Creating Electronic Research Libraries

Albert Hybl Dept of Biophysics SM hybl at mbph.UUCP
Wed Dec 20 14:39:57 EST 1989

In message <1989Dec20.011113.724 at> from 
sachs at, Rainer Sachs writes:
>>In article <617 at mbph.UUCP> hybl at mbph.UUCP (Albert Hybl
>> Dept of Biophysics  SM) writes:
>>There appears to be a need to establish electronic research libraries.
>>A UNIX shell program like lookbib or seekbib can be used to extract
>>relevant reference from an M. Lesk archive.  Because it is unlikely
>>that all users will be able to ftp directly to the computer system
>>that contains the archive, they should be able to issue a control
>>command that would cause the remote execution of a seekbib shell
>>with the results of the search returned via e-mail.  ...
>Is this advocating non-interactive searches? [...]
>Assuming Santa has limited funds, I would urge him to put them
>only into programs and situations where interactive searches are

I agree that electronic research libraries must be available to
users on an interactive basis.  However, there are circumstances
where interactive access isn't necessary.  For example, let's say
that I may not want to take time to read certain info.groups on a
daily basis.  I might prefer to create an entry in my cron list 
that would periodically post seekbib control commands that would
locate citations posted during the previous week or month that
satisfy my interest profile and e-mail them to me.  In an article
titled "Specificity pockets for the side chains of peptide antigens
in HLA-Aw68" by Garret, Saper, Bjorkman, Strominger & Wiley in Nature
342(89Dec7): 692-696, I read:  "Coordinates of HLA-Aw68 have been
deposited in the Brookhaven Protein Data Bank (Accession no 2HLA)."
Why deny me a control initiated "seekbib PDB.2HLA" to find and deliver
the coordinate file during odd hours?  For your information, seekbib
is a 115 line shell that I use interactively; it is my modification of
lookbib.  It would be a trivial matter to further modify it to produce
a version that respond to remote execution requests submitted by a
posted control command.  I expect that an electronic library would
offer several alternatives for reading or retrieving information from
its holdings; seekbib could be just one choice.

Sincerely yours,
Albert Hybl, PhD.             UUCP  Office: uunet!mimsy!mbph!hybl
Department of Biophysics              Home: uunet!mimsy!mbph!hybl!ah
University of Maryland        Bitnet: hybl at umbc1         CoSy: ahybl
School of Medicine            Phone Office: (301) 328-7940
Baltimore, MD  21201                  Home: (301) 243-1710
Responders--DO NOT USE:  hybl at  or  ah at 

More information about the Bioforum mailing list