be obtained from the Athens website:

For help with searching, contact your Subject Librarian or any of the staff at the Library reference desks.

For queries relating to Digimap, contact Ian Mayfield: Tel: 023 9284 3239

For Athens account queries, contact Janet Wilmot: Tel: 023 9284 3228

There are a few other subscription online services which are not administered by Athens accounts. These include:

ScienceDirect - full-text journals published by Elsevier. http://www.sciencedirect.comFor registration, enquire at the General Reference Desk Tel: 023 9284 3228

ANBAR - abstracts of articles from management journals. http://www.anbar.comContact your Subject Librarian for a password

European Business ASAP - articles from business journals, many of which are full-text. using your Library Borrower Number

Item by: Janet Wilmot, General Reference Librarian Contact: Ext 3228 or


Computer Software for Home Use

The following computer software is available for loan to University staff for installation on their home computers. The software is held on CD-ROMs which may be borrowed for periods of seven days from the Issue Desk in the Frewen Library.

MS Office 97 Professional.
An integrated suite of office applications including Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Access.

MS Visual Studio 6.0
Microsoft's raft of programming languages: Visual Basic, Visual C++, Visual InterDev, Visual FoxPro, Visual J++.

MS Front Page 98
Software for developing Websites.

Corel WordPerfect Suite 8 Academic
Another integrated suite of Office applications: WordPerfect, Quattro Pro and Presentations.

SPSS Version 9
SPSS, a Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. A powerful package for analysing data in the social or natural sciences.

MS Office 98 for the Apple Macintosh
An integrated suite of office applications including Word, Excel and Access

The software is available under University site licences to members of staff on condition that the software is used in the furtherance of their University work, studies or research. Borrower is responsible for installing and running the software. The University will not provide support for the software on home computers nor will the University be held responsible for changes that may occur to these computers during the installation or use of the software.

Item by: Alan Gill, Manager, ISO Central Site Support, Contact: Ext. 3033 or


Eye Fliers From The Library

The London Eye

On July 26th a group of staff from the Frewen Library visited the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Lambeth, south-east London. After an introductory presentation from Roy Allcorn outlining the history of the Society, we were given a tour of the Society's Library and its Museum of Pharmacy. Caroline Reed, the museum curator, guided us round their interesting and beautiful collection which included apothecary signs, pill-making machines and dispensing equipment. There were also interesting, but not so beautiful, samples of ancient medicines such as dried snakes and mummies' flesh!

After the visit, and an ultimately victorious tussle with a traffic warden for being three minutes late back at the parking meter, some of the party took the opportunity for a flight on the London Eye. The day was hot and a little hazy, but everyone enjoyed the stunning views from the pod. Every pod has a guide nd ours, Ben, took the accompanying photograph for us to commemorate the occasion. (Left to right: Tracy Lester, Andy Barrow, Jenny McGinley, Sheila Al-Amar, Ann Head, Lynn Sheppard, Jane Polwin, Beverley Gamblin and Karen Barnes). If you look very closely you can just make out the Frewen Library in the distance!

Item by: Karen Barnes, Senior Library Assistant
Contact: Ext.3239 or


Ideas For A New Name, Anyone?

Harvest is now more than 5 years old, a lusty infant indeed, but one possibly in need of a change of name since few people (even those most closely associated with it) can recall how it acquired its present name. What I would like to do is counsel readers to send me suggestions for a new name for this august newsletter; suggestions that are ideally both legal and decent. Well at least legal? Please be creative, but note that the following names have already been offered and rejected: Codex, Ex-Libris (unsurprisingly used by a number of academic library newsletters and I don't feel the need to add to that group) and Over the Counter. As an inducement for you to participate I'm offering a bottle of good red or white wine, to be selected by a friend more knowledgeable in these matters than I. Email suggestions to me at including your preference for red or white wine! The winning entry, should I receive one, will be announced in the next edition of Harvest, which will then be the last issue under that name.

Andy Barrow, Harvest Editor


Library Letters By Email

The Library introduced a limited service in October 1999 which enabled the delivery by email of certain library notices that required "urgent action" - i.e. notifying library users of items awaiting collection (both at the Issue Desk and at the Interlibrary Loans section) and recalled items. The service was made "opt-in" for staff and students.

To date, a good number of users have taken up this service. One department has already taken the decision to cut down on the large number of library notices in the internal mail system by choosing to have all available notices sent by email to all students (i.e. to remove the voluntary aspect of the service completely!).

The Library is keen to encourage more library users to take this option for mail delivery and we are also hoping in the future to include more of the range of library notices in the scheme.

