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MDS Technical Notice

October 9, 2001

The Cataloging Distribution Service (CDS) has set January 1, 2003 as the date it will cease to supply its MARC Distribution Service (MDS) files on magnetic tapes and tape cartridges. Internet FTP (File Transfer Protocol) has emerged as the access method of choice for the majority of CDS's MDS customers. CDS has been offering FTP access to its MDS files for over 5 years now and will continue to do so in the future.

FTP offers many advantages over tape:

  1. It is faster. The records can be ftped as soon as they are made available.
  2. Less handling. FTP eliminates any need for manual control and coordination of the physical tape files.
  3. No mailing hassles. With FTP there is no chance of files being lost or damaged in the mail and the recreation of replacement issues is unnecessary.

CDS is very eager to work with and help MDS subscribers transition from tape/cartridge to FTP. If you can supply us with the name and email address of a technical contact, we will work directly to set up and expedite the FTP transfer switchover. You can contact CDS staff Linda Jarmy or Beverly Haynes by telephone at (202) 707-1289, (202) 707-1299 or by email at [email protected], [email protected] or go to the CDS website and fill out the FTP registration form at

In addition to the surcharge for tape customers, CDS will begin charging for replacement tapes and accompanying reports effective with the new subscription year in January 2002. Tape surcharges for subscription year 2002 will be waived for those MDS customers who switch to FTP by April 1, 2002. Please consider the benefits FTP offers and contact CDS by December 31, 2001 to inform us whether you intend to take advantage of this offer to waive the tape surcharge.

October 9, 2001