Working with the British Library - the zetoc experience

MacIntyre, Ross and Apps, Ann Working with the British Library - the zetoc experience., 2001 . In The Fourth Conference Libraries Without Walls 4 (The Delivery of Library Services to Distant Users: Distributed Resources - Distributed Learning), Molyvos, Lesvos (Greece), 14-18 September 2001. [Conference paper]

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English abstract

A market research report commissioned by the British Library was used as the basis of a detailed list of requirements for the provision of digital services to the UK Higher and Further Education sector. The services stemming from these requirements centred, in the first instance, on the British Library's Electronic Table of Contents data (ETOC) that lists the titles of nearly 15 million journal articles and conference papers. A key approach to the development of these services will be the conformance to accepted standards and open systems, thus enabling greater potential for interoperability with developments elsewhere. As a first step towards this the British Library contracted Manchester Computing to develop and mount a Z39.50-compliant version of the ETOC database, a service now live entitled 'zetoc'. The service is free to UK institutions supported by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) of the UK Higher Education Funding Councils. In addition to this operational service, which is based on existing and well-established proprietary database management applications, a separate pilot version is being developed using a subset of the data in XML format which will be conformant with the Dublin Core and exploiting 'Cheshire II' software. As well as a number of Z39.50 interface developments, a current awareness alerting service based on the ETOC data has been implemented. The ultimate aim is to develop the alerting service to enable it to link seamlessly with document ordering systems and integrate with other current awareness mechanisms. The document ordering interface will present the user with the option to select a source of supply. If the item is contained within an electronic journal to which the user's institution subscribes, the intention is to automatically link the user to the electronically-stored journal. If the item is not held 'locally', the user will be presented with an option to either request the document directly from the British Library or via their local library. This functionality will be achieved via integration with other systems, including 'brokering' services, developed within the UK education community as part of the JISC's accurately named 'Join-Up' programme. This paper describes the development process, the systems themselves and the support services created to provide academic and research communities with a valuable resource both in terms of discovery/location and content provision. The British Library is working in partnership with Manchester Computing at the University of Manchester, with the Universities of Liverpool and California-Berkeley as associate partners.

Item type: Conference paper
Keywords: electronic table of contents, Z39.50
Subjects: H. Information sources, supports, channels. > HN. e-journals.
J. Technical services in libraries, archives, museum.
Depositing user: Ann Apps
Date deposited: 30 Jul 2008
Last modified: 02 Oct 2014 12:12


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MODELS - Moving to Distributed Environments for Library Services

BL/HE Task Force

MIMAS - Manchester InforMation and Associated Services

JISC - Joint Information Systems Committee

Join-Up Programme


CrossNet's ZedKit software


The Cheshire II Information Retrieval System.

The Z39.50 Bib-1 Attribute Set.

The Z39.50 Generic Record Syntax (GRS-1) Tagsets.

The Z39.50 Bath Profile.

The Consortium for the Computer Interchange of Museum Information (CIMI) Dublin Core Document Type Definition.

A. Apps and R.MacIntyre. (2001). zetoc: a Dublin Core Based Current Awareness Service. Proceedings of the International Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications 2001 (DC2001 -, National Institute of Informatics, Tokyo, Japan, 22-26 October 2001, pp 227-234.


JIBS - JISC (assisted) Bibliographic dataservices

zetoc Usage Statistics


H. Atkins, C. Lyons, H. Ratner, C. Risher, C. Shillum, D Sidman and A. Stevens. Reference Linking with DOIs. D-Lib Magazine 6(2), February 2000. doi://10.1045/february2000-risher


DNER - Distributed National Electronic Resource


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