Bell & Howell -ProQuest Medical Library

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(Note from the Washington State Library:  In order to participate in the Fall 1999 Washington State Databases Trial, each vendor was asked to address questions the Statewide Database Licensing Committee felt were most critical in order for library staff to evaluate products and vendors.  Please contact the vendor's representative, listed below, for additional information on this product.)

1. Describe the database product(s). Include information on subject scope, percentage of full-text, dates of coverage, target audience (including age ranges), and how often the contents are updated. 

  ProQuest Medical Library

ProQuest Medical Library provides easy access to high demand medical journals in a full image database. Materials such as charts and photographs—so critical a part of medical journals—are supplied in full image format, giving researchers access to the information they need. Almost 130 essential medical journals form the foundation of Medical Library. Subject areas include all the major medical specialties, including nursing, pediatrics, neurology, pharmacology, cardiology, physical therapy, and more. In its CD-ROM version, ProQuest Medical Library was named "Best Database of 1997" by Information Today. Adding ProQuest Medical Library to the current subscription to the ProQuest Health module will provide Washington patrons with all ProQuest coverage of medicine.


ProQuest Medical Library provides 100% of current full text coverage. Full text goes back to about 1988-89 in some cases.

For more specific information about dates of coverage for all proposed data, please see the title lists submitted with this response. We also maintain an online archive from which you can create and print or download custom title lists. This archive allows you to

You can create and print or download custom title lists for any ProQuest database by clicking on the "Included Titles" link at . For specific information about the Medical Library database, please visit:

ProQuest Medical Library

The title lists submitted along with this response are in comma-delimited ASCII format, which enables manipulation in third-party software packages such as Microsoft Excel. For other title list formats, please visit the appropriate Web page.

Target Audience

ProQuest Medical Library serves the general population, and students and staff of K-12, academic and special libraries.

Update frequency

We provide daily updates to ProQuest. ProQuest includes a highly advanced editorial and production system that facilitates faster creation of materials and availability to customers. Our goal is to have citations and searchable full text for key titles available within 24 hours after material is received from publishers. For the remaining titles, this material appears within 96 hours.

We take great pride in our abstracts. For most ProQuest databases, professional staff carefully create abstracts. (This is in contrast to other systems, which may simply take the first paragraph of the full text as an abstract.) As such, abstracts take longer for addition to the database. We create abstracts, indexing, and all remaining components of a record according to customer priorities, as follows.

In addition to maintaining this staff, we have dedicated considerable resources to developing computer aids for the value-added aspects of our data, particularly abstracts and indexing. Computer-generated extracts greatly enhance data currency for time-sensitive data such as our extensive newspaper collection. These extracts enable us to add abstracts to the database at the same time as full text.

2. What are the hardware and software requirements for using all the features of the product?

Libraries already accessing ProQuest meet the necessary hardware/software requirements. These current ProQuest customers will receive new content and avoid many of the inconveniences associated with tailoring a new service (for example, filling out lengthy setup documents, establishing passwords, providing IP addresses).

3. Is remote access included for the subscription price?  If there are additional charges or requirements in order to offer remote access, please describe.   What methods of remote access are supported?

Yes. Both remote and unlimited access are included in the pricing. The only requirements for remote access are met by the workstations currently in place and accessing ProQuest. We support access from library workstations, from workstations in buildings on the same telecommunications network as the library (e.g., college campus for an academic library, city hall for a public library, K-12 district networks, etc.), and from the home or office of library patrons (with the exception of corporate or business libraries).

4. Please discuss any methods or assistance you offer regarding remote access patron verification and authentication.

You can provide access to ProQuest by either or both of two simple means: ID/password protected or authenticated by IP address.

We recommend that you employ these two means in a variety of combinations based on the needs of the individual libraries, or as any given situation dictates.

For remote users, you can choose any or all of the following methods.

If you have value added network (VAN) users, we recommend that you direct them to an appropriate home page. We can provide sample CGI scripts that demonstrate how to log these users in to ProQuest.

Proxy servers present no difficulties, and can be accommodated with the above IP addressing. Lynx access is made possible by using the Lynx browser in conjunction with a textual based web site designed specifically for terminal access. The Lynx browser allows for VT100 terminals or personal computers supporting dumb terminal emulation to Telnet to a host running the Lynx browser. The user then links to our text-based web site. From this home page, library users link to ProQuest where they can search, view and print ASCII full text articles to any Lynx supported printer.

For additional information, please see .

