6.0044 Questionnaire: AAUP Online Catalog (1/139)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Mon, 1 Jun 1992 17:12:41 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 6, No. 0044. Monday, 1 Jun 1992.

Date: Wed, 27 May 92 22:18:42 CDT
From: jensen@unlinfo.unl.edu (michael jensen)
Subject: Short questionnaire (see explanation)

Michael Jensen of the University of Nebraska Press and of the AAUP, has
asked me to post this survey to a few key discussion arenas. The idea of
a pan-union catalog was surfaced at last year's annual AAUP meeting and
discussed again (with enthusiasm and the will to do it) at the recent
ARL/AAUP/AMS/NSF Symposium on electronic scholarly publishing on the
academic networks. Your response will be helpful in proceeding with this
vital project. Please reply to Michael directly.

Thanks, Ann Okerson
Association of Research Libraries

----------------------------Original message----------------------------

Dear Internetter--

The Association of American University Presses is considering putting
up a centralized electronic resource--a full-text searchable catalog
of titles with CIP and descriptive information included. It would be
telnet-accessible, and would probably use a WAIS (Wide Area Informa-
tion Server) engine for search and retrieval. This free online catalog
could be included in university CWIS active-resource systems, or could
be accessed by students, librarians, scholars, and citizens with
telnet capabilities. The AAUP is composed of nearly every university
press in the country, which represents a collective list in print of
over 100,000 titles, each of whose descriptions would be searchable,
making it a database of considerable significance.

Most people I've talked with in the library, scholarly, and computer
communities are very enthusiastic about the idea of having up to
100,000 titles and descriptive text (catalog copy, tables of content,
introductions, abstracts...) available for electronic searching,
especially since it would be free.

But beauty is in the eye (or imagination) of the beholder; we need to
know what your needs really are, and what your expectations would be.
To do that, I'd like to ask a few questions, and request that you reply
electronically to this query. By doing so, your actions will serve
two main functions: first, to tell us what you'd want such a system
to do, and second, to tell us the level of electronic interest there
is in such a resource, at this point in the electronic web's development.

The AAUP Online Catalog won't happen tomorrow, but it will happen.
There's a lot of labor involved at the individual presses, however, so
we need to be sure that it's worth it. The sooner we can have solid data
about the needs of the community and the degree of interest, the sooner
we can make it happen, and the better the resource will be.

Please reply electronically to Michael Jensen, jensen@unlinfo.unl.edu.
Please put "AAUP Online" in the description line. Or reply to
the University of Nebraska Press, 327 NH, Box 880520, Lincoln, NE

The questions are designed to be numerically tabulatable, but
feel free to include any comments you feel are necessary.


1) What is the "critical mass"--the size at which an easy-to-use
online pan-university press catalog (as described above) becomes
interesting and useful?
A) 5000 titles and descriptions
B) 10,000 titles and descriptions
C) 50,000 titles and descriptions
D) 100,000 titles and descriptions

2) If your "critical mass" were available, how often might you check
such a resource?
A) whenever I researched anything
B) twice a month
C) once a month
D) twice a year
E) once a year

3) If you are familiar with the term WAIS (Wide Area Information
Server), is your university likely (in a year) to be using WAIS in
some capacity?
A) Yes
B) No

4) List the following in descending order of importance, in terms of
text forms for data searching and information retrieval (first is most
important, as in e, c, a.... etc.):
a) text table of contents
b) text introduction
c) descriptive copy
d) CIP data
e) author/title
f) publisher's name
g) author bio
h) price

6) What sort of telnet/internet-capable machines are you most
likely to use?
A) Mac direct connection
B) Mac with modem
C) DOS direction connection
D) DOS with modem
E) Windows direct connection
F) Windows modem
I) Gnu
J) Other (please name)

7) What would you be using this resource for?
(Check all that apply)
A) Browsing/searching for something to find at my local library
B) Browsing/searching to acquire for my local library
C) Browsing/searching to acquire for my own personal library
D) Browsing to see what's new
E) Trying to find something I think might be out of print

8) If you are an information provider (librarian, information
specialist, computing resource developer), would you want to
make this sort of resource available to your users?
A) Yes
B) No

9) Please list in descending order of importance (most to least):
a) easy keyword searching
b) graphical attractiveness
c) sheer numbers of titles (assuming searching was tolerably easy)
d) wais client-server connectivity
e) "copyability" of selected data into our own database
f) easy printing of data ("hits," descriptions, CIP data, etc.)
g) telephone ordering information
h) online ordering system

10) Would you mind getting mail about these sorts of questions again?

11) Voluntary: please put your name, affiliation, and address below.

Thanks for your time, that most valuable of resources.

Michael Jensen
Electronic Media Manager
University of Nebraska Press