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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 some more tips, techniques, and words of wisdom collected fellow searchers. 7he first ones appeared in the May 1990 issue of ONLINE in case you missed them. Share your own favorites with ONLINE readers by sending them to me at any of the addresses listed at the end this article.

SEARCH TIP: Use Your Home System Even When It's Not Appropriate

Address all queries first to the system you know best and can therefore search most efficiently, even if, at first blush, it may not look like the most appropriate system to use. I remember meeting a former law librarian who knew LEXIS like the back of her hand, but was trying to come up to speed on DIALOG for a new job in an insurance company. I suggested that she go back and look at some of the other services on Mead where the data might also be found in search and record formats with which she was already familiar.

Lucinda Conger U.S. Dept. of State Library SEARCH TIP: Use A Comparison Chart

I would advise experienced searchers who search across many databanks to buy Online, Inc.'s ONLINE International Command Chart (but I wouldn't want that tip to be construed as a 'plug" for that product).

Steven J. Bell Lippincott Library, Wharton School University of Pennsylvania

SEARCH TIP: Broad Databases Can Do Quick Reference

Don't forget general interest full-text databases. They can be great for unearthing facts or finding articles with several paragraphs on a topic.

SLIS, University of Hawaii

Carol Tenopir Associate Professor SLIS, University of Hawaii

SEARCH TIP: Finding Chemical Product Names For Business Searches

When doing a business/marketing search for a chemical product, check for all chemical names, trade names, foreign names, etc., to make certain all information is retrieved. As sources of names, use Chemname on STN or DIALOG, and search other chemical print directories in print. Business searchers, don't be afraid to delve into the chemical files, or find someone to do it for you.

Regina Klien Monsanto Company

BEGINNERS' SEARCH TIP: Interfile Database Information With Bluesheets

Interfile DIALOG'S CHRONOLOG or database articles of interest with the bluesheets and database chapters. This method keeps related search tips on a database together.

Mark Robinson Prince George Memorial Library

SEARCH TIP: Save Dollars On Cited Reference Searches

When searching cited references (CR=) from the ISI files (Arts and Humanities Search, Social SciSearch, and SCISEARCH), use EXPAND CR= instead of SELECT CR= if all you need to know is the number of sources cited on a single work by an author or all of that author's works. For example, entering e cr=woo c in Social SciSearch will retrieve:

E3    0  CR=WOO C
E4    1 CR=WOO C, 1968, P519, HAISHANGFA
E6    1 CR=WOO C, 1981, V2, P301,
E7    1 CR=WOO C, 1982, PRIMARY
          PREVENTION S
E8    1 CR=WOO C, 1983, ACADEMY
          MANAGEMENT N
E9    1 CR=WOO C, 1983, NATIONAL
          ACADEMY MAN
E10   1 CR=WOO C, 1983, P27, FAL P IEEE
          COMPCON N
E11   2 CR=WOO C, 1983, THESIS U
          1980 G
E13   1 CR=WOO C, 1983,818 PURD U GRAD
E14   2 CR=WOO C, 1984, P1031,
E15   3 CR=WOO C, 1984, V30, P1031,
E16   1 CR=WOO C, 1986, IMPACT
E17   1 CR=WOO C, 1986, V7, P153, ENERGY
E18   1 CR=WOO C, 1988, P20, CALIF PHARM

Each EXPAND entry clearly counts the number of sources citing that specific item. …

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