EUREKA MUSINGS FROM SOMEONE NEW TO EUREKA
I've been having a great time with Eureka on the Web. I thought, "Hey. I'm an RLIN power-user; I love commands. I know I won't go for this point-and-click kinda searching." So I wasn't exactly prepared to really like Eureka on the Web! (I'm going to save myself some typing here and call it Eureka/Web.)
To back up a little: RLG announced in early January that Eureka/Web was generally available. For those of you with Eureka accounts used directly (you type in the account name and password), point your Web browser to:
Multiuser accounts used through menus and scripts can get more information at:
First the basics: I found all the screens well organized and easy to use. There are navigation buttons at the top and bottom of the screen. This is a great feature and keeps scrolling to a minimum. Some indexes return search results in a browse screen, which looks very similar to Eureka/Telnet, where you can click to select records you would like to see. Like Eureka/Telnet, you can even select non-sequential records, i.e., numbers 1, 3-4, 5, and 9, download, print, or e-mail search results in various formats. All the key features of Eureka/Telnet are still available, with the added advantage of having all indexed headings display as active links.
I think Eureka/Web makes this all a little easier, though, and with the right Internet connection, a little faster. Eureka/Web displays records on one web page, so you can scroll through your results rather than going from screen to screen. Eureka/Web also takes advantage of your browser's capabilities to download, print, or e-mail records. Users familiar with how their Web browser works can export records without learning all the commands necessary for Eureka/Telnet, i.e. faculty members who are compiling bibliographies.
Yes, Eureka/Telnet is easy, but there are a lot of screens to read to learn how to export records into ProCite format. With Eureka/Web, I exported without ever having to check a Help screen. I had never exported with Eureka before!
Of course, I decided to check out Help. I was very impressed. Help opened as a separate window; each screen has a link to the Help Contents. When you type Help using Eureka/Telnet, you leave your search session to read the Help screens. Eureka/Web lets you keep the Help window up and open while you continue to work in your Eureka session.
But Help gets even better. The Help Contents screen contains a live e-mail link, so you can e-mail your questions directly to RLG staff, and, this is what really impresses me, it has a live chat feature using Netscape's CoolTalk to the Eureka CoolTalk customer support line. When you select this option, the hours that the CoolTalk customer support line is open are listed, and if it's currently open, a link is available to the RLIN person who is online. Live help -- Wow!
Of course, Eureka/Web can also take advantage of URLs that are in the records. They are displayed like so:
So even if you never thought you would want to use Eureka, do give Eureka/Web a whirl, even you fellow catalogers. We do find ourselves on the reference desk, and helping to compile thorny bibliographies (like that one on Vietnamese finance ... in English, yet). E-mailing the results to the professor, attorney, or fellow staff member who requested them is a lot faster than waiting by the printer and walking to the mailboxes!
Other quick RLIN news:
» RLIN Terminal for Windows 4.0 is available, and adds Cyrillic, Hebrew, and Arabic script input and display. It also displays the RLIN ILL record IDs as barcodes on the long and partial displays in the ILL file. For more information, see the October 1996 RLIN Focus, or point your Web browser at:
Some RLG publications may also be ordered online now. For more information see:
» There is a great new searchable list of RLIN library identifiers. It offers exact and keyword searching by institution name or identifier and has a link to one long, complete list:
And, lastly, put on your thinking caps for AALL in Baltimore! What would you like to talk about at the RLIN Committee's Open Discussion? Drop me a line and let me know. Information about RLIN Activities at AALL will be posted to RLIN-L. To subscribe, send an e-mail the message 'subscribe RLIN-L <your first and last name>' to LISTPROC@LISTS.RLG.ORG
Correction: In my previous column, the quote in the third paragraph should read
" ... develop automated scripts for extracting records for dataloading into RLIN."
" ... cataloging into RLIN.")
That's what I get for writing on decaf!