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Support : Dialog Search Aids : Successful Searching : Introduction

Introduction to Dialog


Introduction to Dialog®

The Dialog service is the world's most comprehensive online information retrieval service and has been serving users since 1972. With over 600 databases from a broad range of disciplines, Dialog provides international access to information in a broad scope of subject areas. The volume of data available combined with the system's searching capabilities make Dialog the largest and most powerful online service of its type.

The Dialog content collection contains hundreds of databases comprised of millions of documents drawn from a multitude of sources. Dialog brings you scientific and technical literature; full-text trade journals, newspapers and newswires; details on millions of chemical substances; information on patents and trademarks issued worldwide; demographic data; and company financial statistics.


About the Dialog Command Language

A variety of interfaces are available for accessing Dialog. Web-based, fill-in-the-blanks products such as DialogSelect™ and DialogPRO are intended to meet the needs of knowledge workers who are not information professionals. Among information professionals, the Dialog Command Language, present in products such as DialogLink 5® and DialogClassic Web™, continues to be favored by professional researchers. It offers sophisticated search options, precision search and retrieval tools, and a host of unique features. With Dialog Command Language, the researcher has complete control over which databases are interrogated and how the search is executed; exactly what data elements are retrieved and how they are output.

Dialog Command Language is an integral feature in the following product interfaces. Use any to mine more than 600 databases containing comprehensive, authoritative sources of scientific, technical, medical, business, news and intellectual property information:

  • DialogLink 5 is a powerful Windows®-based software tool that greatly extents the functionality of Dialog Command Language, especially in the areas of search management and post-processing of search results. The most recent versions of DialogLink use DialogAPI technology to enable Web-based functionality lacking in the traditional DialogClassic, text-only interface. Examples of such features include:
    • output in XML, HTML, PDF and RTF
    • report output to native Microsoft to Word and Excel formats
    • graphical, template-based interface to many commands
    • enhanced functionality for DIALINDEX and Alerts
    • hyperlinking to electronic documents and journals
  • DialogClassic Web™ offers most of the sophisticated search capabilities of DialogLink 5 in a browser-based interface via the Web.
  • Dialog®Web offers two ways to search: via Guided Search and Command mode. Command mode supports Dialog Command Language delivering the power and precision of DialogClassic through a Web browser. Many command shortcuts are available via graphical icons and check-box selection.
  • DialogClassic offers a command-driven, text-only, line-oriented interface for search and retrieval at extraordinary speed. This is a fast and highly flexible interface for power searchers.

Dialog Without Command Language

Other Web-based interfaces are available for searching Dialog that exploit the features of HTML and Web scripting to simplify the search experience and do not use Dialog Command Language. The following have been created for researchers more familiar with Web search engines. Each of these interfaces represents an off-the-shelf solution built atop the core Dialog system. Each offers simple fill-in-the-blanks templates for search and retrieval.

  • DialogSelect™ allows you to get complete information without needing to know which sources to search or how to search them.
  • DialogWeb offers two ways to search: via Guided Search and Command mode. Use Guided Search mode for full access to the Dialog system through a flexible and easy-to-use Web-based interface that does not require knowledge of commands.
  • DialogPRO is a subscription-based service ideal for small business researchers.

More recently, new tools enable customers to exploit the power of Dialog Command Language by creating customized interfaces to the Dialog system.

  • Dialog API is an application tool that supports Web Services Description Language (WSDL) and Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) for integrating Dialog content into compatible platforms.
  • Dialog Intranet Toolkit provides a suite of search forms for building a targeted information query and delivery service into an organization's intranet.
  • Custom Solutions provides an opportunity to deliver Dialog content to your own internal systems, or to have Thomson Scientific develop a solution tailored to your specific organizational needs.

Special Dialog Features 

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Successful Searching "Quick Links":

Complete Table of Contents

Introduction to Dialog
Special Dialog Features
Dialog Command Language Search Basics
Search Assistance and Tools
How to Use this Guide

Commands
ADD
ARCHIVE
BEGIN
CAPTURE
COST
DISPLAY
DISPLAY SETS
EDIT
EDIT ADDRESS
EDIT PROFILE
EXCEL
EXECUTE/ EXECUTE STEPS
EXPAND
HELP
HTML
IDENTIFY DUPLICATES
IDENTIFY DUPLICATES ONLY
IDPAT
KEEP
LIMITALL
LOGOFF
LOGOFF HOLD
MAP
ORDER
PAGE/PAGE–
PAUSE
PICKLIST
PRINT
RANK
RANK FILES
RECALL
REDIST
RELEASE
REMOVE DUPLICATES
REPEAT
REPORT
SAVE
SELECT
SEND
SET
SHOW
SORT
TEXT
TYPE
VIEW
VISUAL EXPAND
VISUAL RANK
WORD
XML
XSLT

Appendix A: Punctuation and Symbols

Appendix B: Restricted Words

Appendix C: Glossary

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