Dialog searching introduction
Doing a basic Dialog search
- Plan your search strategy.
Use OR to connect terms
that represent the same concept
and AND to connect concepts
that you want both to be present.
- Log on to Dialog.
On FIMS workstations,
select "Programs|Information Resources|Dialog - Web"
from the "Start" menus.
If you are enabled for Dialog for more than one course,
you may need to select the course number
- Specify the database that you want to search.
Use the Dialog B(EGIN) command
with the number of the database.
For example, to access file #201 (ONTAP ERIC), type
and press Enter.
- Enter your search specification.
Use the Dialog S (SELECT)
or SS (SELECT STEPS) command.
You can use the question mark (?)
as a sign of truncation.
To refer to a previously retrieved set of records,
use S plus the set number;
for instance, S1 to refer to set #1.
Connect terms, truncated terms, set identifiers, etc.,
with Boolean operators (AND, OR,
NOT) as appropriate.
Examples of use of the S command include
S DOMESTIC? OR RESIDENTIAL OR HOME?
S S1 AND (SELECT? OR ACQUI?)
To each S command,
Dialog will respond with the number of postings
for the search specification
and will assign a set number;
The SS command has similar results,
except that set numbers are also assigned to results
of intermediate steps in the search.
||DOMESTIC? OR RESIDENTIAL OR HOME?
- Display or download results of a search.
To display a set,
click on its "Display" buton.
Select items by clicking in their checkboxes,
or select all items on the current page
by clicking on the "Select all" button.
Click on the "Records..." link at page end
to move to the next page;
use "Back" to move to the previous page.
Use the "Format" list box
to select the fullness of what is displayed
with "Print/Save Selected"
To download the records selected on a page,
click on the "Print/Save Selected" button
and then use "File|Save As..."
from Internet Explorer's menus.
- End your session.
Click on the "logoff" button;
then close the Internet Explorer window.
Some other useful Dialog commands
E (EXPAND) plus a term
displays the portion of the basic index
in which the term appears (or would appear).
restricts subsequent searches
to English-language material in some databases.
DS (DISPLAY SETS)
lists all sets formed
since the last BEGIN command.
SET HI ON (SET HIGHLIGHT ON)
causes search terms to be marked
in displayed or downloaded records
for some databases.
Last updated July 6, 1999.
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Faculty of Information and
University of Western
Canada, N6A 5B7