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January 30, 2007 [posted]

LocatorPlus® Changes in 2006

during 2006, NLM® made many changes to LocatorPlus®, the Library's Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC). LocatorPlus is the OPAC component of the Endeavor Voyager® software, the Library's Integrated Library System. NLM upgraded LocatorPlus by adding Voyager with Unicode in January and Voyager versions 5.0 and 6.1 in a second upgrade in early July.

In addition, a project team reviewed LocatorPlus configurations and layout design. Many LocatorPlus screens were customized and modifications were made to make searching more user friendly. These modifications were the first major changes to the overall look of LocatorPlus since its introduction in 1998. The information below outlines these version and design changes.

Display and Searching of Non-Roman Characters

This year the NLM made Endeavor's Voyager with Unicode1 release available on LocatorPlus. The Voyager with Unicode release allows users to view and search the non-Roman characters present in over 4,000 LocatorPlus records (see Figure 1). Prior to this change, catalog records contained only transliterated title, author, publisher and other information. Now information is available for searching and display in the original language. Vernacular data are supplied for access points such as author, title, edition and imprint. Character sets currently represented in LocatorPlus include Arabic (see Figures 3 and 4), Chinese (simplified and traditional), Cyrillic, Hebrew, Japanese (Figures 1 and 2), and Korean. As new titles in these languages are added to the collection, vernacular data will be included in the LocatorPlus record.

As shown in Figures 2 and 4, Voyager with Unicode employs the MARC 21 880 fields to link Romanized versions of title, and name fields to the non-Roman counterparts.

Note: Users must install their operating system's font support for proper display as well as the appropriate keyboard layout.

More information about Unicode is available in the LocatorPlus FAQ.

New LocatorPlus Features

Changes to LocatorPlus continued with the combined update in July to Voyager versions 5.0 and 6.1. Features that are now available with these versions include:

Design Changes to LocatorPlus

Also in 2006, the Library introduced display modifications to some search screens, added new search types, and added two new display tabs. Some changes were subtle such as font styles, search screen labels, search button labels, button shapes, colors of some screens, and increasing search relevance by reweighting MARC fields included in several search types. Other enhancements that may be more obvious to LocatorPlus searchers include:

For more information about these changes, see the LocatorPlus FAQs or the LocatorPlus Help. Questions about LocatorPlus may be sent to NLM Customer Service.

1 Unicode is the universal character encoding standard maintained by the Unicode Consortium. By using more than one byte to represent each character, Unicode can represent almost all characters for most of the world's written languages.

By Mary Conway
Reference and Web Services Section

Conway M. LocatorPlus Changes in 2006. NLM Tech Bull. 2007 Jan-Feb;(354):e3.

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