CC News

By Graham Williams

Handy Hints


Q: I currently browse the Internet using the 100 MHz Pentium PC in the library with a 33.6K modem but find it quite slow, sometimes painfully so. I am keen to use SCISWeb but wonder if I should upgrade my PC with more memory, a faster processor, a faster modem, or all or some of these.

A: While a faster & more powerful PC is great to have it probably won't make a significant difference in this case. The major limiting factors to browsing the Internet are firstly, the speed of your connection to your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and secondly, their connection to the net.

A 56K modem will result in a faster connection to your ISP but you need to be aware that there are currently two different tandards in use as major manufacturers have achieved this speed using different technologies. A common standard will be in place later this year, however in the meantime it is important that you contact your ISP to check their capabilities for 56K modems before making a purchase.

The second possible performance bottleneck is the link the ISP has with the Internet. The ISP purchases a connection to the Internet or a larger ISP based on the amount of bandwidth they consider they need to support their subscribers. This bandwidth is like a water pipe, the larger it is, the more can flow through it, the smaller it is the more congestion there is. The issue for ISPs is how to balance the significant cost of more bandwidth against the possible revenue from subscribers, with some ISPs being slowto upgrade bandwidth. Most ISPs will advertise on their WWW site when they make changes to bandwidth -consider checking this from time to time.

In either case, if you are experiencing problems with your connection, or are concerned over performance issues you should contact the ISP's support desk. Remember to have details about your PC or MAC, the version of the Browser you have installed, modem brand and speed, the telephone number you dial to the Internet and your User Id and Password. Be prepared to spend 30 minutes or so on the phone with the Support Desk as they may want to monitor your login to the WWW to pinpoint the problem.

Q: How do I order records from SCISWeb?

A: There are two methods you can use to order your SCIS records from SCISWeb.

Direct Method;

  1. Connect to
  2. Select SCIS then select SCISWeb
  3. Enter user name and password
  4. Select DOC option.
  5. Select Create Orders
  6. Type/Scan ISBNs and/or SCIS order numbers into the order box.
  7. Select Process Orders
  8. Insert a floppy disk into the appropriate drive
  9. Select Usmarc.dat from the Your Data table
  10. Select Save file
  11. Ensure the floppy disk drive is selected (commonly drive a:)
  12. Ensure that the file name is usmarc.dat
  13. Select OK (Your SCIS records have now downloaded onto your disk)
  14. Remove disk and follow the instructions or importing records provided by your library automation software provider.

Uploading Method;

  1. In any word processing package, enter a list of ISBNs and/or SCIS order numbers and save to a floppy disk as a text file.
  2. Connect to
  3. Select SCIS then select SCISWeb
  4. Enter user name and password
  5. Select DOC option.
  6. Insert your disk containing the text file.
  7. Select Upload Order File
  8. Select Browse
  9. Select floppy disk drive (commonly drive a:)
  10. Select from the List of Files Type box Text(* .txt)
  11. Ensure your file name is in the File Name box
  12. Select OK button
  13. Select Send File and then Select OK
  14. Repeat step 13 again (Your order has now been uploaded and searched)
  15. Select usmarc.dat from Your Data table
  16. Insert floppy disk in drive
  17. Select Save file
  18. Ensure the floppy disk drive is selected (commonly drive a:)
  19. Select OK (Your SCIS records have now downloaded onto your disk)
  20. Remove disk and follow the instructions for importing records provided by your library automation software provider.

Searching/Search Results Screen

Change the sort order of the search results displayed by clicking on the column heading of the field you wish to sort. For example, to sort by the SCIS number click on the heading SCIS. This choice will be retained when you choose the More button.

Export file

To ensure that you are prompted to export records to a floppy disk insert the disk in the drive before you start up SCISCO. If your library system cannot locate the file on a floppy disk, you may be saving the file elsewhere. Commonly this is C:\SCISCD\USMARC.DAT. Use your Windows features to copy this file from the hard drive to the floppy disk. If you are unsure how to do this, check with your school computer support.

Subiect Headings Products

SCIS is currently reviewing its range of subject headings products. In the past SCIS has reproduced its subject headings index in print format, ( SCIS Subject Headings List, 3rd Ed.) and in electronic format, (SCIS Subject headings). The review has identified the demand for a print version of the 4th edition of the SCIS Subject Headings List and a production schedule is being developed. The possibility of making all and/or s elections of the subject headings available in other electronic formats is under investigation. More details on these developments will appear in forthcoming editions of Connections.

SCIS Licence Agreements

In the last edition of Connections, Issue No 25, it was mentioned that SCIS was developing l icence agreements for its products. The licence agreements for SCISCO and SCISWeb have now been produced. Copies of the SCISCO licence agreement have been sent with the 3rd edition of the CD and the SCISWeb licence agreement is available for viewing on SCISWeb. Please ensure you read the licence agreement carefully and that you understand its terms and conditions.


Many Teacher Librarians across Australia have now been using SCISWeb and SCISCO for quite a while. Staff in the SCIS Unit have been very pleased to have positive feedback about the new products. We thought you may be interested in reading what others have had to say so we will make some of these comments available on our website in Customer Views.

Graham Williams

Manager - Information Technology