The Photochemistry/Photobiology Database Alerting System (DBAS)

1. Introducing the DBAS
The Photochemistry/Photobiology Database is updated monthly. Users may wish to follow these updates regularly without having to perform a search every time. The DBAS provides this service by automatic monthly e-mailing of the literature matching search profiles which have previously been defined by the user.
The DBAS uses the same search window as the Database itself. Search profiles may accordingly be defined for keywords, authors, journals, or combinations thereof. Details concerning the definition of search profiles are provided below (Section 3).

2. Subscribing to the DBAS
If you wish to subscribe to the DBAS, click »New subscription« on the main database window. You will be asked to enter your personal identification. Please note that name, address, as well as phone and fax numbers are optional and are only used for communication between user and database administration. On the other hand, e-mail address, nickname and password are compulsory. After completing the form, click »subscribe«. The subscription is then communicated to the administrator who will activate it (this will usually be quick, but may take up to a 2-3 weeks in case of a leave of absence). Activation will be confirmed by an e-mail message.
Upon activation, search profiles can be defined and tested by clicking »Profile management«. The profile management window shows all previously defined profiles. You can define a new one by activating »new profile« and clicking »edit« or modify an existing one by activating it and clicking »edit«. Using the search window you can then define a search profile by entering the required terms and test it by clicking »test«. The test will give you the result of a search carried out on the last monthly update of the database. You can try out modifications of your search profile by changing terms. If you are satisfied with the profile, click »create«. The search profile is then stored and the corresponding search results will from then on be sent monthly to your e-mail address as an HTML file. Use your browser to view it correctly.
In its basic form, the search result shows authors, title and reference of every hit. Additionally, the corresponding author`s affiliation (including his/her e-mail address, if available) and the list of keyword entries will be shown if the corresponding fields have been ticked.
Each subscriber may define up to ten different profiles.
If you want to modify your subscription (e.g. in case of a change of e-mail address) click »modify« on the main database window.

3. Defining a search profile
The standard way of doing searches is by means of keywords, linked by AND or OR (as described in »Usage« on the main window). As you may already be familiar with from using the Photochemistry/Photobiology Database, a keyword is a string of characters appearing in the title of the article or in the keyword line of the database entry. Accordingly, there are basically three types of keywords:
- any word, or part of a word, appearing in the title or added as a keyword (an example: »porph« will be a suitable searching term for literature on porphines or porphyrins);
- any number code defining a field or subfield as listed in the »hierarchical code system« (downloadable from the main window);
- any acronym for an experimental technique (the list being downloadable too).
Up to three of these keywords can be linked using AND or OR in the keyword field of the search window. The number of possible combinations is obviously huge; some testing effort is therefore advised in order to define a successful search profile. Broad as well as narrow search profiles may be defined. There is, however, an upper limit of 150 hits to every profile. If the search exceeds this limit, the user will be notified and asked to narrow the profile. This might occasionally happen with a broadly defined profile; it is therefore suggested not to submit profiles which exceed 100 hits when tested.
To give an example, performing a search for the keyword »07.« from the code list (= »excited states and spectroscopy«) gives 351 hits in a search performed on the june 2, 99 update. A refined search combining »07.« with »FSP« (from the list of acronyms; = fluorescence spectroscopy) still gives 115 hits. This combination would probably remain below the limit in other monthly updates, too; but remember that you will get a long e-mail and have to browse through all the entries! Therefore, try to specify your search profiles as much as possible according to your needs.