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Frequently asked questions
Frequently asked questions - COBISS


Sphere Key Question
General Shared database, local database What is a shared database and what a local database and how do I search them?
General Bibliographic data, holdings data What is bibliographic data and what holdings data?
Full-text articles
Researchers' bibliographies
Login in,
Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox settings
(proxy server)
While searching in COBISS/OPAC, a message appears indicating that there has been an error and a new login to COBISS is needed.
COBISS/OPAC Researchers' bibliographies, personal bibliographies How to fill in or modify data for personal bibliographies?
COBISS/OPAC Search I can't find a record of the item in OPAC. Why?
COBISS/OPAC Search When using COBISS/OPAC, a message appears saying that only last search hits can be displayed.
COBISS/OPAC Search What to do if an error message "%ASS-E-SEATRMEXP, >>>Search term expected" appears
COBISS/OPAC Search Can you tell me why searching during the night isn't possible?
COBISS/OPAC Incomplete record I've come across an error in a record or a bibliographic description respectively (article, book, magazine, etc.).
COBISS/OPAC Direct links How to make a direct link in COBISS/OPAC to a database? Are there other direct links possible (e.g. search, records' reports, survey of materials on loan, etc.)?
ukazna datoteka COBISS
Instructions, installation Where and how to install COBISS Script for Reflection?
Startup error The error message "R2WIN causes error due to invalid page in MS09.DLL module..." appears after the installation and start-up of Reflection V8.
Hardware Printers Which printers are supported by COBISS software?


Local databases are databases of individual libraries. Local databases are connected via the union bibliographic catalogue database COBIB.BH, which contains both bibliographic data and holdings data from all local databases.

The entry of data on bibliographic units takes place in libraries that are a part of the COBISS.BH system. When data is entered to the local database, the shared COBIB.BH database is updated simultaneously. Local databases represent individual units (i.e. catalogues of individual libraries) on their own, but are also parts of the shared database. For the same unit of material (item) one record is created in the local and the shared database, which is then accessible via the shared database to every library within the COBISS.BH system.

COBISS/OPAC enables online access to local databases and COBIB. When you look for specific material, you can select COBIB.BH if you wish to search all Bosnian and Herzegovinian libraries simultaneously, or one of the local databases, if you wish to search the catalogue of a specific library (e.g. Library of Sarajevo City).

  • Searching in the COBIB.BH shared database:
    Once you select the result, the bibliographic data for the material will be displayed, followed by a list of libraries that have the selected material in their catalogue (local database). The software also enables temporary log in to a local database, where you can see the number of items and whether the material is available or on loan (if the library has automated loan and uses COBISS/Loan software).
  • Searching in local databases:
    Once you select the result, the bibliographic data for the material will be displayed, followed by the holdings data (the number of items, whether the material is available or on loan (if the library has automated loan and uses COBISS/Loan software). The software also enables temporary log in to another local database, where the material is included, and you can see the holdings data for that material.

Bibliographic data is the basic data on the material, e.g. the author's name, the title of the book or the article, the year and place of publication, etc. Holdings data can be:

  • detailed
  • summary

Detailed holdings data is recorded in each library's local database, e.g. a book's call number, accession number, loan status, etc. The data can only be accessed when you are connected to the local database. Summary data is kept on the shared database level, based on the detailed holdings data from the local databases. An example would be the number of all copies, copies available for loan, copies on order, etc.

To resolve this issue, you have to change the settings in your browser – either Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox. Here is what you have to do:

  • If you use Microsoft Internet Explorer:

    1. Select Tools in the menu bar and then click Internet Options. A window will open containing different browser settings. Select the General tab and click the Settings button to configure your browser history. A new window will open, in which you select the option Every time I visit the webpage
    2. Select Tools in the menu bar and then click Internet Options. A window will open containing different browser settings. Select the Connections tab and click the LAN Settings button to configure your browser history. A new window will open, in which you turn off the option Use a proxy server for your LAN.

  • If you use Mozilla Firefox:

    Select Tools in the menu bar and then click Options. A window will open containing different browser settings. Select the Network tab and click the Settings button to configure the browser required for internet access. A new window will open, in which you select the first option (No proxy) to turn off the proxy server.

