Cover image for Online retrieval : a dialogue of theory and practice
Online retrieval : a dialogue of theory and practice
Walker, Geraldene.
Personal Author:
Second edition.
Publication Information:
Englewood, Colo. : Libraries Unlimited, 1999.
Physical Description:
xiii, 312 pages : illustrations ; 28 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Z699.35.O55 W35 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



Designed to assist beginning searchers, whether they are students or practitioners, this text offers a comprehensive introduction to online systems that primarily provide information in the form of bibliographic citations. Walker and Janes give basic how-to information on the use of online systems, discuss topics for which there are no accepted paradigms, and present alternative points of view within a framework of previous research. Expanding on their immensely popular and critically acclaimed first edition, the authors have added extensive new material addressing Internet search and retrieval techniques as well as the more traditional Dialog and Lexis-Nexis services. Invaluable as a textbook for students in online retrieval courses, practicing librarians, and online searchers in library settings, this book can be used as a quick reference tool and as a handy guide for in-service training. Information seekers who want to perform their own searches for bibliographic information using an online sea

Author Notes

The late GERALDENE WALKER was Assistant Professor, School of Information Science and Policy, University of New York at Albany.

JOSEPH JANES is Assistant Professor, School of Information and Library Science, University of Washington, Seattle.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Walker (SUNY-Albany) and Janes (Univ. of Michigan) have sensibly chosen one widely used online retrieval system, DIALOG, to illustrate their discussion of the principles and techniques of online searching. The reader who closely examines the numerous reproductions of DIALOG printouts will have a strong conceptual foundation on which to build real searching experience. The only obvious limitation is, of course, that not all searchers use DIALOG, but the authors have largely done a good job of generalizing their lessons. The major portion of Online Retrieval consists of a comprehensive treatment of hands-on searching techniques with attention given to Boolean logic, controlled vocabulary and free-text searching, display formats, and ways to minimize expense of time and money. Additional topics include the reference interview, evaluation of search results, and establishing and managing an institutional search service. One chapter briefly describes Internet. A few oversights slightly weaken the value of the text, e.g., typographical errors in the DIALOG examples might confuse readers, and references to DIALOG bluesheets occur prior to Chapter 10 where they are more fully described. Overall, however, this book is recommended, particularly to students who would benefit additionally from an experienced instructor's elaboration and clarification of the text.-- Dean C. Rowan, Whittier P.L., Cal. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 The Search for Information in the Online Age
Chapter 2 Developments in Information Retrieval
Chapter 3 Going Online
Chapter 4 Online Information
Chapter 5 Database Construction and Structure
Chapter 6 Search Technique
Chapter 7 Using Controlled Vocabulary
Chapter 8 Searching Using Free Text
Chapter 9 Additional Search Features
Chapter 10 Beyond the Basic Search
Chapter 11 Searching Other Kinds of Databases
Chapter 12 Evaluating Your Results
Chapter 13 Running a Library Search Service
Chapter 14 Running Your Own Search Service
Glossary of Online Terms