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a) Scope and focus details of databases included in NISC’s ABAFR

ASFA - part 1: Biological Sciences and Living Resources
(1975 to current)

Compiled worldwide by the ASFA partners, including Cambridge Scientific Abstracts and sponsored by four United Nations Agencies, ASFA’s reputation is unparalleled. ASFA - part 1, with over 635 000 records is the largest part of the ASFA publication. It covers all aspects of biology for marine, freshwater and brackish water organisms as well as related policy, legal and socio-economic issues. ASFA Aquaculture Abstracts and ASFA Marine Biotechnology Abstracts are included.

AGRIS - Fisheries and Aquaculture subset
(1975 to current)

Sponsored by the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations this database offers an international perspective on fisheries and aquaculture. It includes a wealth of information from unique materials, such as technical reports and grey literature contributed by countries participating in the UN program. Another exemplary feature is the multi-lingual key wording of many records in English, Spanish and French. With over 174 000 records it is a valuable resource.

(1980 to current)

Compiled by NISCSA in association with the South African Institute of Aquatic Biodiversity Library, Rhodes University Library and Marine and Coastal Management Library, FISHLIT covers all aspects of fish, shellfish, fisheries and aquaculture literature. Indexed by an experienced team of aquatic biologists, its emphasis is on quality, but with over 200 000 records it provides quantity too. The FISHLIT database also provides unique historical coverage back to the 1800s. Abstracts have been included in all new records since 2001 and are rapidly being added to the old records. The inclusion of holding library author e-mail and postal contact details, where possible, enhances full text retrieval possibilities.

Fisheries Review
(1971 to current)

This database, with 110 000 records, has been compiled since 1996 by NISCSA under the auspices of FISHLIT. Previously (until 1995) the U.S. National Biological Service compiled this database. Its coverage of fish and fisheries is excellent. Backdating from ‘Sport Fishery Abstracts’ is underway.

CAB Abstracts - Fisheries and Aquaculture subset
(1984 to current)

CAB international compiles this database. The subset of over 123 000 records on fish, shellfish and aquaculture covers diseases, parasitology, aquaculture production and nutritional aspects of fish in the human diet. The majority of records include abstracts, many of which have been especially written by the CABI scientists.

Medline - Fish subset
(1966 to current)

The National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, U.S.A, produces Medline, the world’s premiere health database. Coverage in this 53 400 record subset of the medical literature includes: veterinary science, fish diseases and their detection and control, human nutrition as it relates to fish and shellfish in the diet, including fish oils, allergies to fish and shellfish and poisonous fish.

FIRI - Fishing Industry Research Index
(1980 to current)

Now compiled by NISC SA in association with CSIR-Bio/Chemtek this database, with over 31 000 records, covers the fishing and aquatic product, processing and marketing industries.

Castell’s Nutrition References
(1970 to current)

This respected resource, of over 20 500 references from John Castell (Fisheries and Oceans Canada), covers five major areas: fish nutrition, crustacean nutrition, mollusc nutrition, fish culture and fish oils in human health.

Fish Database
(1960 to current)

This extremely important and useful database, compiled by the Fish and Wildlife Reference Service, speaks for itself. Ninety percent of the 21 500 citations in this database are drawn from unpublished research reports, field studies and surveys from the U.S. state agencies. Content emphasises fish management, streams, wetlands and endangered species. An added bonus is that document delivery is available.


AQUIRE, produced by the U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), contains information on acute, chronic, bio accumulative, and sub lethal effects data from tests performed on freshwater and saltwater organisms (bacteria, birds, and aquatic mammals are excluded). Data items include chemical substance information, study protocol, and test results. More than 17 754 records cover 6 500 chemicals.

(1970 to 1984)

Over 10 000 abstracts from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, provides valuable information on all aspects of marine, freshwater and brackish water organisms.


Fish Health News (1978 - 1985).
Fish Viruses and Fish Diseases.
US Fisheries and Wildlife Service National Fisheries Research Center Publications

b) Scope and focus details of databases included in NISC’s MOFR

ASFA - Parts 2 & 3
(1975 to current)

Compiled worldwide by the ASFA partners, including Cambridge Scientific Abstracts and sponsored by four United Nations Agencies, ASFA’s reputation is unparalleled.

Part 2: Ocean Technology, policy and non-living resources.

ASFA - part 2, with over 268 000 covers physical and chemical oceanography and limnology, marine geophysics, geochemistry and geology, marine technology, ocean policy and non-living resources.

Part 3: Aquatic Pollution and Environmental Quality.

Since 1990 citations on aquatic pollution and environmental quality have been published as ASFA part 3. With over 107 500 records it covers all aspects of water quality and pollution, including monitoring, ecotoxicology, impact assessment pollutant characteristics and fate, pollution prevention and control, environmental change, recreation, conservation, management and public health.

(1970 to current)

This subset of the Geosystems Database “GeoArchive” provides over 241 000 records. Focusing on oceanography and hydrology its topics include marine geology, physical and chemical oceanography, ocean and coastal engineering, resource management, meteorology, tidal and wave energy, mathematical modelling, technology, marine pollution and waste disposal, mining, offshore exploration, policy and legislation. With extensive coverage from 1970 to present, HydroArchive also includes many valuable older (pre1970) records

Oceanic Abstracts
(1964 to current)

This database with over 221 500 records to date covers a wide range of topics: from marine biology to physical oceanography; fisheries and aquaculture to non-living resources; meteorology and geology to environmental and technological legislation.

NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(1807 to current)

Compiled by the NOAA Library and information consortium of 23 institutions this database of over 148 000 records, covers 9 collections, of which 5 include unique historical coverage. Topics within this collection include hydrographic surveying, oceanography, meteorology, hydrology and living marine resources. Citations are drawn from over 9 000 serial titles, 1 500 current journal subscriptions, 35 000 reports and meteorological data from around 100 countries as well as over 1 000 rare books.

Institute of Oceanographic Sciences Deacon Laboratory (IOSDL)/Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory (POL)
(1985 to 1996)

Compiled by the National Oceanographic Library (U.K.) at IOSDL until 1996 this database of over 145 000 records provides multidisciplinary coverage. It includes: marine physics, chemistry, biology, geology and technology; geophysics, pollution, meteorology and remote sensing as well as comprehensive coverage of tide and sea-level research. Since 1997 the Southampton Oceanography Centre (formerly IOSDL) and POL (now part of the Centre for Coastal Marine Sciences) have compiled separate databases, OCEANIS and BIDLIB, respectively. These are also included on MOFR.

(1985 to current)

With over 70 500 records and growing by 14 000 records per year this database from the Southampton Oceanography Centre covers all aspects of marine science. Sourced from books, journals, conference proceedings, charts, reports, video and slide images, web pages and pamphlets records are all indexed using the ASFIS thesaurus.

BIDLIB Database
(1997 to current)

Produced by the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory (part of the Centre for Coastal Marine Sciences), the BIDLIB database focuses on the physical oceanography of coasts, estuaries and shelf/slope regions. With specialist coverage of tides, tidal instrumentation, sea-level dynamics, oil spill technology, numerical modelling, remote sensing, sediments and gravity. The database has over 21 500 records to date and is sourced from a wide range of media and publication types.

Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) Database
(1979 to current)

Over 100 years old, PML is one of the largest marine libraries in the world. The PML database, with over 90 000 records provides information from around the world. Marine and estuarine pollution is a specialty, including pollution detection and analysis, pollution levels, biological effects and controls. PML database also provides an abundance of information on estuaries, coastal waters and the major sea areas of the British Isles and Republic of Ireland. Between 3 000 and 4 000 new records are added each year from a variety of sources, including books, journals, reports and grey literature.

Sea Grant Abstracts
(1968 to current)

Compiled by the U.S. National Sea Grant Depository, University of Rhode Island, this database contains over 41 000 abstracts. Documenting research from the National Sea Grant College Program the records cover both pure and applied aspects of engineering, business management, law and policy, shipping, fisheries economics, recreation and education as related to the use and conservation of the U.S. ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources.


California Coastal Processes Bibliography

Gulf of California: Bibliography of Marine Sciences (1970 to 1990) - Scripps Institute of Oceanography.

Chesapeake Bay Bibliography (1970 to 1989) - Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

Long Island Sound Bibliography (1965 to 1994) - Long Island Sound Research Center.

Biscayne Bay Bibliography (1960 to 1994) - RSMAS Library, University of Miami.

NISC product technology

Most databases are available both online (BiblioLine) and on CD-ROM (NISC DISCover).


Many of the NISC published database products are generated by aggregating the best available commercial and institutional databases from around the globe with those compiled by NISC itself, within any one particular field of interest. NISC thus creates many of the most comprehensive bibliographic products currently available giving our users unparalleled access to a broad range of information sources.

Composite Records

Within any NISC published aggregations duplication among files is resolved by special, software-created composite records. Each composite record contains the information shared by two or more source records, plus any data that is unique to these records. These “super records” provide all the relevant information without the inconvenience of duplicate citations.

Search Functionality Within and Across Databases

NISC’s powerful search software and user-friendly interface allow flexible searching within and across database aggregations. For example, a search strategy can be limited to retrieve records from only one individual database within a published aggregation or (where a user has multiple on-line subscriptions) can be extended to retrieve records from several database aggregations at once.

Intelligent Searching

The NISC search software is intelligent with “PIC variant searching”, automatically retrieving both plural and singular, international spelling variations and compound word format variants for search words input. Search field indexes, “autodexes” and inbuilt thesauri assist users in creating effective search strategies, and NISC inbuilt help and tutorial functions allow self tuition in bibliographic searching, from the basics to complex Boolean logic. Search strategies can be saved and retrieved for later re-use.

Linking options

NISC online databases have direct links from records to full text and to other metadata resources (e.g. from fish species names to species summary pages on FishBase) Needless to say, NISC always tries to provide contact details for authors and where possible holding libraries and document delivery details with each record, thus providing a variety of full text retrieval options to suit the situation of each user.

Sorting, Printing and Downloading options

NISC users have the ability to sort retrieved records by a number of different fields, records can be marked and unmarked and selected records can be printed or downloaded to file. From Biblioline users may also download records to e-mail or to a reference database package.

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