  • If you use Google Chrome:

    1. In the browser toolbar click the Chrome menu. Then click the Settings option. In the window that will open select the Show advanced settings option. Under the Privacy section select the Clear browsing data button; then select beginning of time from the drop-down list and click the Clear browsing data button.
    2. Uncheck the Predict network activities to improve page load performance checkbox.

The software available on the Bibliographies website enables the display of personal bibliographies for researchers and professionals on the basis of the researcher's code given to authors at the entry into the official records of researchers within the Bosnia and Herzegovina Research Information System (E-CRIS.BH), if their bibliographic items are included in the COBISS.BH system. The bibliographic data is downloaded from the shared COBIB.BH database. An item from the COBIB.BH database can only be added to the personal bibliography correctly, if it contains the basic bibliographic data (author, title, year of publication, publisher, etc.), the corresponding code from the typology of documents/works, the researcher's code and some other data.

The data is entered to the shared bibliographic database by libraries that participate in the COBISS.BH system as full members and have qualified cataloguers.

As a general rule you can decide which library will update and edit your personal bibliography. For researchers, this is usually the library at your institution of employment. If your institution does not have a library, you should find a library that specialises in your subjects. Pay them a visit and they will provide you with detailed instructions for updating your bibliography.

The bibliographic record for the item you are looking for cannot be found for various reasons:

  • Bibliographic data for older material is usually recorded only in the classic (card) catalogue of each library. You can check the classic catalogue in one of the larger libraries or a specialist library for your subject of interest.
  • If you cannot find the desired material after searching the COBIB.BH database, you can also search the local databases of some larger libraries. Some local databases still containing a large number of local material records which have not been included to the COBIB.BH database yet.
  • None of the libraries participating in the COBISS.BH system have the item you are looking for. A library enters the record to the COBIB.BH database for each bibliographic item based oon a suggestion or the material itself. A record can only be added by libraries that own the publication or have it on loan for a certain period of time.
  • Articles published in newspapers, magazines, journals, proceedings, etc. are catalogued according to set criteria which can differ from library to library. The two most common criteria are the relevance of a topic for a specialist subjects, and the entry of bibliographic items for the purposes of completing a personal bibliography.

This problem usually occurs when you select a result too fast when displaying a list of results. This usually happens if the used is trying to access COBISS via a slow connection and in cases of overburdening the COBISS server. If you wait for the whole list of results to load, you won't have this problem anymore. If, however, the message has already popped up, start a new search (by using the icon on top of the page or the link at the bottom of the page) and wait for the search results to load.

This message usually appears if you enter an invalid or unfinished search term to the search field (e.g. if you only enter an asterisk (*) in beginners' or intermediate mode, or if you do not type in anything after the search prefix, e.g. LA=, in advanced mode)

In this case you have to correct the search term in compliance with the basic rules and guidelines for searching, which you can find if you click on the Help link.

The archiving takes place every morning at 3 AM. It takes up to three minutes. During this time, you cannot search for data in the COBIB.BH shared database or create personal bibliographies.

The library that has created the record is responsible to correct the error. They have the item and their librarians are authorised to check the bibliographic record and, if necessary, also correct any possible error. We suggest that you print out the incorrect record in a full format. You will find the name of the record creator and the library acronym at the top. Connect to the library's local database via the Database icon, and with a click on the underlined library a cronym to the COLIB database, which includes the information about the library (telephone, addresses, etc.). You can visit the library, call the library or send a message by e-mail with the description of he error.

If the library doesn't respond, send an e-mail to and it will be forwarded to the aforementioned library.

Within the COBISS/OPAC system you can create direct links to individual databases by defining the URL address. It also possible to create direct URL links to some functions within COBISS/OPAC (link to a desired search, link to a display of a particular records, link to authorisation for viewing material on loan or loan renewals). Examples.

The COBISS script for the Reflection terminal emulator along with the instructions for installation can be found at:

The problem is caused by Microsoft Office 2000 that is not installed properly or does not have a licence entered.

Here is what to do:

  • uninstall the Reflection software from your compute
  • finish installing Microsoft Office 2000 properly (by entering the licence) or uninstall Microsoft Office 2000
  • re-install the Reflection software, V. 8, which also includes the COBISS script

A list of printers supported by COBISS software can be found at: