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NLM Technical Bulletin 1997 May-Jun; 296



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NLM Online Users' Meeting - May 1997


MEDLARS Remarks
dot DOCLINE Remarks
Questions and Answers

DOCLINE Remarks

[Editor's Note: This article contains the edited text of a presentation given by Martha Fishel, Deputy Chief, Public Services Division, at the NLM Online Users' Meeting, May 25, 1997 in Seattle, WA.]

First I'd like to extend greetings to all of you from Rosalyn Leiderman who was unable to attend. Roz really looks forward to answering all those trivia questions about DOCLINE every year - and we love to have her do it because she is the best qualified. The second best qualified person is Karen Kraly, our DOCLINE programmer, who was also unable to attend this year. That said, we have now moved on to somewhere below 3rd best qualified. If you have questions I can't answer, we'll get back to you.

Rather than go over the list of changes that have occurred in DOCLINE and document delivery this year, I want to make this more of an audience participation session. Most of you should have received the DOCLINE enhancements documentation. If you have questions about any of that, please call the DOCLINE Service Desk (888-FINDNLM).

My presentation will be in the format of a multiple choice quiz.

DOCLINE via the Internet

The current use of DOCLINE over the Internet is:

a) 21%
b) 31%
c) 51%
d) 71%

At the MLA Annual Conference last year, Lois Ann Colaianni, Associate Director of Library Operations, requested DOCLINE participants' assistance with reducing NLM's telecommunication costs associated with DOCLINE. NLM requested that libraries begin to transition to the Internet and that all resource libraries transition to the Internet by September 30, 1998. There has been progress towards this goal, but the library community needs to make more of an effort. In March, 1996, there were 638 libraries that accessed DOCLINE using the Internet; 21% of total DOCLINE hours were Internet use. In March, 1997, 830 libraries used the Internet to access DOCLINE, and 31% of DOCLINE use was via the Internet. Libraries have reported response time problems, which has been attributed to users' local Internet providers. In addition, some participants have reported difficulties with downloading and printing the DOCLINE receipts.

NLM staff had many concerns that DOCLINE Internet access was slow, and that printing requests was awkward because they did not break correctly one per page. The good news is that we have determined that DOCLINE is NOT the problem, but rather the problem lies with local Internet providers.

This past year NLM worked with a few telnet client systems to address the printing problems. We can report that at least 3 of them: NetTerm, AnzioWin, and SmarTerm 420 do pretty well with printing, particularly NetTerm. The URLs for these three telnet clients are:

NetTerm
http://www.securenetterm.com/ [corrected 8/29/2001]
AnzioWin
http://www.anzio.com/[corrected 8/29/2001]
SmarTerm 420
http://www.persoft.com/specstext/420spec.htm
[corrected 1/3/1998]

The Relais System

Moving to the second quiz question:

The Relais System is:

a) A Track and Field event at the Olympics
b) A mechanism to switch electrical currents
c) A new way to send electronic messages
d) A document delivery processing system

NLM is in the process of installing RELAIS, a document delivery processing system developed by a company in Ottawa, Canada. It's an internal system that will allow NLM staff to monitor the interlibrary loan requests from receipt to delivery.

The most significant changes include the upload of DOCLINE requests to Relais every fifteen minutes. Currently, DOCLINE requests are captured in one batch overnight and printed each morning. In Relais, a set of pre-determined rules for sorting and distribution will be applied allowing requests to print in batches for each collection or floor level at NLM. Requests which meet criteria to automatically reject will never be printed. A DOCLINE message will automatically go back to the requesting library with a reason code such as Cost or Expired. Printed requests will be sent to the stacks for retrieval of the documents. Document scanners will replace photocopiers for all non-original requests. The Relais System employs Fujitsu 3096EX scanners that have been fitted into a specially designed mobile workstation which houses the scanner, the system CPU, a keyboard, a 20" touch screen monitor, a foot pedal, and a barcode reader.

Delivery Method

One of this year's DOCLINE enhancements was the addition of a new Delivery Method field. At NLM, Relais will read the delivery method that the library indicates in the DOCLINE borrow record. If electronic delivery is requested, Relais will send these items from the scanner to an internal server. From there the material will be sent to the library without intervention by NLM staff. While NLM expects to see a steady increase in electronic delivery, in the near term, the bulk of its document requests will be printed and distributed using the U.S. mail.

Benefits to NLM include:

  1. Labor savings
  2. Flexible reporting
  3. Better monitoring of interlibrary loan contracts

Benefits to the Network are:

  1. Faster Delivery
  2. More accurate request tracking
  3. Better quality documents
  4. E-mail Options

DOCLINE Phone Number

Question Number 3: The DOCLINE toll free number is:

a) 800-633-5666
b) 888-FINDNLM
c) 800-GOAWAY

The correct answers are a and b. Users can still reach the DOCLINE Service Desk on the old number 800-633-5666, and can also get there from the new number 1-888-FINDNLM - select option 3. This means you don't have to remember more than one number.

Looking into the Future

Last quiz question - and this one has no correct answer:

The DOCLINE system:

a) adequately meets my needs for now and the near term
b) is OK but needs technology improvements to keep pace
c) will be largely obsolete in 5 years with the growth of electronic publications
--prepared by Martha Fishel
Deputy Chief, Public Services Division
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