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Anyone search using DIALOG? It's one our next unit of study in my science and tech reference class.
November 1, 2011
Someone showed me Dialog about ten years ago and I have never used it since. -
My professor is apparently a big fan. -
if you get dialog classic, then other databases will make more sense and be easier. they have that fancy smancy interface now that looks just like everything else... but ahhh classic. I use it at work if I need some strange db we don't have a license to. -
I think a lot of professors still teach DIALOG bc its the granddaddy of all databases (at least I think of it that way) and like Christina says with dialog classic makes searching other databases make sense, especially lexisnexis. that being said I haven't looked at it since lib school -
Sir Shuping is just sir
Up until a year ago, we were still paying some small amount of money to have access to DIALOG. I asked why. We're now no longer paying that small amount of money. -
Never seen it, but I've heard about it in stories and textbooks. -
ωαřмaiden ❤Marrit Woman❤
haven't really used it in practice either, but I learned it in lib school also. definitely agree that it helps you make sense of database searching in general though. -
So it's like how learning Latin will help your Spanish and French, even though you'll never need to speak Latin? -
i've used it. secretly i love it. but i'd never wish it on any user. -
I used to teach it. Carol Tenopir once said studying Dialog is like going to auto shop and pulling apart the engine of a sportscar piece by piece to see how everything works -- only for database searching instead of cars. We use it for a few things, but not a lot at my library. We may do away with it in the next few years. -
I learned how to use it in library school and actually found it pretty enjoyable. I understand why it's not regularly used but I liked wrangling wit it.
We had one class session (maybe two?) on it in library school (in 2002ish), and I can't say I learned much from that experience that was useful in a lasting way. It did impress upon me the importance of planning out a search ahead of time instead of just flinging keywords at the database willy-nilly, but now that databases don't charge by the search any more (....right?) that's not as important as it might have once been. The other thing I remember from that session was how freaked out most of my classmates were by a command-line interface. Heh. -
I love it for the reasons Christina and Elaine mention. Makes you think about searching in a new way. -
If you think of searches as costing a lot of money per search, DIALOG makes sense. -
Used it all the time in 1994. -
It does some SERIOUSLY BADASS things that other databases really kind of can't. ("Which restaurants in my area do more than $X in business in a year?" types of questions.) I miss it some days! But yeah, it's a beast. I'll tell you what my DIALOG teacher told me: no matter what the question is with respect to DIALOG, the answer is "it's in the bluesheets!" -
I LOVED learning DIALOG. Then again, I also loved learning Latin. And yes, what they've all said about how much it teaches you about databases and search queries, and how much control it gives you. I loved it because I always knew EXACTLY what I was actually searching, which I pretty much never know in most modern standard databases. -
Thanks for the perspective, y'all. I'm looking forward to playing around with it this week. And I'm thankful that they gave us the hookup so we or the university doesn't have to pay. -
Had a whole class on it in lib school. Loved it. Haven't used it since about 2002. And kinda agree on the Latin analogy, as well as sort of internalizing Boolean operators, field searching, and complex expressions. -
just reading the word makes me drool...I loved using it in GSLIS...bluesheets! Now you've got me wondering what it would take to audit that class again, just so I could play... :) the word proximity search was so much fun... -
How's this analogy: DIALOG is to database searching as vi/emacs are to text processing. -
that is, 90% of the time, way more powerful than you need, but absolutely essential for that other 10%, and an expert can make it sing. -
I think one of my colleagues finally disposed of a couple of decades worth of DIALOG documentation when we moved offices, but I wouldn't be surprised if he secretly squirreled them away in his office. -
You'll probably never have to use it again, but it's a good exercise in thinking through what you actually need to look for. -
fun times! -
Laura x, I loved learning DIALOG too - and I've had to use it since. Former workplace had a login, and there were some very specialized business sources available. I had to use it twice in 3 years there to help students. It kind of made me feel like an old-school librarian and I wanted to have my hair up in a bun. -
Have used it, taught it and would often rather use it than the stuff we get from the popular aggregators. If you have a chance - check out the FINDER Files (e.g., company name finder, product finder) - and the RANK command and the REPORT command (for numeric files). Ask your instructor to demo these. Also, citation searching in the ISI files on dialog is superior to web of science. If you can figure out dialog, you can search anything they can throw at you. -
I use STN about once a year for access to a specific database that is rarely used anymore. STN is pretty Dialogish.
(Check that, I actually use
Yo Joe. No, go slow.
Hey Derrick - are they still teaching LIS students any native mode Lexis/Nexis? That's another good one to learn if they still have it. Anyone fans of HLEAD or ATLEAST out there? -
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