News from the Information Program - SCIS On-Line in 1995

By Schools Catalogue Information Service (SCIS)

On-line access to the SCIS database is to be encouraged as the Information Program implements the new Voyager software and a new communications network.

The Board of Curriculum Corporation has accepted the Strategy plan of the Information Program that sees on-line access to the SCIS and other databases, as one of the future directions for the program.

Curriculum Corporation has been negotiating with Telecom to, not only establish a suitable communications network for access to the database, based on equity of access from anywhere in Australia but also to assist with the development of a communications software for schools.

Connections subscribers will have noticed that in the last edition, Maria Keys enclosed a one-page survey of telecommunication equipment in school libraries. The response was overwhelming ( over 500 replies) and this has again reinforced the thinking of the Information Program that schools will use on-line access if Curriculum Corporation can make it as easy as possible. The development of SCISLINK and the bulk purchase of Modems have resulted from the responses.

CISLINK will be a communications software that Curriculum Corporation will continue to develop to enable easier access to the database. This software will have the following features:

  • Automatic sensing of the modem's highest baud rate and connection port of the computer.
  • Automatic setup to emulate VTlOO access to the database.
  • SCIS connection phone numbers already in the program.
  • Gateway to other services including KEYLINK.
  • File transfer capability • Supporting access speeds from 2400 and beyond.
  • Fully supported by Information Program helpline staff.
  • KEYLINK access fully supported by SCIS.

Curriculum Corporation is also aware that Modems are a vital and often expensive piece of a on-line jigsaw. Curriculum Corporation has been negotiating with Banksia Communications to bulk buy modems for sale to schools. The modem will be a model that has Baud rates to 14400 and will be fully supported by that Company. This modem has been chosen as it has speeds fast enough to support downloading of records off the SCIS database. The bulk purchase price will give schools a saving of $200.00 off the schools' price.

The change to Voyager will bring a new era to the Information Program at Curriculum Corporation.

Curriculum Corporation is therefore offering the two packages to assist schools to move to SCIS On-line.

Access Pack:
SCISLINK Software, Subscription and Training. $130.00

Modem Pack:
Modem, SCISLINK software, Subscription/Training. $430.00

On-line subscriptions also incur a $20.00 per hour connect charge, but this will also include access to KEYLINK as well as to the SCIS database.

TRAINING will be a feature of the new On-line service. Curriculum Corporation intends to offer 1-hour free access to the new service for all subscribers in 1995. In addition, Curriculum Corporation is developing a training simulation disk for the database and will be offering training sessions in each state during 1995. The first edition of Connections in 1995 will have dates and times of these sessions. 

Curriculum Corporation are pleased to inform SCIS Users that in 1995 the database will be available on CD-ROM.

Curriculum Corporation has planned the introduction of the CD-ROM to commence with Subscriptions for the 1995 school year. SCIS on DISC will be an alternative way for schools to access the database, in addition to Microfiche and Dialup. The Disc will have the following indexes as searchable:

  • ISBN
  • SCIS Order Number
  • Author
  • Title
  • Subject
  • Date of Publication.

Boolean searching will also be a feature of the Disc.

Curriculum Corporation has planned that this product will be available initially as a IBM DOS and WINDOWS format but, in second term 1995 a MACINTOSH version will be available.

Curriculum Corporation has planned SCIS on DISC to be the first of a range of products off the database using this platform. In the second half of 1995, another product will be released to allow downloading of data off the Disc.

Curriculum Corporation has been endeavouring to assist schools with recycling of the Information Program products for some time now and a feature of the subscription to SCIS on DISC will be the option that subscribers will be encouraged to return the previous quarter's Disc. CD-ROMs can now be recycled and Curriculum Corporation will encourage this by offering a reply paid envelope to return the "old" disk.

Schools Catalogue Information Service (SCIS)