LIS 677 - Finding Preferred Terms in Dialog

To determine external consistency of a preferred-term choice, you may want to look at many different databases with controlled vocabularies. Dialog allows you to search the descriptor fields of a large set of different databases all at once. Here's how it works in the Web version.

After logging on to Dialog, click on the item that says "Databases. Browse to find the best databases for your topic--at no charge.". Then click on an appropriate broad category, such as "Social Sciences and Humanities". Next,

You should get a result somewhat like this
Your select statement is 'S PRIMITIVE MAN/DE' in databases All.
FileDatabase NameHits
7:Social SciSearch®1
38:America: History and Life1
98:General Science Abstracts15

There are 11 databases matching your statement 'S PRIMITIVE MAN/DE'.
Quite often, you may get a blank page instead, because of a malfunction in the interface. If so, just keep going back and clicking on the "Search" button until you get some actual results.

If you prefer to access Dialog via Telnet, you should use the following commands:
begin 411 To access Dialindex.
set detail on To show detailed records.
set files allscience, allsocial To select which groups of databases to include.
show files If you want to see a list of the files included.
select search formula Where search formula is a valid Dialog search formula, such as primitive man/de.
rank files If you want to see the list of databases ranked in descending order of number of matching records.


Last updated September 18, 2007.
This page maintained by Prof. Tim Craven
E-mail (text/plain only):
Faculty of Information and Media Studies
University of Western Ontario,
London, Ontario
Canada, N6A 5B7