5. What end user delivery options, such as printing, emailing or faxing results, are available beyond just viewing results on the computer monitor?

ProQuest includes options for printing and e-mailing results, as well as faxing relevant titles. You print using the native print capabilities of the specific interface you use to search ProQuest. For example, Web browser users print with browser print capabilities.

Connection through Lynx offers users the capability to e-mail full text, results sets, or whatever else they display on-screen. E-mail capabilities through Z39.50 access depend on the capabilities of the client you use to connect to ProQuest. The ProQuest Web interface allows you to use Microsoft Windows clipboard capabilities to cut-and-paste full text, result sets, or whatever else you display on-screen into your e-mail package.

With the ProQuest Web interface, the end user can e-mail citations, abstracts, and/or plain or formatted full text to the e-mail address(es) of their choice. Along with each record, ProQuest displays an "e-mail article" box. To e-mail the record, the user need only type in the desired e-mail address, and click.

ProQuest also includes a marked list capability. In an index of hits, a check box appears by each article listed. Users simply click on the box to add the record to a marked list for later action (for example, e-mailing).

From the marked list, the user again need only type in the desired e-mail address, and click. A confirmation screen appears, and the article(s) are then immediately dispatched to the entered address(es).

Fax delivery is available only for those titles that have designated as "fax delivery only" by their publishers.

6. What customer training is provided, and at what cost?

With your purchase of Level 1 participation (which will be defined in the forthcoming pricing), we will add five days of training per year for academic/public libraries, and five days for K-12 schools. With Level 2 participation, we will add ten days for each group; with Level 3, fifteen days for each group.

7. What customer and technical support is provided, including hours of operation.

We maintain a 21-member Electronic Technical Support Department to provide support services.

The goal of the Technical Support team is to resolve customer issues immediately during the call. This reduces the downtime resulting from multiple transfers to other departments or callbacks.

We make team members available for ProQuest support with a toll-free phone number from 8:00 a.m. to midnight EST seven days a week. Technical support is available 24 hours a day via fax, e-mail, and technical help on our Web page.

We also employ a master customer tracking database. While assisting customers, the Technical Support representative retrieves the appropriate database record, and enters the issues presented by the customer. Our support staff use this information to keep accurate call histories that can be accessed during a future call to help resolve an issue quickly, track trends, and log and submit to management customer enhancement requests.

8. Describe the statistics you provide, and discuss whether your statistical reporting complies with guidelines developed by the International Coalition of Library Consortia which may be found at .

We provide monthly reports that allow libraries to review their ProQuest activity. These usage statements provide statistical information about the number of articles (from each database to which the library subscribes, and by each title in that database) delivered electronically to users for viewing or e-mailing. You can represent individual libraries, or group them (for example, by county) in whatever fashion, and to whatever level of detail, you like.

We plan the following enhancements for later in 1999.

The enhancements planned for later this year are intended to make us compliant in whole with these guidelines.

9. Describe your pricing structure or formula for the product. If there are additional costs for retrieving full text, describe the pricing for this service. 

Pricing will be based on a combination of factors such as population served, FTE (for academic institutions), student enrollment (for K-12 schools), and the total aggregate participation of Washington libraries.

10. What is the minimum participation level (however you care to define it) that would be needed to allow participating libraries to receive a discount? What is the minimum discount for a group buy? Please clarify how you would treat existing library customers with regard to a group buy.

Detailed pricing is still being developed; we will make this pricing available shortly after the trial begins.

We will offer a prorated credit good for new Bell & Howell Information and Learning product to any institution with six months or more remaining on its contract.

It would be our preference to begin expanded service for all participating sites on the chosen date of January 1, 2000. The price level will be set at this time, and reviewed annually each September. We will also work with the database selection committee to establish a program for additional Washington libraries to join after this first round on a site-by-site basis.

11.  Please provide name and contact information (toll-free telephone number, e-mail address, hours, etc.) should libraries wish to make further inquires.

Academic and Large Public Libraries

Tom Merisko, Account Executive
1-800-521-0600 x2042
[email protected]

Eugene Bacungan, Inside Sales Representative
1-800-521-0600 x3166
[email protected]

Public (under 100,000 population served) and K-12 Libraries

Tamara Chilla, Account Executive
1-800-521-0600 x3180
[email protected]

Jeff Turpening, Inside Sales Representative
1-800-521-0600 x3617
[email protected]

Tim Hinchman,  Inside Sales Representative
1-800-521-0600 x3608
[email protected]

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