Global Internet Roaming and MEDLINEâ

Since the March and April issue there has been some changes to the "links" in my articles. Unlike printed text, the Web is dynamic. Web sites change, making previous links absolute or if you are lucky there might be a message pointing you in the right direction. I on my part will try to maintain these links at least for the month the article was published.

In Berita MMA Vol.27, No.3, I had mentioned about the services you should look for when you choose a service provider. And one of the points was Global Internet Roaming Service. Well JARING had recently announced this service for its subscribers. The following information is available at JARING Global Roaming at
1.  What is the i-Pass global Internet roaming service?
The i-Pass global Internet roaming service is a service that gives JARING subscribers a local dial-in number to access the Internet when traveling to an area where JARING does not have a local access number. This is an ideal solution for traveling Internet users. Using your JARING account, you are able to connect to the Internet through other i-Pass ISP partners. It is no longer necessary to have multiple ISP accounts just for the sake of being able to surf the Internet and you can also save on long-distance phone bills.
2. How does it work?

The use of intelligent routing and software that resides on the participating Internet service  providers’ computer system make this roaming service possible. i-Pass provides a service  between ISPs to enable their users to be authenticated when dialing into each others’ services.  All you must do is have an account with JARING. When you travel, you dial into local number  and you log in with the same user ID and password, but include your domain name after your  user ID, (e.g. In effect, you are still logging into the Internet via JARING, even though you are dialing in  through a different provider. You can continue to use your regular web browser, e-mail program or newsgroup software.

3. What are the benefits?

The following are the primary benefits of using the i-Pass global roaming service:

-  Roaming charges are significantly less than long distance charges.
-  Log into a local number all over the world while maintaining one account.
-  Access all Internet services such as e-mail, WWW, etc.
-  Use existing (and familiar) web browser/e-mail.

4. What are the available roaming numbers?

The roaming coverage extends to more than 150 countries and more than 1000 locations. You  can now enjoy local call access to the Internet in virtually every major city throughout the  world.  The complete list is available here at the URL, . If you use Windows 95, you can also download the Dial Wizard phone directory from the same URL,  to make roaming easy, which includes a complete phone book of the worldwide access numbers.

5. What are the charges for the use of the service?

The charge varies from RM 0.15 per minute to RM 0.50 per minute depending on the actual  locations. This usage charge does not include local phone charges. The complete list of charges  is available from .  The monthly service fee is RM 10.00 and is charged only when roaming service is utilized within a calendar month.

6. How will I be billed when I use the service?

The charges for the i-Pass global Internet roaming service will be based on per-use basis and  will be deducted from your JARING account balance, provided you have sufficient amount.
7. Is there any special software or configuration I need to have if I want to use the roaming service?

If you are using Windows , you should have the i-Pass Dial Wizard. You can download it  from , along with the simple instructions for using the  i-Pass Dial Wizard. In order to use the Dial Wizard, you must have Dial-up Networking installed in your "My Computer" folder and you must install Dial-up Scripting. The scripting tool software is on the Microsoft Win95 CD and is on the Microsoft web site: Click on Dial-up SLIP and Scripting Support.  (For both SLIP and PPP support).

8. Who do I call for technical assistance when I encounter a problem while roaming?

If you encounter  any problems while using the roaming numbers, please call our technical support team at +60 3 9665000.

The above information was made available on 2 May 1997. With this service, JARING subscribers will have access to their e-mail "postbox " practically anywhere in the world at a nominal fee. As for the charges, I feel JARING should have a one time fixed charge for this service i.e. RM 10/= and not RM10/= for each month if you were to use the service every month of the year. The service is available to all JARING subscribers. Please inform before you start using the service. They will let you know when your roaming facility is activated. I did subscribe to the service and did try logging in from Singapore and Brunei and I had no problem. My hotel telephone charge reflected a local call.

In the article in Berita MMA Vol.27, No.4, Pg.8, I had mentioned about DOBBS (Doctors only Bulletin Board Service). Well the service is on and can be accessed at the URL . DOBBS mailing list is temporarily (or permanently?) down and all Malaysian doctors who want to subscribe to this service should access DOBBS through the Web browser. Do remember to register yourself and you would require to provide your MMC registration number, a username and a password. You would be informed by e-mail when your password is activated. DO NOT FORGET THEM.

Well in this article, I thought I would provide some links to those who would like to do MEDLINE search. The following information is from the U.S. National Library of Medicine. ( )

MEDLINEâ (MEDlars onLINE) is the National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) premier bibliographic database covering the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, and the preclinical sciences. The MEDLINE file contains bibliographic citations and author abstracts from over 3,800 biomedical journals published in the United States and 70 foreign countries during the current four years. The process of selecting journals for inclusion is described in the Fact Sheet, Journal Selection for Index Medicus/MEDLINE. ( ) The file contains over 8.6 million records dating back to 1966. Coverage is worldwide, but 87% of the records in current MEDLINE are from English-language sources and 72% have English abstracts.

MEDLINE contains the references that appear in Index Medicus, as well as the citations of "special list" journals. Special list journals include those indexed for the Index to Dental Literature and the International Nursing Index. Citations for MEDLINE are created by the National Library of Medicine, International MEDLARS partners, and cooperating professional organizations.

Historically, the Library’s computer-based MEDical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System (MEDLARS®) was a pioneering effort to use the emerging computer technology of the early 1960s for the more rapid production of bibliographic publications and for conducting individualized searches of the literature for health professionals via offline processing. MEDLINE became operational in 1971.

Today, MEDLINE contains over 8.6 million citations in all languages. Recent references are contained in MEDLINE and PREMEDLINE; segmented MEDLINE Backfiles (MED90, MED85, MED80, MED75, MED66 and OLDMEDLINE) contain older material. Indexing for the current year of MEDLINE runs from November through October. An English abstract, if published with the article, is included in MEDLINE.

MEDLINE is updated weekly, January through October, and twice in the month of December. Approximately 33,000 new citations are added each month. The updated file is usually available for searching on each Saturday of the month. Most months have four weekly updates, with Part 1 of 4 on the first Saturday of the month and Part 4 of 4 on the fourth Saturday of the month. Some months may have a fifth weekly update. The citations for each monthly update are also searchable in a separate file called SDILINE® (Selective Dissemination of Information onLINE) for those who need only the most recent literature.

Choosing a MEDLINE search interface

Today access to MEDLINE can be found on numerous avenues. The Internet has many sites that offer MEDLINE searching, some of which are little or no cost to the user. Each MEDLINE provider employs their own software interface or search engine for retrieving information from the database. Some providers offer only a subset of MEDLINE or only permit the user to search some of the 30 data fields in the MEDLINE record. MEDLINE is a complex database based upon an extensive controlled vocabulary system including medical subject headings (MeSH.) Since MEDLINE indexes over 8 million records, incorporating the correct terminology is the key to a strategy that will result in comprehensive and highly relevant retrieval. Search engines vary widely in their ability to utilize the potential inherent in MEDLINE. Often the user is unaware of the limitations of a search engine as well as the potential behind a sophisticated database such as MEDLINE.

Any of the search engines can provide the user with some level of retrieval. It is very easy to enter a term and retrieve results. An immediate sense of accomplishing a successful search is quickly felt by the user. This feeling is directly related to the amount of knowledge of and experience with searching MEDLINE the user has previously had. The less the user knows of the complexities of the database, the greater the initial sense of success. Some questions that the user might want to ask of the system they search are: