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Tips, Techniques and Words of Wisdom

Magazine article Online

Tips, Techniques and Words of Wisdom

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Editor's Note: Here are more tips, techniques, and words of wisdom collected from fellow searchers. We are now paying $25 to the author of each tip published in this column. In October we will draw the name of one lucky contributor to receive a free conference registration to ONLINE/CD-ROM '91 in San Francisco.

Please take a minute to share your favorite tips with other ONLINE readers. As suggested by several readers, we'd also welcome tips from database producers and online systems. Some readers have written to say they've saved the columns for quick reference, so keep sending the tips along - they're being well read. Send your tips to any of my addresses listed at the end of this article, and we'll print as many as we have room for in each issue. --NG

SEARCH TIP: Translating with MEDLINE

The database is MEDLINE and the question is how to spell the Spanish name of a disease that is not in the regular Spanish-English medical dictionary. MEDLINE does not have titles in the original language, but the Author index of Index Medicus (MEDLINE's print counterpart) does. So, do a title word search for the English words for the disease in MEDLINE. Limit the retrieval to Spanish language. Look at the articles' first authors. Look up the authors in the appropriate volumes of Index Medicus and, lo and behold, the Spanish title with the disease in it. Rudimentary Spanish (or another Romance language) may be needed to identify which words are the disease. Looking at more than one title should solve this. It works ! --Elizabeth H. Wood University of Southern California Norris Medical Library

SEARCH TIP: Use Print Screen Command to Copy Menus

Do you struggle each time you search a particular file or system, browsing through menu options and not remembering where you found a particular subject or how you accomplished your last task on the system? Use the command to copy the menus on your screen. Take a highlighter and mark the menu options that you selected. Keep copies of the printed screens in a notebook, under a divider for that particular task. You'll find it much easier to retrace your steps this way. (Software applications that use a graphical interface will not allow the command.)

--Bonnie Djouadi Ohio Hospital Insurance Company Computer Applications Trainer

SEARCH TIP: OneSerach File Order

When searching an expensive DIALOG database, particularly one with an associated ONTAP file, I execute a OneSerach, using the file number of the database I really want to search first, and the cheap database number last. This way, DIALOG only "dips" into the expensive file when a search command is entered or output is being delivered. Those other lulls in online activity are billed to the cheaper file. OneSerach searches reside in the last database of the file string, so place the cheap file last. (For instance to search CA SEARCH, I would use a B 312,204 command with the ONTAP number last in the BEGIN command string.)

--Ed Cherry Government Documents Librarian Harwell C. Davis Library Samford University Birmingham, AL

SEARCH TIP: Duplicate Detection and File Order in OneSerach

DIALOG's OneSerach, with its ability to execute a search in several databases simultaneously and remove duplicate citations, is a valuable search tool, but requires careful planning on the part of the searcher. If you need to watch your search costs and you plan to use the RD (Remove Duplicates) command, remember to specify the least expensive database as the first file in your BEGIN statement. …

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