We are also currently investigating the possible delivery of some library notices that are "email only", to encourage users to sign up to the service. An example of this would an "alert" service for items about to go overdue: we could not deliver this service in hard copy without denuding acres of woodland in the process, but it is an ideal candidate for email!

There are currently some restrictions on the expansion of the email service to all. Discussions have recently begun within the University to investigate the sharing of data on student email addresses between corporate users. A successful outcome to this would mean that the Library could consider sending all library mail by email. Watch this space for further developments!

However, Schools and Departments may want to consider signing up all their students to the current limited service in the meantime, and cut down on the amount of library notices being received through the internal mail system. This will require some additional work for the Library and for the School or Department and you are encouraged to contact the Loans Librarian, Kath Shakespeare, on Ext.3245 or for initial discussion of this option.

For the time being, you should ask at the Issue Desk, Frewen Library, if you would like to opt in to the current email service for your own library mail.

Item by: Kath Shakespeare, Loans Librarian Contact: Ext.3245 or


Welcome To The Web Of Science

Web of Science

My, but doesn't time fly in the world of information retrieval? From 1990 until this summer the UK Higher Education community had an arrangement with the Philadelphia-based Institute for Scientific Information (otherwise known as ISI) to buy the raw data for their 3 citation indexes - Science Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index and Arts and Humanities Citation Index. This data was then made available to registered higher education users via BIDS (Bath Information and Data Services), initially via a telnet interface and more recently via a Web interface.

This popular and successful arrangement expired on July 31st 2000, when it was replaced with a new agreement whereby ISI will, in addition to providing the raw data, now also provide the search interface to the data. This new service, known as Web of Science, uses ISI's proprietary search interface instead of the 'homegrown' one developed by BIDS. Initially there was some resistance to this idea, but ISI successfully argued that it was in students' best interests to become accustomed to an interface that is used internationally in both the commercial and the academic sectors. So farewell BIDS, hello Web of Science. If you're an artist or someone primarily interested in the humanities don't let the Science part of the title put you off using the database - the Arts and Humanities Citation Index is in there too! A particularly useful feature of the search interface is that you can now search any combination (or all) of the citation indexes simultaneously - very useful for those of you whose interests are cross-disciplinary.

So now, rather than going to BIDS for your citation index searches, you have to go to another provider - MIMAS (Manchester Information & Associated Services) - where you will find the Web of Science at Add this URL to your web browser's bookmarks now!

By common consent ISI's own interface lacks the functionality of the BIDS interface, but ISI are currently investing considerable effort in improving it, and by the time this edition of Harvest appears an improved version of the search interface should be in place. Worried about using the new search interface? A guide to searching Web of Science can be obtained from your Subject Librarian or by emailing me (

Linking Web of Science To ProCite
Web of Science is superior to BIDS in one respect. It is possible to create a link that enables references found in Web of Science to be downloaded over the Internet directly into a ProCite database. Creating this aspect of the link is relatively easy; anyone wanting to do this should contact their ISO Site Support for help and advice. Once the link is created it is a simple task to download references into a ProCite database - anyone wanting help and advice about this aspect of the link can see me! Don't forget that the Library, through the University's Professional Development Unit, offers courses on both Web of Science and ProCite.

Athens Passwords
To access Web of Science you will need an Athens password - a personal password that will enable you to search Web of Science from anywhere in the world, rather than (as some passwords still do) restricting you to searching the database only from the Portsmouth University domain. How can one get an Athens password? Very easily. Ring the Frewen Library's General Reference Desk (Ext.3228) and ask them to supply one, or contact your Subject Librarian (you know who they are) who will be able to provide one for you. Athens passwords are very useful things to have, as they are increasingly being used by database providers to authenticate remote access to their databases. A single Athens password can thus give you access to a wide range of databases from work, from home, from your local cyber-caf? or wherever. For more information on the Athens authentication system visit the Athens website at

A Farewell To BIDS
Certainly not, there's data in the old dog yet! Although ISI's Citation Indexes have moved to a new home BIDS continues to offer a wide portfolio of other database services. You will still need to point your web browser at that familiar old URL ( to access services such as the Ingenta electronic journals, the International Bibliography of Social Sciences, INSPEC and a number of other valuable databases. I shouldn't remove the old URL from your bookmarks just yet!

Item by: Andy Barrow, Life Sciences Librarian Contact: Ext.3236 or


Library Opening Hours

Up to date information can be found in the section of Portia


Library Regulations

Essential reading for library users on borrowing, fines and penalties, and conduct (or misconduct) within the University Library.

The current Library Regulations are available on Portia at, in the Handbook of Student Regulations and on public noticeboards around the Library.

Er? That's enough about Library Regulations (Ed.)

Item by: Kath Shakespeare, Loans Librarian Contact: Ext.3245 or

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