COBISS/OPAC is a web application that allows libraries and end users to access:
- bibliographic databases, i.e. union catalogues, within the COBISS system (COBIB and local databases);
- other COBISS databases (COLIB, CORES, CONOR, ELINKS, SGC);
- some specialised databases (of local and foreign database providers);
- databases residing on remote Z39.50 servers.
As a rule, access to foreign databases is regulated under consortium agreements with database providers; some databases are freely available. For example, based on consortium agreements, the following databases are available to users in the COBISS.SI system:
- OCLC FirstSearch databases (WorldCat, ArticleFirst, ProceedingsFirst, etc.);
- Impact factor databases – Journal Citation Reports (JCR SE, JCR SSE);
- Impact factor databases – SNIP (Source Normalized Impact per Paper);
- Library of Congress Authority File (LC/NAF).
When searching bibliographic and catalogue databases in the COBISS system, the search techniques are adapted to various skill levels of users (Basic search mode, Advanced search mode and Expert search mode).The Basic search mode enables searching by words or phrases, and the search results are sorted by relevance. The Advanced search enables searching by 27 search fields – additional search indexes. The Expert search allows you to search with the SELECT command, which enables the use of Boolean operators (and, or, not) and proximity operators (with, near, subfield). You can display the list of terms appearing in the database, truncate search terms (words and phrases), limit the search by language and type of material, sort the search results, etc. There are three record display formats for bibliographic data (Full, ISBD and COMARC), one format for summary holdings data and one format for copy-specific holdings data.
Search strategies used in searching other databases match the characteristics of these databases; nevertheless, the searching is implemented via the same user interface.
Users can download records from the COBIB database for personal use in compliance with conditions of use; libraries can download records for the use in local library applications in compliance with the provisions of special agreements.
If a library has its loan automated through the use of COBISS software, information on the availability of any item (as to whether an item is on loan or not, loan period) is provided through COBISS/OPAC. Users can use the system to view their loan history, renew the loan period, reserve items, place an interlibrary order, check their outstanding balance of current debts, pay their outstanding debts with Moneta (only in COBISS.SI), and subscribe to electronic notification services.
mCOBISS, a mobile version of COBISS/OPAC, is also available to users. The application makes use of the advantages of smartphones, based on Android (e.g. Samsung Galaxy, Sony Xperia, HTC One) or iOS (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch) system. You can download the application free of charge in the Google Play online store for Androids and in the iTunes online store for iOS. If the application is not compatible with the mobile device or if the user does not want to download the application, they can use the online version of mCOBISS. mCOBISS enables users to:
- search for material;
- view material on loan and renew loan period;
- reserve material, view and cancel reservations;
- view loan history;
- view debts and restrictions;
- receive e-notifications;
- search/view information on libraries;
- display library location on a map and directions on how to get to the selected library;*
- view most read books;
- create their own list of favourite books;*
- read barcodes (ISBN and ISSN);*
- save their user profile (favourite libraries and login details);*
- transfer information on material.*