The increasing availability of telematics has provided information users with more effective mechanisms for accessing information. Nevertheless, the lack of standardised methodologies that integrate information storage and retrieval systems and therefore facilitate interaction between the users and such systems impedes more widespread use of these new resources. While teleprocessing provides the means for direct searching in remote databases, the lack of a common methodology for access is troublesome for the user since s/he must master all of the specific and different characteristics of the retrieval procedures adopted by each host centre for the databases. These problems began to emerge in Brazil in 1985, with the creation of the National Packet Switching Network (RENPAC—Rede Nacional de Comutação de Pacotes). This paper discusses the situation and the state of computerisation in Brazil which led to RENPAC being created. It goes on to describe the network model and how the Instituto Brasileiro de Informação em Ciência e Tecnologia (IBICT), together with other centres, has set up a project and guidelines for the creation of an integrated system for public access to databases. These guidelines, which are described in this article, include the design and implementation of a common information retrieval language (LINCE), the interconnection of database host centres by means of RENPAC, and the automation of procedures for requesting copies of articles in a network of libraries.
- Electronic information resource searching,
- Information retrieval,
- Information storage and retrieval systems – Standardization
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