When I connect to an outside database through MNCAT, are they keeping track of who I am and what I'm doing? What about links to outside Websites?
The MNCAT software, which includes standard Web server software and library interface software, includes the ability to maintain numerous log files. Many of the log files are only enabled to troubleshoot system problems. Other log files are continually maintained as part of best practices for server administration.
If our servers became a victim of hacker or denial of service (DoS) attacks, this information would assist campus networking security and law enforcement to potentially identify the source of the attack. Any tracking by the Library of which links were followed in MNCAT would be in the form of generalized information, for example, to identify which resources were more frequently accessed from within MNCAT.
URLs within MNCAT refer to two primary types of resources. One type is those explicitly purchased and licensed by the University for current University students, faculty, and employees. Examples include:
- Full-text journals (for example--Academic Press: http://www.idealibrary.com)
- Indexing and abstracting services (for example--Digital Dissertations: http://www.lib.umn.edu/articles/proquest.phtml)
- Full-text reference sources (for example--Oxford English Dictionary: http://dictionary.oed.com/entrance.dtl)
The privacy of our users is a component of these licensing agreements.
Another type of resource is those freely available resources that have been included in MNCAT. Since there is no explicit agreement regarding access to these resources, using them would be no more or no less secure than general Web browsing. Government publications and databases make up a large share of the freely available resources.