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About Access Restrictions to Electronic Resources

Access and use of electronic resources made available by the Becker Medical Library are governed by license agreements between the School of Medicine and publishers or third parties. Several of the electronic resources carry some restriction on their use. Access may be restricted by user location, number of concurrent users, and/or password.

In short, most people experience access limitations based on the network to which their computer is connected. Below is a quick breakdown of what can be accessed from various networks.

BJH (Limited to) SLCH (Limited to) Proxy (Remote Access) WUSM Off Campus
UpToDate Online
American Academy of Pediatrics Journals
Applied Clinical Informatics
Harriet Lane Handbook
Red Book Online
UpToDate Online
Unrestricted Access to All Becker Resources Unrestricted Access to All Becker Resources No Access without Proxy

About the system changes at Becker

After more than 30 years the medical library has moved to a new open-source electronic catalog system known as Koha.  At the same time we moved to a new system for managing access to our electronic resources called Serial Solutions.  The migration to these new systems has taken the better part of the past year.  As with any new system there are issues of functionality and user friendliness that still need addressing and we are committed to resolving these as soon as practical.  Comments from users are helping us prioritize the issues so please give us your feedback.

Why are we changing systems? 

The previous electronic catalog was created here at Washington University more than 30 years ago by Simon Igielnik and he has been maintaining and enhancing it ever since.  BACS, as it is called, was developed in a programming language known as MUMPS (now called Caché) that was used primarily for hospital information systems.  [MUMPS stands for Massachusetts General Hospital Utility Multi-Programming System.]  As Simon nears retirement we were left with the decision of whether to find another Caché programmer that could replace Simon and continue supporting the existing electronic catalog or move to a commercial system with a broader support community.  We settled on a commercial system for many reasons, but the uncertain future of institutional catalog systems in the era of Google was probably the most significant reason.  A task force within the library was established to select the best system considering functionality, extensibility, cost, size of existing user community, adherence to standards, and support options.  We selected Koha, an open-source integrated library system, hosted and supported by ByWater Solutions.

Why two systems? 

BACS was born out of a previous system, known as PHILSOM, for managing the thousands of journal subscriptions the library maintains.  Acquiring a new electronic catalog system meant finding a new system for managing our journal subscriptions as well.  Because our active journal collection is now nearly all e-resources we selected a system, Serials Solutions, which specializes in e-resource management.  Serials Solutions now provides the direct links to our e-books and e-journals.

As a catalog system Koha maintains the records of all library holdings regardless of the medium – print, electronic, VHS tape, CD-ROM, etc.  If a record refers to an e-resource then Serials Solutions resolves the link from the catalog record to the actual electronic resource.  Admittedly, this has added complication and created confusion when searching our web site for e-resources.  Browsing e-books or e-journals through the A-Z list is done through Serials Solutions, not Koha.  However, both Koha and Serials Solutions allow searching for e-books and e-journals.  If you are searching for a print book you must search the Koha catalog.  Koha contains a complete collection of ALL holdings, but Serials Solutions only knows about our electronic holdings (although, as a convenience, we’ll be adding the print journal titles to Serials Solutions in the near future).  Future enhancements will focus on making the integration of these two systems much more seamless.

Undoubtedly there will be bumps along the way, but we believe Koha and Serials Solutions are the best platforms upon which to develop new services.  We are already incorporating user feedback into our ongoing enhancements and welcome your comments and suggestions for additional improvements.