Linking the Agricultural Information: Paper
catalogue and to assist in administrative services, like circulation, serials administration, and acquisition.
Bibliographies, books, and journals were printed on paper. Computers provided secondary information about these items.
Wageningen Agricultural Library/PUDOC-DLO serves more than 70 Dutch libraries with substantial collections on agriculture
with this kind of automation, using its AGRALIN system.
Nowadays, the information available to the library public is no longer only in print. All major bibliographic journals are published on CD-ROM. Some books are also published on CD-ROM and some large journal publishers are providing their journals electronically as well. These ‘traditional’ publishing vehicles are becoming supplemented with new electronic publication forms like web-sites and online ‘factual databases’
Wageningen Agricultural University Library/PUDOC-DLO is trying to bring this information to the user in two ways.
1. The Desktop LibraryWhen libraries became involved in offering more electronic services, besides access to their catalogues, they were confronted with many different sorts of software, each having their own user interface. They had to confront their users with many different applications. Local area networks were installed, so users could run the various applications on one workstation, menu systems were installed to 'navigate' the user to the different sources, but more integration was needed. The user wants a common user interface and more functional integration between services. To reach this goal, some libraries started experiments using various technologies. The impact of Web technology however was enormous. The Web turned out to be the common user environment. It is common sense to create an integrated user environment, using this technology. Using hyper linking, cgi-programs, and JAVA, we will build 'the desktop library', to integrate services and information.
With 'the desktop
library' we will help the user to find the right source. Sources are
classified by subject and registered in a database. This way we help the
user to find the right bibliographies, library catalogues, etc.
To integrate information that is available to the end user we provide
hyper links wherever that is useful. In the catalogue we have links for
journals to the full text of recent issues. Whenever journals are
available, somewhere on the Web, we will provide a link
in our catalogue. We have also started to collect electronic journals
in our virtual reading room.
At this moment we are integrating this information in our catalogue.
We provide access to bibliographic journals on CD-ROM, using Silverplatter's ERL technology. When a user finds a reference to an interesting article, this may be present in one of our libraries. It might even be available electronically, in the case of Elsevier journals. We are working on tools that will check whether a journal is available and provide necessary links.
We also test the usefulness of different sorts of links. For example, links to information about pesticides in relevant catalogue records or links to catalogue records about specific trees, when this tree has been found in DRYADE, our dendrological database
2 Electronic publishingWageningen Agricultural University Library/PUDOC-DLO is involved in electronic publishing for a few years now. We have published several CD-ROM's (PROSEA, DRYADE and LKN) and have created various web publications.
First of all we publish several bibliographic databases that we have created ourselves:
About AGRALINAGRALIN is an acronym for 'Agricultural Bibliographic Information System of the Netherlands'. This system is maintained by the joint efforts of the Wageningen Agricultural University and the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Conservation and Fisheries. The core of this system is the Union Catalogue of Agricultural Books and Periodicals, containing bibliographic data on the collections of more than 70 Dutch libraries with substantial collections on agriculture. Among these are all libraries within the Wageningen Agricultural University, and libraries of agricultural research institutes and experiment stations.
In addition to this, several other bibliographic and factual databases are available on the AGRALIN host computer. Gradually, all of these databases will become accessible through the WWW platform.
Through the AGRALIN WWW server, we are offering access to information on Dutch agricultural research and education to a worldwide audience. At the same time, we are constructing the Virtual Library of Wageningen Agricultural University and DLONL, the Netherlands organization for agricultural research. Students, staff and faculty of these two organizations will have direct access to catalogues, bibliographic and factual databases and full text scientific books and journals from their own desktop. Finally, we are enabling a number of organizations in the field of agricultural research to bring information to the World Wide Web as guests on our server.
AGRALIN is coordinated from Jan Kops House in Wageningen, by the Wageningen Agricultural University Library and PudocDLO. For further information on the AGRALIN system and access to the databases please contact the help desk at the JanKopshuis at email@example.com.
About the authorsFrans Leemreize is Associate director for automation.
Peter van Boheemen is Head of systems development.