The Continuing Saga of Professional End-Users: Law Students Search DIALOG at the University of Florida

By Sanderson, Rosalie M. | Online, November 1990 | Go to article overview

The Continuing Saga of Professional End-Users: Law Students Search DIALOG at the University of Florida


Sanderson, Rosalie M., Online


THE CONTINUING SAGA OF PROFESSIONAL END-USERS: LAW STUDENTS SEARCH DIALOG AT THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

The dabate on end-user searching is far from over. Inforamtion professionals continue to ponder a number of issues: How effective are the searches? How much training is necessary for busy professionals? Do end-users understand what they are searching, how they are searching, and what else is available? Even while the debate rages end-users are searching in ever greater numbers. (The enormous increase in the availability of compact disks and their fixed costs may have contributed to the increase in end-user searchers.) Although it seems likely that there will always be a place for the trained information specialist or librarian, the professional end-user is here to stay.

New end-users are coming from all the professions, but attorneys and law students have been end-users for some time. LEXIS and Westlaw, the online legal research systems were developed as user-friendly systems for end-users. Attorneys and law students have been searching LEXIS and Westlaw for more than a decade, but now some of them are moving to a new system: DIALOG. DIALOG began a pilot project at the University of Florida College of Law in Fall 1989 to determine whether the system could be used productively in the law schools. The purpose of this article is to examine the DIALOG pilot project at Florida, to study the experiences of law students as DIALOG end-users, and to determine what implications, if any, there are for other institutions working with professional end-users.

THE DIALOG PILOT PROJECT

The pilot project began in Fall 1989 at the University of Florida College of Law. DIALOG agreed to provide six passwords with unlimited usage and access to all databases except TRADEMARKSCAN. The purpose of the project was to integrate DIALOG into the law students' research agenda so that law school graduates would realize how useful it can be in law practice.

THE SETTING

The law students did not come to DIALOG as information illiterates, but as experienced LEXIS and Westlaw users. The environment of the Legal Information Center is rich with electronic information sources. At the time the DIALOG pilot project began, the school subscribed to more than twenty compact disk products, as well as a number of online services including LEXIS, Westlaw, NEXIS, RLIN, VU/TEXT, DIALOG, and ELSS. The school houses a Permanent Learning Center facility for both LEXIS and Westlaw. The reference desk is equipped with a personal computer which provides access to LEXIS, Westlaw, DIALOG and RLIN, as well as a variety of compact disk products. Most members of the reference staff are skilled database searchers.

The law school has provided an atmosphere which encouraged the use of online services. Under the direction of Betty W. Taylor, the Legal Information Center has a tradition of leadership in law library computerization and automation. For example the University of Florida was the first law school to subscribe to Westlaw, and several years later, the first to acquire Legaltrac.

COMPONENTS OF THE DIALOG

PILOT PROJECT

Students can access DIALOG through a gateway at all Westlaw stations in the Permanent Learning Center. Librarians use it at the reference desk and at personal computers elsewhere in the law school.

To reduce training time to a minimum the law students are using a special menu-driven version of DIALOG, the DIALOG CORPORATE CONNECTION. (DIALOG CORPORATE CONNECTION is not yet commercially available.) Users have access to both this menu-driven system and normal command-driven system, but the menu-driven system is the default mode.

DIALOG CORPORATE CONNECTION was created for end-users. It prompts the user for database selection as well as for search formulation and modification. Depending upon the database the searcher may also be prompted for language or date limits. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Continuing Saga of Professional End-Users: Law Students Search DIALOG at the University of Florida
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.