October 1993 - Volume 10:2
By Stephen Lehmann
RLIN, as many Penn faculty and students are aware,is the enormous database of the Research Libraries Group. It provides access to twenty million books, journals, sound recordings, scores, videos, and manuscripts, as well as to specialized files indexing journal articles published from 1976-77 to the present in architecture and the history and technology of science, and from 1985-86 in engineering and foreign legal periodicals. As of September 1993, RLIN has been available through the a new search interface called EUREKA.
Designed for scholars and researchers, EUREKA is not only more intuitive and "friendly"--with excellent context-specific online help-- but it provides a significantly greater degree of power than "old" RLIN, with features such as sorting (by author, title, or date, singly or in combination), downloading using a variety of bibliographic formats, and a simple "send" command for mailing a search result over the Internet to a personal e-mail account. Using EUREKA it is also possible to browse indexes, limit search sets by parameters such as date of publication and language, and review and manipulate search results.
RLIN was originally developed to support the technical operations of libraries, such as cataloging and interlibrary loan, and the user interface was designed accordingly. The "old" RLIN interface was logical and consistent, but it required a certain commitment and level of practice and has clearly been an obstacle to more widespread use of the database. We are very hopeful that EUREKA will now open this important resource to the wider scholarly community.
Getting access to RLINRLIN has been available to Penn faculty, staff, and graduate students through direct personal accounts for sev-eral years, and there are presently more than 750 RLIN users from virtually every department of the University who dial in from home or office. Present accounts, whether used or not, have been switched to EUREKA, as have the public- access RLIN terminals in Van Pelt's computer labs and Reference Department and in other libraries on campus.
Any Penn faculty or staff member or graduate student with PennNet access who does not presently have an RLIN account is welcome to send the form below to Russ Chenoweth, Reference Department, Van Pelt Library/6206 for a password. There are no direct costs to the user, beyond any phone charges incurred dialing in to PennNet.
If you find that you are unable to get into EUREKA because of system capacity, or if you have any questions, please call Russ Chenoweth at 898-8118.
STEPHEN LEHMANN is the Humanities Bibliographer at Van Pelt Library.