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Downloading and reformatting external records for researchers' personal databases

Program: electronic library and information systems

ISSN: 0033-0337

Article publication date: 1 April 1991



This paper examines the problem many researchers experience of having to spend much time rekeying records obtained from external online and CD‐ROM databases into their own personal databases on personal computers (PC). An overview of the possibilities for electronic transfer of such records is given. For a university library and information centre the need for a multi‐purpose reformatting program, capable of converting record formats of many diverse databases to a multitude of personal database formats, is demonstrated. One such program, HEADFORM, is used to test record conversion from one CD‐ROM and four online databases to three researchers' personal databases on PC, and to determine approximate time savings by transferring such records electronically instead of manually. Results show that, with a few limitations, records from online and CD‐ROM databases can be converted successfully to the formats required by these three personal database systems, and that significant time savings are possible by electronic transfer of converted records, instead of rekeying these records into personal databases.


Tönsing, R.E. (1991), "Downloading and reformatting external records for researchers' personal databases", Program: electronic library and information systems, Vol. 25 No. 4, pp. 303-317.




Copyright © 1991, MCB UP Limited

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