Announcing FishGopher

Mon Oct 10 22:00:55 CDT 1994

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Cornell University, Field
Museum of Natural History, Harvard University, The University of Alabama,
University of California at Berkeley and The University of Michigan
announce "FishGopher" - an integrated Internet fish collection catalog.

FishGopher provides simultaneous query access to a simulated union of
collection catalogs by using Gopher+ software to "fan out" a single query
to multiple databases.  A Gopher user issues a search specification and
then receives matching catalog records from each participating Gopher

FishGopher can be accessed on the main menu of the Biodiversity and
Biological Collections (BBC) Gopher, located on:

The FishGopher distributed query architecture allows institutions to
autonomously manage collections data while at the same time permitting
common query and retrieval access as part of a simulated union catalog.
Each institution updates and re-indexes its own catalog data as needed.

The catalog entries are in WAIS-indexed files and can be searched on any
term.  Individual Gopher servers return up to 1500 matching records for a
set maximum of 9000 records per query.  Boolean operators are supported.
Search suggestions are provided on the BBC Gopher.

The catalog data in FishGopher are extracted from MUSE software databases.
Because the catalogs are simply ASCII files with full-text indices,
similarly structured text records from any data management system could be
used in the fan-out query mechanism.

The FishGopher was jointly developed by the free-standing and university
museums listed below with $50,000 in grant funding from the Research
Collections in Systematics and Ecology Program (RCSE) of the U.S. National
Science Foundation.  Steve Hsieh, an engineering student at the University
of Michigan, provided critical analysis and programming in the repair and
configuration of the Gopher+ and WAIS software.


Jim Beach, Museum Informatics Project, Univ. of California, Berkeley, PI
   beach at
Barry Chernoff, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago
   bcxx at
William Fink, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology
   wfink at
Karsten Hartel, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard Univ.
   hartel at
Julian Humphries, MUSE Project, Cornell University
   jmh3 at
Richard Mayden, University of Alabama Ichthyology Collection
   rmayden at
Scott Schaefer, Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia
   schaefer at

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