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July 1994, Week 4


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Medical Libraries Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 25 Jul 1994 21:15:06 -0400
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Dear Colleagues:  The following questions concern the provision of Selective
Dissemination of Information (SDI) services provided by information brokers,
librarians, corporate information specialists, and other similar information
professionals.  Please reply to my email address below.  Thank you very much for
your participation in this research.
My personal experience with SDIs covers the last five years in a medical
library setting.  I had administered an SDI program to a clientele that included
practicing physicians, biomedical researchers, environmentalists, drug company
representatives, and attorneys.
The maximum number of SDI subscribers in the program at any one time was twenty.
Individuals might allow their subscriptions to lapse, then reregister, or allow
them to lapse, and I would never hear from them again.  The searches were run
I am interested in discovering how products such as Currents Contents on
Diskette (and now on CD), Reference Update, OCLC's FirstSearch (Article1st,
Contents1st), and CARL UnCover, as well as others that I may have unwittingly
omitted, are impacting the provision of SDI services once primarily a
responsibility of the information specialist.
If you once, or presently, offered an SDI service, have subscriptions dropped
off during the past three years?
____If you have actual #s, please specify.
From your personal knowledge, how many SDI subscribers have you lost to end-user
searching of the resources of the type mentioned above?  i.e., if you had
discussed a client's discontinuation of an SDI with him/her or had conducted any
type of survey or analysis, what were your findings?
The following resources are a little different than those I mentioned above:
MEDLINE, SDILINE, DIALOG Alerts, STN, etc.  They are more traditional, may
involve controlled vocabularies/indexing, are less current, etc.
Have you lost any clients to end-user searching of these databases?
____Yes (how many or your impression)
____No (plus other commentary)
Would you please comment, as an information professional, on how you believe
CARL UnCover and similar resources (especially if provided free to end-users in a library or
corporate networked setting) will impact the provision of
commercially/professionally rendered SDI services?
Would any recipients care to work with me on attempting to execute a
comprehensive approach (survey, etc.) that could ascertain #4 above?
Please, if you would, specify your "title" (e.g., corporate info. specialist,
business librarian, academic librarian, etc., etc.)
Thank you again!  I will summarize for the lists to which I have posted this
notice in approximately two weeks.
Nicholas G. Tomaiuolo, M.L.S.
Bibliographic Instruction Librarian
Central Connecticut State University
Reference Department
New Britain, CT  06050
email=  [log in to unmask]
phone=  (203) 832-2068
fax=    (203) 832-3409